What Is the Best External Hard Drive for iMac/MacBook Air/Pro?

The external hard drive is widely used for either expanding capacity or backing up due to the large storage it has, ranging from a minimum of 128GB to a maximum of 2TB. For Mac users, it’s not an easy job to extend capacity without the help of an external storage device, unless you prefer network storage. 

Therefore, the external HDD becomes a must-have for users carving for larger memory. What factors should you take into account when choosing the perfect external hard drive for your MacBook? What are the highly recommended external hard drives in the market? This post will answer you all. 

File Systems Compatible With MacOS

To start with, the file system or the file format, no matter how it’s called, is one highly important factor when choosing external HDDs for Mac. The reason is quite simple – macOS offers exclusive read-write support for limited file systems.

FAT32, exFAT, APFS, HFS+, and that’s all. If you are using external hard drives with other formats, unfortunately, you won’t be able to access and read-write the drive on Mac unless you reformat the drive for use.

5 Recommended External HDD for Macs

There are many spec users may focus on when opting for an external hard drive apart from the file format, say, data speed, portability, price, etc. The five external HDDs listed below are overall the most recommended ones by Mac users. Check them out. 

WD My Passport – Overall the Best Choice

You can’t miss WD My Passport when talking about the external HDD. After its debut in 2019, it gains massive support from users and ranks at the top among users’ choices due to fair reasons. It shows excellent performance in terms of speed, price, reliability, and so on. Extraordinarily, it offers an exclusive version for Mac users, WD My Passport for Mac.

  • Storage: 1/2/4/5TB available
  • Price: $49.97-$112.47 on Amazon
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Speed: Up to 108MB/s reading speed and 100MB/s writing speed

SanDisk Professional G-Drive – The Fastest

If you are looking for one external hard drive that can transfer or save large files at ultra-fast speed, then SanDisk Professional G-Drive is one you must have. The outstanding read and write speed makes it the fastest external hard drive yet in the market. It’s also a solid-state drive, which can be used as the internal disk of your Mac. 

  • Storage: 500GB; 1/2/4/TB available
  • Price: $109.99-$519.99 on Amazon
  • Interface: USB 3.2
  • Speed: Up to 1050MB/s reading speed and 1000MB/s writing speed

LaCie Rugged SSD Drive – The Toughest 

The external hard drive is carried in and out many times, therefore, the rugged external HDD is preferred by users who want to avoid physical damage to their drives. In the external hard drive lineup, LaCie Rugged SSD Drive is the most rugged one that profoundly protects your data in the drive. 

  • Storage: 1/2/4/TB available
  • Price: $401.99-$758.80 on Amazon
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Speed: Up to 2000MB/s reading speed but undefined writing speed

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD – Best Portable 

As the name suggests, the SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable drive is a perfect choice if you want to keep it easy to carry. With the relatively small size and lightweight, you can take it on the go with ease. Besides, the data transfer speed won’t let you down.

  • Storage: 500GB; 1/2/4/TB available
  • Price: $104.99-$449.99 on Amazon
  • Interface: USB 3.2
  • Speed: Up to 1050MB/s reading speed and 1000MB/s writing speed

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch – Best Fit for Mac Devices

Besides the USB 3.0 port, Seagate includes a USB C adapter, making it applicable to all Mac models, including new ones with USB C ports only. The sleek design also makes it a perfect match with your MacBook. 

  • Storage: 1/2TB available
  • Price: $64.99-$84.99 on Amazon
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Speed: Up to 130MB/s reading speed and 125MB/s writing speed

Common External HDD Issues and Fixes on Mac

External Hard Drive Doesn’t Show Up on Desktop or Finder

One of the most commonly seen issues when using an external hard drive on Mac is that the drive doesn’t show up. Users fail to find it on the desktop, the Disk Utility, or the Finder. To make it appear, users may check and change system settings to show up all external hard drives detected. 

Corrupted External Hard Drive Not Working on Mac

A corrupted external HDD may result in failures in mounting, approaching, or reading the drive. If you want to repair external hard drive on Mac, the built-in disk management tool Disk Utility might help you out. Find the First Aid feature to give your hard drive a quick repair. 

External Hard Drive Read-only on Mac

Remember the file system mentioned above? If it’s NTFS-formatted, the drive will be listed as read-only on Mac. To have read and write access, users have to reformat the drive to give it a new file system that’s compatible with macOS.

Share this post:

Related Content