How much storage do you need on your laptop?

2nd February 2022
lady on laptop using it for work purposes

When buying a laptop, there are a number of things to consider. One of the key factors in choosing the right laptop for you is how much storage you will need.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward, one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone uses their laptop in different ways and the amount of storage you need on your laptop will depend on what you’ll be using your laptop for.

Here are the things to consider when deciding how much storage you need

Operating system

When deciding how much storage you need, you’ll need to keep in mind which operating system you’ll be using on your laptop. Each operating system requires a different amount of space.

illustrated operating system on a laptop


The next thing to consider is whether you’ll want the storage to be upgradeable or not. The majority of laptops have an SSD that is soldered onto the board, meaning the storage can’t be upgraded. Others offer the option to upgrade the storage.


Different types of users require different amounts of storage. Here are some examples of different types of usage and the storage required:

Storage for students

Students typically use their laptops to access browsers and basic programmes. They also tend to use cloud storage, meaning that 128GB or 256GB SSD should be enough for their laptops.

Storage for music production

If you’ll be using your laptop for music or audio production, you’ll need around 512GB. This will be enough to handle audio projects, and the necessary plugins and tools.

Storage for gaming

If you’re going to use your laptop for gaming, 512GB should be enough. Most games have a setup size of approximately 40-50GB, but the size increases over time as you update the game or install patches.

video and sound editing software

Storage for photo and video editing

If you use your laptop to edit photos or videos, you’ll need a larger amount of storage. 1TB should be enough to easily store projects and software files, as well as work on edits seamlessly.


As the storage increases, so does the price of the laptop. Consider how much you can afford to spend and how much storage you can get for laptops in that price range.

Different types of laptop storage

SSD – Solid State Drive

Whereas older models use HDDs, the majority of new laptops use SSDs. All Macbooks produced since 2012, for example, use an SSD.

SSDs are much quicker and more reliable than HDDs and other alternatives and because the data is stored in flash memory, the drive is incredibly lightweight too, making it ideal for use in laptops.

HDD – Hard Disk Drive

HDDs were traditionally used for computer storage, but today they are far too slow for use in laptops. An HDD is still a good option if you’re looking for additional, external storage, but an SSD is a better option for main storage.

eMMC Storage – Embedded Multimedia Card Storage

Although this type of storage is mostly used in phones and tablets, some smaller laptops use eMMC storage instead of SSD.

Like SSD, eMMC is a form of flash storage. It’s worth noting that eMMC cards are soldered onto the motherboard of the laptop, meaning you won’t be able to update your storage in the future.

Hybrid storage

ssd and hdd hybrid storage card

Some laptops have a combination of SSD and an HDD. This combined approach gives users the speed of an SSD and the capacity of an HDD.

Increasing your laptop storage

Over time, you might find that you need to expand your storage before you’re ready to fully upgrade your laptop. If you want to add additional storage, there are a number of options available:

Upgrade the internal hard drive

If you want to upgrade the size of your storage significantly, upgrading the internal could be an option. However, this isn’t possible on all laptops. Most laptops only have room for one hard drive, but you might be able to replace your hard drive with one that offers more storage space.

If you decide to upgrade your hard drive, you’ll need to ensure that the new one is compatible with your laptop.

Add an external drive

Another option is to use an external drive to store files. An external hard drive is simple to use as it just needs to be plugged into the laptop. You’ll then be able to transfer files over and free up storage on your device. External drives can store up to 12TB of data or more and are portable.

Upload your files to Cloud storage

Uploading your files to Cloud storage is a great way to create extra storage space on your laptop. Different platforms are available, including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Google One, and iCloud – the majority of these services offer free storage up to a certain limit, and you can upgrade to a paid plan if you need more storage.

Get a USB Drive

usb drive for laptops and storage

Although it’s not a long-term solution, if you want to free up storage and transfer files fast, a USB hard drive or pen drive can be useful. These small devices are convenient and affordable.

Upgrading laptop storage to keep up with changing technology and usage requirements can be costly to an organisation, particularly if different team members require different laptop setups.

Equipment leasing is the perfect solution, giving you complete control over the hardware and software your team has access to, providing you with the flexibility to enjoy the latest technology when you need it.

HardSoft laptop leasing solutions provide you with an affordable way of accessing high-performance devices, with full aftercare support packages and flexible rental solutions to suit your individual needs. If you would like to find out more about our leasing options or have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.