How Long Does a MacBook Last? The Complete Guide

Ah, the MacBook, a modern computer many consider the pinnacle of design.

If you’ve owned a MacBook before, you know how intuitive, easy, and time-saving using a MacBook can be. Those looking to switch to upgrade to a MacBook can also attest to its user-friendly design.

Despite its sophisticated design, the question many people ask is how long does a MacBook last?

If a quality computer with all of the latest features only lasts for a couple of years, is it worth buying? Knowing the average lifespan of a MacBook will help you find the right laptops to fit your needs. Here’s everything you need to know about the lifespan and owning a MacBook.

How Long Does a MacBook Last With Heavy Use?

The life span of a MacBook depends on how you use it. Heavier use will result in a shorter lifespan while lighter use will keep it running well for longer.

The average MacBook lifespan is around five to seven years, with heavy use. Heavy MacBook usage includes gaming, video, animation, graphic/photo editing, and any CPU-intensive tasks. Anyone who regularly uses the MacBook as a “workhorse.”

If you add any upgrades to the Graphics card and RAM, your MacBook could last a few years longer.

The reason heavy tasks shorten the lifespan of a MacBook is CPU-intensive tasks will wear down the hardware. Your MacBook’s RAM, battery, graphics card, and software updates simply can’t keep up.

How Long Does a MacBook Last with Moderate or Casual Use?

Moderate and casual MacBook users can expect a longer lifespan of their laptops. Casual and moderate use includes:

  • Surfing the web
  • Writing papers or using Google Docs
  • Moderate to little use for animation, gaming, and other CPU-intensive tasks
  • Using your MacBook three to five days per week
  • Using your MacBook for screen sharing mac apps

If you’re using MacBook for moderate use, your laptop will last anywhere from five to seven years, maybe longer. Those using their MacBook for light use can enjoy their laptop for up to nine years, maybe longer with proper care.

Signs Your MacBook Is Getting Old

Like with any piece of technology, your aging MacBook will start to show its age. If you notice any of the following signs, you should start backing up your important documents and data on an external hard drive or cloud storage. You’ll also want to consider replacing your laptop.

It Runs Slow

A major telltale sign your MacBook is aging is it doesn’t perform like it did when it was new. Instead, it’s taking its sweet time turning on, opening apps, and saving data. Occasionally, it might freeze or refuse to perform any demanding tasks.

Usually, a quick reboot or reformating the laptop would jumpstart your MacBook back to life, improving its performance. Deleting old files and unused apps would also help.

If you tried the above and find your aging laptop continues to run slow, it’s time for an upgrade.

It’s Looking Old

Apple’s technology is continuously evolving, including the look of their laptops. Apple computers and laptops are incredibly durable using quality metal parts in and on the laptop’s body.

Over time, regular use will lead to scratches, dents, cracks, or missing keys. While most of this damage is benign, cracked screens or missing keys are a sign your computer is wearing down.

There’s No Free Space

Do you have trouble saving documents or receive pesky pop-ups telling you your computer no longer has any free space? As your computer ages and experiences regular use, its memory will fill with downloads, saved documents, and apps. This prevents new software, apps, and documents from saving.

New software and programs are more advance and will require more space on your laptop. Most older MacBooks don’t have the storage capacity to store new software. When your laptop’s storage becomes full, it will perform much worse.

You can continue using your aging MacBook by saving apps and documents on an external hard drive or cloud. If you don’t like that idea, you’ll want to replace your computer.

It Won’t Accept New Software Updates

Most MacBooks last for years because they can run and accept current versions of the OS still supported by Apple. Each of Apple’s major software updates lasts between one to three years. MacBooks from 2015 and later can handle Apple’s current Big Sur macOS update.

Apple is continuing to offer updates on its older OS models such as Catalina and Mojave which also works on all MacBooks from 2015 or later. Newer OS software offers modern security and malware protection as well as updated user interface features.

If you have MacBook Air, Mini, or Pro from 2012 or earlier, your MacBook can run Mojave but won’t be able to run any newer software updates. If your older MacBook can no longer upgrade software, it’s time to replace it.

Your MacBook Is Obsolete

Apple considers any MacBook that’s over seven years old to be “obsolete,” meaning Apple will no longer service and repair them. Most MacBooks from 2012 or before are now obsolete.

The seven-year count begins as soon as that specific model of MacBook stops being available for sale through Apple. If you purchase your MacBook when it first comes out, you may be able to enjoy it with Apple service and updates for about eight to nine years.

Tips To Improve Your MacBook’s Lifespan

There are a few tips and tricks to improve the lifespan of a MacBook and keep it performing well. You should:

  • Regularly shut it down
  • Automate updates
  • Keep the battery between 80% and 20%
  • Adjust the brightness
  • Regularly clean your MacBook’s exterior
  • Regularly delete unused apps and files
  • Use a protective case

By following these seven simple tips, you may be able to extend the life of your MacBook beyond the expected five to seven years. Besides improving its lifespan, these are good practices to ensure your MacBook performs at its best.

Enjoy Your MacBook For Years

How long does a MacBook last? Buying a MacBook is a wonderful investment as these laptops are incredibly powerful and long-lasting. With proper care, you can expect to enjoy your MacBook for about seven years.

Want to learn more handy tips to keep your tech running well? Check out our latest Personal Tech articles to discover more great ways to improve the performance of your laptops and personal tech.