Use this guide to upgrade the RAM in your iMac.

  1. Unplug your iMac's AC cord along with any peripheral devices.
    • Unplug your iMac's AC cord along with any peripheral devices.

    • Lay your iMac face-down on a soft, clean surface as shown.

    • Be sure there isn't any dirt or debris on your work surface, as it may scratch the glass panel on the front of your iMac. We recommend placing a towel between the iMac and the work surface.

    • Loosen the three Phillips screws securing the access door to the bottom edge of your iMac.

    • All three screws will remain captive in the access door.

    • Remove the access door.

    Before beginning unplug your iMac.

    Henry Barnett - Reply

    The screws are not phillips #1 as implied above. My phillips#2 bit fit.

    John McWilliams - Reply

    Yes phillips #2 is the correct Bit

    Heath - Reply

  2. Gently slide the black plastic RAM pull tab out from the RAM slot.
    • Gently slide the black plastic RAM pull tab out from the RAM slot.

    • Pull the black plastic tab away from the bottom edge of the iMac to eject the module(s) on that side of the RAM bay.

    • This may require a bit of force.

    It is far harder than I thought you have to pull REALLY hard and then there will be a little click and than you can gently pull out the RAM.

    Alison Newton - Reply

    Just FYI you can install 32GB’s of RAM in this machine. I have been using it this way for over 2 years now.

    Heath - Reply

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    • Slide the old RAM module(s) out of their slots in the RAM bay and set them aside.

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    • Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay.

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    • When installing new RAM modules, it is important to orient them correctly.

    • Be sure the small notch cut into each RAM module (shown in the first picture) mates with the protrusion in each RAM slot (shown in the second picture).

    • Your iMac has four RAM slots. Be sure to slide each RAM module into its slot horizontally. This will prevent getting the modules stuck between two of the adjacent slots.

    • Once you have oriented the new RAM modules correctly, gently slide them completely into the iMac and use your thumbs to firmly seat them in their sockets.

    When reinstalling RAM in this machine or any iMac with upgradable RAM slots push hard to get them to go in (Apple really did make this one harder than it needed to be). If you don't push hard it won't go in and your computer won't work. (trust me on this learned the hard way)

    Robert Wacker - Reply

    I am having trouble with bottom 2 slots. As I get beeping sounds when using them. When removed it boots properly. I tried & tried to push the 2 , 2GB ram modules into the bottom slots BUT all get is beeping. Guess I have to settle for 4GB Rather than 8 unless someone has a suggestion.

    Doug - Reply


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

46 other people completed this guide.


Can i ad up to 32gb?

Nebirous Szandor - Reply

I need to know this as well.....

Mauritz Janeke -

From what I read in the specs for this model it can support up to 16GB

Hutch Jorgensen -

You can't put 8GB modules in these slots. I tried. Apparently the architecture does not support addressing the extra memory in each slot. My iMac would not successfully boot or run for very long before rebooting. So, you have 2GB and 4GB module options, in pairs, among the 4 slots. That should provide 4GB (two 2GBs), 8GB (four 2GBs or two 4GBs), 12GB (pair of each) and 16GB (four 4GBs) options for total RAM.

I'm no expert, but this was my experience.

Larry -

My iMac is a i3 core, can I do the same thing with the same chips?

tighteststudio - Reply

Thank you for the fix manual. I managed to change my memories in 5 minutes.

Tho it was a mistake to be in a hurry to try all, cause at begining I got the 3 beep warning and iMac didnt want to boot.

I opened again, tried 2x4GB instead of the initial 4x4GB, and it worked.... tried again 4x4GB but swaping memories (not that its something relevant but supposed helped me reconnect all better).

Now my oldie iMac has 16GB instead of 4GB and it works great.

Thank you!

alejandroquezada78 - Reply

Success! I don't have a lot of strength in my fingers and it took all of it to pull those tabs out, and then to push the new modules in but finally I got that pleasant feeling of the pins fitting into the slots the way they should. So the iMac has gone from 2 hardworking RAM modules to much zippier 4. Thanks for the guide!!

ccdavid1 - Reply

Hi everyone !

I’d like to boost my iMac 21,5”, 3.06GHZ, INTEL CORE i3 (>mid 2010) ; I already installed a new SSHD and I’d like to change the RAM. I have a few questions though :

The original RAM is 2GB DDR3 1333MHZ PC3-10600S SODIMM, serial number M471B 5673 FHO-CH9 SAMSUNG

1. Is it possible to upgrade the RAM and use 4GB DDR other than 1333 MHZ PC3-10600S ?

2. Is the serial number important ? Do I have to get the exact same ?

3. Do i have to use the SAMSUNG brand or any other brand like Crucial is compatible for my mac ?

4. Can i Replace CORE i3 by CORE i5 ? Is it compatible with the initial motherboard ?

Thanks everyone ! Thank you for the very useful tutorial !


LISSA - Reply

Upgraded from 4 GB to 16 GB. It worked great thanks for creating this guide.

Patrick Haertel - Reply

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