MacBook Airs are slim and lightweight laptops marketed toward college students, travelers, and anyone who needs a portable powerhouse. But does their sleek design make for a long-lasting computer?
As someone who repairs Apple computers all the time, I get this question frequently. After all, who doesn’t want to ensure they’re buying a computer that will last? Or, if you already own a MacBook Air, maybe you want to know how to keep it going for as long as possible.
Generally speaking, the MacBook Air is a great computer that will last, on average, 5-7 years, depending on the level of usage. However, it is possible to get more or less than that lifespan if your usage falls without the ranges discussed and you monitor your system and keep it free from malware.
This article will discuss the average lifespan of the MacBook Air and how to keep it “healthy” in order to get the most out of your computer for as long as possible.
Let’s get to it.
Table of Contents
- For heavy MacBook Air users, the average lifespan is at least 5 years.
- For light MacBook Air users, the average lifespan is closer to at least 7 years.
- Ensure that if you are looking to purchase a new computer, the MacBook Air is the correct choice for your usage level. A MacBook Pro might be better if you need a more powerful system.
- Keep your MacBook Air healthy by taking care of your physical computer, keeping an eye on your battery, and software updates, and monitoring your system for malware.
Are MacBook Airs Built to Last?
When purchasing a new MacBook, you may consider the lifespan of your future laptop as a critical piece of information. It is also important to know and understand how to keep your current laptop running as long as possible.
Average Lifespan of MacBook Air
Apple designs its MacBooks to be something that you can use for an extended period of time. But they can be expensive. When spending this kind of money on a laptop, you want to make sure you are getting not just the best of the best for what you are planning to use the laptop for, but you also want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth in the lifespan of the laptop.
The average MacBook Air lasts for 5-7 years. However, with care, it can last much longer.
With heavy use, i.e., heavy graphics usage, heavy processing applications, and leaving the computer plugged into a charger for extended periods of time, you will likely be on the lower end of the timespan.
There are many other factors that could play into the lifespan of the MacBook Air, such as updating software, overheating frequently, or other hardware problems. We will discuss how to keep your MacBook Air “healthy” and running smoothly later in the article.
One of the main concerns with the latest MacBook Airs (Apple Silicon M1 and M2) are their fanless designs. This was done in order to keep the computer smaller and more lightweight. It is likely that with the correct amount of RAM, an average user will never see their MacBook Air overheat.
However, if you are frequently pushing the MacBook Air and it frequently feels hot, then you may see a shorter lifespan than expected.
With light usage, i.e., email browsing, occasional video streaming, web surfing, you will be on the higher end of that timespan.
How Long Will Apple Support MacBook Air Software
Around the 7-year mark is when Apple will likely stop supporting the MacBook, and you will no longer receive compatible software updates. In other words, you won’t be able to run the latest operating system.
That, however, does not mean that your MacBook will need to be replaced immediately. It is possible to keep your MacBook Air healthy and usable for longer than those 7 years (personally, my mom is still happily using my MacBook from 12 years ago).
If you’re buying a brand-new system, this time frame is often more than enough. However, if you have owned your MacBook Air for a few years already, you might not have as much time left with the latest operating system.
You can find out how old your MacBook is by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left and hitting About This Mac. Here you’ll find more information about the year your system was made, and what operating system is currently in use.
How to Keep MacBook Air “Healthy”
The first critical piece of advice to keep your MacBook Air is to ensure that you are choosing the correct laptop for you.
If you plan to consistently use applications that require high processing, and high amounts of multitasking, then a MacBook Air with a more capable CPU and higher RAM may be a better option for you.
Conversely, if you need a more powerful system altogether, and don’t mind spending extra, a MacBook Pro might be the wiser option for you. This is especially true if you need or want a better display, or require a longer battery life.
The MacBook Air is still a very powerful and efficient computer compared to its counterparts, but the lack of fan-based cooling, the processing rate, and lower RAM (depending on your choice when you choose the computer) could cause some problems for people who are more serious in their computing.
Next, though this sounds simple, make sure you take care of the physical computer. This means, if needed, use a protective case, keep liquids away from the computer to avoid spilling, and otherwise, be careful with your MacBook.
Be gentle when using your computer. It sounds like a silly reminder, but one wrong move with your MacBook Air could, unfortunately, be the end of its life.
Taking Care of Your MacBook Air Battery
Another thing to keep an eye on is Lithium Batteries. They are a bit of a complex article to work with. The MacBook Air SHOULD NOT remain plugged in at all times or consistently be run until the battery is dead.
This will cause the life of the battery to wear out very quickly. Along these same lines, if your battery health is going down, be sure to replace the battery. The battery life of the MacBook Air can be checked in the settings menu.
Keep an eye on your battery and watch out for Service Battery warnings. You’ll see these pop up under the tray icon. Click your battery icon along the top right of your screen, and take note if you see any warning messages. The below image shows a healthy battery with no warnings.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
There are plenty of ways to keep your future (or current) MacBook Air as healthy as possible and working for a very long time, but the last thing I will recommend in this article is to keep up with software updates.
There are reasons that Apple releases these software updates. This includes fixing bugs, security updates, etc., all of which are important for the life of your MacBook Air. If you keep up with these updates as long as possible, you will ensure that any potential software bugs and problems with the MacBook Air can be fixed with the software patches.
That being said, there will likely come the point when Apple will no longer release updates that are compatible with your MacBook Pro, probably around that 7-year mark, give or take. If this is the case, then be sure that you have the latest possible update for your MacBook and continue to be cautious and aware of potential malware attacks.
If you are physically taking care of your computer, at this point, the main thing that will drastically have an impact on your MacBook Air’s health is a malware attack. To avoid this, only visit trusted websites, only open trusted links in emails or texts, and simply be careful with your internet surfing.
A good app for keeping your MacBook Air running smoothly for the long run and keeping out harmful malware is CleanMyMac X. This app will give you dozens of options for maintaining your Mac, clearing up storage space, fixing bugs, and removing malware.
Perhaps the most helpful feature is the tray icon, which shows you a real-time view of what is going on in your system. Using this, you can run a malware scan at any time, and get notifications if anything is out of line on your MacBook Air.
Overall, the main contender on how long your MacBook Air will last is how you use it. If you are well within the processing power available for your specific device, you take care of your battery, and you update your software, then you will see a longer lifespan to your computer than someone who is more “rough” with their computer.
What are your favorite features of your MacBook Air? Do you have one that has lasted a long time? Let us know in the comments below!