[How To] Enable TRIM On Your Mac SSD to Prolong the Life Span
Solid state drives are amazing drive replacements for hard disk drives. They have awesome read and write speeds, they are durable, and they use less energy. The large misconception is that they last forever. Just like a hard disk drive, a solid state drive is susceptible to degrading with use. They must be maintained just like a hard disk drive must be. In the last couple of years, our understanding of how the solid state drive works has advanced so quickly that we are now ordering them standard in many computers that we own.
One thing that you might not have known, is that you can increase the life span on your solid state drive by enabling a tool called TRIM. It's not an acronym, it's a command. TRIM is used to help clean up your solid state drive and keep it alive longer. The way that a solid state drive works puts stress on certain memory blocks. Imagine that you have just written data to a clean solid state drive. If you delete part of that data, the solid state drive will simply do what a hard disk drive does and tell itself that it can rewrite over that part. In other words, the deleted data stays there waiting to be over-written. Now, when the solid state drive goes to rewrite over that part that you deleted, it will have to erase and rewrite the whole amount of data that you wrote. Not just the part that you deleted. This
is why performance is reduced and why solid state drives can slow down or die over time. This problem can lead to fragmentation due to NAND memory getting clogged with both deleted and stored data.
TRIM is a tool that helps erase that deleted data from a solid state drive when you delete it. It helps ensure that the solid state drive doesn't have to rewrite the whole amount of data where you deleted just a part of it and that the solid state drive can simply rewrite over the part that you deleted. TRIM keeps your NAND memory looking as clean as when you bought it so that the memory is ready to be rewritten to again in the future.
Mac computers come with TRIM automatically enabled on Apple-shipped solid state drives. But, if you bought your own solid state drive and you install it yourself, then TRIM will not be enabled. This can be dangerous. Life spans of non-TRIM solid state drives can be dramatically lower than TRIM solid state drives. If you bought a solid state drive yourself and installed it on your Mac, then you should enable TRIM. To do this, you can download a tool that will patch your solid state drive so that the Mac recognizes it as one of Apple's. It was recently updated: TRIM Enabler 2.0 beta 4
As you see from the screenshot above, enabling TRIM is as easy as turning on a switch. Once you have it turned on, it gets to work making sure that your solid state drive isn't coagulating with deleted data. This is an extremely important tool for Mac users who have installed a solid state drive and I cannot stress this enough. You need TRIM. Do you have TRIM already? Share in the comments.
Sources: Trim Enabler 2.0 Beta 4