It’s a pretty common question when it comes to a MacBook, especially since they are designed to be so long lived.
With newer versions of MacBooks coming out reasonably regularly, it can be tempting to opt for a shiny new version rather than stick with what you’ve got.
But unlike with other brands of laptops like Dell or HP, the price tag on a MacBook is dramatically higher – most brand new MacBooks veer past the £1,000 mark, so for most of us upgrading to a new one is not something that can be done lightly.
Here are a few factors to consider when debating whether to replace or repair your MacBook and how to improve an old one’s performance:
Upgrade your hardware
Usually it is better value to simply upgrade parts of your current MacBook rather than buy a new one. If you feel your MacBook is beginning to run slowly or its performance is no longer adequate, you can often simply upgrade the parts that are slowing it down for far less than buying something new – this will keep your MacBook running for much longer while maintaining a solid performance.
The most obvious fix for a lagging MacBook is to upgrade the RAM (Random Access Memory). By upgrading the RAM you can ensure that your data is safe, and will also help your MacBook to run and boot up faster. You can check what RAM is best for you by going into your local tech repair store and asking a professional, which is often easier and safer than trying to work it out yourself.
Make some space
Although this may seem like an obvious point, you can’t underrate how important it is to keep your MacBook neat and tidy by deleting irrelevant files and programmes. Ideally, your MacBook will have half its space free to run at peak performance. You can make this happen by regularly clearing out junk files as well as using an external hard drive to keep your most important files, photos and videos on.
Not only will this help your MacBook run quicker, but it also means you’ll have a back-up of all your most precious documents outside the MacBook so there is no risk of losing vital files. Using an external hard drive rather than replacing or upgrading your internal hard drive is also a lot less risky and invasive for your device.
Service your MacBook regularly
Although this might seem like a hassle or is easy to forget, simply having your MacBook serviced once a year can make a massive difference. Taking it into a tech repair shop can help it last longer as they do simple tune ups like clearing any dust that may be clogging up the system.
They can also check for any other issues that may be slowing your MacBook down or damaging its performance. This is delicate, precise work, so go to a store you trust and always back up your documents beforehand! A tech repair team will also be able to inform you whether it has reached the point where you can’t (or shouldn’t) upgrade your MacBook any further and when it’s worth getting a new one – but generally this point should be a minimum of 5 years into your MacBook’s life.
At the end of the day, MacBooks are expensive for a reason – because they are fantastically designed devices. They have their flaws, but they should be able to last a long time with regular upgrades and the correct care – meaning you won’t have to break the bank by purchasing a brand new MacBook, but can keep you old one running like new for longer with these cost-effective tips.
Ideally, it is only around the 6-8 year mark that you may have to consider buying a new MacBook, but ask your local tech repair or Apple team to get the best advice for you and your MacBook.