How to take better advantage of your disk drives in MacOS

Although your old solid state disk drive (SSD) in your Mac is still fast, it comes with 128GB in size. You could get more space by purchasing a larger SSD, backing up your current SSD, and restoring all data on the new one. But the larger is the SSD, the larger is the cost.

The other way to increase the capacity is just attaching another disk drive (SSD or HDD) to your system and you will be done with it. Here is how you can use the added disk drive more efficiently on macOS.

Most data is not the same

You can choose which type of disk drive that is compatible for you depending what you are storing. You no need a speedy disk drive if you store the documents or spreadsheets onto the drive, you should think about a lower cost HDD drive. If you want faster connections to run the applications, an SSD connected through SATA or Thunderbolt is the best choice if your device just comes with an external connection.

But the main point is that you should know what you’ll be storing on the hard drive first before purchasing it for the use. Applications require the faster SSD drives, while with non-speedy data or the documents, the cheaper HDDs is good enough.

How to change default storage locations

The fastest way to use your new attached disk drive is changing the default storage location for the apps that you usually use. The default locations odd the Photo apps, Movie apps… place in the home directory in ~/Library/Pictures or ~/Library/Movies. Once you place each of the apps from your boot drive to a separate disk drive, there will a lot of disk space saved. Here is an example of changing the default location for Photos. The Movies does the same


  • Option-click on Photos.
  • Choose Create New…
  • Go to your new hard drive and click on Select.
  • Launch Photo Preferences.
  • Choose Use as System Photo Library option

Now all your photos and videos will then be saved default in the new Library. You can switch to the old one whenever you want.

Also read: How to Create an Encrypted Disk Image on Mac

Final Cut Pro

The process of Final Cut is a little different due to a Pro application. Here is how you can add a new one on the new hard drive.

  1. Launch Final Cut Pro X.
  2. Go to File > New > Library.
  3. Click on Select.
  4. Make sure that you import and have projects in which names Library.


Many of you here will have the Steam installed if you play games or run the VR apps on your Mac. Games eat up a lot of space, so you’d better install them on a separate disk drive. To do so

  • Launch Steam.
  • Head to Steam > Preferences.
  • Choose Downloads
  • Click on Steam Library Folders.
  • Select Add Library Folder.
  • Browse to your new hard drive.
  • Option-click your new folder location, choose Make Default.

Although these changes can be applied to any Mac, we recommend you to do it on a device that stays on the desk. If you have a notebook and you constantly bring it with you, it’s inconvenient to connect to the external storage to access to your data. If you have a workstation, then these suggestions are the most suitable for you. These are also easier ways to spread your data across multiple drives.

Do you have any comments or questions? Share with us in the comment below.

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