How Many Years Should a New Mac Last?

When you buy a new Mac, how long can you expect it to last before you need a new one? The answer depends on how you use the Mac, your needs and how they change, and a variety of other factors.

Comments: 27 Responses to “How Many Years Should a New Mac Last?”

    Robert
    2 months ago

    Thanks for thoughtful item on How Long will Your Mac Last? Guess it is time to replace my 2013. Trouble is, getting new iMac = new software as the new machines are not as capable as the older ones. No legit reason for Apple failing to provide security upgrades for up to 20 years.

    Hank Lee
    2 months ago

    From 30+ years experience as a Mac user and 11 Macs over that time, which have been handed down to others in the family, most last about 9 to 10 years, with the longest being 15 years in use. Only one has died, the rest were outdated by needed app upgrades.

    Howard Brazee
    2 months ago

    One reason to keep a Mac a long time is if you need a program that won’t run on Catalina or Big Sur. While I have ordered a M1 iMac, I have to keep my late 2013 iMac for a while so that I can boot to Mojave. (The program I need has its upgrade promised this Spring, so hopefully I can get rid of my old Mac soon). Of course, I could have upgraded to an Intel Mac and still been able to boot to Mojave. For now.

    nick
    2 months ago

    Great presentation Gary. I’ve handed down my old Mac to one one of my grandkids who’s just starting to use it for school work. I’ve trimmed the OS down to its most basic software, and it’s very useable for his needs. Besides, used that as a further justification for me to buy a new Mac ;)

    Rob Mayer
    2 months ago

    I have a 2012 Mac Mini. If I understand you correctly I’m within a year of no longer getting security updates. If true, how risky is it going forward after that…is there any way to mitigate that risk? Otherwise how do people manage to use their macs for years after they ran out of security updates without risking their data?

    2 months ago

    Rob: It depends on what you use your Mac for, and how you use it. If you use it for something where security is a concern (government, corporate secrets, etc) then I wouldn’t use any device that isn’t getting security updates. But for home stuff, if you just avoid downloading anything from sites you don’t absolutely trust, then you should be fine.

    Geoff Stanton
    2 months ago

    I have been a mac user since 1992 and have thrown away numerous machines that were perfectly serviceable and had years of life left in them. This is inexcusable in my view and is about to happen again with my Macbook Pro 2012 which runs Windows in Parallels faster still than any PC I have ever owned, yet I can’t upgrade it to Big Sur so I have no choice but to upgrade. This is the only bad thing I have to say about Apple – shame really- for us and the planet.

    2 months ago

    Geoff: Aren’t you recycling them? Apple has a recycling program.

    Laraine
    2 months ago

    My husband is still using a Mac Pro from 2008 and my MacBook Pro (now seldom used) comes from 2009. Computers and computer peripherals are so expensive it is disgusting that they are obsolete at 7 years. My CanoScan 8400F is over 12 years old (it could be as old as 16 years) and cost me just over NZ$300 (a lot more money then that it seems today) and but for VueScan I wouldn’t be able to use it now.

    Evelyn N.
    2 months ago

    is there any hope for my 2009 MAC that will only go half way on the opening bar? Don’t know if it is worth spending for a fix it person to come and try to get it going.

    Ricard Gubau
    2 months ago

    Hi Gary,

    I got a MacBook Air 13-inch early in 2015 and I want to change it. As the MacBook air M1 was released last November, do you think it is likely that next November it will have a new update? In case not, when do you think Apple will release it? I don’t believe that it will be soon because Apple is busy in the current transition for the other models.

    Thanks.

    Ricard Gubau

    2 months ago

    Ricard: I think they will have a higher-end MacBook Pro out at some point this year, but probably not a new lower end model. But that is just speculation.

    2 months ago

    Evelyn: Impossible for me to guess from afar what could be wrong with your 2009 Mac, sorry. Maybe see if they will look at it at the Genius Bar for free. Could be something as simple as reinstalling the system from scratch.

    brad
    2 months ago

    My iMac’s video went first. I’m using it for my backup disck. Most other models will be better for this than the iMac because it’s a big ugly reminder of a bad buy.

    Keith Swango
    2 months ago

    I have a mid-2014 Macbook Pro. It still runs fine for my uses. I was surprised that you said a Macbook Pro can be upgraded. I’ve always heard that it cannot be upgraded. If I were to want to upgrade, is it only Apple that can do it? Thanks for videos! I learn something every week!

    2 months ago

    Keith: Not sure what you mean. I say Mac Pros are upgradeable. MacBook Pros are not.

    Keith Swango
    2 months ago

    Sorry, Gary. I didn’t know there was a difference. Just looked it up! Like I said, I learn something every week!

    Pamela Bouchard
    1 month ago

    Great video! I have a late 2012 iMac with a 2.7 GH intel core i5 processor and 16 GB memory running high sierra 10.13.6. I want to upgrade the software, preferably to big sure but my local computer guy said that by the time I upgrade the drive to handle an upgrade in software I should just buy a new mac. I was planning on buying one of the new M1 macs, but I really don’t like the new design. Does it make sense to pay to upgrade my current mac, or just hope it lasts until a better design..

    1 month ago

    Pamela: That is up to you. For me, it seems a waste to pour more money into a 9-year old computer that doesn’t even support the latest macOS (it can’t run Big Sur) and is too old for even Apple to repair.

    pamela bouchard
    1 month ago

    Thank you. Do you think they will come out with another mac without white bezels? I am concerned that the new one that may come out will be quite expensive and too big. I would rather it not be so thin, and have more ports. What do you think?

    1 month ago

    pamela: I don’t see why they would change the color of the bezels. I do think they will eventually come out with a larger size to replace the 27-inch iMac, but yes it would be more expensive no doubt.

    pamela
    1 month ago

    Thank you Gary, a lot of reviewers are saying that this new mac is an “entry level” mac and that apple will come out with a more professional one with black bezels – but maybe they are just hoping that is true!

    1 month ago

    pamela: The biggest piece of evidence that this is true is that the new 24-inch iMac replaced the old 21.5-inch iMac. But the old 27-inch Intel iMac is still for sale. So it stands to reason that they will eventually replace that with a new Apple Silicon iMac as well, with higher specs (and price).

    pamela
    1 month ago

    Some people are recommending the 27 inch intel mac over the new M1. What do you think of comparing the two of them?

    1 month ago

    pamela: Who? I think it is a bad idea to get an Intel Mac at this point. See https://macmost.com/should-you-buy-a-new-mac-now.html

    pamela
    1 month ago

    Thank you Gary, I just listed to that one again. OK, so when I get a new mac, should I go to Big Sur directly from High Sierra?

    1 month ago

    pamela: New Macs would come with the current version of the operating system. SO if you buy a new Mac now, it will come with Big Sur.

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