How To Add More Storage To MacBook Pro

add storage macbook pro

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Being a Mac user, I know how frustrating running out of storage space can be. If you are also short on storage, I can feel you.

Whether you’re a creative professional who needs to store large files or simply someone who uses their MacBook for everyday tasks, having enough storage is essential for a seamless experience and efficient working. 

Running out of storage can cause unwanted issues; many believe you can only have a little storage space on a computer. Fortunately, it is possible to add more extra storage capacity to your MacBook Pro, depending on the model.

Can You Upgrade MacBook Pro Internal Storage?

Can You Upgrade MacBook Pro Internal Storage?

In some models of MacBook Pro, it is possible to upgrade storage capacity. However, not all MacBook Pro models have user-upgradeable storage. Generally, the newer the model, the less likely it is to have upgradable storage.

If your MacBook Pro has upgradable storage, upgrading typically involves:

  1. Opening the case 
  2. Replacing the existing storage drive with a larger or faster one. 

Attempting to upgrade the storage on your own can void your warranty and may be risky if you don’t have experience with computer hardware.

Suppose you’re considering upgrading the storage on your MacBook Pro.

I recommend consulting an authorized Apple service provider or a professional technician with experience with MacBook Pro repairs and upgrades.

They can help you determine if your model has upgradable storage and guide you through the upgrade process.

Adding Extra Storage To MacBook Pro: Things To Consider

Adding More Storage To MacBook Pro: Things To Consider

When you buy a new MacBook Pro, you usually have options for what storage capacity you want to be included on your laptop.

  1. Compatibility: Make sure the device you are considering is compatible with your MacBook Pro model. Check the specifications for your MacBook Pro to see what type of storage it can accommodate.
  2. Capacity: Consider how much extra storage you need. Look at your current storage usage and estimate how much more space you will require.
  3. Type of Storage: Decide on the type of storage you want to add. You can choose from solid state drives (SSD), hard disk drives (HDD), or external SSD.
  4. Speed: Consider the speed of the storage device. SSDs tend to be faster than HDDs, but they can also be more expensive.
  5. Price: Determine your budget for adding more storage. SSDs tend to be more expensive than HDDs, so consider this when making your decision.
  6. Installation: Consider whether you want to install the extra storage yourself or have a professional do it. Some storage devices are easier to install than others.
  7. Warranty: Check the warranty on the storage device you are considering. Make sure that it is covered for any defects or issues that may arise.

Clear Your Mac Storage Using CleanMyMac

CleanMyMac is a utility app that can help clear storage on your Mac by removing unnecessary files and optimizing your system. Here are the steps to use CleanMyMac to clear storage on your Mac:

  1. Download and install CleanMyMac from the official website.
  2. Launch the app and click the Scan button to begin scanning. It will scan your system for unnecessary files, including cache, system junk, and language files.
CleanMyMac - Scan
  1. Once the scan is complete, click the Run button.
smart scan
  1. Now CleanMyMac will automatically scan and delete all the useless files from your Mac.
Scan complete
  1. To free up even more space, you can use CleanMyMac’s other tools, such as the Uninstaller tool to remove unused apps and their associated files or the Large & Old Files tool to find and delete large files that you no longer need.

How To Add Storage To MacBook Pro

There are several methods to gain additional storage capacity on your MacBook. Some of these options are only available for certain model years, and newer MacBooks cannot add storage internally.

1. Add SSD


All the newest MacBook models come with flash storage that you cannot upgrade. These are the model years that can be upgraded which have an internal SSD:

  • MacBook Retina 2015 or earlier.
  • MacBook non-Retina 2016 or earlier.

If you can’t upgrade your SSD, there are other methods to increase the storage capacity of your computer including:

2. External Storage

External storage methods are available to add more storage capacity to your MacBook Pro.

One common method is to use an external hard drive that connects directly to your Mac using a docking station or USB-C hub. It allows you to have as much additional storage as you require.

You can transfer files and data effortlessly from your computer to the external hard drive, providing more storage space.

3. Flash Drives Or SD Cards

For older model MacBooks, additional memory can be acquired using an SD card or flash drive. Although these cards and drives are less popular than they were, they are relatively inexpensive.

If your MacBook has an SD card slot, you can insert an SD card and easily expand your storage capacity by several hundred gigabytes.

4. Cloud Storage

You can also add storage to your MacBook Pro by using the cloud. It is a convenient way to back up your files, and you can have as much storage as you need, but it may come at a cost.

With Apple’s iCloud storage, you can get up to 2TB of cloud storage. However, the downside of using cloud storage is that downloading or uploading files may be slow, depending on your internet speed.

5. Network Storage

Few people use this method to increase their MacBook Pro’s storage, but it can still be effective if you have another computer or hard drive lying around the house.

By using the storage capacity of another device, you can connect it to your MacBook Pro and increase your storage space.

One downside to this method is that you need to be on the same network as the additional device, which means you might need help accessing it while away from home.

Why Add More Storage To MacBook Pro?

The more storage capacity you have on your computer, the more programs, apps, files, and data you can run and store.

If you run out of storage space, you might have to delete files or uninstall apps to make room for new ones. Here are some specific reasons why you should add more storage to MacBook Pro:

  1. Increased Capacity: Adding more storage will increase the data you can store on your MacBook Pro. It means storing files even more, documents, photos, videos, and applications without worrying about running out of space and save space on your mac.
  2. Enhanced Performance: A MacBook Pro with more storage can perform better because it has more space to work with. When a computer’s storage is almost full, it can slow down the performance because the system has less room to maneuver.
  3. Extended Lifespan: Upgrading the storage on your MacBook Pro can extend its lifespan by allowing it to handle new and larger applications and files as they become available.
  4. Efficient Workflow: With more storage, you can organize your files and folders more efficiently, making it easier to access and work with them.
  5. Better Backup Options: Having more storage on your MacBook Pro makes it easier to create and maintain backups of important files and documents.
  6. Compatibility With New Software: As new software and updates are released, they often require more storage capacity. By upgrading your MacBook Pro’s storage, you can ensure that you can continue to use the latest software and applications.
  7. Resale Value: If you decide to sell your MacBook Pro in the future, having more storage can increase its value because it is a valuable and desirable feature for many buyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade the storage on my MacBook Pro?

Yes, you can upgrade the storage on your MacBook Pro. Depending on the model of your MacBook Pro, the upgrade process may differ slightly, but generally, it involves replacing the existing storage drive with a larger one.

Can I use an external hard drive to expand my MacBook Pro’s storage?

Yes, you can use an external hard drive to expand your MacBook Pro’s storage. External hard drives are a convenient way to add more storage without having to replace the internal storage drive. However, keep in mind that external hard drives are typically slower than internal drives, so they may not be the best option for tasks that require fast access to data.

How much storage should I add to my MacBook Pro?

The storage that you should add to your MacBook Pro will depend on your individual needs. If you work with large files or have a lot of applications installed, you may need more storage than someone who primarily uses their MacBook Pro for web browsing and email.
Consider how you use your MacBook Pro and how much storage you currently have available when deciding how much storage to add.

Can I upgrade the storage on my MacBook Pro myself?

Yes, you can upgrade the storage on your MacBook Pro yourself if you feel comfortable working with computer hardware.
However, keep in mind that doing so may void your warranty, and if you damage your MacBook Pro during the upgrade process, Apple may not cover the repairs. If you’re not comfortable performing the upgrade yourself, consider having a professional do it for you.

How do I transfer my data to the new storage drive?

You can transfer your data to the new storage drive using Time Machine or another backup software.
Before you begin the upgrade process, back up your data to an external drive. Once you’ve installed the new storage drive, you can use Time Machine to restore your data to the new drive.

Final Thoughts

The simplest way to increase your MacBook’s storage is to upgrade it from the beginning. You don’t have to choose the highest option, but getting more is better than the basic storage.

However, upgrading the storage will cost you money. If you want to spend only a little at a time, you can use any of the methods mentioned above to add more storage later.

A portable hard drive or SSD is an easy way to do this and can also be a backup for important files. Is your current MacBook storage enough, or will you need to upgrade?

About Eric
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Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

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  • Seamus

    Hi, Can I replace the SSD on this configuration Apple MacBookPro Retina 2015? Where can I buy 2T of storage?
    Physical Drive:
    Device Name: APPLE SSD SM0128G
    Media Name: AppleAPFSMedia
    Medium Type: SSD
    Protocol: PCI
    Internal: Yes
    Partition Map Type: Unknown
    SMART Status: Verified

  • Stephan

    Rather than buy a new computer, I decided to upgrade my MacBook Pro 2011. I expanded RAM to 16 GB from the original four. I also put in a 1 TB SSD drive.

    The machine is surprisingly reliable and reasonably fast. It probably would be too slow for intense movie editing; however at least you would have the space!

    I could’ve even gone for a 2 TB drive if I had wanted. It was probably a financial decision in Apple support but it’s really too bad that the current computers are not easy to expand in terms of SSD storage.

  • Deanna

    i purchased a macbook pro last year with 250 gb of internal space which i now regret because i’m stumped at every turn since my laptop ran out of space. the annoying part is that i bought the dang thing to edit my videos for youtube which im not able to do because this thing is out of space.

    • Aaron Rodgers

      Yeah, I got a Macbook pro (late-2020 model) specifically for music production and video editing software, with 250 gb as well, and it sucks at this point. This article was 100% correct when it says you might regret getting a macbook with less storage in it -_-