How Long Should a MacBook Pro Last?

Your MacBook Pro is an expensive investment.

If you’re like me, you expect purchases that cost a lot of money to function flawlessly and work for a long, long time. One of the reasons you purchased your MacBook was because of the reputation they have for both being high-end computers and pretty durable and long-lasting.

That’s what attracted me to Apple products as well and it’s good to know that an investment is worth the price tag.

Even though these computers can last quite a long time, they won’t last forever. But nothing really does, especially in the world of tech. There are multiple factors that come into play with the lifespan of your MacBook Pro and in addition to these, accidents or theft can always happen.

Luckily, if you take good care of your computer, it should last for many years of reliable use.

5 Signs Your MacBook Pro Might Be Getting Old

My current laptop computer is a 15-inch MacBook Pro that I purchased in 2011. I’m thinking of making a purchase to a new one soon and that means I’ve had the same computer for about 9 years.

That’s nearly a decade and while I wish it would last a lifetime, I realize that advances in technology and regular wear and tear dictate I need a new one pretty soon.

In addition to the actual age of your computer, there are some other signs your MacBook might be getting old.

Your Computer No Longer Supports the Latest macOS

This is a problem I ran into recently with my computer.

Due to its age, I can no longer upgrade my operating system to the latest that Apple offers. This can be frustrating, to say the least, but after you’ve had your computer for a number of years, it can start to become obsolete in regards to the latest upgrades for operating systems.

If you can’t upgrade your computer to the latest version of macOS i.e. Big Sur it’s a tell-tale sign that it is getting old.

Your Computer Just Isn’t Powerful Anymore

Another sign that your MacBook Pro is nearing the end of its life happens when it starts to act really slowly and just isn’t as powerful as it once was.

Advances in tech happen really fast and a computer that is 5 or more years old will not be equipped with as powerful components as a new one. Important aspects of your computer’s operating power such as CPU and RAM will be drastically slower on an older machine.

Battery life will also decline with age.

No Free Space

As your computer ages, the more files, documents, applications and other data you have will start to fill up the space you have available for storage.

New programs and software that are more advanced will also demand more space. Older model MacBooks don’t always have a considerable amount of storage space and the closer your computer gets to becoming full, the worse it will perform. Running out of space is another sign that your computer is getting old.

It Looks Old

If you’ve had your MacBook Pro for a while, it will probably start to look old.

While these computers are pretty durable overall, after years and years of steady use, you are sure to have scratches, dents, a few missing keys, or even a cracked or chipped screen. While scratches and dents are really no big deal, missing keys or a cracked display are signs that your computer is aging and you probably need to fix or replace it soon.

It Doesn’t Work As It Used To

All of these factors listed above can contribute to really poor performance out of your MacBook.

My current (and 9 year old) MacBook Pro has all of these symptoms and that’s how I know it’s probably time I spent the money on a new computer. It acts really slow, freezes often and just doesn’t work at all like it did when it was new. It still turns off and on and can get basic tasks done, but anything demanding and it really struggles.

How Long Should Your MacBook Pro Actually Last?

There is no exact answer to this question.

Due to all of the factors that contribute to its age and working lifetime, a MacBook Pro can last a different amount of time for different people. Typically, if you don’t use your computer for high-level tasks such as video editing and stick to basic operations like web browsing and such, your computer will last longer. Just like many other machines, the harder you push it, the quicker it can wear out.

I’d say the average lifespan for a MacBook Pro is about 7 years. After 7 years, you will usually start to hit the OS upgrade issues alongside several other of the problems listed above.

Like I said earlier, my MacBook Pro is almost 10 years old and is still usable but definitely has a host of problems that impact my workflow and enjoyment when using the machine. It still works for basic tasks and browsing so 10 years of use can be expected in a limited capacity.

Check out this list from Apple that details their devices that are considered vintage or obsolete.

Final Thoughts

Your MacBook Pro can last quite a while but as it ages, it will begin to perform poorly.

Taking good care of your computer can increase the lifespan a bit but there is nothing you can do to make it last forever.

If your laptop is showing any of the above symptoms or if it is around 7 years old, it might be a good idea to start considering an upgrade in the near future.

How old is your MacBook Pro? Have you ever had a computer last longer than 10 years?

5 thoughts on “How Long Should a MacBook Pro Last?”

  1. That a computer “looks old” or that you are running out of space, are not reasons to buy a new computer. Consumerism gone out of control. Get a cloud drive, an external hard drive or just upgrade the hard drive.

  2. Mine is a Mac Book Pro Late 2012 and I have already had to change the speakers 1-3x, the trackpad once as the mouse froze in the screen, and the display. Also, it is showing the Service battery sign indicating I need to change it as it wears out faster than before.

    It still has 100 GB left, should I upgrade?

  3. Im using HP Probook 470 G2 for more than 3 years.
    I’m curious for those who are giving dates for laptops performance seriously where those data come from 😀
    As per my experience, it totally depends on the usage. How you use it and how long you use it in a day.
    Btw love your article.

  4. I bought my late 2013 13″ Macbook Pro in October 2013. Apart from the battery life (which is still 3-4 hours on full charge after 1400 battery cycles) and the average RAM of 8GB (I should have special ordered 16GB at the time), it still runs pretty good. My MBP is now the oldest model that will run Big Sur, so still supported for a while. With the release of the the M1 MBP, i’m debating if i should hold out longer or go ahead and upgrade. Maybe this guy will last 10 years….who knows.


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