Newer Macs lack user-accessible storage, and these external hard drives and SSDs are here to the rescue.
Most of the latest Macs, including the MacBook Pro (2023) and Mac Studio (2023), don’t offer user-accessible storage. So once you make the purchase, you’re stuck with configuration you’ve got. While many users aren’t affected by this, it certainly gets problematic if your storage needs increase down the road. You would either have to buy a new Mac, rely on cloud solutions, or buy one of the excellent Mac external hard drives and SSDs we’ve listed below.
SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 SSD
$120 $310 Save
The SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 portable SSD is the right choice for professionals who need the extra transfer speeds and extra durability. Just be sure your device can handle the USB 3.2 (Gen 2×2) to maximize its potential.
WD Black P50 Portable SSD
$200 $250 Save
This SSD offers up to 4TB of storage, shock-resistance, 2,000MB/s speeds, and more. While it’s designed for gamers, you can use it to store pretty much any file type.
Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD
$120 $185 Save
Samsung’s T7 Shield portable SSD is designed for use in the field. It’s rugged and will make for a great companion on your travels.
SanDisk Professional PRO-G40
$160 $300 Save
This professional-grade SSD combines the high speeds of SSD and Thunderbolt with an extremely rugged design, capable of resisting up to 4000 pounds of crushing force, 3m drops, and both water and dust.
WD My Passport Ultra
$130 $165 Save
This hard drive is compact and portable. It is suitable for those working on the go but lacks the rugged build that makes other picks more shock resistant.
WD My Passport SSD
$115 $380 Save
If you don’t need the bells and whistles of other SSDs on this list, the WD My Passport SSD is also a solid option. It’s a regular SSD with speeds up to 1,050MB/s, and it comes in a few colors to choose from.
LaCie Rugged Mini HDD
$78 $85 Save
Storage drives tend to be fragile, so it’s never a bad choice to buy a rugged unit. The LaCie Rugged Mini is shock and drop resistant to a height of up to 1.2 meters. It’s included with a variety of connection options and you can buy it with up to 5TB of storage.
Seagate Expansion HDD
Up to 18TB
$220 $340 Save
Most people may want fast storage, but sometimes, you just want a massive backup. And this gigantic Seagate HDD comes in capacities up to 18TB, so you can store just about all your files for a much lower price than you’d pay for the same amount of SSD storage.
Our favorite Mac external hard drives and SSDs
Before buying one of these options, here are a few things you need to consider:
- Capacity: It boils down to how much storage you need to save your files. We recommend buying a drive with at least 1TB capacity to get the best value for your money.
- Storage type: You can either buy a solid-state drive (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs are all the rage right now mainly because of their speeds. They’re much faster than conventional mechanical drives. However, SSDs are also relatively expensive and are limited when it comes to maximum capacity.
- Portability: Irrespective of the storage type, you can either buy a portable or a fixed desktop drive. Portable drives are smaller in size and some of them can fit in your pockets. Fixed desktop drives, however, need more space, and they need their own power source. These are cheaper and often have higher capacities.
You’ll find a lot of external drives for your Apple Mac, but these are our picks for the best drives on the market. We’ve included both external hard drives and SSDs, so you can choose the right for you based on your budget and requirements. Some of the best ones are offered by SanDisk, WD, and Samsung. Though, pretty much all the external hard drives and SSDs above are solid for the Mac.