Enthusiasts Detail RAM Upgrade Process for the 2018 Mac mini

RAM replacement guides for the new 2018 Mac mini have appeared online, detailing what's involved if users choose to go against Apple's advice and upgrade the removable memory modules themselves.

macmini2018
Apple's official line is that it doesn't consider the new Space Gray Mac mini to be user-configurable, therefore the company recommends that later memory upgrades be performed by a certified Apple service provider.

However, going down that route increases costs significantly, because users need to factor in the relatively high price of Apple-supplied RAM as well as the additional labor charge for installing said modules.

On the other hand, while upgrading the memory yourself can save money, it also carries inherent risks.


For one, any damage done to the Mac mini during installation isn't covered under warranty, and even if the internals remain unscathed, Apple service staff will likely refuse to repair a 2018 Mac mini under warranty if they see third-party RAM modules have been inserted.

Having said that, experienced upgrade enthusiasts will be happy to learn that the process of opening up the 2018 Mac mini isn't too dissimilar to the 2014 Mac Mini (although that model had the much-maligned soldered-on RAM).

YouTuber Brandon Geekabit has uploaded a video detailing the process. And with help from MacRumors forum readers, Rod Bland has posted steps of the procedure on the iFixit website, along with the recommended opening tools, which include a TR6 Torx Security screwdriver, a T9 Torx screwdriver, and a Pentalobe screwdriver (also used to open the Retina MacBook Air and Pro). The entire process is said to take between 10 and 20 minutes.

mac mini 2018 ifixit ram upgrade
Briefly, users must pop off the bottom cover using a plastic opening tool, then unscrew and remove the antenna plate below along with its attaching cable. Next, the fan assembly is unscrewed and removed. Then the mainboard is unscrewed so it can be slid out, after which the screws holding the RAM cage are undone to reveal the RAM modules.

mac mini 2018 memory upgrade ifixit
Removing the rubber stabilizers and pressing the spring clips enables careful replacement of the existing RAM modules with the new ones, after which users must work their way back through the previous steps in reverse to re-assemble the mini.

2018 mac mini ifixt ram upgrade e1541674422155
The process allows users to install up to 64GB of RAM, using any combination of 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM RAM modules, which are available from third-party brands like Crucial, Kingston, and Corsair at prices that significantly undercut Apple-supplied RAM.

Ultimately, customers wanting more RAM must decide which route suits them best: upgrade the Mac mini themselves and accept the risks; avoid the hassle by paying Apple a premium to upgrade the base configuration at checkout; or upgrade at a later time through an Apple authorized service provider, at additional cost.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Tag: iFixit
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Neutral)
Related Forum: Mac mini

Top Rated Comments

ChrisCW11 Avatar
36 months ago
if I were entertaining this, I would want to know how to upgrade the SSD because the 2tb SSD, Apple is charging $700 (CAD) more then Dell for the 2TB SSD option (1900 vs 1200). Not that I am going to spend $1200 on any SSD, I would just be as happy to plug in a Thunderbolt external raid for SO much cheaper, but its the same story across the entire range of option upgrades for the Mac Mini, just excessive stupid prices vs the same components options competitors are offering. And don't tell me that Apple has some special quality manufactured versions of these parts, they are raiding the same over-seas factories as ever other computer OEM these days.

I don't care if Apple is going to charge a premium for the boxes with their logos on it, that is to be expected these days, but when Apple tries to excessively profit monger off of the same off-the-shelf parts that competitors are putting into their systems, and make it user hostile to upgrade or repair them even years later, I am sorry, Apple doesn't have a right to $700 of free profit off of someone else's component by forcing people to configure a system once only in the shopping cart.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Winni Avatar
36 months ago
I would do it myself but I don't want a voided warranty when the t2 chip starts having issues....
I don't know about the US, but unlike everything Apple wants you to believe, in Germany opening the case of your computer and upgrading RAM modules would not void your warranty - that's the European law.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sam_S Avatar
36 months ago
Its great that you are able to do it yourself! I would do it through Apple if they didn't charge a ridiculous premium for their RAM upgrades...
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
czoli Avatar
36 months ago
We love (to screw) our customers, they could have designed it differently to make it easy to upgrade.

While I understand a CEO needs to please the investors by increasing revenues and margins the Tim Cook age seems to only be about taking advantage of the customers.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JackLeBoul Avatar
36 months ago
Ahhh...still unnecessary complicated/difficult to change ram on a "desktop" computer.
Compare this to the "Cube" - beautiful design and easy access to all parts.

https://apple-history.com/g4cube

Even though this is better than the last version, its not good enough.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
michael666 Avatar
36 months ago
Next: How to replace the SSD.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...