Reasons Why MacBooks Have Low Storage and What You Can Do

12 min

Reasons Why MacBooks Have Low Storage and What You Can Do


When it comes to laptops, Macbook is a benchmark in the industry. The design team of every other company trying pretty hard to beat the Macbook’s design and all-over experience. Apple’s MacBooks are not designed to be your only computer. They are basically an extension of your smartphone, iPhone to be precise, and lay more emphasis on portability and speed. 

But there are several other reasons why Apple’s MacBooks offer low storage despite the premium price, including the ones above. When you enter into Apple’s ecosystem, you will get a better idea of why the Macbook has low storage and why it is okay for Apple users. Let’s discuss more on that.

See Also: How to Clean Macbook Screen

3 Reasons Why Macbooks Have Less Storage

Apple gives you low storage and there are some valid reasons for that. Let’s talk about them:

1. MacBooks are an extension of an iPhone

Think of your MacBook as an extension of an iPhone instead of a device that competes with other laptops, and you will start to see why the storage is so low. 

It is not meant to replace a laptop but rather serve as a device that is portable and fast. The portability also comes because of the compact design, which means that there is not enough storage.

If you are not convinced, think about this. A device that is powerful enough to carry out complex tasks and lasts an entire day on a single battery charge. What comes to mind? iPhones and MacBooks. 

The iMac, on the other hand, is a better choice when it comes to an Apple computer. 

2. Macs use of SSDs instead of Hard Drives

Hard disk drives are engineered in a way that there are lots of moving parts. These parts move back and forth when reading or writing data. HDD is big in size and slows in speed and Apple doesn’t like any of them. There is no reason why Apple should use HDD instead of SSD. The Macbook’s gorgeous, slim design and ultra-fast processing are what make Macbook The Macbook.

SSD or solid-state drive solves this issue. It uses memory on-chip instead and can easily be wiped out. Below is the difference between HDD & SSD. 

The Bigger one is HDD and the green chips are SSDs.

Apart from the difference in how HDD and SSD work, the main difference is the price point. HDD is cheaper, whereas SSD is much expensive than HDD. MacBooks use SSDs to provide a seamless performance through faster fetching of data, but due to the high prices, you see MacBooks with lower storage versions to cater to budget-conscious users. The extra SSD storage will increase the cost of the product.

3. Apple’s Marketing Strategy 

This is another big reason why Apple launch low storage Macbook. By releasing a low storage variant, Apple is able to sell more storage at a premium pricing. Using basic consumer psychology, since the low-end variant seems like a steal, consumers are willing to pay more for the extra storage. Yes, your favorite Apple is playing with your mind without letting you know.

How much Storage do you even need?

For the uninitiated, 128GB seems like a lot of storage. Do you really have to worry about low storage?

Yes, and here’s why:

The entire 128 GB is not available to the user. From 128GB, 15GB is used by the system itself. You cannot remove anything from System Storage. You better not do
Considering the HD & Full HD video/photo qualities, even with average use, you will soon fill up 128GB or even 256GB of space. But if you only want surfing, 128GB is enough for you.

So, if you are hoping to use the Mac extensively, you need to consider that anything below 512GB is not going to be enough. Also, you cannot upgrade your SSD on the latest MacBook versions, so this is a decision you have to make at the time of purchase. 

6 ways to Get More Storage

1. Buy external hard drives

If you do end up choosing a low storage variant, you can use external hard drives that are cheaper than buying extra storage upfront. Back up your data to the external hard drive using Time Machine. 

2. Use Cloud Storage Services

You can sign up for free storage services and make use of the limit. Google Drive has a 15GB storage limit, iCloud has 5GB, and Dropbox has 2GB. If you distribute your storage across these services, you should be okay for a while. 

You can consider upgrading your Drive storage or getting an iCloud subscription, but this is a running cost.


3. Plan to Buy More Storage Variant

If you have your heart set on a MacBook, save until you can afford at least the 512 GB or even 1TB variant. This will save you running costs and also the effort it takes to keep offloading storage onto other external devices. But do it if you have some specific reasons for more storage.

4. Use cleaning software

If you cannot manually optimize storage, there are some free apps that help you do this. Cleaning software finds all duplicate files, temporary and cache files that are obscure, and deletes them on your behalf.  

5. Rely on Manual Cleanups

You can also set aside a regular cleanup time to make sure you keep 10% of your disk space free at all times. The regular culprits are screenshots, unused apps, large files in your download folder, and an overflowing Trash folder. Set your Trash to empty itself automatically. Follow Apple’s recommendation to reduce clutter and optimize your storage. 

To automatically clean the Trash, Go to > About This Mac on Finder > Storage > Manage > Turn on Empty Bin Automatically.

You can also change the default location of files like downloads and screenshots to locate and delete them faster.

6. Quit apps and tabs that you are done using

Any apps or browser tabs that are not currently in use should be closed. These contribute to hogging up your memory and can also slow down your laptop. 

How to Get More Storage for Macbook: In summary

A 128GB variant is just a ploy to get you to spend more money. If budget is an issue, you’re better off with a Windows laptop that employs HDD. But if you would rather want portability and sleekness, then you should opt for a higher storage variant or keep some free storage space on your SSD. Else, invest in iCloud Storage or get an external hard drive.

All these are practical ways to get more storage for Mac. You can evaluate all the options and make the decision that goes easy on your pocket and doesn’t bother you.


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