How Long Does a MacBook Pro Last?

macbook pro lifespan

MacBook Pro is an expensive investment, so how long should it last? The answer is:

Depending on how you use it, the average lifespan of a MacBook Pro is 7 years. We’ll explain more below, including a few care tips on how to make your MacBook Pro last longer.

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, so I’ve also included some tips for taking care of your MacBook Pro in this article.

5 Signs Your MacBook Pro Might Be Getting Old

If you’re seeing these signs, you should probably consider getting a new laptop or computer soon! 

My current laptop computer is a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2011. I’m thinking of making a purchase of a new one soon and that means I’ve had the same computer for about 11 years. This fact already answers many of you who asked whether a MacBook can last for 10 years. 

That’s 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.

1. Your Computer No Longer Supports the Latest macOS

This is a problem I ran into 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.

Therefore, if you can’t upgrade your computer to the latest version of macOS, it’s a tell-tale sign that it is getting old.

2. 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.

Also Read: What’s a Good Battery Cycle Count for MacBook Pro

3. Running out of 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. 

That’s why running out of space is another sign that your computer is getting old.

4. It literally 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. 

5. 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 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.

MacBook Pro Lifespan: How Long Should Your MacBook Pro Actually Last?

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

There is no exact answer to this question. Due to all of the factors that contribute to its age and working lifetime, the MacBook Pro lifespan can vary for different types of users.

For Heavy Users

If you use your MacBook Pro intensively, such as gaming, running design programs, or using it for long hours, obviously it’s going to last less than the average lifespan. I’d say around four to five years it’ll start to get slow. 

It’s a good idea to check up on your MacBook when it happens and see if you can fix the major problems.

For Light Users

Like I said earlier, my MacBook Pro is 11 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.

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.

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

Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Your MacBook Pro

If you can’t replace your laptop right away, you can try the tips below to make your MacBook Pro last longer. 

Since we know that battery can really affect its lifespan, you can start taking care of the MacBook battery or simply replace it

Turn off your MacBook Pro. A lot of people don’t like to turn off their computer because it’s just so convenient to have all the windows and programs open so that the next time you use your computer, you don’t have to restart everything again. 

Well, that’s not a good habit. Because shutting down your computer actually preserves battery life and helps its reset. 

Don’t leave it charging all the time. Keeping the charger connected to your computer actually blocks electricity moving, thus it kills the battery. 

Another important factor that affects your Macbook lifespan is space/memory. Make sure you’re not running out of space. 

Upgrade RAM or hard drive. It is a good idea if you do use heavy programs like design software. Adding more RAM or replacing the hard drive with an SSD will help make your Mac much faster and extend its life.

Clean files. Deleting unnecessary files from your computer and clear it empty them in your trash folder can also free up some space on your computer. You can use a Mac cleaner software to do this or manually clean up Mac drive as well.

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?

About Eric
Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

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  • Rainer

    MacBook white 143 month old (11 years). Runs still perfect, even InDesign, Pages, iDVD and iMovie. Original battery 80% capacity. I don’t want to change, because I don’t want to slave to internet and buy or hire the good old programs, which have being doing their job perfectly. Here a few tricks: Calibrate battery often, at least once a month. If your battery is down, you can try to recover it by doing it several times in a row. In these lovely old Macs you find the instructions still under Help, without internet. Get Onyx, a great free help program and clean up your Mac. Get coconut-battery to check on your battery. Get smc FanControl to keep your Mac cooler! Use exterior keyboard, exterior monitor and normal USB mouse to save your hardware. Mac has changed its very good policy since Lion 10.7. Now chaining you to internet and good features have been eliminated. Good luck with your great old Macs! Rainer

    Reply
  • Jon

    i have a late 2010 MBP and the only thing that i have had a problem with is the camera dying, which only happened this week. So pretty happy with the longevity and getting my new MBP in 2 months time.

    Reply
  • Richard

    I have a 2006 Macbook Pro and it’s still in great shape, and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as possible, but I guess I should always be ready to upgrade for when the time comes

    Reply
  • Ax

    I just stumbled upon this article and while I agree with some of the points you mentioned, most of these issues could be resolved through “right to repair”. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to repair the devices that we spend so much money on. Even then, a lot of these points don’t hold up; For example, “it looks old”, or “it doesn’t work as it used to”. A lot of software-related issues can be resolved by simply backing up your data, and then performing a clean install of the OS. If the user is not able to do this themselves then any properly trained computer technician should be able to do this. Typically, in my experience as an I.T. Admin there are only a few reasons to upgrade: 1. Critical Hardware Failure where the failed component is not repairable. 2. User demands exceed system performance. 3. User wants and/or needs new features not available in their current system. 4. Security vulnerabilities (for example, MacOS version is no longer supported, called “end of life”). Aside from these items, there is very little need to upgrade your Mac or PC. Throwing away a system just because it “looks old” is a horrible waste of computing power. If anyone is thinking of doing this, please at least consider selling it cheap or even giving it away to someone who could find some use for it. Even broken systems can be disassembled by experienced techs and re-used. Also, an old computer (including older Macs) can often be rejuvenated by installing a current version of Linux.

    Reply
  • Jonny

    I have a 2013 15″ MBP with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD drive. I think it was the best I could get at the time. It paid off, because it has been the centre of my edit workstation full time for 7 years. As such it has been hammered for 10 hours a day, most of the time running pretty hot. Unbelievably it still works like new, and I still have it as a back up. I’ve only recently replaced it because it will inevitably – and probably catastrophically – keel over at some point!

    Reply
  • Marla

    My 2008 MBPhas had the hard drive replaced twice. The speaker stopped for a bit, so I got an external speaker, then the speaker worked again but not very loud. The finger tip mouse pad has lost over 90% of functionality. The operating system still supports Gmail, fb etc the battery is about to go again. It lasted a long time. Now looking where to buy a new one and what this old one is good for…. trade-in??

    Reply
  • Tony

    Still using my macbook pro mid 2012. The only thing i’ve done is switching out the battery. Other then that it has never failed me once. I cant upgrade to big sur tho.. But as a student only using light tasks every day i dont see it necessary to upgrade just yet. The mini led screen + fanless in the near future is sounding pretty sweet tho.

    Reply
  • gaurav

    Hi ,
    Mine is MBP october 2012 model . I am still using it .
    Parts changed so far:
    *Trackpad
    *Speakers
    *Charging cable
    *Ram upgraded from 8 to 16

    It does my day to day things smoothly and i will complete a decade using the same laptop next year .

    Its amazing how long lasting apple laptops are .

    Reply
  • Danny

    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.

    Reply
    • Mucksiegooma

      I you don’t use your laptop for professional work, the M1 chip is overkill. I am in the market for a new laptop and I am going with the 2020 MBP 16″, I am upgrading because I wan’t a new one.

      Reply
  • Steve

    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.

    Reply
  • Dudley Cunningham

    Thanks. I am in exactly the same position as you. So I guess I’ll get a new one!

    Reply
  • Diana Hume

    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?

    Reply
    • Person123

      I think you should, but if you are reluctant to let go, at least change the battery.

      Reply
  • Jakob

    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.

    Reply