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Original poster
Aug 27, 2017
A friend has a mid 2012 11" Air with the 1.7 GHz i5 processor and 4GB RAM running on High Sierra. It's currently performing terribly; hot, fan always on, and OS is very laggy. The battery will not hold charge for more than 10 minutes either.

I have a 2016 MBP 13" nTB which runs very well. I can have 20-30 tabs open in safari and fans never come on. In fact they rarely do.

My question is, is it worth replacing the battery on my friend's Air and reinstalling either OS High Sierra or Mojave? In other words, does anyone have a 2012 11" Air that's currently working smoothly? Can I expect it to in 2018? Using safari, watching a youtube video, and have the laptop run quiet?



macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
Before u buy a new battery do a fresh install and blow out the cooling channels.

If it performs better than consider the battery.

It should be fine for your tasks. But the 4GB are the limiting factor


macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2008
Tampa, Florida
Remove the bottom case and use some compressed air to blow anywhere that you see dust. If you feel up to it, it would also help to apply new thermal paste. My 2011 Air runs everything you mentioned quietly.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
Ocean State
I currently have an 11inch MBA with similar specs and on the most part runs fairly well. As maerz001 pointed out the 4GB is the limiting factor. If you don't mind waiting a little then the laptop should be okay. Like the posts above me, check to make sure the logic board and fan area are clean (using a can of compressed air). Very easy to clean out if you can take the bottom panel off then the computer should run okay...


macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
I have the gen 1 MBA (2008 - just looked it up). A few years back it basically became unusable - just like the OP's machine. I was going to throw it but decided to try Linux. Loaded Mint and it was transformed, became my main machine for a while. Today the screen has almost completely delaminated, the battery lasts about an hour (maybe) and it's relegated to occasional torrent duties, but it's still useful.

Just a thought, if nothing else works.


macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2011
Well I'm writing this on a 2013 11" MBA that I've just replaced the battery on, and it's like a new machine! However, I did max this one out when I bought it, so it has the i7 and 8GB. I still run it on 10.9, as I have Windows emulation software and a few other programs that would need to be upgraded to 10.10 and beyond.

Like others have said, when I pulled the back off to replace the battery there was a lot of dust inside which I cleaned out, so that would help.

In all, I'm five OSX releases behind, my keyboard looks a little worse for wear, there's the odd dent in the case and a couple of pixels are burned in, but this machine has been everywhere around the world and still gets lugged around each day and is a great travel companion.

I once considered upgrading to a new 12" Macbook, but it seemed so flimsy, I couldn't contemplate it after that.


macrumors 68000
Jul 25, 2017
If it were me, I would clean out fans, reinstall High Sierra and see how it works. Then replace battery. You can get used OEM battery for less than $40.
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