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How Long Does a MacBook Last? The Complete Guide


Did you know that there's such a thing as "the A.P.P.L.E. way" of delivering customer service? Each of those letters represents a step of service that Apple employees must take. All Apple employees get trained to master the art of science of handling customers.

There's no doubt that the A.P.P.L.E way works, but more than that, Apple's products are durable. They're also "exclusive," which is why the "cheapest" MacBook Air already costs $999.

So, if it's "durable," how long does a MacBook last then? Is there anything you can do to get the most out of your investment on such a pricey device?

We'll answer all these questions in this guide to MacBook maintenance and lifespan, so be sure to read on!

How Long Does a MacBook Last on Average?

Apple says that first owners of macOS devices keep their Macs for an average of four years. From there, most of these products get passed along or resold. Some first owners also "give" their devices back to Apple so that others can use them.

This implies that macOS devices, including MacBook units, can last for at least four years.

Another way to look at things is to consider how Macs become obsolete after seven years. In this case, "obsolete" items are those that Apple stopped selling. Because they're already obsolete, they also no longer receive hardware support.

This suggests that Macs can last for seven years or more. However, once they stop working, it's unlikely for them to be still repairable.

On that note, some Macs owners say that their Mac devices are still functional after 10 years.

Factors That Affect How Long Your MacBook Can Last 

Believe it or not, location and temperature can influence a MacBook's lifespan. Even the surface you place your Mac on can make or break it.

With that said, let's take a much closer look at these factors that can affect a MacBook's longevity. 

Ambient Temperature

The safe temperature range for lithium-ion batteries is between -4° to 140° Fahrenheit. However, Apple says that 50° and 95° F is the safe ambient temperature range for Mac notebooks. Any higher or lower than this can degrade their batteries and cut their life short.

Extreme ambient temperature fluctuations can also damage a MacBook's circuit board. This can happen if you use your Mac in a hot environment and then bring it somewhere cold, such as in an AC room. In this case, electrical current can heat and expand the board too quickly, causing it to distort.

Using Your Mac on Your Lap

While a MacBook is a "laptop," always using it on your lap can cause it to overheat. In this case, your lap "insulates" the notebook, blocking the airflow in and out of the device. This is why you should also avoid using your Mac on any soft or cushiony surface, such as the sofa or a bed.

If you rather work tummy-down on your bed, then at least prop your Mac up on a book or a laptop stand. Doing so ensures that air can still pass through your notebook's vents. It also prevents form-fitting surfaces from insulating your device.

Dirt and Debris Build-Up

Did you know that indoor air can contain two to five times more pollutants than outdoor air? From dust to molds and pet dander, all these can be quick to build-up on and in your Mac. This is especially true for your MacBook's vents; they're usually the first to get clogged.

Just like using your Mac on your lap, dirty vents can cause your device to overheat. Yes, your Apple notebook has a fan, but it can get filthy over time, too. Unless you clean your laptop, it won't be long before those loud fans become the norm.

To prolong your Mac's lifespan, make it a habit to brush and wipe clean its case and vents.

Delayed Software Updates

Outdated software is far more susceptible to malware attacks, which rise each year. In 2019, one cybersecurity firm detected over 24.61 million unique malicious objects. The company further noted how that signifies a 14% increase from the year before.

One way that malware can cut your MacBook's lifespan short is through a ransomware attack. Some types of ransomware only lock up files, while others can take away your access to the entire device. Either way, you'd have to pay the fee to regain access; otherwise, it's bye-bye Mac.

Malware infections can also lead to early laptop failure by making your Mac overheat. After all, many of these are resource-hogging, self-executing programs. Since they use up a lot of RAM (and storage), they can put unnecessary strain on your Apple notebook.

One of the best ways to avoid all these hazards is to set up automatic OS updates. Make sure your built-in firewall protection is always active, too. You should also consider beefing up your Mac's security with a third-party anti-malware.

Overstuffing Your MacBook

According to, creating a backup is the least you should do to maintain your MacBook. One good enough reason is to avoid data loss in case your Apple notebook crashes.

However, another key reason to have multiple backups outside of your Mac is to free up space in it. You need enough available storage so that your device can download crucial updates. If it's low on storage, it won't be able to download and install those updates.

If that happens, your Mac would be at risk of malware infections.

So, instead of keeping all files in your MacBook, consider transferring some of them to iCloud. You can then create backups by syncing your Mac or iCloud with an external hard drive.

Make Your Apple Notebook Last With These Mac Tips and Tricks

There you have it, the ultimate guide that answers your question, "how long does a MacBook last?" At the very least, you can expect it to last at least four years. However, you can extend this to seven years or even more, provided you take good care of it.

Ready for more guides like this to boost your tech-savviness? Feel free to check out our other educational and informative blog posts then!


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