How much storage do I need on my laptop ?

If you have chosen to buy a laptop as your chosen computing device, there are some important determining factors. Among the most important, though, revolves around storage space. With that in mind, you might have one question – how much storage do I need on my laptop?

For most laptop owners, storage space is essential. if you are using this for work, you need to know you have enough space for all of your apps, executables, and files. If you are using it for recreation, you need enough space to store everything you tend to use – games and media, for the most part. So, the question of how much storage you need is actually a toughie to answer without knowing what you use your laptop for. However, to help you work out what you should consider, here are some essential space-focused tips.

How much storage do I need on my laptop? It’s quite complicated

Sadly, like most things in computing, there is no ‘easy’ answer to the storage question. How much storage you need is going to be based on your day-to-day usage. For the most part, you should be looking, in 2022 and beyond, for minimum storage space of 256GB. Given that your operating system can take up tens of gigabytes and most of your essential apps and tools will do the same, you want to know you have ample storage space.

Today, it is easy to find a laptop with 512GB or even 1TB-plus of storage space. For the average user, though, 512GB would be more than enough. If you have bought your laptop for gaming purposes, though, it might be wise to look at something in the 1TB range if you want to have lots of games and apps installed.

If you intend to only use your laptop for web browsing and the like, though, a 256GB storage amount would be more than enough. In fact, for smaller laptops only used for browsing, a 125GB storage space would be suitable. Still, since we can use our laptops for so many features, we recommend a 256GB minimum starting place for a modern laptop buyer.

If you happen to use your laptop for storing things like audio and video files, though, you might wish to go above 256GB. Especially if you are shooting in 1080P or even 4K, you can soon find that you are using gigabytes of data for one single laptop file. If you use third-party software like Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, though, you should look for a minimum of 256GB and preferably move closer to 512GB and above. This gives you increased storage space for anything you might be using, viewing, and/or creating.

There is another factor to take into account, though, and that is the type of hard drive.

Which hard drive type do I want in my laptop?

When viewing two laptops that both have 512GB of storage space, for example, you might be confused by the price jump. Why is one so much more expensive than the other? The reason could come down to the hard drive type.

Your two most common types of hard drive will include a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD). HDDs are the old-school option and are what you have received for computer storage for years now. They are good for those who want a cheaper hard drive; you could typically get an HDD with multiples of the storage space of an SSD for the same price. They are, though, much slower in reading and writing files.

SSDs, by contrast, are much faster and they are the ideal choice for most laptops today. they are fast and effective because they can read and write files at a much quicker pace than HDDs. They are also lighter due to the fact that SSDs store information using flash memory, making them mechanically less intrusive. They are sleek, stylish, and minimalistic in their shape. Definitely the better choice, but they are more expensive – if you want a quicker-running and smoother-operating laptop, though, this should be your first choice.

Can you extend your laptop storage space, though? Is it possible to add in a new hard drive, or upgrade what you already have?

What if I need more storage space on my laptop?

The simplest thing that you can do here is to buy an external hard drive. You could buy a new internal hard drive with more disk space. This, though, would involve opening up your laptop to fit in the new hard drive. You would also need to then back up the hard disk and make sure that you do not lose any data at this point. Therefore, the easiest solution is instead to turn to an external solution.

For the most part, an external hard drive or a USB flash drive should be more than enough to help you get the extra storage you need. Many laptops bought today are hard to open up or will void the warranty when opened, so actually swapping out your hard drive is not quite as easy as it might first seem. Even on more modern laptops where the hard drive can just pop out, this is not always the most suitable option.

Instead, it is better to buy a laptop with enough storage space from day one – and then amplify this storage space with the use of features like external drives and cloud storage.