This guide lists 13 signs that indicate it may be time to say goodbye to your current Mac and move to a new model. We will also list some tips along the way to help you continue using your Mac until you decide to upgrade.
1. It’s old and struggles with your tasks
Macs are incredible. In my opinion they are the best computers when it comes to hardware and software.
However, like everything, your Mac also has a limit and can only work well for a limited time before it starts to feel slow, even with basic tasks.
This situation may be more than sufficient to nudge you to upgrade to a new computer. However, before you do that, you must go over these tips to fix your slow Mac. You can also learn how to ensure it starts up faster.
2. It has stopped getting macOS updates
Like your iPhone, your Mac will receive five to six major yearly macOS updates. My 2012 MacBook Pro originally shipped with OS X Mavericks and saw updates for six years.
Even if your Mac stops receiving yearly software updates, you can continue using it. To keep things safe, Apple will even send critical security updates if needed.
However, the lack of new features may incite you to upgrade to a newer model.
3. Important apps no longer work
Is there an app you use that has dropped support for older macOS versions? In this case, you can:
- Reach out to the developer for a solution
- Try the web version of that app in Safari or Chrome
- Look for an alternative app that does the same thing
If the above three things aren’t enough, you might have to buy a newer machine that can support this app.
Note: In some cases, the alternate is also true. For instance, a really important app may not work on a newer macOS version as the developer has not updated it.
4. You have outgrown its internal storage
If your Mac’s internal drive is full, you can:
However, the above solutions may not be for everyone. For instance, you might not want to carry external storage drives or don’t want to rely on cloud storage. So, in these cases, you will have to splurge on a new Mac with more local storage.
5. Your Mac has a slow hard disk!
Spinning hard disks are a thing of yesteryear! But if your old Mac still uses one, I am sure your experience is laggy and frustrating at times.
The cheaper option is to swap this hard disk for an internal solid state drive (SSD). And the other option is to buy a new Mac, as all Macs now come with a faster SSD.
6. Terrible battery life
If you have been using your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for a few years, chances are you’ve exceeded the 1,000 battery cycle count.
You can use the laptop normally and safely beyond the 1,000 cycle count, but it may provide far less use time per charge. In this case, you can get its battery replaced or migrate to a new machine.
7. Insufficient RAM or old processor for your games and apps
Many games and apps have minimum RAM and system requirements. If your Mac does not have sufficient RAM, storage, or powerful processor that an app you want to use requires, your only solution is to upgrade to a new computer.
But before doing that, you must check with the Apple Store or a reputed local repair shop if your current Mac’s RAM, storage, and processor can be upgraded.
8. It does not support a 4K monitor or multi-screen setup
You may not want to settle on a low resolution monitor or use just one screen. If your old Mac is incapable of outputting 4K, or cannot support more than one monitor, your only solution is to move to a new one that can do all this and more.
9. Software glitches and crashes
Old Mac can also have random shutdowns and system glitches that cause apps to crash and lead to loss of work. If these things happen and you can’t get them fixed at an affordable price, buying a new computer would make more sense.
10. Ports are no longer functioning
In some cases, the USB, SD card, and other on-device ports on your Mac may have stopped working. You can try to fix this by carefully cleaning the ports to free up the clogged dust and resetting your Mac’s SMC.
11. Expensive repairs or upgrades
Imagine your MacBook has a problem with the display cable or the motherboard, and the repair quoted by Apple Service Center and third-party shops is astronomical.
In this case, you’d be better off buying a new Mac than reviving your old machine. Just do some basic math, and you will know what makes more sense.
12. Your Mac is deemed obsolete or vintage
Vintage products are those that Apple stopped selling more than 5 and less than 7 years ago. Obsolete products are those whose sales Apple stopped more than 7 years ago.
Apple discontinues all hardware services for obsolete products, and service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.
You can check this Apple Support page to know if your Mac is vintage or obsolete.
13. The newer Mac models offer significant upgrades
And finally, we come to the most exciting reason for upgrade: the new Apple silicon Macs are just too good to hold back!
In addition to that, there are new Macs at every price point, starting with the cheapest Mac mini to the most powerful Mac Pro.
So, whether you want a notebook to work on the go (MacBook Air or MacBook Pro) or a desktop for your office (iMac, Mac mini, Mac Studio, Mac Pro), there is something for everyone.
Remember that, like iPads, you can also get educational discounts on Macs, which can further lower the price. And if you’re on a very limited budget, don’t forget to browse through Apple’s refurbished store.
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