Upgrading 2015 iMac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2018
Hi guys!

Just wondering, is it possible to upgrade this iMac (see pic)? I wouldn't be doing it myself, but would like to add more RAM and maybe an SSD.

What do you think? (Does it need upgrades at all??!!)

I'm using it for browsing the net, editing photos in photoshop/lightroom and watching movies.

Thanks :)



macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
Austin, TX
Yes, it is upgradable but the 21.5-inch iMac is much harder to upgrade than the 27" iMac because it doesn't have a RAM door. You will definitely need special tools and accessories, check iFixit for details.


macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2016
If it still has an HDD then that does need to be upgraded. A USB 3.0 external SSD is probably good enough and would save the effort of disassembly.

Regrettably the RAM is not upgradable (its physically soldered to the motherboard in 2013-2015 21.5"/4K iMacs)

Tor Eckman

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2010
Does it need upgrades? You tell us. What are you unhappy with. Don't just upgrade to be upgrading.


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009

Unless you are completely sure you can disassemble it and get it back together, don't bother with the RAM.

8gb "is enough" for most things.
Have you been getting any indications that the OS is "out of RAM"?
What were you running?

For the hard drive, YES, it can be upgraded, but differently than you think.
Get an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD and plug it in.
You can set it up to be the boot drive and it will run circles around the internal drive.

500gb is "enough", if you don't want to spend more.
Put the OS, apps and basic account on the SSD.
Leave "large libraries of stuff" -- pics, music, movies -- on the internal drive.
They don't "need speed". It won't make a bit of difference to them.

The iMac doesn't care whether the boot drive is internal or external -- all it looks for is a good copy of the OS, and then it "runs with it".

Again, leave the RAM alone and add an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD.
Fast, cheap, easy -- and you don't risk breaking anything inside.
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