6 Best External Hard Drives for MacBook Pro

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The new 14-inch and 16-inch Apple Silicon MacBook Pros are powerful machines. We have been using the 14-inch MacBook Pro since its launch, and it has never hiccuped or frozen on us, no matter how demanding the workload. However, these machines don’t come cheap, and as always, Apple charges a premium for upgrading the storage, making them even more costly. That’s why it’s always a good idea to invest in external storage, especially for archiving and hosting large files. While external SSDs are becoming cheaper, if you want a boatload of storage at an affordable price, external hard drives are still the best option. Here are the best external hard drives for MacBook Pro that you should buy.

But first,

Best external hard drives for MacBook Pro

Hard drives have become reliable and fast, so you don’t have to worry much about losing your data. We still recommend you buy an external SSD as your travel and frequent file-transfer solution, however, for storing big files like your 4K movie library, your video editing archived projects, and more, buying an external hard drive is the cost-effective option.

In this guide, we have listed the best external hard drives for MacBook Pro that you can buy today. Most of the hard drives on the list come with a USB-C cable, so you don’t have to depend on a dongle. If a hard drive doesn’t support USB-C, we have mentioned it explicitly so you can make an informed decision.

1. Toshiba Canvio Flex external hard drive for MacBook Pro

The Toshiba Canvio Flex external hard drive for MacBook Pro is one of the best budget hard drive options for Mac owners. The device comes formatted with the exFAT format, so it is compatible with macOS and Windows machines right out of the box. The hard drive comes with both USB-C to Micro-B and USB-A to Micro-B cables, allowing you to connect the drive to any computer you own without requiring any dongles. You can even connect the drive to your iPad Pro.

We also love the simple and clean design of this drive. You can get it in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB configurations. We recommend buying the 2TB version over the 1TB version as it costs only $12 more. You can choose the desired capacity on its Amazon listing page. If you are looking for a budget hard drive for your MacBook Pro you should consider buying this one.

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2. WD My Passport Ultra for MacBook Pro

While the Toshiba drive is cheaper, we recommend the WD My Passport Ultra over it for several reasons. First of all, this drive is USB-C ready and comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable out of the box. You also get a USB-A adapter to connect it to older devices. Secondly, it sports a metal housing and is compact in size, making it a better travel companion. And thirdly, it comes with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with password protection, allowing you to encrypt your files so no one else can access them.

WD My Passport Ultra for MacBook Pro

You get about 100 MB/s transfer speeds out of the box, however, the transfer speeds start decreasing when the drive reaches its capacity. But that’s an issue that all drives (even SSDs) have, so we cannot complain much. Other features include pre-formatted for macOS and a three-year limited warranty. You can get this drive in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB capacities.

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3. Seagate Ultra Touch HDD

Seagate Ultra Touch HDD is another good option for people looking for a compact hard drive for their MacBook Pro. The hard drive comes with built-in hardware encryption, allowing you to safely store your photos, videos, movies, and more. The hard drive is also Time Machine compatible right out of the box, allowing you to create Time Machine backup for your Mac.

Seagate Ultra Touch HDD

It comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, but you get a USB-C dongle in the box, so you won’t have any issues connecting it to your MacBook Pro. The drive is also a bit faster at 120 MB/s. Other benefits of this drive include a 1-year free subscription to Mylio Create and four months of free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud services.

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4. LaCie Rugged Mini

If you are looking for a hard drive that can handle some rough use, you should buy the LaCie Rugged Mini portable hard drive for MacBook Pro. The hard drive is enclosed inside a protective case and bumper that can handle drops up to four feet. It is also dust and water-resistant, making it even more durable and long-lasting.

LaCie Rugged Mini

We also love that the LaCie Rugged Mini has a built-in USB-C cable, so you don’t have to carry a cable separately. You get up to 130MB/s read and write speeds, which is better than the competition. The drive is available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB configurations.

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5. SanDisk Professional G-Drive enterprise-class

If you need even more storage than any of the above drives can provide, you should get the SanDisk Professional G-Drive enterprise-class hard drive. The hard drive is available in up to 22TB capacity, fitting any personal or professional needs. It comes with a USB-C port and offers up to 250MB/s read and 250MB/s write speeds (280MB/s if you get the 22TB model), which is almost double the speeds you get in traditional portable hard drives.

SanDisk Professional G-Drive enterprise-class

The higher speed is thanks to the high-capacity, enterprise-class 7200RPM drive that SanDisk has used in this product. The G-Drive is Mac-ready and Apple Time Machine compatible, allowing you to create a one-click backup of your MacBook Pro with ease. The outer casing of the G-Drive is made of anodized aluminum that offers long durability.

If you need a large amount of storage for hosting your video and movie library, this is one of the best hard drive options for your MacBook Pro. The SanDisk Professional G-Drive is available in 4TB, 6TB, 12TB, 18TB, and 22TB capacities.

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6. WD My Book desktop external hard drive

If you want the 12TB storage but don't want to pay the premium price, you should buy the WD My Book desktop external hard drive for your MacBook Pro. The drive is available in up to 18TB capacity and is significantly cheaper than the SanDisk Professional G-Drive. The drive comes with backup software allowing you to create quick backups, AES-256 encryption, and robust build.

WD My Book desktop external hard drive

However, the reduction in price comes with some shortcomings. The read and write speeds clock between 150 to 200 MB/s, so it’s slightly slower than the G-Drive. Also, it comes with a USB-A cable, so you will have to use a dongle. The good news is that it uses a high-speed USB port, so the transfer speeds will not be affected. Finally, it’s big in size and will take up a lot of space on your desk.

But if these shortcomings don’t impact your use case, you can get its 12TB version for more than $100 cheaper than the G-Drive.

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Best MacBook Pro external hard drives to buy

That ends our list of the best MacBook Pro external hard drives you can buy right now. We have included budget and premium options in several storage capacities so you can choose the one that best fits your requirements. After you purchase the drive, don’t forget to check out our best MacBook Pro tips and tricks article to get the most out of your Mac.