MacBook Air Q&A
Got a 2010 late MacBook air 11 from my sister. It has been sitting for years with a bad and swelled battery. Today I got around to fixing it. Booted up after new battery just fine. Decided I wanted a factory reset. Tried command + R at boot screen, got a blocked symbol (circle with. The MacBook is a line of Macintosh notebook computers designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Inc. From May 2006 to February 2012. A new line of computers by the same name was released in 2015, serving the same purpose as an entry-level laptop. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction MacBook Air systems with Apple M1 chip and 8-core GPU, as well as production 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based MacBook Air systems with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, all configured with 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD. Tested with prerelease Shapr3D 3.45.0 using a 288.2MB model.
Update Published August 13, 2019
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Since the 'Late 2010' MacBook Air was released initially, several companies unveiled compatible storage. One of the first, as noted by Engadget Japan, was Toshiba, with compatible 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB 'Blade X-Gale' flash storage modules. However, older models of the MacBook Pro work in fundamentally the same way, and can support the same software updates. As such, this guide explains how to update all MacBook Pros in general, covering recent and less recent operating systems, and what you should do to prepare your MacBook for any new software.
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How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?
This Q&A covers the 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air models (A1370, A1369). EveryMac.com provides storage upgrade instructions for other MacBook Air models -- the original, 'Late 2008,' and 'Mid-2009,'Mid-2012,' and 'Mid-2013,' 'Early 2014' and 'Early 2015/Mid-2017' lines, too.
The 11-Inch 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air models originally were configured with either 64 GB or 128 GB of flash storage.
Likewise, the 13-Inch 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air models originally were configured with either 128 GB or 256 GB of flash storage, again, decided at the time of purchase. Mac os x yosemite update.
Officially, it is not possible for an end user to upgrade the storage in these models after purchase. Unofficially, however, it is quite possible for the technically inclined.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Left - 11' MacBook Air, Right - 13' MacBook Air)
If you're not sure if you have a 'Late 2010' or 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air, EveryMac.com has hand documented that the 11-Inch and 13-Inch 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air models share the A1370 and A1369Model Numbers, respectively (which is visible on the bottom in tiny text toward the hinge), and can be collectively identified externally this way. As they also share SSD storage, this is sufficient identification for this upgrade.
These models likewise can be pinpointed by Model Identifier in software. The 'Late 2010' models use MacBookAir3,1 and MacBookAir3,2 for the 11-Inch and 13-Inch models, respectively, and the 'Mid-2011' models use MacBookAir4,1 and MacBookAir4,2.
Finally, EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app -- additionally can uniquely identify these MacBook Air models by their serial numbers.
Upgrade Obstacles & SSD Details
Apple definitely does not intend for end users to upgrade the internal storage on these models themselves. In fact, the company has used obscure 'Pentalobe' or 'Five Point Torx' screws to make access more difficult.
Although access may be more challenging than it needs to be, as firstspotted by AnandTech's Anand Lai Shimpi, the flash storage used in these MacBook Air models has an industry-standard mini SATA connector. When this Q&A was first published on November 9, 2010, EveryMac.com speculated that upgrades theoretically should be possible assuming that they had not been blocked in software. Thankfully, this speculation turned out to be correct and Apple has not blocked upgrades.
Since the 'Late 2010' MacBook Air was released initially, several companies unveiled compatible storage. One of the first, as noted by Engadget Japan, was Toshiba, with compatible 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB 'Blade X-Gale' flash storage modules. As first documented by MacRumors, the Toshiba Blade X-Gale line even had the same part numbers as the flash storage used in the 'Late 2010' MacBook Air models. However, the 256 GB module, which is 3.7 mm thick (compared to 2.2 mm thick for the 64 GB and 128 GB modules), may not fit in the 11-Inch model.
More recently, site sponsor OWC released the Mercury Aura Pro Express line of SSD upgrades for the 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' MacBook Air lines. These upgrades are available in 120 GB, 240 GB, and 360 GB capacities and fit in all of these 11-Inch and 13-Inch models.
SSD Upgrade Instructions
Unlike earlier MacBook Air models that require one to remove the bottom plate of the notebook and the battery before accessing the storage, the 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' models have the SSD module readily accessible after removing the bottom plate. Consequently, installation is simple and OWC provides the needed screwdrivers along with the SSD module.
OWC provides these helpful step-by-step upgrade videos, too:
'Late 2010' 11-Inch MacBook Air
'Late 2010' 13-Inch MacBook Air
'Mid-2011' 11-Inch MacBook Air
'Mid-2011' 13-Inch MacBook Air
This video covers how to install the original SSD from your MacBook Air in OWC's convenient 'Envoy' housing to repurpose it as an external drive:
By watching the video for your particular MacBook Air above, you should be able to determine if you feel comfortable performing this upgrade yourself or if you would instead prefer to hire a professional.
For the performance difference between different SSD modules -- which can be substantial -- BareFeats also has benchmarks that you may wish to review, as well.
Macbook Air 2010 Change Battery
SSD Purchase Options
Macbook Air 2010 Update Problems
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor OWC offers the Mercury Aura Pro Express + Envoy upgrade kit (which provides both a new SSD and an external enclosure to repurpose your older SSD as an external drive) for the 'Late 2010' and 'Mid-2011' models alike.
In the UK and Ireland, site sponsor Flexx sells MacBook Air 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 Canada, site sponsor CanadaRAM sells MacBook Air SSDs with guaranteed compatibility, fast shipping, and no customs duties to worry about.
In Australia, site sponsors Macfixit and Upgradeable sell MacBook Air compatible SSDs with fast shipping, a money-back guarantee and more.
In New Zealand, site sponsor Upgradeable New Zealand sells MacBook Air SSDs with fast delivery to all corners of the country, precise compatibility, a lifetime warranty, and a money-back guarantee.
- How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the original, 'Late 2008' and 'Mid-2009' MacBook Air models? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?
- How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the 'Mid-2012' MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?
- How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the 'Mid-2013' MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?
- Which SD Card Slot storage solution is best for the MacBook Air? Which models are compatible? Is this kind of storage safe?
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