Can You Upgrade RAM on a MacBook Air?

We all know why you’re here. You are looking to purchase a new MacBook or you have one and are realizing you might like just a bit more RAM. To answer the question upfront, no you can not upgrade the RAM in your MacBook Air. 

I’m Ty, I have been in the IT field for a few years now, and a resident tech nerd since my adolescence. I know the ins and outs of recent tech, and plan on giving you a sneak peek into what RAM is, why it is important, and why you can’t upgrade it in a MacBook Air.

Key Takeaways

  • MacBook Airs can not be upgraded.
  • You need to purchase the MacBook Air with enough RAM for what you’ll be using it for.
  • RAM is important because it is the main resource that your applications use to function properly.

What is RAM?

To adequately answer the question this article poses, let’s start at the beginning, what is RAM? RAM stands for random-accessed memory, and is a key component in making your computer do what it does best, function. 

RAM is where all of our applications store and access data on a short-term basis. Applications include things like; Google Chrome, Safari, Itunes, your mail app, etc, etc. This means, the more applications you use at once, the more RAM will be taken. 

RAM can be likened to a person’s Short Term Memory, things are stored there, but not long-term. After a computer is turned off, the RAM empties and must be reloaded each time you boot into the operating system. 

How Much RAM is Enough?

As you can see just below, with about 17 chrome tabs open, and one Excel sheet, I am almost at my RAM capacity. If that sounded like a lot to be doing at once, 8GB might be just fine for you!

If you read that and your brow furrowed, maybe the 16GB option would fit you better.

Only you know how much ram is enough. Are you an avid web surfer who needs double that amount of tabs open to properly function day to day or a musician who needs tabs upon tabs and music production software? What you purchase is what you get.

If you buy a MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and find out that it isn’t enough memory, you are out of luck. If that worries you, then it’s easy for me to recommend the 16GB RAM option, to give you that extra bit of wiggle room.

Why Can’t I Upgrade the RAM on MacBook Air?

If you are asking yourself, “Why can’t I just add more then?”. You are asking the right question, but unfortunately, the answer may leave a lot to be desired. With laptops getting thinner and thinner for more portability, there have to be trade-offs.

The trade-off, in this case, is the flexibility, and simply, the ability to upgrade or swap out any internals. The MacBook Air has a very sleek, and slim design. To achieve this, Apple has done away with the customizability of some of their older models.

All of the internal hardware within this beautiful piece of machinery has been soldered down to the logic board itself, making it impossible to remove or add more, without breaking the logic board.


Here are some other MacBook Air RAM related questions you might be curious about.

Is 8GB Future Proof?

Future proof means, will it last? For the run-of-the-mill average joe user, I think you could possibly get great mileage out of the 8GB model of the MacBook Air. But for anyone looking to get a little more out of their system, 16GB is the way to go.

Is the Price Difference Between 8GB and 16GB Worth It?

The price difference is about 200 dollars. While steep, I believe that the future proofing, and peace of mind you get with that extra 8GB, is well worth the hefty price tag attached to it.

Can I Edit Videos On a MacBook Air?

The 8GB version might limit you slightly when it comes to video software, especially when it comes to high-resolution 4k videos. If video editing and creation is something you want to do, it would be best to shell out the extra cash for the 16GB version.

Can I Game on a MacBook Air?

MacBooks are not traditionally known for their gaming capability. It simply isn’t equipped with a graphics card strong enough to support most modern games. However, with things such as GeForce Now, a cloud-streaming gaming alternative, it has now become a reality.


Though you can not upgrade RAM within a Macbook, I hope I have equipped you with enough information to go out and make an informed purchase. A purchase you will most definitely not regret!

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