How to Add RAM to Mac Mini and iMac

May 27, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Upgrading a desktop Mac is usually a case of adding new RAM or a replacement hard disk drive. Unlike a PC, there are few upgrade options available, but as Macs are pretty efficient to start off with, adding a new memory module will make a considerable different to performance.

However, as there are two standard desktop models of Mac – the Mac Mini and iMac – there are different methods involved with adding new memory modules.

Before you start, however, you need to choose the right RAM. Just as you might for a MacBook or MacBook Pro, use the System Profiler to check exactly what is in your Mac at the moment – for instance, you might have two 1 GB modules – and then use the module selector wizard at to purchase the right additional RAM.

While you’re waiting for this to come, have a read through the following steps as appropriate for your Mac, and even try out removing and replacing your existing RAM modules so that you are familiar with the task before you come to add your new memory.

Add RAM to Mac Mini and iMac

Add RAM to Your Mac Mini

If you own a 2010 or later Mac Mini model, swapping the memory modules is a pretty straightforward task. Begin by unplugging the device and placing it upside down on a soft cloth or towel upon your desk or another hard surface.

Remember to remove any jewellery before proceeding; for the best results, purchase an anti-static band to avoid damaging the interior of your Mac, or indeed, the memory modules.

With one hand on each side of the black disc cover, push it anti-clockwise slightly until the white dot and the circle on the case are aligned. You can then lift the cover away.

You should see the RAM straightaway; it is situated beside a small diagram explaining how to add and remove the modules. Basically, with each of your thumbs pull the clips away from the sides of the RAM until it springs up at one end, and then slide the module away from the computer. To add a new memory module, simply repeat the motion in reverse, pressing the end of the module down into the housing and ensuring the clips are locked in place.

Upgrading RAM in Your iMac

Accessing the RAM modules in an aluminium model iMac is a little trickier, and involves a screwdriver. Begin by disconnecting your computer from the mains and then placing it face down on a soft fabric on a solid surface. Position the iMac so that the stand is facing you and lift this up, so that you can access and remove the screw that secures the cover of the RAM module slots.

The memory modules will have a small piece of fabric that you can pull to remove them, much as you might remove a mobile phone battery. This is a very easy way of removing the RAM, so don’t be surprised if it becomes more widespread over the next few years.

Replacing the RAM involves you simply slotting the new module into place, gold connectors first, pushing the fabric back into place and ensuring that the RAM is sitting firmly in place before replacing the cover plate.

Faster performance is coming to your iMac!

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