How to Install Memory Modules in Your iMac

By Mark L. Chambers

Adding extra memory to a 27″ iMac is one of the easiest internal upgrades that you can perform. Therefore, you should try adding memory yourself unless you simply don’t want to mess with your iMac’s internal organs. Of course, your local Macintosh service specialist will be happy to install new RAM modules for you (for a price).

Apple has designed the world’s best all-in-one computer. That even includes making it EZ-Open.

Unlike earlier “picture frame” iMac models, however, you can’t remove the back completely. In fact, Apple allows the owner of a 27″ iMac to perform only one kind of upgrade, and there’s only one opening you need to worry about. Naturally, an Apple repair technician can get deeper into the machine, but I hope that you never need aid from those folks.

You’ll void your warranty by tinkering with anything other than your memory slots, so don’t even think about it.

To add memory modules to a late-model 27″ iMac, follow these steps:

  1. Spread a clean towel on a stable work surface, like your kitchen table. The towel helps protect your screen from scratches.
  2. Shut down your iMac.
  3. Unplug all cables from the computer.
  4. Tilt the computer over, and lay the screen flat (face-down) on top of the towel.
  5. Press the button directly above the power-cord socket. The memory access door pops open.
  6. Remove the memory access door.
  7. Stow the memory access door safely out of reach of kids and cats. Tah-dah! That wasn’t much of a challenge, was it? Take a moment to gaze with rapt fascination at a small portion of the bare innards of your favorite computer.
  8. Ground thyself!
  9. Gently pull outward on the two plastic securing levers and then pull them toward the bottom of the access door.
    memory module
    Remove a memory module like a pro.
  10. Remove a module by gripping it by the corners and gently pulling it straight upward. Save the old module in the static-free packaging that held the new module. Your old RAM (which you can now sell on eBay) will be protected from static electricity.
  11. Position the new module in the socket. Line up the module’s copper connectors toward the socket. Line up the notch in the module aligned with the matching spacer in the socket. This shows the correct orientation for a late-2013 27″ iMac.
    new module
    Installing the new module is a snap (pun intended)!
  12. Press gently (but firmly) on both ends of the module until the module clicks into place.
  13. Repeat Steps 10-12 for each module you’re replacing.
  14. Push the two securing levers back into their original positions. You should hear a click when they’re seated.
  15. Replace the memory access door.
  16. Return your iMac to its natural upright stance, and plug any cables you removed back into the back of the computer.

Congratulations! You’ve done it — and you’re now an iMac memory guru! To verify that all is well with your iMac, boot the computer, click the Apple menu, and choose About This Mac. Your iMac should report the additional memory. If your iMac doesn’t boot, check to make sure that the modules you installed are properly seated in the sockets.