How to Increase Your Computer’s Storage Space [10 Ways]

CG Director Author Petar Vukobratby Petar Vukobrat   /  Published 

Storage space is the one thing we can never have enough of. It’s the bane of everyone’s existence. And even if you have terabytes upon terabytes of storage, there will come a time when you’ll end up needing more — for whatever reason.

As you grow as a creative professional, as your projects evolve and become more and more comprehensive, so will your need for storage, be it internal or external.

So what are the ways in which one can increase storage space? Fortunately, the list is long and, frankly, quite interesting.

Mechanical Hard Drives

Buying an additional mechanical hard drive might not be that popular of an option in 2023, but it’s still a viable one and, perhaps most importantly, it’s insanely cheap.

These drives are large, audible, and prone to malfunctioning, but they still come in large capacities and can be bought for a very reasonable price.

So, if you just want to back up some old media and have ample space inside your PC case, these archaic storage devices will definitely suffice — and they won’t break the bank either.

That being said, mechanical hard drives are by no means the most advisable route.

USB thumb drives are pretty cheap these days and even though they don’t offer nearly as much storage space they do offer higher transfer speeds (we’ll ignore the existence of USB 2.0 for the sake of argument).

And, well, buying an SSD is always more advisable, but more on that down below.

Solid State Drives

Buying an additional solid-state drive (or SSD, for short) is always the best possible option, assuming you have a SATA/M.2 port to spare.


They offer tremendous value and are fairly affordable nowadays as well. There’s really nothing to complain about whatsoever. Upcoming PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs will feature read and write speeds of well over ten gigabytes per second which, frankly, is astonishing.

But even if you buy a “regular” SATA SSD you’ll still get vastly superior performance to old mechanical hard drives.

That’s the thing: solid-state drives offer both higher transfer speeds and a fair bit of freedom when it comes to connectivity and form factor.

And even if you’ve used up all your M.2/SATA ports you can still buy an external SSD and get truly incredible performance (assuming you have the appropriate ports on your motherboard/enclosure).

These can come in clutch for a myriad of different workflows: video editing, gaming, file storing, and so on and so forth.

External Drives [HDD/SSD]

Buying external storage media always makes sense, especially if going with the internal route isn’t an option.

External hard drives are painfully slow but they’re still present on the market and, well, for a good reason. They’re cheap, fast enough, and can come “packed” with many terabytes.

Still, you should only buy one if you need to back up something fairly important. These hard drives, much like internal ones, are prone to malfunctioning (especially if handled inappropriately).

External SSDs are a much better choice, although they’re also a lot more expensive. Still, for that price delta, you’re getting incredibly fast read and write speeds and a kind of storage device that’s many times more reliable.

Samsung External SSD

Image Credit: SAMSUNG

Moreover, if you have a fast NVMe drive laying around (or even an M.2/SATA SSD, for that matter), you could also buy a rack and connect it to your computer as if it were an external SSD.

What is an External SSD Enclosure

Image Credit: ASUS

It’s not going to perform at the same speed as if it were connected to your motherboard, but it’ll still serve its purpose.

USB Thumb Drives

Thumb drives are no longer all that popular but are still a great option for anyone who needs additional storage — one that’s about as portable as it gets.

Better yet, USB sticks nowadays come in incredibly large capacities, with 1TB drives already available (and 2TB presumably on the way).

That being said, high-capacity USB sticks are quite expensive and are not a worthwhile investment from a value perspective.

Still, they’re an option worth considering.

SD/microSD Cards

A form of storage expansion that isn’t all that popular nowadays (for these purposes, at least) but is nonetheless a very legitimate option — assuming you have the appropriate slot on your laptop and/or computer.

SD Card Form Factors

Source: Dignited

These cards can serve a multitude of different functions, especially if you’re a content creator and tend to juggle dozens of SD cards for your work.

Moreover, while they’re not necessarily cheap they are still relatively well-priced and can reach surprisingly fast read and write speeds. They’re a great option if you want something that’s incredibly small and can be taken with you on the go.

And, of course, the latest and greatest ones offer a tremendous amount of storage — a baffling amount, in fact.

The largest one available at the time of this writing is 1TB (in the microSD form factor, no less), with 2TB cards supposedly coming out in the next couple of months.

The fact that you can have so much storage within such a small piece of “tech” is astounding. It costs a lot, granted, but for some industry professionals that’s a small price to pay for the ability to record hours upon hours of high-quality 4K (and above) footage.

Online Storage

Backing up your files “in the cloud” is an incredibly popular option nowadays and, well, rightfully so.

You can get 2TB of online Google Drive storage for about ten dollars a month which is a steal, and it’s an even bigger bargain if you immediately pay up for the whole year.

Google Drive Packages

Image Source: Google

Having all of your files safely backed up online is about as convenient as it gets. And, naturally, they can be accessed through any kind of browser and device so long as you have an internet connection.

Privacy might be a valid concern, but if you’re only storing your projects, photos, documents, and whatnot there’s really nothing to be worried about.

Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft’s OneDrive are the most popular options. Other companies might offer more storage space per dollar, but they’re not going to be as reliable as the aforementioned three. In that sense, your mileage will vary.

Network-Attached Storage

Network-attached storage (or NAS, for short) is an absolutely incredible option for both consummate professionals and those who want a truly comprehensive option for both storing and accessing their data.

NAS (Network-Attached Storage)

Source: Synology

A NAS is, essentially, a fairly compact storage device that comes loaded with its own PC-like components and multiple HDD/SSD bays for your existing storage devices.

It also comes with a rather simple OS-like interface for you to access your files, along with numerous different ports on the back, including video out, a couple of USB ports (for either daisy chaining additional NAS “extenders” or external drives), and — most importantly — a bunch of fast Ethernet ports (2.5GbE or, at best, 10GbE).

You can think of a NAS as your personal storage system, with all of its files being accessible from either your existing computer or, alternatively, from wherever you are in the world.

A NAS system is scalable, reliable, and offers an incredibly vast array of options for both backing up and accessing your files.

Better yet, these files can be accessed even if your main computer is turned off. The only thing that’s important is that your NAS is up and running.

To see it all in action, you can watch the video below:

Logging in through a web client and downloading your files can all be done at a moment’s notice.

You can link your storage drives in a RAID configuration and, in doing so, allocate one or more drives to serve as backups.

Raid Configurations

That’s just one of the many ways in which you can set things up — your workflow and overall needs will dictate the particular RAID array you ought to select.

All of that being said, a NAS solution isn’t cheap (an understatement). You’ll have to pony up a fair bit of money just for the enclosure itself, and then subsequently add NAS-rated drives which is yet another added expense.

Still, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.


Let’s go over a few potential questions you might have regarding this particular topic:

What’s the Best Way to Increase Storage Space?

That depends on your current set-up and overall budget. If you have an empty M.2 or SATA connector on your motherboard, going with an SSD would result in the best “bang for the buck.”

If that’s not an option, then buying an external SSD would be the way to go.

Also, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one option or, rather, a way of increasing storage.

You can, by all means, buy internal/external storage devices and still enjoy the benefits of backing up your files “in the cloud.”

And, as already mentioned, setting up your NAS — if you have a need for such a comprehensive (and, frankly, awesome) system — would net you the absolute biggest ease of mind that your files are both backed up and easily accessible.

Are Mechanical Hard Drives Still Worth It?

They’re still the most economical way of storing your files. That being said, they’re… not a great option overall.

Still, if you just need to back something up, be it music or games you’re not actively playing or some other form of media, they’re a pretty good — and admittedly quite cheap — option.

Can I Increase the Storage on My Mac Device?

If you have one of Apple’s latest and greatest ARM-based devices then you’ll simply have to resort to buying external SSDs, flash drives, and microSD/SD cards as those computers and laptops offer no upgrade path whatsoever.

A NAS is still an option but setting one up will require a fair bit of time and it’s not exactly “plug and play” — nor is it particularly cheap.

Still, if you can stomach the oft-despised “dongle life,” you probably won’t have that big of an issue with lugging around numerous SSDs and USB cables in your backpack. It’s not all that practical, but it will get the job done.

Over to You

What’s your “go-to” way of increasing your PC’s storage space? Let us know in the comment section down below and, in case you need any help, head over to our forum and ask away!

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Petar Vukobrat

I first sat down in front of a Pentium II in 1999 and it feels like I’ve been sitting in front of a computer ever since.

And, well, until mankind comes up with something better and more entertaining, that’ll keep being the case.

If you have any questions — or just want to talk about all things PC and Apple — leave a comment down below!


Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

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