Apple’s MacBook laptops are highly popular personal computers known for their elegant design, robust performance, and seamless integration into the Apple ecosystem. However, with multiple generations released over the years, it can be tricky to identify exactly which model you have. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to determine what year and model your MacBook laptop is.
Table of Contents
Check “About This Mac”
The easiest way to identify your MacBook model and year is by checking the “About This Mac” screen:
- Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select “About This Mac.”
- A new window will open, displaying your MacBook’s model name and year it was introduced.
For example, it may show “MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)”, indicating you have the 2020 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Find Model Identifier
You can dig deeper to find the specific model identifier:
- In the “About This Mac” window, click “System Report.”
- In the sidebar, select “Hardware.”
- Look for “Model Identifier” – this will be a code like MacBookPro16,2.
You can Google the model identifier code to discover exactly which generation and variant you have.
Check Serial Number
Another option is to look up your MacBook’s serial number:
- Flip over your MacBook to find the serial number printed on the bottom case.
- Go to Apple’s Check Coverage page.
- Enter your serial number and the page will reveal your model details.
Alternatively, the serial number may be displayed in the “About This Mac” screen.
Match Part Number
See if you can find a part number like A2179 printed on the underside of your MacBook. Go to Apple’s Mac identification page and match this to your model.
For example, A2179 indicates you have an Early 2020 MacBook Air.
Check Original Packaging
If you still have your MacBook’s original packaging, this should state the model name, year, and often an Apple part number you can match to a particular model.
Visually Identify Model
With experience, you may be able to visually identify which generation of MacBook you have. Compare yours against Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro product pages showing photos of each generation’s distinct design.
Use Third-Party Tools
Sites like EveryMac.com allow you to lookup MacBook specs by serial number, model identifier or part number. They can then reveal detailed technical specifications and model details.
So in summary, the key ways to identify your MacBook’s model and year are:
- Check About This Mac
- Lookup model identifier
- Search serial number
- Match part number
- Check original packaging
- Visually compare design generations
- Use third-party specification lookup tools
Following these steps will help you conclusively identify which generation Apple MacBook you own. This is useful to know when checking compatibility with new versions of macOS, determining resale value, or seeing if you qualify for a repair program.
Tips for Using an Older MacBook Model
If you’ve discovered your MacBook is an older generation, here are some tips for getting the most out of it:
- Max out the RAM – Installing maximum memory will provide a noticeable speed boost.
- Use an SSD – Replacing a hard disk with a solid state drive dramatically improves performance.
- Clean install latest compatible OS – Doing a fresh system install optimizes the software for your machine.
- Increase battery life – Get a new battery fitted if yours is getting worn out.
- Use cloud storage – Store files in the cloud rather than limited local storage.
- Try productivity apps – Use lightweight apps like Google Docs instead of Office 365.
- Adjust Security & Privacy settings – Newer OS versions may require adjusting settings for older apps.
While newer MacBooks are faster, by upgrading components and tweaking software you can still get plenty of use out of an older model.
I hope this guide has helped you identify exactly which Apple MacBook model you have. Let me know if you have any other questions!