Updated September 06, 2020 by Jeff Newburgh

The 10 Best External Hard Drives For Macs

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in November of 2018. If you're a business owner, audio-visual professional, student, or video game enthusiast, you can transfer large files to and from your Mac using one of these external hard drives. We've included traditional HDD and SSD models that offer convenient plug-and-play operation, compact designs, and fast speeds that make it easy to access, protect, and store lots of data wherever you go. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best external hard drive for macs on Amazon.

10. Oyen U32 Shadow

9. G-Technology ArmorATD

8. Glyph BlackBox Pro

7. Seagate Barracuda

6. Lacie D2 Professional

5. Silicon Power A62

4. G-Technology G-Drive

3. SanDisk Extreme Pro

2. Western Digital My Book

1. Crucial X8

Special Honors

Verity Systems Crunch 250 What if you need a way to safely destroy your data so that it won't fall into the wrong hands when it's no longer needed? Perfect for businesses, law enforcement, or large government agencies, the Verity Systems Crunch 250 is your answer. This hard drive destroyer can dispose of both HDD and SSD devices in less than ten seconds. It is equipped with a simple LCD interface and built-in auditing software that monitors and records the destruction process. Additionally, the unit features safety interlocks that prevent an operator's fingers or clothes from entering the crushing area when its moving components are engaged. veritysystems.com

SecureData SecureDrive KP Notably expensive, the SecureData SecureDrive KP is a solid-state drive that offers a storage capacity of eight terabytes and compatibility with Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Thin Clients, Zero Clients, and Android operating systems. Its data encryption process consists of 14 different rounds of encryption designed to make original data unrecognizable to an unauthorized user, while its wear-resistant keypad can be used to punch in the appropriate numerical pin to gain access to the drive's contents. Finally, it can be set to automatically lock after a predetermined period of inactivity. securedrive.com

Editor's Notes

September 04, 2020:

Significant updates have been made this year, not because there was anything inherently wrong with our previous selections, but rather because most were simply outdated. We've provided a refresh with comparable replacements offering improved speeds, compact designs, and a wide range of compatibility with various interfaces, while also maintaining a broad representation of the major brands.

We've tried to balance the inclusion of both HDD and SSD devices. As a user's demands increase with the evolution of high-definition media and growing file sizes, so do the requirements for the hardware used to keep this kind of data secure and easy to access. For that reason, we've tried to balance form, portability, power, and efficiency in our current selection of drives for your Mac. Many of them are also compatible with the Windows operating system.

Perfect for gamers, the Crucial X8 can withstand drops from over seven feet, while also capable of loading files up to seven times faster than most ordinary HDD devices.

We've added the Western Digital My Book for its integrated security software and hardware encryption. This one can also import data from social media and cloud storage services.

Both the SanDisk Extreme Pro and Glyph BlackBox Pro have protective rubber exteriors, the former of which is pocked-sized for easy transport while the latter features a fanless cooling system and integrated health monitoring.

The USB-C port on the G-Technology G-Drive offers enough power to charge a Macbook Pro. It also has 14 terabytes of internal storage. When drives like these come in several sizes, I tend to choose the highest capacity available (even if it's more expensive). Extra space comes in handy when working with large and memory-intensive files like high-definition videos or games.

We've also added the Lacie D2 Professional for its quiet operation, compatibility with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections, and inclusion of data recovery services.

Although it occasionally drops connection and has a slower transfer speed than some of its competition, the G-Technology ArmorATD is still a decent option for outdoor use, thanks to its ability to withstand a crushing force of 1,000 pounds.

November 13, 2018:

Included the Oyen U32 Shadow solid state drive due to its ultra-fast operation and the Fantom GForce 3 because of its large memory capacity and quiet operation. Both the WD My Passport Ultra and Toshiba Canvio Advance offer integrated password protection for additional security. Also added the Silicon Armor A60 and A75 models along with the Lacie Rugged Mini for their rugged construction and ability to withstand impacts.


Jeff Newburgh
Last updated on September 06, 2020 by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.