What hard drive is in my Mac?

Figuring out what hard drive is inside your Mac can be important for several reasons. Knowing the make, model, size, speed, and type of your Mac’s hard drive allows you to understand its overall performance capabilities. This information also helps when considering upgrading the hard drive or troubleshooting drive issues. Here is a guide on how to find out this key detail about your Mac’s internal storage.

Check System Information on Your Mac

The easiest way to find out what hard drive you have in your specific Mac model is to use the System Information app on your computer. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities and open System Information.
  2. In the lefthand column, select Hardware > Storage.
  3. The main panel will now display details about your internal hard drive, including the manufacturer, model number, serial number, drive type, S.M.A.R.T. status, and overall capacity.

This will give you all the key specs in one place, without needing to open up your computer. The model number can then be searched online to find additional details from the manufacturer if needed.

Check Specs on Your Mac’s Product Page

If you don’t have access to the Mac itself to check System Information, you can look up its factory hard drive details on Apple’s website. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Apple’s main Mac lineup page at www.apple.com/mac.
  2. Select the model of Mac you have from the list.
  3. On your Mac’s overview page, scroll down to Tech Specs and click the storage category.
  4. This will expand to show details like the storage amount, type, speed, and specific drive model number.

Matching these specs against what is shown in System Information will let you confirm if the internal drive is the original one that came with your Mac or if it has been swapped out since purchase.

Use a External Drive Utilities

For an even more detailed drive health check, use drive utilities included with macOS or available for download:

  • Disk Utility – This builtin app shows SMART status, total writes, and general drive errors.
  • DriveDX – This free app gives you temperature, bad sector counts, and test benchmark scores.
  • smartmontools – These command line utilities show full SMART data and assessments.

While 3rd party tools give you deeper technical insights, Disk Utility can satisfy most users’ needs to check drive details and conditions. And turning to utilities like DriveDX or smartmontools is best when you actually suspect drive issues based on performance changes or other warning signs.

What Drive Types Are Used in Macs?

Now that you know how to find out the exact drive model in your Mac, you may be wondering about the different drive types used by Apple over the years. Here is an overview of common hard drive technologies found in various Macs.

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

Hard disk drives (HDDs) use old style spinning magnetic platters. While HDDs have largely been replaced by SSDs in newer Macs, they continued to be used in older models for their high capacities and lower prices. However, HDDs are slower, noisier, and more prone to failure compared to SSDs.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Solid state drives (SSDs) are flash-based, with no moving parts. SSDs are much faster than HDDs, completely silent, and more reliable. Virtually all Macs now use SSDs due to their major advantages. However, SSD capacities remain smaller and prices higher compared to HDDs.

Fusion Drives

Fusion Drives were introduced by Apple in 2012. They pair a large HDD with a smaller SSD in a single logical volume to gain both high capacity and improved performance. The SSD handles key tasks and apps, while documents and media remain on the slower HDD.


More recent Macs are equipped with PCIe solid state drives, which connect over the PCI Express bus. This direct PCIe connection allows drastically faster transfer speeds compared to SATA SSDs.

Internal Drive Upgrades and Replacements

Once you know your Mac’s current hard drive details, you may consider upgrading its internal drive for more storage space or improved performance. Here are some key points about drive upgrades for different Mac models.

Older Macs Allow Easy Drive Swaps

In older Macs from the 2000s and early 2010s, the hard drives were typically user-servicable and easily accessible. This allowed simply swapping in a new drive, even upgrading from an HDD to SSD. However, matching the physical size and connector was important.

Newer Macs Require Professional Help

In most newer Macs, the SSDs are soldered or specially fitted inside, making user upgrades nearly impossible. Instead, you’ll need to schedule an appointment at an Apple store or authorized service provide to have the drive swapped out professionally.

External Drives Provide an Alternative

Rather than opening up your Mac and replacing the internal hard drive, another option is simply using an external drive. External drives connected over USB, Thunderbolt, or USB-C can supplement your internal storage with extra capacity and flexibility.

Consider a DIY Solution for Older Macs

While internal upgrades for newer Macs require professional help, older models frequently allow DIY drive upgrades or replacements, if you’re comfortable carefully opening up your computer.

Be sure to properly research the correct drive type, size, connector, mounting, and any special tools needed. And follow all ESD precautions before opening your Mac.

Tips for Checking Compatibility

When considering upgrading or replacing your Mac’s internal hard drive, it’s important to carefully match the compatibility of the new drive. Here are some tips for ensuring it will physically fit and correctly connect:

  • Match the physical 2.5″ or 3.5″ drive size as needed.
  • Match the connector, typically SATA or PCIe.
  • Check that the drive thickness or height is supported.
  • Ensure the drive properly mounts in the caddy or bay.
  • Check that pin count or notches line up on the SATA connector.

Referring to online DIY guides for your specific Mac model can provide examples and recommendations on drives that other users have successfully installed. And when in doubt, seek advice from an Apple expert before purchasing a new drive.

Most Common Hard Drives Used in Macs

Here is a table summarizing some of the most frequently used internal hard drives found in various Mac models over the years:

Mac Model Hard Drive Details
iMac G5 (PowerPC) 3.5″ SATA HDD
Mac Pro 2006-2012 3.5″ SATA HDD
MacBook Pro 2009-2012 2.5″ SATA HDD or SSD
MacBook Air 2010-2017 Custom SSD
Retina MacBook Pro 2012-2015 Custom PCIe SSD
iMac 2012-2019 2.5″ SATA HDD or SSD
MacBook Pro 2016-2019 PCIe SSD
MacBook Air 2018-2019 PCIe SSD
Mac Pro 2019 MPX Module SSDs

This covers the primary internal drive types used across the Mac lineup over the past 15+ years. Specific drive models and specs still vary within these generations, so refer to Apple’s tech specs for your exact Mac.


Finding out the details of your Mac’s internal hard drive is easy using System Information on the Mac itself or looking up the specs for your specific model. This can help you understand your Mac’s storage performance, assist with drive troubleshooting, and make decisions about potential drive upgrades or replacements. With SSDs now standard across all Macs, most users won’t need internal drive swaps, but it’s still useful knowledge to have just in case.