SSD upgrade for old MacBook Pro (2013)

I want to swap out the SSD for a larger one in my old MacBook Pro. The physical install appears easy, but is there a way to simply migrate the OS and/or all the personal files without a clean install of the OS on the new drive. Appreciate any help or advice. Thx.

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Found this guide here:

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Just did this on my late 2013 15” MBP. Bought an OWC drive and followed their directions. Everything went smooth.


I’ve installed many SSDs - Samsung and Crucial - into MacBook Pros and Mac minis. Works fantastic. Well worth it. The OWC directions are fine, though there may be some oddities in the newest versions of macOS. You can also use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner – both are great cloning utilities for macOS.

Problem is you will need a way to connect a second drive to your Mac, like a USB to SATA adapter or enclosure. I don’t see that mentioned anywhere here or in OWC link.

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That is a really handy cable to have, I have one in my computer tool box. When I put an SSD in my mac mini, I used Super Duper to clone the old spinner. It worked fine. My mac mini boots in 20 seconds instead of 2 minutes.

Thanks. Gonna give this all a try. Waiting for the SSD to arrive on my doorstep later today.

I think you need to make sure which 2013 model you have. I believe it is mid 2013 on where they solder everything in and you cannot upgrade.

OWC has a selector so would be able to see what can be done for that model

I was able to upgrade my late 2013.

I might be wrong on the year. Glad to hear it though cause I have a late 2013 and it’s a bit low on space. Come to think of it maybe I was thinking RAM.

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Yeah, I can’t upgrade my RAM.

So, how did you go?

For others thinking of doing this, OWC usually offers an option with or without a transfer enclosure along with the SSD board. Not cheap, about $80 additional cost, but you end up with a spare external SSD drive.

As others stated, using an existing external drive and SuperDuper ( free version or paid) worked fine for me.

Bought the above cable. Pretty useful item to keep around! Better than a similar one I had before.

Things still a work in progress. Work kind of slowed me down this week. Have the drive and cable, planning to give this a try tomorrow. I will use super duper to clone the present drive tomorrow. Do I need to initialize or format the new drive in any way before I make the clone? The old drive is 250gb, the new one is 1tb. After I make the clone, is it as simple as a swap out of drives as shown in the video? Will my MacBook immediately recognize all of the contents of the clone, while also appearing as 1tb in size? Thanks in advance for all the help.

It looks to me like you plan on connecting the new drive via the recommended cable, and clone your existing drive to it. A little different then how I have done it, so consider that with my comments.

I cloned my existing SSD to an external drive using SuperDuper, then installed the new SSD, erased and formatted (APFS for Catalina) it using the Disk Utiliity that comes with the Recovery function (power up with Command-R).

Learn from my dumb mistake. After cloning your current system using SuperDuper, and before you touch your Mac with any sort of screwdriver, boot your Mac from the cloned drive externally. It can be really annoying if you put the new SSD in, then try to boot from the cloned drive, only to find your system does not recognise it. I think I spent more time trying to fix this situation then it took to finally do the clean install that followed.

Thanks. I will try booting it externally first. I think I have a couple spare enclosures laying around somewhere in my workspace.

Update. This is still a work in progress. Lessons learned so far. Most projects fail at first :slight_smile: The cable I purchased works for SATA drives; I neglected to realize this was as NVME SSD. Instead, I purchased an NVME enclosure from amazon to use for the cloning process. The NVME drive is 2280, as the enclosure is specified to fit that model of drive. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the pin configuration on the drive did not match with the enclosure. Still trying to get this all sorted out.

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M.2 can be differently keyed - some have single or double notches for 2x and 4x PCIe. They can also support SATA.

Take a look at this page:

The storage connector is proprietary so an M.2 drive will not fit.

And this page:

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