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macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
Is AppleCare for a Mac Mini worth it?

The units have a very good reliability rating from what I have read and since there is no monitor, keyboard or mouse to cover it seems expensive at a list price of $149, probably discounted down to around $100 from what I have seen. Either way that is a pretty high % of the unit's purchase price.

Any advice?


macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2008
In 15 years of computer buying, I've never purchased AppleCare and never once regretted it.


macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
How good are you diagnosing problems and replacing parts?

I've bought various versions of the mini since they first came out. I've never had a problem with any of them other than a very obvious DOA that was quickly sorted by Apple. I've never seen the point of AppleCare for the mini, though I buy it religiously for portables and occasionally for iMacs.

The minis can be a bit of a pig to open the first time you try it, but you quickly get the hang of it and I've done plenty of memory and disk upgrades without major drama. In the worst case there seems to be a steady supply of parts available on eBay and similar.

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
Extended warranties are always a bet, so you'll know the correct answer only in hindsight.

My personal opinion: not worth it for a Mac mini.

Jason Beck

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2009
Cedar City, Utah
I just got mine yesterday. He's right, upgrading it at first is kinda awkward to say the least. But now I can say I can do the process in under ten minutes. The 7600rpm hard drive I put in it, just plain screams. Going to do the ram next week or so.
They're awesome little buggers, the Mini.


macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2012
i buy apple care for all of my macs if you have to call phone support its 30 dollars a just by the apple care in case i have to call and talk to them.


macrumors member
Jul 17, 2005
I think AppleCare is always worthwhile on laptops and agree that it's a gamble on desktop machines. If you're the type who might need telephone support during the 3-year period (normal phone support stops at 3 months), then it might also be worth the money.

Personally, I did buy it for my 2012 mini though I've only called Apple for support once in the past 10 years. I've had many laptop repairs covered by AppleCare and am probably still on the plus side for money saved compared to money spent.

BTW, AppleCare is the ONLY extended warranty I ever purchase. I never buy it for other electronics, cars, appliances, etc. I suppose that makes me an irrational consumer. Herb Simon was correct (few will understand that reference).


macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
I bought it for mine and when the motherboard fried, because I kept it on its belly and used it too much, it was replaced. Otherwise, it would have been a $600 brick. It is always a gamble when you buy extended warranty protection, but it depends on how much you will use it and how long you expect to keep it. For me, it was worth it.


macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2007
It'll be worth it if you use it, and won't be if you don't, but at least you'll have peace of mind.

If I got a Mac Mini, I'm not sure if I would get it. But every Mac I owned (iMac 2005, MBP 2007, Mac Pro 2008) all needed service at some point, but the Mac Pro was within its first year, so extended warranty didn't apply. My girlfriend at the time bought a Macbook (2006 or so) and I got Apple Care for her, but she never needed to use it.

If you buy a brand new Mini, you can always buy Apple Care later, but before the 1-year warranty expires.


macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
I've had 3 mac minis since 2006

I've lost a logic board, had a hard disk crash, but the worse thing was the optical drives kept failing. now that they don't come with optical drives, the mac mini is more reliable.

mac minis aren't laptops or phones, so they won't get abused that much, i figure thats one thing that makes applecare not worth it. but at only $99 for 3 years. its a deal, compared to what apple charges for other computers.

i figure if anything will fail now, it might be the ram, and now that its soldered, if your ram goes bad your screwed but its a gamble whether or not the ram will ever go bad, or if it will go bad in 3 years. the same goes for the logic board. its the luck of the draw and if your mac mini logic board dies, the repair cost is a lot.

apple care covers airport and time capsules, as well as keyboard mice and monitors purchased with your computer. this may make you decide to get it.

most of the time phone support is better then the free support you get at the genius bar. applecare on the phone will put you on hold while they look it up. geniuses feel like they know everything or follow a script , and will give you the wrong answer.

applecare will offer to remote in and see whats going on. genius will just tell you to turn your computer off once in a while and reset your pram and smc while they are talking to you.

mac minis apple care is only $99, and you get onsite service if you pester apple enough. when my optical drive went bad i complained how my nearest apple store was 50 miles away and they sent someone over to replace the drive.

the worst thing about mac mini applecare is that apple doesn't believe you qualify for mail in service , because thats limited to iPhones, iPads, and portable computers.

the only applecare I've bought recently was for the watch. i prefer square trade. , its a drag that i don't get phone support wth applecare, if i go the square trade route.

with square trade there is no deductible if your ipad fails. but there is one with applecare.. with applecare there is no limit to covered repairs, but with square trade they won't pay out in repairs more then the cost of the ipad over the coverage term. that means is if your ipad costs $849 , they won't spend more then $849 in repairs over the 3 year period.

i was reading the mac rumors forums and there was this guy with a mac book pro ?? and his SSD module died, and he tried everything, and he had 6 months of warranty left and he didn't have any stores near by and his nearest Apple repair partner said it would take 20 days, so i told him to get applecare so you can get onsite service or mail in.

in order to get your moneys worth with applecare on a mac mini , all you really need to do is call applecare for tech support 3 times, usually its pretty easy to get them not to charge you for the call, but technically each call to applecare is $35

if i call applecare and ask them why my iPhone is not clearing its crash logs when it syncs with iTunes, they will suggest to set it up as new or they might offer to remote in , and see if they can figure out whats going on..

the geniuses at the store will talk to each other, and tell you that the crash logs on the iPhone are supposed to stay there.

geniuses have appointments. they won't spend more then 15 minutes or 30 minutes to help you, they are encouraged to help as many people as quickly as possible. and deliver fast answers. with applecare tech support , i don't think theres a limit. they will stay on the phone and talk to you about the weather. while you do some task that takes a while to do. like performing a dfu.

i think and its my opinion that geniuses are flunkees who are not qualified to work their telephone support lines.

iTunes is one of those applecare loopholes that allow you to call applecare and not be asked to pay for the call.

a lot of people will take their iPhones to the genius bar to test their batteries. but with applecare, you can send remote iOS diagnosis from your home or work and you don't even have to go to the store.

if you go into the apple store to reinstall os x, they will set you up and walk away and check back with you. if you call applecare and they tell you to to reinstall os x, as long as your internet is fast, they won't put you on hold . they won't take other calls and come back on the phone, they will just sit there on the phone and talk to you about the weather or their worst applecare calls!!
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