Is Your Mac Running Slow? {Installing more RAM}

I was asked to post about this when I was at
 The Haven Conference in Atlanta, GA.
Some of us bloggers were talking about our computers and I mentioned how easy it was for my son to increase the RAM on our computer.

We purchased our Mac last summer.  
My son (the computer science major) helped us “build” it.

I have to say I love it!  It has been the best computer purchase we have ever made.  I like that I haven’t had to worry about viruses.  
We seemed to have problems with that on our PC.  Anyway…

Being a blogger, I usually have 5-7 tabs up and running.  Don’t you?  Aren’t you always checking this out or that out?  
Too much time spent on the computer… I know!!

So, when you run that many things on your Mac it slows it down.  That’s the RAM, Random Access Memory, which controls the number of things a computer can do at once.  The ram is like the size of your engine.  You can have a 4 cylinder or a V-6 or bump it up to a Hemi! Well, we had 4 gigs of RAM. That seemed adequate, until you want your computer to have a couple of browsers up, run iTunes, have a couple of documents open, and iPhoto running.  That’s when I started getting the color wheel…. (pic of color wheel)
The color wheel meant I had to wait.  I’m really not all that patient. In fact, I’m completely impatient.  Especially when it comes to the computer!  
I pretty much like lighting speed.

This spring we even changed our internet connection.  
We had DSL, that seemed intermittent and wasn’t very fast.  
Now we have cable and that is A LOT faster!

Okay, so I complained to my son about the color wheel.  He quickly checked into what I had running and said,  “Well, no wonder, MOM!”  Apparently I had quite a bit up and running…. What?  How was I supposed to know?

He said, “You can easily fix that.  You need more RAM.”  Ok.  So, his fingers flew across the keyboard and pulled up what we needed.  I couldn't believe how cheap it was! For some reason Macs use laptop RAM and it was only like $42.00 to buy 8 more gigs of RAM (two 4 gigabyte sticks)!  Done!  Buy it!

It came in a day or so.  I asked him, if it was going to be hard to install?  
Not at all, easy!  

Just unscrew this and we’ll just pop them in.

And actually, he was completely right!  He did just that and when he turned the computer back on, it immediately recognized the new RAM and we were up and running!!  Now I can run as much as I want…. pretty much!  I haven’t had the color wheel since.  I’m not waiting anymore… YAY!  
Well, once in awhile the internet gets wonky.
I love my Mac! Oh, I already said that!
Now, I wouldn’t really call this a tutorial, but I would definitely do this if I was getting the awful color wheel….

I’ll show you how he found out what kind of RAM you need. 
Now this is for Mac users only.

1. Take your cursor to the top left of your screen where the little apple is.
2. Click the apple.
3. Highlight “About this Mac” and click
4. A little box pops up, click “More Info…”
5. Another box pops up, the top left has “tabs”, click Memory.
6.This will tell you how much RAM you have and how many slots you have available.
7. It should also tell you what type of RAM the slots will accept.
8. There is a link in the bottom right corner    named Memory Upgrade Instructions, click that.
9. That link gives all kinds of information, including step by step instructions on how to install the RAM. This guide will also be able to tell you how much memory your motherboard can handle = max amount of RAM.
10. Copy the type of RAM your Mac uses, then paste it to wherever you  want to purchase your RAM from.  My son used Newegg.

I’m definitely not a computer techie, but let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see if I can answer them (or I can ask my son).

Below, are my son’s disclaimers and extra advice/information that he felt you should know.  It would be too difficult for me to try to insert this information, so I’m just adding here. To me he makes this a little scarier than it really is...

*Mac’s (like most computers) use dual channel memory. Which means that they utilize having the exact same type of RAM installed in both slots.  If you upgrade make sure you buy two sticks of (OF THE SAME KIND OF) RAM, not just one, in order to take advantage of this.

*Make sure you buy the exact same type of RAM that is already installed on your Mac.  For the most part, unless you have an older one, 
it will use PC3-10600, 204-pin, 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM.  
This is what was installed on my mom’s computer.

*Be sure to completely power down and unplug the machine before opening the memory slots or you risk damaging it!

*When inserting the RAM make sure you align the notch properly, or you may risk damaging the pins. It may take a decent amount of force to insert the RAM, don’t be afraid to push a little harder than you might expect to have to.  You will hear two clicks, one for the latch on each side of the stick.  This is why it’s important to align the RAM using the notch before putting it in.

*If the RAM is not properly inserted (set), or not completely in, the machine will not turn on or operate correctly.

*Please keep in mind that if you damage your Mac or pc while upgrading your RAM your warranty may be voided and you are responsible for any damage/costs that may occur.

** If you are using a windows machine, DO NOT follow this guide or buy ram according to this guide.  You will be wasting your money and time.

Remember, if you don't feel comfortable doing this, then please don't!  You can take your computer in and have a professional do it.


  1. I'm glad you have a techie son! I'm waiting for mine to learn more, since he's only 14. Then I'll have a great helper like you have!!! Hope you're having a fabulous day!

    1. Hi Janis! He is a great help! He's going to help me on a project gallery page! Yay! I'll def share that info! Hope you are having a beautiful day!

  2. very useful bit of information-i hate the colorwheel too!! and at this moment i have like 10 tabs open, plus my email, plus a pdf lol!

    1. Thanks for reading! I felt a little weird doing that post... I thought people might blast me, because I am not a computer techie... Oh well! I don't EVER have the color wheel anymore, which is AWESOME!!!

  3. I just upgraded mine yesterday! :)

  4. I bookmarked your post! I get the color wheel all the time because I have so many pages open! Thanks - will look into this!

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks! It has been wonderful, I never get it anymore!! Yay!

  5. I don't have a Mac, but I have increased the RAM in my ToshibaSo glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – your creativity helped make the party a success!. It makes a huge difference and not hard at all!

    1. Thanks, Cathy!! I know a lot of people don't have macs but adding ram is an easy way to speed up any computer!

  6. thanks, i know a lot of people don't have macs but adding ram is an easy way to speed up any computer!
    mac memory upgrade


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