MacBook Air SSD Upgrade

I may have mentioned my wife’s 2011 MacBook Air SSD was end of life. We decided to keep the machine a little longer, so I ordered a replacement SSD from OWC (Other World Computing). This SSD is twice the capacity and a little faster as well. Here is how the install of the SSD went.

SSD Install

It took me longer to setup all the equipment than it did to replace the SSD Flash Card. Here is the setup:

That is an anti-static mat with a wrist strap that is grounded to a wall plug. Just want to eliminate EMP from destroying the MacBook Air. I used the iFixit take apart guide running on my iPad Pro for the repair.

The first thing is to make sure the Mac is turned off. Then on the Air, you remove the bottom plate screws with a Pentalobe screwdriver. Here is the Air with the bottom removed:

The next step is to unplug the battery. You just use the pull-tab to slide the battery cable toward the front of the machine:

You don’t want any power to the machine at all, you might fry the Logic Board.

Finally, we come to the SSD Flash Card:

There are two things to consider here. To the left side of the photo is the connector for the SSD Board. To the far right is the set screw that holds it in place. You remove the set screw with a T5 Torx screwdriver. Then you lift up the board slightly (do not lift too high) and pull it out of the socket connector. It pulls out kind of like RAM does. Here you can see the socket and screw hole on the Logic Board:

Here is the OWC SSD Flash Card that I installed in the SSD Logic Board Socket:

I have a confession to make here. I was so into the install, I forgot to take a photo of the new installed SSD! All you do is slide it into the socket, just like the old one came out. It snaps in. If it is in properly, the screw hole on the SSD Board will be a perfect fit over the screw connector on the Logic Board.

Now all you have to do is put the set screw back in, reconnect the battery cable and put on the bottom plate.

I will have a separate article on the macOS install process and migration of my wife’s stuff from a clone I made previously.

Conclusion

Upgrading the SSD Card on an older MacBook Air is not difficult. You do need the right tools, mainly a T5 Torx screwdriver and a P5 Pentalobe screwdriver. You can obtain those tools from the iFixit website.