In this study, the effects of magnesium (Mg) addition to A356 aluminum alloy at different amounts on the microstructure and mechanical properties of this alloy were examined. For the experimental studies, three different alloys (0.43, 0.67 and 0.86 wt%) having various amounts of Mg were prepared through casting process in the form of plates. The plates were homogenized and cooled in the furnace. All the samples were treated with aging process (T6) and then tensile samples were prepared from the homogenized samples. The samples treated with T6 process were characterized by optical microscopy, laser confocal microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) examinations as well as hardness measurements and tensile tests. The phases which were formed in the microstructures for different amounts of Mg were examined. It was observed that iron-rich intermetallic compounds were also formed in addition to the phases resulting from the aging process. Fe-rich intermetallic compounds, observed from the fracture surfaces, were found to reduce the tensile strength the alloy. The results also indicate that the tensile strength and hardness of the alloy increase with increasing Mg amount. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.