The short answer as to when you should get a new MacBook: when it will save you a significant amount of time. That being said, it might be a good idea to get a few people on your team new MacBooks right now.

To zoom out for a moment – the ideal reason to hire someone is that it will help make the firm generate more revenue. At times, this looks like hiring law clerks that can take some simple-yet-essential tasks off the attorneys’ workload so the attorneys can go out and generate more billable hours. At other times, this looks like hiring paralegals (or more attorneys) to expand the client load your law firm can successfully manage.

If your firm’s work product delivery slows down, it looks like it’s time to hire. But if the firm’s employees are working on older MacBooks that have slow load times, it can impact how much work they can get done in a day. If getting them a new MacBook speeds up processes for them so they can get more done, it will boost the firm’s revenue as if you hired more staff.

All of this being said – there are a few qualifying situations where it is a good idea to upgrade to a new MacBook.

When The Latest Version of macOS Is Not Available to Download

Every fall, Apple releases a new operating system (OS) While we always recommend waiting for the first update (ie 15.1 rather than 15.0) before installing the new OS, once devices reach a certain age they are unable to run the latest OS.

At first that doesn’t seem like too big of a problem. But, over time, that means you won’t be receiving security patches and some software will stop working (or will start working very slowly).

Thus, it’s a good rule of thumb to start looking for a new MacBook if your current one makes it this far.

When You Run Out of Free Space on Your MacBook

When you move into a bigger house, you just start to accrue stuff until you purge. The same is true of your disk space on a MacBook. Over time, ‘junk’ files just accumulate and take over all of your free disk space – slowing down your CPU and gumming up the works.

There are tools you can use to clear up disk space which helps you find temporary files that never deleted or old large files that are unopened, but at some point there is no more purging of files you can do and it’s time to get a new device with more free disk space.

When Your MacBook Can’t Run the Software You Need

As new MacBooks are developed, so too is new software. And that new software sucks up more RAM than older versions, meaning it’s harder to run multiple apps at once (say, Chrome with a bunch of browsers open, plus Powerpoint, Excel, and Word).

When you need more processing power, there is no other option than to upgrade to a new device.

When Your MacBook’s Battery Doesn’t Last Anymore

The truth of the matter – rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charges in them. Once you cycle through the battery enough times, it simply won’t hold a charge (which is why we always encourage our clients to run their MacBooks off of A/C as much as possible).

How Long Do Macs Last?

There is no definite answer to the question of how long do Macs last. They should last long enough to encounter the problems mentioned above…but the best answer is that Macs last as long as they are helping your firm on a daily basis. Once they reach the point that they are slowing down your work, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

If you have any questions or need help deciding on whether not you should upgrade, we are here to help!

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.