Buying Guide: MacBook Storage Options

One of the most important things to consider when buying a new MacBook is how much storage you'll need. It's easy to under spec your MacBook, which may result in capacity problems early on in the life of the device. On the other hand, it's also a common mistake for people to overestimate their storage requirements and spend too much money. We have created a detailed guide to you understand your own storage needs better.


You are spoiled when it comes to disk space configuration. There can be dozens of possible choices, but it just makes the decision process that much more difficult. Apple only uses Solid-State Drive (SSDs) as a form of storage. They are much faster than conventional hard drives and take less time to startup due to absence of a rotating disk or any moving parts.

This is also the reason why SSDs are much less susceptible to impact damage and take up much less physical area. On the contrary, SSDs are much more expensive, therefore increasing the cost of the entire MacBook. They also have limited Read-Write operations, although the limit is very high, and no average user can realistically cross the limit. Here are all the options provided by Apple:

MacBook Air

  1. 256 GB
  2. 512 GB
  3. 1 TB
  4. 2 TB

MacBook Pro 13-inch

  1. 256 GB
  2. 512 GB
  3. 1 TB
  4. 2 TB

MacBook Pro 16-inch

  1. 512 GB
  2. 1 TB
  3. 2 TB
  4. 4 TB
  5. 8 TB

What Storage Is Right For You

Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to storage spaces. You have to be mindful as to how much you spend on the specifications of your device. In theory, 8 TB, which is the highest configuration possible, should be enough for almost everyone.

However, this will cost you a lot of money, which can otherwise be used to buy accessories or upgrade the processor. It doesn't help that there is multiple options either, rendering the decision making difficult. Luckily, there can be different general criteria where most people fit in. Here we discuss which of them you fit in.

General Usage

Using your MacBook for general purpose activities is not taxing on the memory. Regular usage, including using the internet browser, writing documents, and coding, uses very little storage. Even storing media from your phone will require less than 50 GB of space. We recommend getting the 256 GB if you fit into this category. Although, you may want to upgrade to 512 GB if you do slightly more intensive tasks. With this storage, you won't even have trouble with storing some light games and many movies. Best of all, you won't have to pay an extremely high premium that comes with the greater storage models.


It's common for people in the creative industry to use a MacBook due to its lightweight design and excellent user experience. But how much disk space is truly enough for them? Luckily, they won't have to spend a fortune. Regular picture files on your phone are extremely small and sometimes take up to less than a single megabyte. The RAW format doesn't take up a lot of space either. You'll need about 50,000 of these kinds of pictures to fill a 1 TB hard drive. It's safe to say that 1 TB is enough, and you can even get by with 512 GB if you are mindful of the projects you store.


One of the most taxing jobs a Mac has to do is run games. While a MacBook isn't ideal for gaming, many people prefer to use an Apple device for all their needs. Just like how you need a good CPU to run games, you also require a lot of space to store them - especially these days.

Modern games include extremely high resolution textures, media and can literally be massive. Games like GTA 5 are about 80GB, and Call of Duty - Infinite Warfare even requires over 100GB. Downloading a dozen games, where only some are disk space intensive, can eat up 512GB space, especially if you have other things stored. Therefore, MacInfo recommends at least one or even two TBs for gamers.

Video Editing

Video editing, without a doubt, is one of the most disk space consuming tasks. An hour-long 1080p 30FPS file can take up to 50GB when compressed and 250 GB when uncompressed. Recording at 4k will take up 4 or 5 times that amount. If you're only using your iPhone to record, then 1 TB should be more than enough. However, if you store fully uncompressed videos solely on your MacBook and have no other storage device, then you may want to consider a 4TB or 8TB configuration.

Solution for Low Disk Space

Low disk space may not necessarily mean that you have to get a new MacBook. There are a few fixes for lack of storage that may help you out a lot.

Buying An External Storage Device

If you've run out of space to store software or media files for then, there is no need to worry. A simple fix is to buy an external hard drive. You can practically get unlimited storage with these devices. More importantly, they allow for smooth file transfer between devices. Here is a detailed guide to choosing an external drive (SSD).

Cleaning Up Your Storage

A free fix for this problem is to delete useless files. There may be many old files that are no longer used, which sometimes take up a lot of space. Removing them will help solve your issue. The problem that many people face is that it takes too much time, or there is no such data to delete. We recommend using CleanMyMac X. It's an easy-to-use software to clean up a few gigabytes of space. It's completely safe as you are always asked before anything is deleted.

  1. Open CleanMyMac X.
  2. Click on "Smart Scan."
  3. Select "Remove."
  4. Tap on "System Junk" located below Smart Scan.
  5. Clear it the same way.
  6. Click on "Large and Old Files."
  7. Delete this using the same method as well.
Muaz Ashrafi

Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.


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