Best SSD Upgrade for Mid-2012 MacBook Pro

Are you still using an old 2012 MacBook Pro? Yep, that’s my model (mid-2012). I love my MacBook, but well, when it’s starting to show its age, it’s not that speedy anymore.

Fortunately, there is a quick way to increase the performance of an old Mac — upgrading the internal hard drive to SSD (solid-state drive).

Samsung EVO 860 vs Crucial MX500

If you are like me, who still loves the old MacBook and yet to decide to invest in a new yet pricey MacBook, then this guide is for you.

I am going to share with you a list of the best SSD drives for MacBook Pro 2012, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to replace the internal HDD with a new SSD so you waste no time and make no mistakes.

P.S. I went with the Crucial BX200 SSD (as shown in the purchase receipt below), and I’m quite happy with the performance it has brought to my Mac. But, BX200 is a legacy product and the company has a new better SSD — Crucial MX500.

Note: I did the SSD upgrade on my mid-2012 MacBook Pro, so this guide is probably most useful to those of you who are using the same model as me.

However, I assume it would also apply to older MacBook models like 2011 and 2010 as long as your machine has a standard 2.5-inch SATA drive.

Disclaimer: I’m not a computer expert but I did extensive research on the topic of the best SSD for MacBook Pro and actually upgraded it by myself (DIY). It’s worth pointing out that MacBook Pros from 2013, 2014, and 2015 have very few SSD upgrade options; And newer MacBook Pro 2016 and 2017 models are not upgradable at all. Also, this post was initially published two years ago, I’ve thus come back to revamp the content making sure the information in the article is accurate as the SSD market changes fast.

Quick Summary

Don’t have time to go too deep into the technical field? I understand. Here’s a quick rundown of the best SSDs for MacBook Pro.

  • If you use your old MacBook Pro mainly for lightweight tasks such as surfing the Internet, transferring pictures, etc., an affordable yet high-capacity SSD is best for you. Crucial MX500 is my top pick, followed by Samsung 860 EVO and SanDisk X400.
  • If you use your MacBook Pro for heavy tasks like gaming, photo/video editing, 3D modeling, etc., a pricier performance SSD is best for you. Samsung 860 PRO is the best, OWC Mercury Electra 6G is a great alternative.

Below, you’ll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to get more info about each SSD and perhaps order one of them on Amazon so you can get the product as soon as possible.

Why Trust Me for This SSD Upgrade Guide?

First of all, I still use a 13″ mid-2012 MacBook Pro, and I have successfully replaced my Mac’s internal hard drive (500GB Hitachi HDD) with a shiny new Crucial SSD which cost me about $140 (tax included) by the time I purchased it in 2016. See these screenshots for evidence.

I opened the main case of my MacBook Pro and inserted the new Crucial SSD drive.
I’m using a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
And yep…it’s with an SSD now!
I spent $140 buying the Crucial SSD in 2016, tax included.

Here is what happened to my MacBook Pro and why I decided to replace the hard drive with an SSD. The quick answer is: I had to.

On April 1, 2016…yep, Fools’ Day but it wasn’t a joke. My MacBook Pro went black screen all of a sudden, it stopped working, and I couldn’t turn it on. After sending it to Apple Genius Bar for diagnosis, the geek guy told me it was because the internal hard drive attached to my Mac died and he said the only solution was a replacement.

To me, it was devastating! The 500GB Hitachi hard drive was working okay for the past four years, and there wasn’t any sign for it to die out until it happened unexpectedly.

As a result, I lost some documents and pictures that failed to be backed up in time. Lesson learned, the importance of backup!

I began to shop around for solid-state drives. For two reasons: first I read that SSDs beat HDDs over many aspects (more in the following section). The other is for fear of HDD failure — yes, I hated Hitachi HDD for a while and decided to give SSD a try.

After that, I did as much research as I could, both online such as reading industry SSD benchmark tests from,,,, and offline too — mostly asking computer repair shop technician for advice, and I ended up ordering a 480GB Crucial BX200 SSD back in 2016.

After the SSD was delivered, it took me another two days to manage the installation process — opening the hard case, watching OWC and iFixit video instructions, installing the new macOS, etc. the list went on and on. Frankly, I made quite a few mistakes until I got everything right.

Finally, the SSD was running smoothly on my MacBook Pro.

But, you don’t have to make those mistakes, as I’m going to share all I’ve learned along the way in this guide.

My goal is simple: to save you time exploring what the best SSD is for MacBook Pro 2012 (perhaps 2011 too) and avoid pitfalls you might encounter during the installation process.

Should I Upgrade My Old MacBook Pro to SSD?

The debate of HDD and SSD has never stopped. HDD stands for hard disk drive, has a much longer history and continues to be the mainstream. SDD, short for solid-state drive, uses a new storage mechanism and starts to get more traction as its price declines which happened just several years ago.

Both HDDs and SSDs have pros and cons.

General speaking, HDDs beat SSDs in price and capacity limits; while SSDs are superior to HDDs in performance and durability. If you are interested in learning more, this or this article is worth taking a look.

Image source: BackBlaze

There are good reasons why you should consider installing an SSD on a Mac machine.

In fact, Apple has started to use flash storage in almost all its computer product lines, MacBook Pro included.

Flash storage is storage that uses electronically erasable memory modules with no moving parts, similar to what a solid-state drive has to offer.

  • Your Mac will be much faster. Case in point, once I installed the new Crucial SSD to my 2012 MacBook Pro, the performance increase blew my mind. Let’s take boot time as an example, in the old days, my Mac took nearly a minute to start up entirely. Now it’s only 10 seconds or so; I’m always amazed to see the startup progress bar flash through…no more spinning wheel. Besides, a Mac with SSD transfer files faster and launches and runs apps faster.
  • It will be more silent. Since an SSD is non-mechanical, it makes virtually no noise unless the fans spin up. A quiet Mac is better than a noisy Mac. Unlike SSDs, mechanical hard drives contain spinning platters and magnetic heads. It’s normal to hear a whining noise or clicking and tapping when the drive is spinning up or accessing data.
  • SSDs are more durable. One main factor that leads to traditional hard drive failure is the heat created from continuous motion generated by small moving parts. “Only 78% of the hard disk drives we buy are living longer than four years”, according to Backblaze. Because a solid-state drive does not have any moving parts, it is more reliable thus safer for the data you’ll save or create on your Mac.
  • SSD price is dropping. According to Lucas Mearian from PCWorld, “The price computer makers paid for solid-state drives (SSDs) declined by as much as 12% over the last quarter”, he noted later “SSD adoption rates in laptop computers will grow by more than 30% this year.” It’s safe to say that SSD price still has room to decline as competition goes on.

Best SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro: 5 Great Choices

For general users who prefer a cheaper yet high-capacity SSD, Crucial MX500 is my top pick, followed by Samsung 860 EVO. In case both options went out of stock, SanDisk X400 is an excellent alternative.

For power users who are less price-sensitive and have high-performance demands, Samsung 860 PRO is surely a winner in the market. If it is not available, OWC Mercury Electra 6G is a great option.

Pro tip: once you secure the desired SSD, I also suggest you get the BatPower S2 Mac Laptop Screwdriver set kit — which includes the right screwdriver and other tools you’ll need to open your MacBook Pro case and swap the old hard drive to get the new SSD installed.

1. Crucial MX500

As I said in the beginning, I’ve been using a Crucial BX200 480GB (now a legacy product) with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro for about eight months — without any problems! I have a good impression of the Crucial brand and definitely would recommend its products. MX500 is popular because of its price advantage and various capacity options (from 250 GB to 2TB).

What’s Great:

  • Price is very competitive.
  • Strong security with hardware encryption.
  • Plenty of unique features other products are unable to offer.

What’s Not So Great:

  • Decent performance but not the fastest SSD Only 3-year warranty

2. Samsung 860 EVO

The Samsung EVO series has remained at the top position in SATA SSD for several years thanks to its many advantages such as high speed, 5-year warranty, and technology — I mentioned earlier that Samsung is able to design and make key SSD controllers and parts on its own.

Another perk of choosing Samsung is the Magician software, which is great for drive installation, maintenance, and faster transfers.

What’s Great:

  • High performance.
  • Up to 4TB in size 5-year warranty.

What’s Not So Great:

  • The Samsung Magician software only works with PCs, not Macs.

3. SanDisk X400

SanDisk has a word of mouth among its memory card and disk storage market. The company also makes solid-state drives. SanDisk X400, relatively new to the SSD market, aims primarily for business notebook upgrades.

The SanDisk X400 has four capacities that range from low to high volume. What impressed me most is its performance, which is as good as Samsung 860 EVO.

What’s Great:

  • Greater endurance with SanDisk’s nCache 2.0 technology.
  • 5-year warranty.

What’s Not So Great:

  • Does not come with software like Samsung Magician.

4. Samsung 860 PRO

This product is essentially an upgraded version of 860 EVO. PRO is designed for gaming and professional computing, while EVO is for everyday computing.

The differences are that PRO has a higher maximum sequential read speed (i.e. up to 560 MB/s) while EVO is up to 550MB/s. But 860 PRO is much more expensive than 860 EVO as well.

What’s Great:

  • Excellent performance, much faster than 860 EVO.
  • A lot of great features and capacity options.

What’s Not So Great:

  • Samsung Magician software is not available for Mac users.
  • Changed the warranty from 10-year to 5-year.

5. OWC Mercury Electra 6G

OWC (stands for Other World Computing), is a computer hardware provider since 1988. I got to know the brand when I was searching for video tutorials about how to open my MacBook Pro case.

The OWC team has created tons of really awesome videos that make it hassle-free to replace any Mac components all by yourself.

The OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD features high quality and supports disk encryption.

What’s Great:

  • Excellent in performance.
  • Offers useful video tutorials for SSD installation.

What’s Not So Great:

  • Price is a bit higher than that of other options.

Disclaimer: this review and guide are primarily based on 1) my own experience shopping and installing a solid-state drive on my mid-2012 MacBook Pro; 2) the expertise of SSD and computer experts with whom I consult; 3) the information accessible via the manufacturers’ websites. As thus, the above recommendations are my own opinions and I reserve the right to change my opinions when necessary. Your Mac’s performance may vary after swapping the drive. Also, it may make more sense to buy a new SSD laptop instead of spending money on upgrading components.

Best SSD for 2012 MacBook Pro: What to Consider?

Now that you are ready to purchase an SSD and retire the old hard drive on your MacBook Pro. Which SSD should you get?

Here are some factors you should consider. Note that this article is focused on an internal SSD upgrade for MacBook Pro, NOT an external SSD as the criteria are different.


Although the price of SSD has been falling, the range still varies a lot. For example, the cheapest SSDs cost more than a hundred US Dollars while the most expensive ones are priced at over $1000 which could allow you to buy a new Mac machine.

So, the first thing is to ask yourself — how much can I afford to get an SSD for my MacBook? For example, between $100 and $150, or around $200, etc.

Note: a cheaper SSD does not mean it’s not good, there are many other factors such as drive size, the brand, etc. that affect the price.

Storage Capacity

The volume of an SSD is one of the most important factors you should consider. At this moment, it’s not common to see SSDs available for sale that is less than 500GB in size. In other words, 500GB is almost the base capacity you could choose from most manufacturers.

This is because smaller drivers are often slower and more expensive considering the cost per gigabyte. Also, as camera technology improves, photos and videos often have much larger file sizes.

If you are used to syncing these files with your Mac, the chances are that your Mac will be filled up much faster than ever before. So, consider 750GB or 1TB if you have a need for large storage.

You could consider 4TB, but in my opinion, it is overkill, and a 4TB SSD is usually way more expensive.


There is a saying in the storage world that even the worst SSD is miles ahead of an HDD in terms of speed. But not all SSDs are made equal. Drives with larger capacities tend to be faster in writing and reading, thanks to an SSD’s speed advantage that comes from parallelization.

But the difference wouldn’t be night and day.

For most MacBook Pro users, a cheaper yet high-capacity SSD is enough to meet your daily computing needs.

For those of you who make a living in fields like design, development, or workstation, etc. that requires a MacBook Pro to move large files and handle request very quickly, then consider a high-budget, high-performance SSD.


Buying an SSD is a big investment, and it’s serious business as the drive carries all your personal or business data.

You don’t want to get an SSD that is insecure, defective or from a manufacturer that doesn’t offer quality customer service.

That’s why choosing a brand is important.

In general, I buy products from brands that are trustworthy like Apple, Samsung, Crucial, SanDisk, etc. For SSD manufacturers, another factor why brand matters is that quality and warranty.

For example, during my research, I know Samsung makes its own SSD controllers, memory, and firmware, which gave me confidence that the company is capable of designing and putting together the entire SSD from start to end.

Also, brands like Crucial and Samsung all offer 3-5 year warranty for their SSDs…another bonus.


Not all Macs support SSD upgrades and not all SSDs fit into the Mac model you own. For example, the most recent MacBooks are all with SSDs and they are blazing fast and based on a 4-channel PCIe interface (Source: 9to5mac), there is no need to upgrade unless you have particular reasons.

If you are using a Retina MacBook Pro or Air that was made mid-2013 or later, it’s almost impossible to upgrade the hard drive because PCIe-based SSDs don’t use standard connectors.

Even if your Mac like MacBook Pro/Air prior to 2013 is able for SSD upgrade, you should be careful because MacBooks don’t use standard SSD designs and MBPs and Airs share different types with each other.

Fortunately, MacBook Pros from 2012 and before are compatible with 2.5-inch SATA drives which most SSD manufacturers provide.

How to Upgrade MacBook Pro to SSD: 4-Step Guide

So you’ve bought and received your desired solid-state drive (and perhaps the screwdrivers and tools needed to open your Mac case), now what? Open the case of your MacBook Pro and put the SSD inside? Wrong.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve backed up all the data on your old hard disk drive (if it’s still working) and created a bootable installer for macOS (see how to do this in Step 2).

Note: if the internal hard drive in your MacBook Pro has crashed or died, I highly recommend you schedule an appointment with Apple Genius Bar. Their geek team will install the latest macOS for you, so you don’t have to take the time to make a bootable installer. Also, you don’t need to buy any screwdrivers or tools because they will open the case for you as well.

Step 1: Back up Your Mac Hard Drive

The easiest way is to use Time Machine. You can also clone your Mac hard drive to an external drive. Cloning is complementary to backup methods like Time Machine, and I encourage you to do so if you have extra portable drives. This ensures you get up and make your Mac work again in minutes in case any system crash or errors during the update.

Step 2: Create a Bootable macOS USB Installer

The USB installer allows you to quickly boot up your Mac just in case, especially when the Internet Recovery option isn’t available to use.

All you have to prepare is a USB flash drive with a large capacity because the file size of the latest macOS is not small.

You can read this article on how to make it.

Step 3: Open MacBook Pro Case and Install SSD

This is the key part that you need to be extra careful about. Any misoperation could damage your Mac. Fortunately, YouTube has a detailed instruction video. I highly recommend you watch it before you start.

Step 4: Run macOS Installation and Transfer Data

Once you finish the SSD replacement work, plug in the USB flash drive (with the bootable installer you made in Step 2) to your MacBook Pro.

Now press the start button to turn on your Mac. Hold down the Option key as soon as you hear the reboot tone.

Select the disk named “Install macOS (latest version)” and install the operating system to your MacBook Pro. After that, use Time Machine to restore all the data.

What is TRIM and Should I Enable It on My SSD MacBook Pro

For Mac computers, TRIM is a command that helps macOS know where the data you want to delete or move is stored. The main benefit of enabling TRIM is to make it faster to write to empty memory thus prolong the life of your SSD. Do you really need to enable it?

In my opinion, no. Because I haven’t noticed any slowdown with my Crucial SSD (yet). Plus, Apple didn’t support TRIM for aftermarket SSDs until OS X 10.10.4 (source: AppleInsider).

How to check if your SSD is TRIM enabled or not on your MacBook Pro? Click on Apple logo on the top left corner > About This Mac > System Report > SATA/SATA Express, then select your SSD disk and check “TRIM Support.”

In my case, it says NO because I haven’t enabled TRIM.

If you want to enable TRIM, this CNET article shows how to do it step by step. You can also watch this YouTube guide if you prefer a video tutorial. Just a kind warning: before you proceed, make sure you back up your Mac just in case.

Tips To Keep Your SSD-based MacBook Pro in Good Shape

In the digital age, nothing lasts forever. All devices and hardware components have a lifespan. Eventually, they will be gone.

An SSD drive is no exception. All we can do is try our best to extend its life and maximize its value. Even if it fails someday, it won’t cause panic.

That said, here are some helpful tips and tricks you may want to apply:

  • Always back up your SSD data to another place, be it an external drive or cloud storage, it doesn’t matter. Backup is the only effective way to avoid data loss disasters.
  • Never erase or format your SSD drive. You’ve learned the difference between how HDDs and SSDs work, there is no need to wipe an SSD clean by making unnecessary write cycles because doing so will only degrade your SSD life.
  • Update firmware from your manufacturer. Most solid-state drive providers like Samsung release firmware updates regularly. It’s always a good idea to visit the manufacturer’s website and install the firmware.
  • Do not use up all your SSD storage space. Even if you’ve chosen a small-size SSD for your MacBook, aim to have at least 10% free space. Optimize your Mac on a regular basis.
  • Avoid exposing your SSD and MacBook to extreme temperatures. Although SSDs are more durable and resistant than HDDs when it comes to cold and hot, leaving your SSD-based MacBook Pro in such an environment for too long is a bad idea for sure.

Final Words

When your old MacBook Pro runs slow or starts to act up like freezing up randomly, it’s better to watch out as there could be something wrong with the hard drive.

In my case, I’ve personally experienced an internal hard drive crash with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro.

Fortunately, you don’t need to abandon your old Mac and get a new one. Replacing the internal hard drive with a solid state drive has been a great way to boost your Mac performance while spending less.

However, choosing the best MacBook Pro SSD isn’t an easy task because there are so many factors you may want to consider.

Plus, the installation process could easily go wrong if you don’t know what you are doing. Anyway, I hope this guide above has given you some useful directions.

Whether you are a general user who’s selected a Crucial MX500, or you are a power user who has secured a Samsung 860 PRO, they both are awesome SSDs for Mac laptops.

Also, don’t underestimate the SSD installation part as it could be quite time-consuming if you don’t have the right tools at hand.

If you have any additional questions regarding SSDs for the mid-2012 MacBook Pro, leave a comment below.

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    Best guide so far.. thanks for taking the time to document ur experience.. will try on my mac and let u guys know..

  • simon wood

    hello and many thanks for the guide !

    I’m considering upgrading my macbook mid 2012 to a 1tb ssd and 16gb ram but i also want to upgrade my osx to catalina from el capitan.

    can you recommend in what order should i do this – hardware first then software? clone or time machine ?

    thanks !

  • Gwen

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your article!
    I have a MacBook pro mid 2012 with HD 500GB and i would like to substitute with a SSD.
    I bought a Samsung 870 QVO sata 2.5 ‘’
    I am not sure about the compability since dimension are different from Samsung 860 EVO.
    Could you please confirm?

    Thank you in advance for your support

  • Marat

    Hi Chris, thanks for your helpful post! I’d like to confirm if these SSD models work on Retina versions too (a425, 13-inch, late-2012)?

  • Gerard

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the excellent writeup and details.
    I opted for the Samsung 870QVO 2TB, that currently has a good price tag while similar speed to EVO or PRO.
    Rather than taking out my HDD first, I opted to make a CarbonCopyCloner copy to my USB connected external “All in on HDD Docking” (cheap at Ali). That unit has spots for SATA and older-desktop-disks plus usb/sd card etcetera.

    In doing so, and by using the file-by-file copy (which takes a long time… i know), I can still/ meanwhile keep using my Mac, AND where the HDD may have dispersed the files “all over the place”, the copy onto an empty disk will have most of the file-data in proper sequence.
    That should be helpful to getting even better I/O speed for recollecting large files.
    Lucky for me, CCC when interrupted, still continues normally when re-activating the ‘clone’ option, and keeps track of totals till it has ALL files from internal HDD. The APFS works very well in this case, and meanwhile my Time-machine (on external USB-v3 keeps happily updated.

    Once the CCC was done, I removed the internal HDD and put the QVO870 in its place. The MacPro happily started normally …. with now a bigger-faster SDD !!

  • Manuel

    Hi, i was wondering if it’s possible to install a NVMe SSD from Crucial in my Macbook Pro Mid 2012 a1278) with a SATA to NVMe adaptor.

    Does anyone know if it might work?

  • Minecraft hosting servers

    Love your blog.

  • Mike

    Thanks for the info, managed to upgrade my Macbook pro mid 2012 to 16Gb Crucial ram and a 500GB Crucial MX500 SSD with no issues whatsoever. I cloned the old drive onto the new SSD before installing and it worked really well. I cannot believe the improvement in speed, it’s like having a brand new Mac.

  • Nick

    I have a 2012 mid year, Macbook pro.

    I upgraded my mac to 16 gb ran+1tb SSD, both made by OWC Products.

    Yes, it is so nice to know I/you could open up all your apps on your dock they will all open within 10 seconds.
    Its a great upgrade!!

  • Ronald de Vree

    I have a 13″ Macbook Pro mid 2012. The HDD crashed and I bought a Samsung SSD 860 QVO (1TB) to replace it. Using CMD-R it was possible to format it to OSX journaled. But when I tried to install Mountain Lion on it, the SSD was no longer visible.
    Please advice. Thanks in advance

  • Amrishu

    Hi Chris,

    I want to upgrade my MacBook Pro(Mid 2012 13 inch) HDD to SSD. And, I have decided to buy “SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 512GB – 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P512BW)”. Kindly, tell me, will it be compatible with my MacBook Pro as it is based on SATA III? Whereas, my Macbook Pro just shows SATA as a Protocol in System Report. Shall I go with this one OR purchase the cheaper one i.e. Samsung Evo 860 500 GB SSD?

  • Umakanta

    Samsung 860 Evo or Pro.???????????
    How much difference between them ?
    (r/w speed just 10-20MB/s difference ) How it will affect the performance difference ???
    I am a iOS developer, need to run XCode and diff tool.

    Please reply..

  • Kristoffer Jeberg

    Thanks for this great guide. Everything worked out well. Samsung 860 EVO for me. As mentioned earlier one should remember to format the drive in step 4 or there is a possibility it won’t be recognized. Also, for some reason my HDD holding screws were T7 and not the usual T6. I recommend having a T7 around before performing the upgrade. Thanks again!

  • Andy

    This was great!!! Thanks for all the work

  • John C

    I’m seeing the following 1TB SSD options on Amazon for about $150:

    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)


    OWC 1.0TB Mercury Electra 6G SSD 2.5″ Serial-ATA 7mm Solid State Drive

    Which should I go with for a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)? Computer still functions, but it’s really slow at times. I don’t use it as often as my work computer anymore because it lags too often.

  • Jesse Till

    Excellent article thank yo for your insight!

  • Tarek

    Hi Chris,

    I have MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) 2.9GHz 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive, can I upgrade to Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD or Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM).


    • Moazzam

      Excellent. You are awesome.

      Helped me a lot.

  • John lloyds

    Hi Chris,

    Awesome article!! For my MacBook Pro early 2011 what would be the recommended OS version to use if I will upgrade my HHD to SSD? Thank you

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Best to use the latest version.

  • usman

    Hi Chris

    Thank you for sharing in detail aspects of upgrading the Laptop. Instead of selling my MACBOOK PRO (MID 2012) or investing in expensive new models. I will try to upgrade. My usage is going to be a bit of photo editing (adobe photoshop) and regular browsing. What sort of SSD model and capacity should I go for? My RAM is just 4 GB should I upgrade to 16 GB or 8 GB.

  • Kevin

    Thanks for the guide, and for updating it. I did a bunch of research a year ago, then never pulled the trigger on replacing my HDD. It’s nice to hear your experience, and drive recommendations…I do pretty heavy Photoshop work, and had decided on the EVO, but I’m definitely going to spend the extra cash and go with the Pro instead.

  • John D

    Great article, but in your research regarding the DIY upgrade, did you consider your Mac’s specs on My mid-2012 MBP 15” says that it’s internal hard drive is configurable up to 512GB SSD. I would love a 1TB SSD but I am concerned that it won’t function properly, either right away or over after some time. Did you run across this situation?

  • Leting Mochama

    Thanks for these information. I so needed it.

  • Dan

    Chris, Thanks for the great walk through. I just successfully updated my mid-2012 macbook pro running Mojave to the crucial 1TB SSD.

    On your step 4, (which is to do a fresh install of the OS from the bootable disk), you don’t mention formatting the new SSD. I had to do this before I had the option to either do a fresh install or do a restore from my time machine backup. I used disk utility (which appears to be available even if there is no OS installed) to format my new drive to APFS.

    It may be helpful to explain APFS vs. Mac OS Journaled as anyone with a spinning HD will have been using Mac OS Journaled, and you want to make sure to use APFS in order to fully take advantage of Mac OS’s optimization for SSDs.

    Also, I didn’t need the bootable USB drive at all – I just restored from my time machine backup directly to my new SSD.

  • Cynthia

    Thanks for all your help! I saw this article over a year ago when I started considering upgrading my 2012 Mac to a SSD and was quite pleased to see the article still here AND updated. You’re a champ to us all!

  • 4gwailo

    Hi Chris,

    I followed this guide step by step, due to a hardware problem.
    (An update caused my harddrive to become overheated and got damaged in the process.)

    Unfortunately, I have encountered a problem:

    After completing the hardward change successfully (it was really clear and simple, thanks for the guide), I have however failed to reinstall MacOS.
    I chose to not back-up the OS to a USB drive, because I previously wiped my hard drive clean, nothing on it needed to be saved.

    Thus I am doing the Online Recovery option (no problems connecting to my home wifi, it runs the recovery process fairly quickly), and get to the box where you have to choose how to boot.
    Choices are:
    -Restore from Time Machine Back-up
    -Reinstall OS X
    -Get Help Online
    -Disk Utility

    >I first tried the Reinstall OS X option.
    When I click on this, it informs me Apple will verify the computer’s eligibility.
    I click on Continue.
    Then I agree to the T&C.
    Then it asks me t select the disk where I want to install OS X. BUT it does not give me any options.

    >So I next tried Restore from TimeMachine back-up.
    No luck on this either, my Mac could not find any back-up saved.

    >Finally I tried Disk Utility, just to check the disk is identified.
    The good news is that the disk shows up.

    Any ideas on this ?
    Perhaps I need to format my SSD to be identified by my Mac ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Much appreciated.

  • Phil Norton

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing up such a brilliant synopsis. I recently got frustrated with my ageing MacBook Pro hard drive and was looking for information on how to upgrade. Reading your article sorted out a few questions and helped me select a compatible drive.
    The only thing I would mention in addition is that the standard HDD on a MacBook Pro is 9mm, whereas most SSD are 7mm. I bought a cheap spacer in ebay that meant the drive doesn’t rattle around.

  • Smy

    Thank your very much for this,
    Will samsung evo 850 ssd also do for macbook pro mid 2012?

  • JC

    Bro you forgot to mention we need to also purchase and replace the old SATA II cable in our macbook pro with a new SATA III cable to make the new SSDs work if we are coming from a HDD.

  • Hannah Schultz-Durkacz


    Thanks for posting this article, its very helpful.

    I am stuck on the stage of creating a bootable drive for Mojave as my Macbook Pro is a 2011 model and it isn’t compatible. I haven’t used the computer in several years and its still on Yosemite. What should I do instead?

    thanks again for your help

  • Jull Gabriel

    Hi Chris,
    it’s a well thought article which is going to help a lot of people around the world, including me . I wish you could have done more research on other SSD for eg Kingston UV 400 & UV500 between crucial BX & crucial MX I would prefer MX it comes with 5year warranty plus it has more advantage.
    I would like to read more of your article regarding the technicality of PC and Mac.
    Thank for the article

  • Andy

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the great tutorial. The hard drive in my Mac is still working, would you recommend cloning the exisiting drive to the new ssd or use the bootable USB and restoring with Timemachine? Thanks!

  • Colleen Blair

    Ok. This was very useful. I went to best buy and bought a SATA drive and memory upgrade and took kit. I was going to do this myself. After trying to reas all I could I chickened out because I didnt know how to put the operating system back on my mid 2012 macbook pro. Some said I could just do it from the internet. Others talked about an external drive, which I do not know anything about. I have very few pictures on here, no files, I usually just do Facebook, Ebay and email.
    Any help on this? Thank you so much.

  • BD

    After a few failed attempts and a trip to an Apple Repair Shop, it turns out that I did everything correctly however the WD 500gb SSD was not compatible for my mid 2012 upgrade.. NOT READABLE, would not boot by itself.

    Is the Crucial MX 500 compatible for the upgrade?

  • Chaitanya

    Hi Chris, thanks for detailed explanation. I am using Macbook pro MID 2012 13 intch model. I am developer, may i know MX500 is my budget friendly, but as you said for performance someone needs to pick Samsung Pro 860 model. Could you please let me know, how it would impact a developer, i mean I should pick MX500 or Pro 860? If you insist that 860 Pro is best and compatible with Macbook pro Mid 2012 13 intch then I will definitely go for 860 Pro rather than MX500. Please let me know it’s compatibility.

  • gabriel

    hi, I have that Mac,thinking on the upgrade, want to do 3d modelling, video editing etc, pretty heavy, yes,
    question is, cos budget, running on 8gb ram and 500gb Rotational, and i7,
    what’s your advice in, what to get first and what later.
    thanks in advance

  • Gavin

    Hey there! Thanks for the guide. My Macbook Pro has also crashed due to a failed hard drive. I wanted to clarify one thing before getting started: Because I cannot access my hard drive to clone or copy the data, I know I will need to have a bootable MacOS via USB. Is that the only thing I need besides the actual SSD? I ask because there is no Apple location near me and I saw you had to visit one since your hard drive was inaccessible as well.

  • CX

    Nice piece of content! Can I ask if you have any idea on battery replacement? Which model should I go for? and is there an OEM battery which i can purchase?

  • RR Tham

    Hi Chris, I researched and found this Samsung 860 QVO 2TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76Q2T0B). I am planning to buy it to upgrade my older MBP HDD. Please let me know what you think. Thank you

  • Patty Leo

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for your through help and tutorials. Before I change the Sata disk to a SSD drive of my macbook pro (13-inch mid 2012), Do you also recommend I switch from 4gb (2x 2gb) storage to 8gb? And if so, what brands and steps do you recommend? which one first?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Do you mean switching RAM (memory) from 4GB to 8GB? If yes, then I’d say it’s probably worthwhile if you need to deal with a lot of applications. However, I’d recommend you check whether your MacBook model and specs that allow extra RAM upgrade. Both Apple and Crucial have guides on this, a few Google searches should bring tons of good tutorials.

  • Brady


    I have just purchased a second hand MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) with 2,5 Ghz and it had already been upgraded with a second had 512 GB SSD (SATA)

    Its working really well — but gets hot pretty quickly. Is this something I should worry about? and anything I can do to help it keep cool? 😉


  • Shane

    Hey Chris I have a Apple MacBook Pro 13” mid 2012 laptop that’s currently has a RAID dual ssd hardrive setup and I’m looking to upgrade from 512gb between the two ssd’s to one ssd hard drive with either 1tb or 500gb so I can partition it and install windows 7 on it to run a car program that isn’t on Mac OS and still have Mac OS on the other partition any suggestions ?

  • Pedro Hdez

    Hello, this help me so much, cause i have a lot of things in my head, some people told me that my Macbook pro mid 2012 not support a 2tb o 4tb SSD, but in the article you said its ok, so i have a question.
    Its ok put a 2 o 4 tb? o i gonna have problems at moment at install?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      It’s best to check the product description for accuracy. Some SSDs don’t offer 4TB at all.

  • Vivek

    My HDD is working fine currently in my macbook pro mid 2012 however it became relatively slow and I am willing to upgrade the SSD. I searched the web for it read alot but your rock!! everything on one page with great detail.
    My only worry is that should I upgrade the RAM also to 8 GB or just keeping it to 4 GB will be fine cause my use is very basic like browsing, saving photos, watching movies and doing some basic office work.

    Would you recommend me to upgrade RAM to 8 GB or is it fine to upgrade only HDD to SSD and keep RAM original 4 GB?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      4GB RAM would be okay if you just use your MacBook Pro for basic stuff. But if your budget allows and you may need your MBP for heavy tasks in the future, it’s best to upgrade once for all. Plus, RAM upgrade isn’t expensive compared to SSD upgrade.

  • Graham Ord

    Hi, thanks for all the great information.
    I have an old black mac book do you think I can use your info to upgrade that to ssd?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Which year model? And specifics? In general, this article applies to old MacBook Pros (maybe Airs).

  • She

    Very clear writing! Im a Korean and well I searched the same key words – macbook evo ssd- , I couldn’t find any useful information or article on that. Now I found ur artilce. It’s clear, clear, and clear. Thanks a lot. I mean it

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Thank you! Glad that we’ve got some international audiences from non-English speaking countries 🙂

  • Halvard Mikal Sæbø

    Excellent site!

    I`m using a macbook pro mid 2012 to make and perform music in Norway, using Logic pro x, and Main Stage 3, and now need more space for sound files from Logic pro and Main Stage.

    I guess Samsung 860 pro is the best option. The cheapest I get for 500 GB in Norway is 1899 Norwegian Kroner (235 USD).
    Then I see a Crucial MX500 1 TB at 2034 NOK (252 USD).

    Which one would you recommend? Space is always good to have, but I guess making and performing music is heavy and demands the best ssd?

    Kind regards;

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      If I were you, I’d go with 860 PRO. At the same time upgrade the memory (RAM) as well. Yes, because these music apps tend to be resource-demanding.

  • Harshavardhan

    Hi Chris, Thanks for the article. It had a lot of information.
    I need to know, is there any option for using both SSD (for Booting and OS) and HDD (for storage) in MacBook Pro 13″

  • Andrew

    Hi Chris,

    Great article! I have a old Mac book pro Mid 2012 that still works well. I do want to super charge it as much as I can so I can take it on the road to edit with or dump large video files up tp 4K. I have down no upgrade to it since I bought it but I need to run some edit programs Premier Pro etc.

    What do you recommend so I can speed it up to handle this work load?



    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      I’d recommend that. Plus, I may upgrade the memory as well. You know, running video editing apps like Premiere Pro can kill a computer easily. It’s definitely better to invest in hardware upgrade (even just to get the latest MacBook Pro) for work efficiency.

  • Edwin Ng

    Hi, I was thinking to upgrade my MBP mid 2012. What I have in mind is a 16gb ram with 250gb ssd for the long run. In other words, I would like my computer to be fast for a long period. I mostly use my laptop for regular task like web browsing and light gaming like league of legends. So my question is, is 16gb ram and 250gb ssd would be good?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      I think so. According to Crucial, your model supports the combination – 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) (RAM) + MX500 250GB 3D NAND (SSD). Meanwhile, I’d recommend you replace the battery as well for smooth gaming experience because you probably don’t always want to bring the Mac charger 🙂

  • Aravind Bhaskar

    I want to order a Samsung 860 Evo 250gb 2.5 inch SATA III to replace my HDD on my MacBook Pro Mid 2012. So does it work on my mac?
    Also, i want to know what kind of screwdrivers I need to open my mac?
    Can you please help me?

    • brstma

      no offense but if you’re not sure what tool you need to open the case then replacing the HDD yourself might not be the best idea. It takes a good deal of common sense and a bit of basic hardware know how

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Yes. We’ve listed the screwdrivers within the article.

  • Fabio Issao

    Hi Chris, thanks for your helpful post! I’d like to confirm if these SSD models work on Retina versions too (mpb 15 retina, mid-2012).

  • Louis Paddy Nansenet

    Thanks a lot for your help! You‘re awesome ????????????

  • Larry Armatage

    Hi Chris;
    Thanks for the very useful article. I have an old MacBook, (2008) that I had a 1Tb Samsung SSD installed in , but an accident with a glass of champagne left my keyboard unusable, (I spent 2 hours at the Genius bar yesterday, and several of the keys no longer work, and I can’t type my password to get into the computer. They don’t have parts for the model I have.)

    I would like to take my Samsung drive out, and install it into a later Macbook that I would buy used or refurbished.

    Can you advise me on the latest year of MacBook Pro that I can do this. I have been told 2012. Is that correct?

    Also, I was told at the Genius Bar that if I bought a new McBook, (say a base model), and have my Samsung drive mounted in a case, and just plug it into the new MacBook and use that drive. Does this sound like good advice to you?

    All comments appreciated.

    Thank you,


    • Kevin

      Larry , I just replaced my keyboard and backlight on a 2012 mac that our golden retriever ate some of the keys on. I too had the same problem that we couldn’t log in to find out if the mac even still worked. All I did was plug in a keyboard into the usb port and logged in that way. It booted and seemed to run fine so I ordered a new KB and back light delivered for $28.44 and I installed iti in 2 hrs. Thing runs like a champ.

  • Willwill

    After problems with Samsung Evo 850 I searched for a better option. And what I found? Samsung Evo 850!

    When I replaced original HD Evo did not work at all. When I used usb dock I was able to erase it but it does not boot. I has two modes I think. Legacy and UEFI. Ok, piece of cake to change it. But no.

    Magician works only on Windows and firmware updaters .iso file is corrupted. I cannot make it bootable with Disk Utility. So I went to Windows machine. It does not even recognize drive as hard drive. And magician says it is uncompatible. It is problem with version 5.0. Older versions should work.

    I spend already too much time with it so we will send it back to dealer. It is a typical Samsung product. Nice specs but software is piece of crap. Regular user is just not able to deal with it. When googling around I found out that both Windows and Mac users had lots of “fun” with Samsung ssd:s.

    I have installed several ssd:s before this with no problem. This was first and last Samsung for me.

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Thanks for sharing that.

    • Mo

      Hello Willwill,
      I wonder if you can please let me know when was that?

      I am about to upgrade my MacBook Pro Mid 2012 and thinking about the Samsung 860 EVO. I wonder if you have an idea whether Samsung fixed this or not?.

      Currently, the Crucial 500GB is selling for £50 and the Samsung 860 EVO 500GB is selling for £45

      Please note that the article states the 860 Evo not the 850 Evo, maybe this article got updated (the Evo 850 is selling for £60)!.

  • George

    I only want to add a side note. You mentioned that those who game on their Mac should choose an expensive SSD. A common misconception on that, is that an SSD will offer higher framerates. But, what we actually mean, is that it will offer shorter load screens.

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Thank you!

  • Mark Hogan

    Hi Chris
    Excellent job in writing this how to process. It’s perfect.
    I’m working in Brazil for the next 2 years and want to replace HDD on my Macbook Pro 2012 for a SSD, jast as you did.
    But here all I can find is either Kingston or Sandisk.
    Are they worthy? Is there any model/series more suitable?
    I use my Macbook Pro on everyday activities, but nothing “hard” enough that require a “super” whatsoever SSD.
    Thanks a lot and congrats agian for the article.

  • Stacey

    I need this, thank you for writing up the epic guide. My MacBook Pro is super slow now, no matter what I tried. Upgrading to SSD is definitely what I’m going to do next. Just a quick question: does Apple Genius Bar charge for computer diagnosis?

    • Avatar photo

      Hello Stacey, glad you find our article helpful. In response to your question: Apple doesn’t charge for that. You only pay when a certain part needs to be replaced.