How Long Do MacBooks Last?
Are you a MacBook owner wondering how much time it has left before you need to buy a new one? Or maybe you’re debating whether or not you should get your first MacBook, but you’re worried how long it’s going to last? These are reasonable concerns, especially when considering that MacBooks are usually more on the expensive side.
How long a MacBook lasts depends on various factors and, if you’re familiar with what can influence your MacBook’s lifespan, you can predict how long you’ll be able to use it. Therefore, we will discuss how long MacBooks last and the different factors their lifespan depends on in this article.
Why Does MacBook Age Matter?
One factor with older MacBooks is that you may not be able to run the software you desire. The operating system on older MacBooks may no longer be supported by Apple, which could leave you vulnerable to viruses and security flaws.
Another problem to look out for is to notice how old MacBooks are when they start having problems, like random shutdowns and batteries that stop functioning. Eventually, repairing your MacBook will no longer be an option, and you’ll need to get a new one.
Access to the Most Recent OS Version
In the last three releases of the macOS, Apple has patched bugs and provided security upgrades, guaranteeing that the most recent version of your MacBook apps run without a problem. Big Sur (macOS 11), Catalina (10.15), and Mojave (10.16) are the current supported versions of macOS on 10.14 factory products.
These operating systems should be safe to use if you have your MacBook running one of these versions of macOS. But if your MacBook doesn’t run one of these three versions of macOS (or the future macOS, Monterey), you may miss out on essential updates to Apple’s software.
For the most part, Apple discontinues previous versions of MacBooks when it publishes a new version of macOS. For instance, a 2013 MacBook or iMac is required to operate Big Sur. Occasionally, Apple extends the lifespan of its MacBooks beyond this (e.g., macOS Mojave was released in 2018, but was supported on 2009 iMacs).
Based on the last two releases, you can anticipate having access to the newest macOS releases for about seven years. The maximum is 8 – 10 years, after which Apple will no longer maintain the software, and it’s undoubtedly better to replace your MacBook.
On the other hand, if you take a look at Apple’s list of obsolete products (the products for which spare parts are no longer available for purchase from the company), you’ll notice that Apple doesn’t provide parts for Macs they no longer sell after seven years. Even Mac parts that haven’t been made in more than five years may not be available from the company.
Of course, you don’t have to use the most recent macOS version to utilize your MacBook. Earlier versions still receive security upgrades. For now, Apple isn’t saying how long you can keep getting them because there is no rule for when they decide to abandon a specific version of macOS.
Based on previous updates, it looks like each version of macOS usually gets security patches for at least three years after replacing the older version. At the time of writing, the last security patch for macOS was on December 13, 2021. It was for Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur. It also works with older MacBooks.
Third-party developers are free to create apps for older MacBooks, although they typically choose a cutoff point in newer versions of their applications.
There is a chance that Apple’s switch to its M1 CPUs will complicate matters. Even though M1 Macs feature Rosetta, which allows them to run programs intended for Intel Macs, the reverse is not true. So, if a developer releases an M1-only version of their app, previous Macs will be excluded.
Availability of Spare Parts and Services
It is possible to continue receiving service and components for five years after your MacBook’s warranty has expired. After this period, you may still be able to acquire software fixes from Apple. In keeping with Apple’s official stance, everything discontinued more than seven years ago is regarded as obsolete.
Usage and Maintenance
Another significant factor is how your MacBook is used. MacBooks can last longer if they’re simply used for occasional web browsing rather than high-intensity jobs like video editing, which require a lot of processing power.
If you have protected your MacBook from hardware damage, like falling or water damage, this will benefit your MacBook’s lifespan. The same goes if you have made repairs when needed or upgraded your MacBook, such as replacing the hard drive. However, you’ll reach a point when it is better to replace a MacBook than repair or upgrade it.
Attempting to get your MacBook fixed if it’s in the previously mentioned obsolete category would be nearly impossible because Apple won’t supply the parts.
It’s possible to acquire an old MacBook on eBay or similar and dismantle it for parts, but we’d advise against it because the work isn’t worth it.
Apple may be able to provide components for your MacBook if it is on the vintage list, but this is not guaranteed. An Apple service provider may be able to fix your Mac for you if they have the part, but the repair cost is likely to be excessive.
You Decide How Long Is Enough
It’s possible to get ten years out of your MacBook if you want it to be functional and secure. That’s seven years and three more years of security updates before Apple no longer supports it.
This does not necessarily mean that you should maintain your MacBook for that long. If you have the money and your MacBook shows signs of aging, you should upgrade whenever you believe it’s appropriate. In addition, because MacBooks tend to retain their value longer than PCs, you can usually recoup some of the cost of a new MacBook by selling your old one.