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Increase Your Mac Storage With 4 Proven Ways

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: If you encounter a storage shortage when using your MacBook, this post offers four ways to help you add more storage on Mac. - from iBoysoft

how to add more storage on Mac

Imagine you are updating software or downloading large files but only to receive a message saying, 'Your Mac startup disk is almost full', how frustrating can it be? Although Apple offers multiple storage capacities for Mac models, it's not a rare thing for Mac users to suffer from limited storage space on Mac.

Fortunately, you can increase the storage on Mac with multiple methods and they are not as risky as you may expect. This post elaborates on four proven ways to add more storage on Mac. Continue reading to figure out how.

Can you increase internal storage on your Mac

This question may bother you a little, that is, can you actually upgrade Mac storage? For all MacBook Pro users, the answer depends on which year your Mac model is introduced.

If you are using an MBP prior to 2012, it's feasible to replace the outdated internal hard drive with a more advanced SSD, the solid-state drive. Similarly, if you own an MBP introduced from 2012 to 2015 with Retina Display, you can also upgrade the internal storage.

Unfortunately, for users who purchase a MacBook Pro after 2016, upgrading the internal disk space is not a wise option. Since Apple redesigned the dashboard, it's extremely difficult and even risky to replace the internal storage hardware.

Add more storage on Mac with SSD

Most recent MacBook devices are equipped with SSD that can't be swapped. However, if you own the following devices, you can add storage internally to gain additional space on your Mac. To protect your Mac from damage, do get a professional to get this job done.

• MacBook Pro Retina 2015 and earlier. 
• MacBook Pro non-Retina 2016 and earlier.

In case you are not sure about the Mac model you have, navigate to the Apple menu > About this Mac > Overview. You can find detailed MacBook model year.

No matter you are a MacBook Air user or an MBP user who can't upgrade the internal SSD, there is always a way out. Below list other ways to expand your MacBook storage with a high success rate.

Now you know how to add more storage to your MacBook Pro, why not share the tip with your friends?


Add more Mac storage with iCloud

iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud-computing service provided by Apple for all iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. You can enjoy a standard plan with 5GB of free storage. If you want to add more capacity to your Mac, buying more iCloud storage is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways. Here's how to purchase iCloud storage.

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple menuSystem Preference > Apple ID.

Step 2. In the iCloud panel, move to the bottom and you can see a stacked bar showing how much space you've used so far. Click on Manage next to the bar.

manage iCloud storage

Step 3. Select Add Storage at the top-right corner. In some macOS versions, select Buy More Storage instead.

add more storage in iCloud

Step 4. The upgraded options should show up. Choose which plan you prefer and click on Next.

iCloud plans

Step 5. Check the Apple ID and enter your password. Click Buy to finish the payment process.

The extra storage you purchased can be used right away to enlarge your Mac storage.

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Add space on Mac using network storage

Aside from iCloud, there are some other cloud or network storage options you can choose to add storage on Mac. This is also a rather affordable way to add storage since most cloud storage services offer free plans.

Nevertheless, there are some downsides to using network storage to enlarge your Mac storage capacity. First, this approach relies heavily on your network setup, that is to say, a decent data speed and stable signal quality are must-haves for network storage. Second, you can only access and manage your data when you are on the same network.

If you are not into the network thing, move to the next method to add more storage on Mac.

Add storage on Mac using external media

Some of you may prefer an old-fashioned way to get more storage instead of using cloud or network storage. In this case, external storage devices such as HDDSD cards, and flash drives can all work out, depending on your needs for the capacity.

To use an external hard drive:

Thanks to its high capacities and relatively cheap price, the external hard drive is a good option to back up and store excessive files when your Mac is lack of storage. When adding an external HDD to your Mac, one thing you need to pay attention to is the USB port type.

While some previous Mac models come with built-in USB-3 ports, the newer MacBook devices only offer Thunderbolt ports. In this case, you'll need to make sure which USB port works with your external hard drive. Sometimes, a USB-C adapter is needed to gain extra flash storage.

To use an SD card or a flash drive:

Although the SD card and flash drives are less competent in capacity when compared with an external hard drive, it's still a solution for users who have fewer data to store. Plus, these two storage media are both easily portable.

What's more, some old Mac models have a built-in SD card slot. All you need to do is to insert the memory card and you can enjoy extra storage.


After reading this article, you should know how to add more storage on Mac in four effective ways, regardless of which Mac model you own. Plus, you can free up space on Mac to have more available storage.  

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