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Install SSD on the new 2011 iMac's

I'm contemplating buying the new 2011 iMac,

is it possible to install a SSD in it if you choose not to get the SSD at the purchase? I cant find any data specifically for the new 2011 model.

The price to get it with the SSD is quite steep, and Id rather have a smaller faster SSD for the OS, and a big HDD for my user folder.

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Please read this answer before deciding: Installing SSD as a main Drive on iMac guide?


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Thanks for your concern, but I was put in front of the computer at the age of 2, and now I'm a computer technician, and a student of computer science. But thanks for the guide, although it wont help exactly on the for the new iMac since there are differences.

Even though with an education and a half, I will admit I'd need a guide to do it without ruining anything (plastic, metal, warranty stickers, or electronics) the first time I do it. Hoping iFixit will do a teardown on the new 2011 iMac :)

Feel free to do a guide and submit it to iFixit. The decision I mentioned had to do with finances, not your abilities. The guy that did the guide for installation has a PHd in theoretical astro­physics. I only have a Masters, but I also have 31 years of Apple experience. So take it or leave it.


Apple Further Restricts Upgrade Options on New iMacs

Read this article]


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I recently was able to install an SSD in my 2011 27" iMac with the 3.1 GHZ i5. I did not do the BTO SSD and when I got in the machine, there were no mounting points for the SSD under the optical drive. However, SSDs are not heavy and are very thermally efficient so I was not concerned about using some good velcro to mount the drive under the optical drive. I got the power/data cable from my local college mac store. They are an Apple authorized repair center and are able to order parts. They were also able to order the mounting hardware but, again, there were no mounting point for the screws inside. I paid $25 for the parts, $200 for the 128 GB Crucial M4, and $10 for suction cups. Many tutorials show that the entire logic board must come out, but I was able to loosen all the screws and lift it away from the chassis to insert the SSD cable without actually removing the board. Be sure to line up the USB/thunderbolt ports on the back when reassembling so everything fits. It has been installed for three weeks now and is working great. I used the Lion migration assistant to move all applications from the existing HD to the new SSD. In the user preferences, you can control + click the user name and reassign the user folder to the HD so large folders like movies, pictures, and music will remain on the HD and the operating system and applications will be on the SSD. Be careful not to rename the HD after doing this or you will not be able to log in with that user.


I apologize for the typos in my previous answer. I have the operating system on the SSD and the user folder on the HD. The movies, pictures, and music are all on the HD. By using the SSD for the OS and moving the user folder to the HD, all operating files and the application folder will remain on The SSD.


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Hello Jay:

I wanted to ask how come the you can reassign the user folder to the SSD and not have the Music, Movies, Pictures move with it to the SSD. As I look in my user folder I see all three of these folders in it.

Thank you,



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Your question makes me wonder whether aliases would work, ie so you'd be able to keep a bunch of your user directory on the SSD and your Pictures, Movies, etc could be somewhere else, on an attached HHD. Your /Library etc could then be on the SSD.

It seems I'd done that, but my setup has been similar to Jay's since my wife took control of the MBB (MacBook black) and I'd moved to a mini. I wanted to be able to use both, but generally stayed on the Mini.

My user info went to a FW drive, and it was incidental to hook it up to whatever machine and use my current data. Both computers used the ctrl-click method to assign my user directory on another drive.

A caveat is that putting the machine to sleep whilst logged in would often corrupt the drive; Disk Utilities always repaired it, but I wasn't waiting for something permanent to happen. Generally logging out was sufficient to go to the other computer.

My current system uses that same FW drive; its a similar 27" 2011 iMac to the author's. I'd been looking for this option since having bought it; the SSD offered at the time was u$600 and it seemed just too, too expensive.


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