How To Add More Storage to a Mac
Running out of available space on your Mac can be frustrating: you won’t be able to save any photos or files, your applications won’t be updated, and it may even cause your device to run slowly.
Fortunately, there are ways in which you can change this. Keep reading this article and you will find out how to add more storage to a Mac.
How to Add More Storage to a Mac
All Mac devices come with specific built-in storage. However, depending on your needs, you might run out of room and decide you need more. There are several options for adding more storage: you can choose to use an external device, or opt for online storage.
External Hard Drive
You can use an external hard drive to add more storage to your Mac. It connects to your Mac device with a cable (USB, etc.) and allows you to store your files on the device. Using an external hard drive is a convenient way for storing large files that you don’t use often or for backing up valuable files. They are cheap and much smaller than they used to be, so it’s not difficult to carry them along with your device. Plus, they offer different capacities for you to choose from.
However, one of the flaws of external hard drives is that they are fragile. They can easily break, get damaged, or malfunction if you drop them, so it’s not recommended to keep them in your bag constantly. If you have a newer MacBook, you might have to buy an adapter for your external hard drive.
Furthermore, external hard drives don’t work at high speed. So, if you want to store files that you don’t use often, this is a great option. However, if you want to access the stored files frequently, you might want to consider another option.
SSD stands for solid-state storage device that uses flash memory. Compared to HDD (hard disk drives), an SSD is faster, quieter, and resistant to damage since it doesn’t have any moving parts, unlike HDD. Apple used SSD instead of HDD on all newer models. If you have an older model which doesn’t have SSD, you can still add it, thus upgrading your storage.
If you already have an SSD, you might opt for buying a new one with a larger capacity. Another option is to use an SSD from another device.
If you decide to add more storage to your Mac by upgrading the SSD yourself, it means you will need to open your device’s enclosure. By doing this, you will most likely be voiding your warranty, so it’s important to keep this in mind before deciding to upgrade it.
The simplest way to upgrade your SSD is by purchasing an SSD kit. It contains instructions on how to upgrade the storage and all the necessary tools, which make your job easier.
Upgrading your SSD is an excellent option if you need additional storage and you want a high-speed transfer, but it’s also an expensive one. That is why people still opt for buying external hard drives.
Tip: Not all Mac devices are able to upgrade the SSD. The newest models have their SSD soldered to the logic board, so it’s impossible to remove it. Make sure to check if your model can be upgraded before you purchase the SSD.
If you have an older Mac device, you may opt for inserting an SD Card for additional storage. They are easy to use (you simply insert them in the card slot), cheap, and they come in various capacities. If you decide to purchase an SD card, make sure you buy the one with fast write and read speeds since this will make your file transfer easier and faster.
Because they’re not inside your Mac device, SD cards can easily get damaged and your files might get corrupted, so make sure you keep them in a safe place.
If your Mac device has USB Type-A connectors, you can use USB drives for additional storage. They’re small, easy to use, and cheap. And because they’re SD cards, they come in different capacities. Of course, this isn’t a high-speed storage option like SSD, but it is a simple and cheap way to store your files.
Like SD cards, USB drives can get damaged easily. If you carry them in your bag all the time, they might malfunction after a certain time, and some files might get lost. Make sure you store them in a dry and safe place to avoid any potential damage.
USB C-Hub With Integrated Storage
The newest MacBook models only come with USB Type-C connectors. If you own one of these devices, another option for adding more storage is purchasing a USB C-Hub with Integrated Storage. This will enable you to connect different ports to your device (e.g. Type-A, HDMI, etc.), and get additional storage. Since this device is small, you can carry the hub anywhere you go.
RAID stands for redundant array of independent/inexpensive disks. It’s a storage technology that combines multiple drive components into a single unit. This system allows you to connect multiple hard drives and merge them into one, allowing faster write and read speeds. In this way, you can access various devices at the same time and at high speed.
Although RAID offers high-speed storage and reliability, it has a few downsides: it’s the most expensive storage option. Also, it is large, so you can’t carry it with you wherever you go. Most likely, you will have to keep it on your desk at all times. If you travel a lot, this might not be the best option for you.
If you’d like to add more storage to your Mac without using an extra device, you can decide to store your files online. With Apple’s iCloud option, you can keep the files you rarely use to free up space on your Mac device.
Apple offers the “Store in iCloud” option. With this, your Mac device will automatically store the files you don’t often use in the cloud, making more room on your device for the files you use frequently. Since Mac does this automatically, you will have to rely on the system. Those files will still show on your computer as usual, even though they are stored in the cloud. When you want to open the files, your device will download them from the cloud.
If you want to enable this setting, make sure you follow these steps:
- Tap the Apple logo at the top left corner.
- Tap “About this Mac.”
- Tap “Manage” under the “Storage” tab.
- Tap “Store in iCloud.”
The upside of using iCloud is that you can access it from different devices, meaning you will have your files available at any time.
The downside of using iCloud for additional storage is that it’s dependent on your internet connection. If you’re in an area with no internet connection, you won’t be able to access any of the stored files on your iCloud. If you have a slow internet connection, you might be able to access your files, but it will take a lot of time to download them.
When buying a Mac device, you will get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. If you need any additional storage, you will have to pay for it.
Third-Party Cloud Storage
You don’t have to use iCloud to make additional storage for your Mac device. You can get a different cloud storage service, depending on your needs. Some of these cloud services are Amazon Drive, Google Drive, pCloud, Dropbox, etc. All of them offer some storage for free, and if you like it, you can purchase more storage.
Although this isn’t a common method for increasing storage, it can be helpful if you have another device in your home. By using the space of another device, you can transfer the files from your Mac to that device, thus freeing space on your Mac.
Since you don’t need any equipment or additional devices to do it, this is the cheapest option.
One of the downsides is that you have to be in the same network to do this. You can access the files only if both devices are on the same network, which can be tricky.
Moreover, it would be best to use a wired connection. If you use Wi-Fi, it will take significantly more time to transfer the files. Since most people today use Wi-Fi, and since having many devices on one network can slow things down, this might not be the best option for additional storage.
Why Should You Add More Storage to Your Mac?
You can save and use many programs, apps, and files on your Mac device by having a lot of storage. However, when the storage runs out, you will be forced to delete some of the programs, you won’t be able to update them, and you won’t be able to save new ones.
Performance issues might appear once your storage is full. Your Mac might run slowly, or it might start freezing. By adding more storage to your Mac, you will be able to prevent this from happening while also storing all the programs and apps you want.
Adding More Storage to a Mac Has Never Been Easier
Now you’ve learned how to add more storage to a Mac. If you want to save all the files and programs you like while having your Mac device run smoothly, you can do that by choosing one of the options mentioned above.
What option are you using for adding extra storage to your Mac? Tell us in the comment section below.