If the original hard drive on your MacBook Pro is getting a little too full you can replace it with a much larger one pretty easily. After all, hard drives have gotten cheap with 1TB drives available for under $100.

If you want to give your aging machine an even bigger boost, I'd strongly suggest opting for a new SSD (flash) drive instead. With your system and apps on it, you can get work done much faster as everything will go from sluggish to snappy.

Either way you go the process is the same and, aside from one long data transfer you can sleep through, it only takes a few minutes.

Step 1: What you need

Here's the small list of hardware you need:
 - new 2.5" HDD or SSD drive
 - external 2.5" USB enclosure ($10)
 - #00 Philips screwdriver
 - T6 screwdriver

And 2 software options
 - Carbon Copy Cloner  - free for 30 days, $40 after
 - SuperDuper!  - free for basic use (all we need here) and $28 for full services

I've used both applications for this and both worked equally well for the basic application of hard drive cloning.
<p>I have an A1398, what would be the best SSD for this model and what size SSD can it handle?</p>
<p>So I've set up an SSD in the optical bay. And after using carbon copy <br>cloner, i've copied everything onto my ssd. Now if I want to transfer <br>files back and forth between my HD and SSD how would I do that?<br><br>Also, if I use carbon copy cloner, and booted the SSD, is everything backed up from the hD?</p>
<p>I will be doing the same as you in a few days when my SSD arrives in the mail. The way I'm going to check is to shut down the system, unplug the HDD and then boot up to see if everything works fine. Then I'll wipe the HDD. I have a bootable external backup just in case!</p>
<p>I will be doing the same as you in a few days when my SSD arrives in the mail. The way I'm going to check is to shut down the system, unplug the HDD and then boot up to see if everything works fine. Then I'll wipe the HDD. I have a bootable external backup just in case!</p>
Does the new hd have to be the same size in order to clone it?
Thanks for a great instructable! When I did this it basically deactivated my Microsoft Office Suite! Mins don't have my product key anymore either! What can I do, Microsoft is being no help at all!
<p>I'm still running Snow Leopard. If I want update my OS along with this process (swapping out old HDD for new SSD), where (at what step) and how should I do this? Can anyone outline the steps for me? Thanks in advance!</p>
<p>How much Macbook Pro Cost?</p>
<p>I'm looking at buying a new MacBook Pro. Can I upgrade the hard drive on the newer models? purchase in 2016 new.</p>
<p>I just completed the upgrade of my 2012 non-retina MacBook Pro. I upgraded from stock 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD to 500 GB Samsung Evo 850 SSD. Two notes to keep in mind: with SuperDuper! the cloning process is essentially creating the image then copying it/cloning it to your new drive. I used a SATA to USB3.0 connector. This process to transfer 180 GB of data took 2 hours. The Solid State Drive installation took 10 minutes, if that. The second thing you want to take note, after installation I noticed on boot up, I would get the Apple chime, a blank screen for 30 seconds then the Apple logo showed up and blast off. If you happen to run into that, go to System Preferences -&gt; StartUp Disk and make sure your Solid State Drive is selected as the StartUp Disk. After choosing, reboot. Now my boot time went from 35 seconds to 3 seconds. Maybe not 3, but you catch my drift.</p>
<p>Awesome Guide. For those of you with newer (un-upgradeable) MacBook Pros (since 2011) I would recommend <a href="http://www.TarDisk.com" rel="nofollow"> www.TarDisk.com </a> as an hard drive upgrade.</p><p>As far as I know it's the only way to actually upgrade your internal hard drive (also doesn't require any tools which is cool).</p>
<p>Hey Fungus (LOL!),</p><p>thanks for the great instructable, had an almost trouble free install. Used SuperDuper and it took me a while to get confident about it as I was focussing on &quot;cloning&quot; but it's terminology didn't directly refer to that, rather &quot;copy/backup&quot; then in options &quot;make bootable&quot; = &quot;cloning&quot;.</p><p>The issue I did encounter was with iTunes, it wouldn't start, showing an error message &quot;iTunes not installed properly or corrupted, error (-47032)&quot;. The simple fix was to re-install it by visiting <a href="http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/" rel="nofollow">http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ </a> and getting a new install package which executes confirming you're installing over an existing copy, all easy peezy and my music works fine.</p>
<p>Im doing this project thanks for the info. Some questions thanks.</p><p>I have Early 2011 macbook pro 13&quot;.</p><p>Im getting Samsung evo 500gb sata lll ssd + optical enclosure (for old HDD) + recommended items.</p><p>I want to use SSD for running computer so should I just clone the ssd, follow your procedure. And then once i have placed the HDD in the optical drive, transfer data and files like movies, photos and music onto HDD. Just so the SSD isnt filled up with data from the start of use.</p><p>or</p><p>Should I just move the software (via the usb way) onto new SSD and just put the old HDD in optical drive? </p><p>Im sure they both ends with the same results just not quite sure haha.</p>
<p>Go with the simplest method: clone, swap, and delete what you don't want off of the SSD once it's in.</p>
Hey, I'm going to undertake this project in the next few days since my harddrive died and Apple quoted me $280 for a replacement 1TB Hardrive. <br><br>Since I'm not cloning over any old data (since there isn't any!) <br><br>Will the process be equally simple, just instal harddrive, boot up, press command R and proceed to install OS (that's how simple the guy at the Apple Store made it out to be)<br><br>Thanks a lot!
<p>Well done.. It's nice of you to share the step by step guidance..</p>
Best upgrade: buy a PC!
Lol...no thanks. I actually want my computer to work when I need it.
I'll build a PC if I need one. My MBP is where I get all my work done and haven't had the need (ie. time to play games) to add a PC back into my collection.
<p>Thanks for posting this, just completed my HDD and memory upgrade to my mid-2010 macbook pro and this instructable was really helpful! Got all the parts for ~$100 on amazon and the difference after upgrading is noticeable. Parts:</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B99JU5M?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B99JU5M?psc=1&amp;...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTBJFM?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTBJFM?psc=1&amp;...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E362W9O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E362W9O?psc=1&amp;...</a></p>
<p>Hi :) I know it's been two years since you published this, but I just got into the issue and planning to upgrade my MBP (mid 2010) with the SSD from Samsung (850 EVO 500GB). All the instructions above are clear and perfect (Thank you!), just one question - what is the process after I put the new SSD and everything back again? Just turn laptop on and plug my USD drive with backed-up data and... what's next? May be my question is stupid, but I'd really appreciate your help. Best!</p>
<p>If you've cloned the HDD onto your SSD, then you turn it off, swap drives, and turn it on again. No need to keep the HDD plugged in via a USB enclosure.</p>
<p>This worked perfectly using Super Duper. I bought the drive and case from Amazon. I bought an extra USB cable but didn' know the cable was included in the case itself. I also had to buy a small screw driver kit from Radio Shack because the posts had a star shaped head instead of a phillips head. I can always use the screw driver kit so it was a good way of spending 18 bucks.</p><p>What really helped were a pair of reading glasses. My eyesight isn't what it once was so it was helpful to have the glasses handy. </p><p>Great instructable. Thank you very much!</p>
<p>I don&rsquo;t think <br>so about facing any problem. All is about cost vs. performance. Please have a <br>backup copy either with Time Machine or with an efficient software of drives in advance before initiating his process. Apart from CCC, I use Stellar Drive Clone software for creating a bootable clone of my MacBook Pro.</p>
<p>Thanks for the article. I am only having trouble on one front. The new 2TB drive is only showing up as 500GB (old disk size). Do I need to change a software setting somewhere?</p>
<p>Not sure if you figured it out but you need to go to disk utility (while booted on the new drive) and select the device (not the partition but the the above it in the hierarchy) and go to the partition table. Take the main partition and drag it all the way out to the 2tb end mark</p>
Just how difficult is it to upgrade the RAM on a MacBook Pro? Thanks for the tutorial!
<p>I'm considering doing several upgrades to my older MacBook Pro including RAM. This video tutorial is also very good and covers RAM upgrade, and adding a second Solid state drive where the optical drive is. Check it out.</p><p>https://fstoppers.com/video/dont-upgrade-your-macbook-pro-until-you-see-2909</p>
Extremely easy. The RAM is held in place by two black plastic tabs. Push both out to side at same time to release the RAM, making it pop up. Pull the RAM out (careful and firm) and put new RAM in (careful and firm again).
Make sure you get ram that is listed as MAC combatiple. The socket is the same but the protocol is slightly different in how they work. found out the hard way on that <br>
<p>http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0053YLTBC/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;s=computers will this one work </p>
<p>which hard drive did you use</p>
<p>does this work if i have boot camp my mac </p>
Hi, <br>Great post, pity I didn't see it earlier! I had some of the problems that others here had, but finally solved them all. Apart from one: Now my SSD is booting, and i am using my old HD for storage, I want to put the Documents folder into the storage drive. So how does one map the folder so that when you put something in &quot;documents&quot; it goes to the storage drive and not to the SSD? (I'm new to macs, previously only used PC's)
Try this<br /> <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57365307-263/moving-your-home-folder-in-os-x/">http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57365307-263/moving-your-home-folder-in-os-x/</a>
I have a 13inch macbook pro -late 2011, OS X <br>10.8.4 (12E55). I get a flashing Question mark folder at start up I <br>have to force shut &amp; power on the laptop 5-6 times then it starts up <br>fine. I also get a small whirring noise at start-up &amp; when it wakes <br>up after sleep it freezes &amp; I have to force shut down again( the <br>force quit- keyboard option don't -work). <br>I have tried various Trouble shooting steps - like Pram reset, <br>reinstalling the OS- X, SMC reset, safe boot, disk repair from disk <br>utility but so far no go. I am worried if I dont get this fixed it <br>will lead to a bigger problem. My laptop warranty got over just last <br>month.......do you think its the hard drive that has failed? &amp; needs to be replaced with a new one?
i had the same problem and finally it just stopped booting up.... so i took it the apple store thinking that i screwed my hard drive ... but they said they was an issue with the ribbon cable with this series of MacBook pro's rubbing on the bottom of the case and shorting out! $17.50 later my MBP is back up and running better then ever!
I don't know for sure, I've never had that problem. At the very least, you should back up everything if you get it running again. Then try a new HD and install OS X on it.
Hi, should I format choosing GUID Partition Table or CCC take care of making bootable?, Thanks
fungus, <br>I picked up a samsung 840 pro for for my late 2011 MBP, i do not wish to clone my current drive, i want to start fresh. I still have the original startup disk that came with my MBP. To install the new drive, do i simply need to replace the existing drive, hold &quot;c&quot; when powering on to boot from the optical drive, and format using disk utility in there?
Not entirely sure. I think so? Best you check for more info elsewhere
If I have a Mac Pro and a Macbook Pro, are the hard drives the same dimensions? Can I replace the hard drive in the Macbook Pro by swapping it out with the one in the Mac Pro? Thanks!
No, desktops (incl. Mac Pro) use 3.5" drives.
Quick question about the HDD title/name. <br>I've installed a new cloned 1TB HDD, which boots fine, checked in Disk Utility and it's still named 'Untitled' rather than 'Macintosh HD'. Does this matter? <br>Will it be a problem if I choose to update to OS X 10.9 or whatever follows Mountain Lion? <br>Thanks for the tutorial - really easy to follow.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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