Typically, when you buy an external hard drive it will be formatted out of the box. Depending on a number of factors, however, your drive may be labeled “Not Initialized.” If this is the case for. An external hard drive or SSD (Solid State Drive) is a device that can plug into your machine, giving you an instant boost to storage space, without having to go down the road of pricey computer upgrades. The Best External USB Drive for Mac One more representative of the best CD and DVD drives is Apple USB Superdrive. Its portable design is great for mobile workstation.

Does this sound similar to you?

You thought you had enough disk space when you originally bought your MacBook Pro, but soon you realized that storage is being filled up quicker than you can clear old files.

Yes, connecting an external hard drive or USB flash key to a Mac will generally read and work fine as is because the Mac can easily read other filesystem formats, including Windows MSDOS, FAT, FAT32, ExFat, and NTFS formats, but unless you intend on using the drive between a Windows and Mac machine, formatting it to be entirely Mac compatible filesystem is highly recommended, and necessary for Time Machine and to make disks bootable. 5 Best External Hard Drives for MacBook Pro (as of October, 2019): 1. Samsung T5 MU-PA1T0B/AM External Hard Drives for MacBook Pro – Editor’s Choice Review. Samsung is one of the clear leaders in hard drive technology, whether external or not, and continues to dominate the market with their T5 models.

Or maybe you already had an external drive to help extend your MacBook’s storage, but now it’s either outdated, too slow, or experiencing issues.

We may be in the age of cloud computing and remotely stored files, but it’s always helpful to have a portable hard drive you can count on both for file backups and to work off as needed.

In this buying guide, we’ll help you pick the best external drive for your MacBook Pro so you can access all your files without sacrificing speed or performance.

Quick Summary

Here’s a brief overview of our recommendations depending on your specific needs and preferences:

  • The 10TB G-DRIVE Desktop External Hard Drive will give you enough volume and lightning speed for a traditional drive, and comes pre-formatted for Mac.
  • If you need instant cross-platform compatibility, and an array of color choices, you’ll be covered with the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB.
  • Known for being rough on your electronics? The Silicon Power 1TB Drive is rugged and durable, with water resistance in addition to quick read and write speeds.
  • If you prefer a modern speedy solid-state drive, the Glyph Atom RAID 1TB SSD is sure to meet expectations in terms of speed and durability.

Do I Need An External Drive for My Mac?

External drives are a worthwhile investment for more than just power users, but it can be hard to determine if you need one or not. Consider this:

  • Do you regularly work with large files such as videos and edited images, or run other creative files such as video games?
  • Is your MacBook Pro running slower due to being overburdened with files?
  • Have you ever wanted to backup your Mac just in case of any data disaster?
  • Are you using a cloud storage or online backup service but fear of security and reliability issues from the provider?
  • Are old files being stored on your computer because you occasionally reference them but can’t completely delete them?

Answering yes to any of the above scenario questions is a fairly good indicator that an external hard drive would benefit you.

On the other hand, an external hard drive is probably not the best option for for those of you who only have a small volume of unimportant files to save, which might be better served by using a cloud storage program like Dropbox or Google Drive or by offloading their old files onto a large USB flash drive.

Best External Drive for MacBook: What to Look For?

Storage Capacity

External Drive For Mac

If you’re purchasing an external hard drive, it’s because you need the space on your MacBook, so it doesn’t make sense to cut corners on how much exterior space you purchase. However, it’s still important to consider exactly how much space you need. Consider how quickly you create large files (such as photo imports) and if you plan on keeping them in a long or short term to decide your actual need.


While many newer drives come formatted to work on both Mac and PC, it’s best not to choose one that is single-system compatible as it will limit the drive’s versatility (though you could manually format an external drive for both PC and Mac compatibility, it’s an extra effort and requires you to be a bit geeky). For added convenience, you should look for drives that come pre-formatted for Mac, which means you don’t have to install a special program and do it yourself.


There are several kinds of external drives based on the electronics that make them work. An HDD is the traditional spinning disk of data, whereas an SSD is newer technology that has no moving parts and store information inside the electronic components. An HHD, or Hybrid Hard Drive, uses a combination of these methods. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to speed, durability, price, and information safety, so make sure you know which you prefer.

The Best External Drives for MacBook Pro in 2019: Our Picks

Kindly note that the products chosen below are mainly based on our personal preferences and the guidelines as shown above. They are by no means made in the order below.

1. G-Technology 10TB G-DRIVE USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive

This speedy HDD drive offers a huge chunk of storage at an uncommonly high RPM. It will stand up to daily use in editing and media programs and connects to your computer via USB-C so you can take full advantage of its specs.


  • If you have set up Apple Time Machine, this drive will be ready for easy file backup so you won’t be waiting for your files to read or write. Also, it comes with a great amount of storage space.


  • The disk is pre-formatted for Mac, you won’t be able to use your files on a secondary computer such as a Windows PC unless you reformat it to NTFS file system.

2. Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB

Available in four different sizes, this hard drive from trusted brand Seagate comes in several colors. Approximately the size of your phone, it packs a punch for its size and is very portable.


  • It can be used on both Mac and PC without reformatting. Also, it offers fast connection via USB and weighs about 5 ounces.


  • Largest TB size option is not compatible with Mac.

3. Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60

An extremely versatile and sturdy drive, this model is compatible with more than just your MacBook. It’s water resistant, with read and write speeds at the standard 120 mbps.


  • It can be used with several gaming consoles and Apple Time Machine in addition to your Mac.
  • It’s also durable and available with the modern USB-C which is especially useful if you’re using the newest MacBook Pro.


  • It appears somewhat unprofessional, also the drive is a bit on the heavy side as it weighs around 8 ounces.

4. Glyph Atom RAID 1TB External Solid State Drive

Available with USB and USB-C connections and pre-formatted for Mac, this SSD from well-known brand Glyph provides extremely fast speeds that will support your casual and power use. It looks clean and functions beautifully.


  • It comes pre-formatted for Mac with easy reformats for PC or cross-platform compatibility, significantly faster than comparable drives from Samsung and other brands, available in several colors and two connection types.


  • It’s the heaviest drive on our list at 11 ounces, and a bit on the pricey side as well.

Useful Tips & Resources

Picking a hard drive can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure whether you need one. One way to help decide is to try a cloud storage platform such as Google Drive or Dropbox before you decide to buy an external drive. Both platforms are free to start with and they offer terabyte storage options for paying customers and using one may help you decide if you need more constant access to your files or simply a place to store them.

If you know you want an external drive but aren’t sure what storage type you need (HDD or SSD), perhaps this guide from PCWorld will help you decide which best fits your requirements.

Also, It’s worth noting that some external drives available on the market are formatted for PC only, but you can reformat it to Mac OS Extended, or for cross-platform compatibility (with NTFS) if you need to use your external drive for your MacBook Pro and a PC as well. This tutorial is definitely worth checking out:

Final Words

Regardless of your final choice of external drive, having one will definitely improve your workflow and computer performance. You’ll be able to use your files more effectively and improve your MacBook’s performance. Which external drive have you used in the past or are considering purchasing? Let us know.

BestCD/DVD Drives for MaciMore2019

If you've recently upgraded to a new iMac or MacBook Pro, you're probably going to need an optical drive if you want to continue importing your movies and music to iTunes, or just access the content on your discs. If you think you'll need an external drive mostly for Blu-Ray discs, most of them will also play DVDs and CDs but are not readable/writable drives for CDs or DVDs. Either way, here are some solid options.

No adapter needed: Confoly USB-C Superdrive

Staff pick

I have this model CD/DVD drive for my Mac computers for multiple reasons. For one, it's practically the same as Apple's SuperDrive in every way, and second, it's got a USB-C cable so I can connect it to my MacBook Pro without needing any additional adapters. Oh, there's a third reason, too. It comes with a USB-A adapter so I can connect it to any standard USB port.

$49 at Amazon

Cupertino's own: Apple USB SuperDrive

Apple's branded playable/burnable CD/DVD drive is the perfect complement to your iMac or MacBook Pro unless you have a late 2016 or newer MacBook Pro, in which case you'll need the USB-C to USB adapter. It's not much larger than the size of a CD case, so it fits snug in your computer bag without taking up a lot of room. All you have to do is plug it into your computer using the USB cable. There's no need for special software or external buttons that might get broken. It's solid, simple, and it looks great with your Mac products.

$79 at Amazon

USB-C and USB 3.0: VisionTech External CD/DVD Drive

With no eject button on the device and powered by USB the VisionTech External CD/DVD Drive is very slim and compact. You can tuck it away anywhere that makes the most sense for you. Preprogrammed for both Mac and Windows, you shouldn't need to do any formatting to get the drive to work. Plus, this drive has both USB 3.0 and USB-C cables, meaning you can plug it right into your MacBook with no adapter needed.

$31 at Amazon

Inexpensive choice: LG GP65NB60

LG makes a CD/DVD drive that is lightweight, fast, and doesn't cost much. It's made of a hard shell plastic material, so it isn't going to feel as sturdy as Apple's SuperDrive or Confoly's USB-C drive. However, in exchange, you get something that's about as light as a CD in its case.

$25 at Amazon

Also worth considering: Verbatim External CD / DVD Writer

Here's another inexpensive choice, this time from Verbatim. Weighing just 12 ounces, this CD/DVD burner is compact, lightweight, and USB powered. It's a suitable choice if you need to back up sensitive data, as well as music and video libraries.

$24 at Amazon

Still serving a need

Apple External Hard Drives

There are a lot of reasons why you'd need a CD/DVD drive for your Mac, despite the concept being heavily outdated in 2019. Whether you want to digitize your DVD collection or just view a disc on your computer, an optical drive is cheap and sometimes necessary.

As you can see, we've selected the Confoly USB-C Superdrive as our favorite since it's super similar to Apple's SuperDrive and you don't need adapters to utilize it. If you're working with a small budget, take a look at the LG GP65NB60. It gets the job done for a surprisingly low price.

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