Upgrading Mac Mini or MacBook Pro to SSD Drive can significantly boost its performance. You will find below the steps to upgrade Mac to SSD Drive and transfer Data to New SSD Drive on Mac.
Upgrade Mac to New SSD Drive
The main concern when it comes to upgrading Mac to SSD drive is the possibility of data being lost and how to safely transfer data to New SSD Drive on Mac.
Luckily, macOS software provides multiple data transfer methods and you can choose from Time Machine, Migration Assistant or the Cloning method to safely transfer data to new SSD Drive.
- No need to change any settings, unless you'd like to give it a new name. This will format the drive and prep it for the next step. Next, launch SuperDuper, and set it to clone your Mac's hard drive to the SSD. If you gave it a new name in Disk Utility, it'll show up as such. Then choose Backup All Files, and click Copy Now.
- Format Samsung SSD for Mac through DiskPart 1. Press” Windows”+”R” simultaneously and hit on “Enter” to open Run dialogue.
- The internet recovery only seems to work if the SSD is in APFS format. I formatted the SSD to APFS using SATA to USB cable/convertor, and that was it. The entire recovery went well and smoothly after that.
Perhaps the easiest way to transfer Data from Mac to New SSD Drive is to use Time Machine, unless you have an older Mac running macOS High Sierra or MacOS Mojave.
For the time machine, you have to format the SSD from the default shipped format. Connect SSD Drive to the Mac USB-C or USB port Open the Disk Utility in Mac Select the Disk from the sidebar.
In which case, the external hard drive gets formatted as extended journal and cannot be used for Time Machine Backups (you will need to use the cloning method on older Macs).
1. Make Time Machine Backup to External Hard Drive
The first step is to back up all the data and programs on your computer to an external Hard Drive using Time Machine Backup.
1. Connect External Hard Drive to the USB Port of your Mac.
2. Click on the Apple Logo and click on System Preferences in the drop-down menu.
3. On the System Preferences screen, click on Time Machine.
4. On the next screen, check Show Time Machine in menu bar option and click on Select Backup Disk… button.
5. On the next screen, select your Backup Disk and click on Use Disk button.
6.. If the selected disk is not formatted, you will be prompted to erase the disk first. Click on Erase to proceed.
7. After the disk is formatted, click on Backup Now to start the process of Time Machine Backup.
If you are making a Time Machine Backup for the first time, it may take multiple hours to complete the Backup process. Video loop app maccleverwars.
2. Replace Existing Hard Drive on Mac with SSD Drive
Now that you have a Time Machine Backup on a separate external drive, you can safely remove the current Hard Disk on your Mac and replace it with a New SSD Drive.
To upgrade Mac Mini to SSD, you will need a New SSD Drive, TR6 and T8 Screw drivers, Logic Board Removal Tools and Spudger.
To upgrade MacBook Pro to SSD, you will be needing a New SSD Drive, P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver, T5 Torx Screwdriver and Spudger.
The steps to replace 2014 Mac Mini Hard Drive with SSD can be found in this ifixit guide and you should also watch this video on YouTube.
To replace 2015 MacBook Pro Hard Drive with SSD, you can refer to this ifixit guide and you should also watch YouTube videos applicable for your model of MacBook.
3. Format New SSD Drive Using Disk Utility
If you have replaced the Hard Drive on Mac with a New SSD Drive, you need to format the disk to APFS format.
1. Turn on the Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys on the keyboard of your computer.
How To Format Ssd For Macbook
2. Release both the keys when you see your Mac starting with white Apple Logo. This should make your Mac go to macOS Utilities startup screen.
3. On macOS Utilities screen, select Disk Utility option and click on Continue.
4. On the next screen, type a Name for your SSD Drive and click on Apply to start the format process.
5. When the SSD Drive is formatted, close the screen and this should take you back to macOS utilities startup screen.
4. Transfer Data From Old HDD to New SSD Drive on Mac
The final step is to transfer Data from Old SSD Drive to New SSD Drive on your Mac. You can skip steps 2, 3 below, if you are already on macOS utilities screen.
1. Connect External Hard Drive containing Time Machine Backup to the USB Port of your Mac.
2. Turn on the Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys on the keyboard of your computer.
3. Release both the keys when you see your Mac starting with white Apple Logo. This should make your Mac go to macOS utilities startup screen.
4. On macOS utilities screen, select Restore From Time Machine Backup option and click on Continue.
5. On the confirmation screen, click on Continue to confirm.
6. On the next screen, select your Time Machine Backup Disk as the restore source and click on Continue.
7. Select the New SSD Drive on your Mac as the destination source and click on Restore.
8. Patiently wait for the Restore Process to be competed.
Once Time Machine Restore is completed, restart Mac and see if all your data is intact.
5. Desktop & Apps Missing After Time Machine Restore
In our testing, Desktop Files and Program Files were missing on Mac after Time Machine Restore.
If this happens, you can always Enter Time Machine > copy desktop files from Time Machine Backup and paste them on your new desktop.
Similarly, you can copy Program Files from Time Machine Backup and paste them in Programs Folder on your Mac.
Swapping out your old hard drive for a modern SSD is surprisingly affordable and results in 5X better performance: a reputable 500GB MacBook SSD can be had for around $150, while 1TB options are available for around $300 — both considerably cheaper than a new MacBook. It’s also surprisingly easy, even if you don’t know your way around the insides of a Mac.
Do I really need to upgrade my Mac hard drive?
Fitting a solid state drive in your MacBook Pro is a quick and simple way to boost performance but an upgrade might not always be needed.
If you only really use your Mac to browse the web and do some word processing, your current hard drive is probably fine. If your system feels a bit sluggish, try running CleanMyMac X first to clean away any resource-hogging junk. That might be the only fix you need (this way junk that is clogging up your system, such as old files, images, apps, duplicates and iPhone backups will be cleared away).
If, however, you’re noticing any of the following issues, an SSD upgrade will most certainly help:
- Slow startup
- Sluggish performance in resource-intensive apps such as Adobe Photoshop
- System crashes
- Permission denied errors to files that were previously fine
What to consider when choosing a MacBook Pro SSD
To reap the benefits of an SSD, you need a drive that’s up to the task. Here’s what to consider:
Read/write speed — SSDs are rated on their reading and writing speed. The higher the speed, the better the performance. Something in the range of 500MB/s and above is good, although actual speed will be about a third less than what’s advertised.
Memory — MLC (multi-level cell) and SLC (single-level cell) are the two options available. The former is cheaper and capable of holding more information but the latter is more reliable.
Capacity — Get as much space as you can afford. The greater the capacity of an SSD, the more it will benefit Mac performance.
Reliability — Read the reviews. See what the experts and other users say about SSD performance and reliability. You’ll typically find that brand name SSDs rank the highest. Samsung, SanDisk, Crucial, KingSpec, and Transcend are standout brands.
How to fit a new MacBook Pro SSD
Okay, let’s get down to business. SSD aside, here’s what you’ll need to fit your new hard drive:
Small Phillips screwdriver
Torx T6 screwdriver
Step 1: Format the SSD
To perform a MacBook Pro SSD upgrade you’re first going to need to clone your existing hard drive so that the new one runs like clockwork when it’s installed.
Before you do this, you should use CleanMyMac X to perform a Smart Cleanup. This will clear your system of any junk files so that they’re not transferred over unnecessarily. You can download CleanMyMac X for free, here.
Cloning the hard drive can be done with a tool such as SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cleaner, or with Apple’s own Disk Utility program. Here’s how to do it with the latter:
- Connect the SSD to your Mac using the SATA-to-USB cable.
- Go to Applications > Utilities and open the Disk Utility.
- Click on the SSD icon, followed by the Partition tab and select 'Partition 1' from the Partition Layout.
- Click on Options and select GUID Partition Table in the next window.
- Click on the First Aid tab, followed by Verify Disk Permissions.
- Click Verify Disk, followed by Repair Disk.
- Shutdown your MacBook and restart it, holding the Option key as you do. Choose the option to boot to Recovery Disk.
- Click on Reinstall Mac OS X and choose the SSD as the destination.
- Copy your files over from the installed hard drive to the SSD. When asked to restore files from another disk, choose the currently installed hard drive.
Step 2: Remove the hard drive
Now it’s time to get hands-on.
- Make sure your MacBook is shut down.
- Locate and remove the 10 screws using the Phillips screwdriver. Put the screws in a small bowl so that you don’t lose any.
- Remove the cover and touch a metal part to release the static electricity.
- Locate the hard drive and remove the plastic bracket securing it. This is held in place with two screws.
- Gently remove the hard drive and disconnect the SATA ribbon. Do this by wiggling the connector. Don’t yank on the ribbon.
- Remove the four Torx screws attached to the hard drive and screw the posts into the SSD.
Step 3: Fit the SSD
- Carefully attach the SATA ribbon to the SSD and lower it in place.
- Fix the holding bracket back in place.
- Replace the MacBook cover and screw in the ten tiny screws.
- Switch on your MacBook Pro, go to System Preferences > Startup Disk and make sure the SSD is selected.
- Restart your computer.
See, we told you it was easy!
Enjoy a faster, smoother MacBook Pro
How To Format Ssd For Macbook Pro
A new SSD drive for your Mac will make an instant impact. Apps will launch faster, files will save quicker, and multitasking will be a much smoother experience. Use CleanMyMac X to regularly remove junk files from your system and you’ll enjoy slick performance for many a year to come.
CleanMyMac X finds and removes junk files from your MacBook Pro to free up space and keep your system running to its full potential. Make it the first app you install on your new SSD!