Best 5 External Hard Drives for Mac

While digital storage is a popular form of storage, external hard drives remain a necessity. But choosing the most reliable external hard drive for your Mac can be tricky.  


There are several reasons you’d need an external hard drive:

  • You’re a creative that needs a large storage space
  • You need a cheaper option for storage
  • Your Mac storage is low
  • To back up personal and family documents.

When choosing the best external hard disk for Mac, consider these important factors:

  • Storage: This will depend on what you’ll be using the hard drive for. For example, photographers need a larger drive than the average person
  • Cost: Your budget will depend on the size you need
  • Portability: The size you need will be determined by your reasons for needing the drive, your mode of transportation, how you’ll be carrying it around, etc.
  • Reliability: The best external HDD for Mac should be durable, lasting you years.

Before we begin


Apple devices, including MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, offer decent storage capacity—at least for your everyday needs. Explore your Mac’s storage before forking out cash for an external drive.


MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner tool is an effective and easy-to-use solution that reduces your Mac’s internal storage by quitting useless and memory-draining apps to optimize your Mac. Why not give your Mac a memory boost with MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner?

  1. Download MacKeeper on your Mac
  2. Select Memory Cleaner in the left pane and click Open  
  3. Now, click the Clean Memory button to start optimizing your Mac.


If you still need more storage, you might need an external hard drive. Consider the devices listed in this article for some good options to get you started on your search.  

Get acquainted with the list of top external hard drives for Mac

There’s no shortage of external hard disk drives (HDDs) on the market, and there’s a hard drive out there for every need. However, there’s no single best hard drive—it all depends on your individual needs and circumstances.  


Below are our best picks for external hard drives. Follow along as we cover each one in more depth below.

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch HDD

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch HDD taken

Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Touch HDD is an affordable, entry-level disk with a decent amount of storage. It’s portable, so it’s less likely to take up much space in your bag or attract too much attention when using it in public.  


The woven fabric design appeals to the fashion-forward user. Whereas other hard drives are made of aluminum, the Ultra Touch HDD’s unique, textured surface makes it stand out. Its sleek and compact design is a great addition to your desk and compliments any Mac.  


If security is top of mind for you, you’re in good hands. The Ultra Touch HDD is password protected and encrypted with the same security used by the American government and international intelligence agencies. Learn how to clone a hard drive on Mac when it’s lost or stolen.


The drive offers a variety of backup options. Back up files in one click or schedule your backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  


Overall, Seagate’s Backup Plus Ultra Touch HDD is a great option for the cash-conscious and security-minded user.  

Price$89.99 (1TB), $109.99 (2TB)
Capacity1TB, 2TB
SecurityPassword, AES-256 encryption
CompatibilityUSB-C, USB 3.0


  • AES-256 hardware encryption
  • Sync files across your Apple devices with a file-mirroring folder
  • Schedule regular backups to suit your convenience
  • Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch HDD is compatible with Time Machine
  • The drive comes with a complimentary one-year Mylio Create plan (available in selected countries)
  • The disk comes with a free four-month Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (redeemable within a year and available in selected countries)
  • The external drive comes with a data recovery plan in case of damage.


  • The fabric can be harder to maintain and can be easily stained
  • The drive can be slippery due to the fabric cover.

Where to buy

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Newegg
  • Adorama
  • B&H Photo Video
  • Connection
  • Insight
  • CDW Cloud Solutions.

WD My Passport HDD

MyPassport hdd taken

Western Digital (WD) My Passport is another affordable external hard drive. It offers slower speeds, so it’s more suitable for personal use. For example, you can use it to back up and store small personal files, like important documents and sentimental images. Is your hard drive not showing? Learn how to open external hard drive on Mac.


While the drive is loved by many, creatives and business owners who need a fast drive might benefit from a different option. The WD My Passport HDD might frustrate them due to its slow speed.


The My Passport drive is so small it can fit in the palm of your hand. This allows you to carry it comfortably and discreetly in your pocket or bag, and it won’t clutter your desk or storage cabinet.  


The smooth and ribbed design gives you a comfortable grip and a modern look and feel. My Passport disks come in a variety of fun colors, like red, white, black, and blue—giving you multiple options to choose from than the standard black.


It’s quick and easy to set up—just plug it in and go. Drag and drop files and easily share precious photos and videos with friends and family. Choose the backup frequency you’re comfortable with, according to your schedule. Are you running macOS 11 and later? You can download an NTFS driver to read and write files.  


My Passport is designed to complement your lifestyle as your passport for the journey. Whatever journey you’re on, this device will carry you through, thanks to its reliability and durability. To that end, it comes with a three-year warranty. Should you experience any issues or need assistance, the My Passport team is efficient and ready to help.


This particular disk is one of your best options when on a tight budget.

Price1TB from $57.99, 2TB from $73.99, 4TB from $105.99, and 5TB from $124.99
Capacity1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB
SecurityPassword, 256-bit AES hardware encryption
Compatibility    USB 3.2 Gen 1


  • WD My Passport HDD allows you to customize your backup frequency
  • Protect your drive with a password to avoid unauthorized access
  • You have multiple storage capacity options to choose from, depending on your needs
  • It comes with a two-year data recovery plan ($9.99) and a three-year data recovery plan ($14.99). Choose the plan you’re most comfortable with
  • WD My Passport offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty in case you run into any issues.


  • The password-protection feature is only available for Windows devices
  • The device is prone to shocks
  • It has slow speeds, which isn’t ideal when working on large backups.

Where to buy

Get it at and other online retailers.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme

The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC isn’t your typical hard drive. It’s best suited for those with active lifestyles and who are security conscious.  


If your lifestyle involves going to places where you’re exposed to the elements, this drive is for you. It adheres to the IPX3 and IP5X standards for water and dust protection respectively. That means you don’t have to panic if your drive is ever exposed to the elements.


But it doesn’t look shabby either. It has a sleek design that resembles a small journal. The integrated USB cable wraps around the drive, guaranteeing that you’ll never lose it. This reduces the number of items you have to carry around and store. It also makes it easier to quickly plug your hard drive into your laptop.


Most hard drives can be accessed using passwords to protect your privacy. But we all know that passwords don’t offer the best protection, as they can be guessed. The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC has a different approach to security.  


The drive can only be accessed with an included smartcard, thanks to its built-in near-field communication technology (NFC). That means that no one else can access your personal information if your drive is ever lost or stolen.  


The MiniStation Extreme NFC has shock absorption protection that adheres to military standards, in case you bump or drop your drive up to 3.9 feet.

PriceFrom $94.99 (Amazon)
Capacity1TB, 2TB
SpeedUp to 5Gbps (USB 3.0) and 480 Mbps (USB 2.0)
SecurityHardware encryption, smartcard access (included), 256-bit AES Full Data Encryption (FDE)
Compatibility          USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Mac OS X 10.10, or later


  • You can schedule backups with Mac’s Time Machine. Learn how to back up Mac
  • The device has smartcard access, which removes the pressure of having to remember a password. It also reduces the chances of it being bypassed
  • The drive is water and dust resistant, which means you can take it nearly everywhere
  • It comes with a three-year warranty
  • This is an affordable option for the cash-conscious individual.


  • Requires formatting for use on Mac.

Where to buy

G-Technology G-Drive Pro SSD with Thunderbolt™3

G-Drive Pro

G-Technology G-Drive Pro solid-state drive (SSD) is built for users needing something fast and reliable, that they can depend on for years to come. On the design side of things, the G-Drive is about as standard as a drive can be. The stackable aluminum enclosure makes it an aesthetic and practical fit for your desk. It’s not the kind of drive you would mistake for a book or other gadget.  


Media and entertainment enthusiasts will appreciate the G-Drive’s capabilities. Although small (its dimensions are 8.27" x 5.12" x 1.79"), the drive packs a punch. It has extremely fast speeds, allowing you to transfer a maximum of a terabyte of content in under seven minutes.


With the G-Drive Pro SSD, you can edit multi-stream 8K footage at a full frame rate. It allows you to render and enjoy virtual reality content at full resolution. You can also daisy chain up to five more devices using the dual Thunderbolt 3 ports.


This is a powerful, high-performance, and reliable disk for those who have more money to play around with.  

PriceFrom $1,399.95
Capacity960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB
SpeedMaximum 2800MB/s transfer rates

USB 2.0, USB 3.0, macOS 10.13 or later



  • The drive has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a five-year limited warranty in case you’re unhappy with it or experience any issues
  • You can daisy chain up to five more devices
  • It has multiple low-storage capacity options.


  • The disk is on the pricier side
  • It can be noisy, so it might not be a great option for office use or use in quiet places.

Where to buy

  • Western Digital
  • Amazon
  • Newegg.

SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE

SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE

If you’re looking for an all-rounder, this brand is for you. The SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE is a large-capacity drive offering the best storage by far at a decent price. Whereas some people resort to using multiple drives for different purposes, you can use this drive for all your personal and professional needs.


At a maximum of 22TB of storage capacity, you might expect it to look like something that belongs at the back of a cupboard, but that’s not the case. The drive boasts a modern, unique, and stackable design that compliments any space you store it in and looks great next to your Mac. However, it’s a bit on the heavy side, so it takes up a lot of space in your bag or on your desk.


And that’s no surprise—this high-performing device allows you to daisy chain up to six more devices. Choose between three LED brightness modes for your comfort: default, bright, and off.  

PriceFrom $209.99
Capacity4TB, 6TB, 12TB, 18TB, 22TB
SpeedMaximum 280MB/s read and 280MB/s write data transfers (22TB)
Security256-bit AES hardware-based encryption
Compatibility   USB-C


  • The disk is Time Machine ready
  • It has a high storage capacity
  • It is water-proof, dust-proof, and shock-proof, so you can take it on-site if working on a project
  • The drive comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a three-year limited warranty.


  • The SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE is a little slower than an SSD
  • At 1.18kg, it’s a little heavier than standard external drives
  • It might be too big and clunky for office use
  • The disk is quite expensive.

Where to buy

You can buy the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE from Western Digital and other stores.

Choose the best external hard drive for your needs

When looking into hard drives, you’re so spoiled for choice that you might find yourself stuck on which one to get for your Mac. That can be frustrating, but it’s worth making the right decision. After all, you’d want to keep your hard drive for years.


In this article, we’ve given you the best external hard drive options for Mac in the market to suit every need and budget. But before you go out and spend your hard-earned cash, remember to use MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner tool to free up more storage on your Mac.  


You’d be surprised by how much space unused apps are clogging up. If the space is still low, you can go ahead and buy an external hard drive.

Use your Mac to the fullest! Sign up and get:
Effective tips on how to fix Mac issues
Reliable advice on how to stay safe online
Mac-world news and updates

Thank you!

You’ll love exploring your Mac with us.

Oops, something went wrong.

Try again or reload a page.

Here’s another sign you need to upgrade your macOS ASAP:

30% off your MacKeeper subscription

Сopy the code now and use it in the MacKeeper checkout after the upgrade.

Copy Code

Please be aware that this code cannot be combined with any other discounts, offers, or promotions.



Running out of space? Get more with MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner tool.

Try now.

MacKeeper - your all-in-one solution for more space and maximum security.

Try Now

Read more

Best Antivirus for Mac in 2023
Best Antivirus for Mac in 2023
Best 20 Free Games for Mac
Best 20 Free Games for Mac

Run Application


Click Continue


Click Install


Your macOS version is lower than OS 10.11. We’d like to offer you MacKeeper 4 to solve the cleaning, privacy, and security issues of your macOS.