If this is your first time installing a Crucial SSD in your Mac system, there’s no need to fear – the process is easy and straightforward. It’ll take some time, but your computer will be radically faster when you’re done! Before you begin, use our Mac System Scanner tool to verify that the SSD you purchased is compatible with your computer, as not all Mac systems are upgradeable. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to get started.
You’ll need your Crucial SSD, a screwdriver, your Mac system’s owner’s manual (which will specify the type of screwdriver you need), and a SATA-to-USB cable (sold separately). Additionally, if you’ll be installing into (a) a Mac Pro® system manufactured between 2006 and 2012 or (b) an iMac® from almost any year, you’ll need a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch converter because these systems have larger storage bays than other Mac computers.
In the box with your SSD is a spacer (it looks like a black bracket). Set it aside for now – it won’t come into play until later in the process, and based on your type of Mac system, you may not even need it.
Before starting the install process, save any important files on your computer to a USB flash drive or external storage drive.
Using a SATA-to-USB cable, attach one side to the SSD and the other end to your computer. When handling your SSD, try not to touch its gold connector pins with your fingers.
There are many versions of the Mac operating system (called OSX), and you need to determine which version you’re using. Simply click on in the upper left corner of your screen, then click About this Mac which will display your version number. Here’s where to find the version number on the screen you’ll see:
Before you can use your SSD, it needs to be initialized, partitioned, and formatted. These are technical words that mean the drive needs to get acquainted with your system. To do this, you need to go into Disk Utility, which comes free with Mac systems. Access this by clicking on the storage drive on your desktop, then clicking on the Applications folder, then the Utilities folder, then Disk Utility. Alternatively, you can click on the Applications folder in your dock, then follow the additional steps noted above.
Once you’re in Disk Utility, you should see a message telling you that the SSD cannot be read by the computer. No need to fear – this is normal. Simply click on the Initialize button that appears in the message and your Crucial SSD should now be visible in Disk Utility. From here, follow the steps below that correspond to your version of OSX.
Your version of OSX
Your step-by-step instructions
OSX El Capitan or newer (version 10.11 or higher)
High Sierra may not detect your SSD automatically. See here for additional support.
1. Highlight your SSD and click the Erase button.
2. Type in a name for the new partition (this where you’ll save data on the drive and it’ll be the name for your SSD). On the menu settings, verify that the partition is set to GUID Partition Table.
3. Verify that the selected format defaults to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
4. Select Erase. The drive will now be partitioned, formatted, and ready for use.
OSX Yosemite or earlier (version numbers less than 10.11)
Your SSD should now be visible with the new name you gave it. Now you’re ready to copy everything on your Mac’s existing drive to your new SSD. That way, when you install the SSD, your data will be on it and everything will be the same, but significantly faster.
There are two methods for copying your data on a Mac system, and you’ll need to follow the method designed for your version of OSX. Note: Both methods will only clone a Mac partition. To see how to clone a bootcamp Windows® partition, see this video. (If you don’t know what a bootcamp Windows partition is, no need to worry – just use the method below that matches your OS.)
OSX El Capitan or newer (version 10.11 or higher): How to copy data to a Crucial SSD
OSX Yosemite or earlier (version numbers less than 10.11): How to copy data to a Crucial SSD
The physical installation process varies based on the type of Mac system you have, so follow the step-by-step process for your Mac using our system-specific Mac install guides.
As a successful SSD installer, you can enter to win a free Crucial memory upgrade!
How a memory upgrade benefits you: Memory (RAM) is the pool of resources your system uses to do almost everything. Every time you move your mouse, type a message, listen to music, play a game or go online, you’re using memory. This is why upgrading your memory (adding more GB) is a great compliment to your new SSD. The SSD allows you to quickly open and save things, and more memory allows you to work seamlessly once things are open. Upgrading your system’s memory is even easier than installing an SSD and can be done in as little as 5 minutes.
Now that you’re an expert SSD installer, watch out! Your friends and family might just start asking you to do their installs