Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade

  1. Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Ssd
  2. Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Ram
  3. Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Memory
  4. Mac Mini Late 2014 Upgrade
  5. Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade To Big Sur

Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini Q&A

Update Published January 27, 2021

2014 Mac mini: SSD, Hard drive, Logic board. In most makes of Mac Mini you can't upgrade the processor - for models released since 2009, processors have been soldered onto the motherboard. The Mac mini 'Core i7' 3.0 (Late 2014/Aluminum Unibody) technically is a 'configure-to-order' option for the MGEN2LL/A Mac mini 'Core i5' 2.6 (Late 2014) and MGEQ2LL/A Mac mini 'Core i5' 2.8 (Late 2014), but also is documented as a separate model for reader convenience. The Apple Mac mini is a versatile machine noted for having a plethora of ports. Given the machine's age, it might be tempting to think of the computer as outdated. However, for specific uses such as video editing or even server hosting, the small Mac mini is an ideal alternative to the barebones PC. Use this guide to replace the hard drive in your hard-drive-only or Fusion Drive Mac mini Late 2014. This guide was made with a Fusion Drive Mac mini. If your Mac mini only has a hard drive, skip the steps about the PCIe SSD and its connector.

Apple Mac Mini Desktop - Intel Core i5-4260U 1.4GHz, 256GB SSD, 4GB LPDDR3 Memory, ThunderBolt, MacOS v10.14 Mojave - A1347 MGEM2LL/A (2014-2018) Form Factor: Mini PC Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 5000.

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How do you upgrade the storage in the Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini models? What type of hard drive(s) or SSD(s) do they each support?

There are five different lines of Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini systems -- the 'Mid-2010,' 'Mid-2011,' 'Late 2012', 'Late 2014' and 'Late 2018' -- with notable differences in supported storage.


Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Non-Server Mid-2010 - Left, Mid-2011 & Late 2012 - Right)

Identification Help

Upgrade

If you're not sure which Aluminum Mac mini model you have, the optical drive equipped 'Mid-2010' models and current 'Late 2018' 'Space Gray' models should be easy to spot (at least for now), but many models in between these lines are more of a challenge.

All Aluminum Mac mini models can be precisely identified by the Model Identifier in software or externally by EMC Number, and more details about specific identifiers are provided in EveryMac.com's extensive Mac Identification section.

To locate the model identifier in software, select 'About This Mac' under the Apple Menu on your computer and click the 'More Info..' button. If the Mac mini is running OS X 10.7 'Lion' or later, you will need to click the 'System Report' button after clicking 'More Info..' as well.

For the pre-Late 2014 Mac mini models, the EMC number is visible upon removing the bottom 'spin off' panel to the right of the memory slots (when the ports are facing you). It is on the bottom of the 'Late 2014' and 'Late 2018' models toward the ports.

As always, EveryMac.com has hand documented the model identifiers and EMC numbers unique to each model, which are most easily visualized as a chart:

Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Ssd

Alu. Mac mini

Subfamily

Model ID

EMC No.

Mid-2010

Mid-2010

Mid-2010

Mid-2011

Mid-2011

Mid-2011

Mid-2011

Late 2012

Late 2012

Late 2012

Late 2012

Late 2012

Late 2014

Late 2014

Late 2014

Late 2014

Late 2018

Late 2018

Late 2018

EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app -- also can identify these models by their Serial Numbers.

Storage Types, Dimensions & Requirements

Regular 'Mid-2010' Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini models, which have optical drives, support a single 2.5-inch, 9.5 mm tall, 3 Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA Revision 2.0) hard drive or SSD (or two storage drives if you remove the optical drive). The oddball Mac mini 'Core 2 Duo' 2.66 Server (Mid-2010) supports two storage drives of the same type (and no optical drive).

All 'Mid-2011' and 'Late 2012' models hold two 2.5-inch storage drives with the same 9.5 mm height restriction, but have faster 6 Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA Revision 3.0) support.

The non-server 'Mid-2011' and 'Late 2012' models, which only ship with one hard drive by default, a second hard drive or SSD is supported, but one has to purchase the cable needed to attach the drive to the board before installation is possible.

A user from the MacRumors forums first determined that the needed part is referred to as the 'Bottom Hard Drive Flex Cable' (Apple Part Number 922-9560) and successfully installed a second drive. More recently, site sponsor Other World Computing began offering a 'Data Doubler' upgrade kit for the Aluminum Mac mini models that includes everything needed to perform this upgrade -- the cable, drive bracket, precisely sized screwdrivers and screws -- in one convenient package.

The 'Late 2014' models have a 6 Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA Revision 3.0) connector for a 2.5-Inch hard drive or SSD in addition to a proprietary PCIe connector for a 'blade' SSD. As first noted by site sponsor OWC, the cable to connect this SSD to the PCIe connector is not present unless the system is configured with a 'Fusion Drive' at the time of initial purchase. However, it is possible to buy this cable later. This 'PCIe SSD Cable Connector' is part number 821-00010-A.

The current 'Late 2018' models have onboard storage and it cannot be upgraded at all after the initial system purchase.

These details can be helpfully summarized accordingly:

Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade

Alu. Mac mini

Subfamily

Model ID

Dimensions

Interface

Mid-2010

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 2.0 x2*

Mid-2010

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 2.0 x2*

Mid-2010

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 2.0 x2

Mid-2011

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Mid-2011

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Mid-2011

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Mid-2011

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2012

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2012

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2012

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2012

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2012

2.5' 9.5 mm

SATA 3.0 x2 How to download ios 14 on mac.

Late 2014

2.5' 9.5 mm
Blade SSD

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2014

2.5' 9.5 mm
Blade SSD

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2014

2.5' 9.5 mm
Blade SSD

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2014

2.5' 9.5 mm
Blade SSD

SATA 3.0 x2

Late 2018

Onboard†

Onboard†

Late 2018

Onboard†

Onboard†

Late 2018

Onboard†

Onboard†

* By default, one SATA 2.0 connector in these models is occupied by an optical drive.

† These models have onboard PCIe-based storage that cannot be upgraded after the initial system purchase.

Hard Drive Upgrade Official Disclaimer & Cautions

To upgrade the memory in the Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini models released before and after the Late 2014 models, Apple has made it straightforward. Replacing the hard drive or hard drives is a more complicated procedure and Apple does not support users performing this upgrade themselves.

In the User Guide, Apple formally states the following:

Except for memory, do not attempt to replace or repair any components inside your Mac mini. If your Mac mini needs service, consult the service and support information that came with your Mac mini for information about how to contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple for service.
If you install items other than memory, you risk damaging your equipment, and such damage isn't covered by the limited warranty on your Mac mini.

As Apple does not consider the hard drive to be a 'customer installable part,' EveryMac.com cannot recommend that users perform the upgrade themselves. Most likely should instead add a quick and easy external hard drive or alternately hire a professional. Given the small and densely packed nature of the Aluminum Mac mini models this certainly is not a good system to upgrade yourself without substantial experience upgrading the hard drive in similar systems.

Hard Drive Upgrade Instructions

However, for highly experienced users, upgrading the hard drive or hard drives -- or swapping in one or more SSDs -- is difficult, but feasible nevertheless.

These videos from OWC cover the procedure for the optical-drive equipped 'Mid-2010' models and the optical drive-less 'Mid-2010' Server, 'Mid-2011,' 'Late 2012,' and models, in a step-by-step fashion:

'Mid-2010' Mac mini (One Hard Drive, One Optical Drive)


'Mid-2010' Mac mini Server (Dual Hard Drives)

'Mid-2011' & 'Late 2012' Mac mini (Dual Hard Drives)

'Late 2014' Mac mini (Hard Drive or Fusion Drive; PCIe SSD Instructions)

It is hoped that by watching the videos you should be able to determine whether or not you feel comfortable performing the upgrade yourself or if you would rather hire a professional.

Mac mini Hard Drive or SSD Purchase Options

In theory, just about any hard drive or SSD that meets the minimum requirements should work in the Mac mini. However, it always is best to buy from a trusted company with Mac knowledge for the most trouble-free experience.

In addition to the convenient storage upgrade kit for applicable Aluminum Mac mini models, Other World Computing sells compatible hard drives and SSDs and offers an installation service, as well.

In the UK and Ireland, site sponsor Flexx sells Mac mini compatible SSDs with free shipping. The company provides flat rate shipping to France, Germany, and Switzerland and inexpensive shipping for all of Europe, too.

In Australia, site sponsors Macfixit and Upgradeable sell Mac mini compatible hard drives and SSDs with fast shipping, a money-back guarantee and more.

In New Zealand, site sponsor Upgradeable New Zealand sells Mac mini hard drives and SSDs with fast delivery to all corners of the country, precise compatibility, a lifetime warranty, and a money-back guarantee.

Also see:

  • How do you upgrade the RAM in the Aluminum 'Unibody' Mac mini models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support?
  • How do you upgrade the hard drive in the Polycarbonate Intel Mac mini models? What type of hard drive do they support? Is it possible to replace the optical drive with a second hard drive?

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Before you begin

To minimize the possibility of damage to the computer components due to static discharge, it's important to wear an antistatic wrist strap while you work with your computer's memory.

Choose your model

Mac mini models have different memory (RAM) installation requirements. Choose your Mac mini model for more information. If you need help determining which Mac mini you have, find out how to identify Mac mini models.

2020
Mac mini (M1, 2020)

2018
Mac mini (2018)

2014
Mac mini (Late 2014)

2012
Mac mini (Late 2012)

2011
Mac mini (Mid 2011)

2010
Mac mini (Mid 2010)

2009
Mac mini (Late 2009)
Mac mini (Early 2009)

2007
Mac mini (Mid 2007)

2006
Mac mini (Late 2006)
Mac mini (Early 2006)

2005
Mac mini (Original)

2020

Mac mini (M1, 2020) has memory that is integrated into the AppleM1chip and can't be upgraded. You can configure the memory in your Mac mini when you purchase it.

2018

Mac mini (2018) does not have user-installable RAM. You can configure the memory in your Mac mini (2018) when you purchase it. To upgrade the memory in your Mac mini (2018), go to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

RAM availability varies by country and region.

2014

Mac mini (Late 2014) has memory that is integrated into the main logic board and can't be upgraded.

2012, 2011, 2010

To remove and install memory in your Mac mini (Late 2012), Mac mini (Mid 2011), or Mac mini (Mid 2010), use the following steps.

Remove the bottom cover

  1. Turn off your Mac mini. From the Apple menu (), choose Shut Down.
  2. Disconnect the power cord and all other cables from your Mac mini.
  3. Lay your Mac mini upside down on a soft cloth or towel, and then rotate the bottom cover counterclockwise to the unlocked position.
  4. Press on the cover to pop up the opposite side, and then remove the cover.

Remove the original memory modules

  1. Gently spread the clips at the ends of the top memory module just enough to let the free edge pop up.
  2. Pull the module out of the slot.
  3. Repeat to remove the second, bottom module.

Install the new memory

  1. Carefully press the notched edge of the new memory module into the bottom slot while keeping the opposite edge slightly raised.
  2. Press down on the raised edge until the clips snap into place.
  3. Repeat to install the top memory module.

Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Ram

Replace the bottom cover

Don't connect the power cord or turn on your Mac mini until you replace the bottom cover. Never operate your Mac mini without the cover in place.

  1. Replace the bottom cover using the alignment dots to place it in the unlocked position.
  2. Rotate the cover clockwise to lock it in place.
  3. Reconnect the power cord and any other cables you disconnected.

After you install the memory, confirm that your Mac mini sees the new memory.

2009 and earlier

To remove or install memory in the following Mac mini models, go to an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Confirm that your Mac sees the new memory

Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade Memory

To check that the computer recognizes the new memory:

Mac Mini Late 2014 Upgrade

  1. Start up your computer.
  2. When you see your desktop, choose Apple menu , then choose About This Mac.
  3. Confirm that the memory listed matches the memory you installed.

Mac Mini 2014 Upgrade To Big Sur

If the reported memory size isn't correct or if your Mac mini repeatedly plays three tones, it may be having trouble recognizing a memory module. If this happens, shut down your Mac mini, verify the module specifications against the requirements for your Mac mini model, and then repeat the memory installation instructions to make sure that the modules are installed correctly. If you still have issues, remove the memory and consult the support information that came with the memory, or contact the vendor who provided the memory.