Apple’s Mac desktop and laptop computers are known for two things: being expensive and being worth the cost. The machines are high-quality, durable, and user-friendly, and different products from across their lines integrate well with one another.
That being said, even the best machines need to be replaced every once in a while. Generally, Mac laptops and desktop models last roughly eight to 10 years. Everyone likes to get the most out of their devices—especially the more costly ones—so it can be hard to know for sure when it’s time to replace your Mac. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help make the decision.
Check the Model Year
Depending on when you purchased your computer, it may be naturally reaching the end of its life. Apple calls products that it hasn’t sold in five years vintage and considers those that haven’t been sold in seven years obsolete. Those machines can still work, but they will not be serviced by Apple or have parts manufactured.
Apple also continually updates its software to fix bugs and improve performance. Check whether your computer still supports the latest updates—if not, it may be time for a replacement. If you are not running the most up-to-date OS, your computer is at risk of security breaches and may be unable to handle the latest apps. If you’ve noticed apps glitching or your browser chugging reluctantly along, it may be because your laptop can’t handle the updates.
Have Your Needs Changed?
Have you started a new academic program—if so, what kind? Different degrees and academic pursuits require certain kinds of work, which influences the type of computer you’ll need. Will you learn in-person or remotely? That will determine if you should be looking for a durable and light laptop with a battery that will last all day or a model that can handle heavy use and lots of video calls without lagging or overheating.
Have you started a new career, or have your responsibilities at your current job changed? In professions like computer engineering, graphic design, audio production, or video editing, specific hardware and software requirements evolve.
It is also possible that you don’t need such a high-powered machine anymore, in which case you may want to consider replacing your obsolete Mac with a less expensive option.
Do You Have Enough Space?
The longer you have a computer, the more stuff you accumulate. As photo and video technologies improve, file sizes grow, you may find your computer stuffed to the gills with important memories and information. Operating System updates also require space, and older computers simply may not be able to store the software they need to run.
To protect the integrity of their hardware, Apple discourages opening its machines and replacing components yourself. If you want more internal storage, you will likely need to buy a new machine. You can also use an external storage device like an SD card or hard drive, as long as you’re confident it won’t be lost or damaged. If you choose cloud storage, your data and files will be stored remotely by a company with professionals to protect and maintain them. However, this option can quickly get pricey.
Using a combination of cloud and physical storage options for archived files is a good fallback option while keeping files you need to access often stored right on your device is usually the most convenient path.
Think about how much you spent on your last computer, and how long ago that was. In most cases, prices have only increased. Macs also tend to be on the more expensive side, so you should take arealistic look at your budget and, if necessary, start saving up for the model you want.
If you do need to save up, you will have to look at your income and expenses. Although income is largely static and you’ll always need necessities, you can change your spending on luxuries to create savings. Over time, you’ll be able to afford the machine you want.
Take It To a Professional
Before you make the final decision to get rid of your old computer, search “MacBook computer repair near me” and consult a professional. They can give you an honest opinion and may even be able to fix any issues you’ve been having, saving you money on a new device and the stress of transferring over all your info. A professional can also talk through options with you, explain features, and give you an informed opinion.
While the Apple store has very attentive customer service, you shouldn’t bother asking their representatives for an opinion on whether you should buy a new Apple computer. They have a vested interest in selling you more Apple products, so you can probably guess their answers.
Getting Your Money’s Worth
Purchasing a new Mac can be exciting (who doesn’t love a shiny new device to play with), but it can also be costly and stressful. That’s why it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before deciding it’s time to swap out your old model. Although the price may be higher than average, you know you will get a quality machine that will last you many more years to come.