Apple tends to fit many Macs with small-ish hard drives. Now to be fair the Mac apps also tend to be smaller than Windows equivalents so you may not need a bigger drive. But if you work with a lot of media (pictures, videos, music) you’ll run out of space eventually.

So how do you replace the hard drive in a Mac? I’ll show you:

– First, use Time Machine to make a backup of your system. This can either be to a USB external hard drive or to a network drive. (You might be able to use a Firewire drive too, but I’ve never tried.)

– Once the backup is complete, it is time to replace the hard drive. Now there are way too many configurations for me to explain exactly how to replace the physical drive. In my unibody MacBook Pro, I remove the screws on the bottom, take the bottom panel off, and the drive is right there. You’ll likely find a similar configuration for other modern Macs. Look around on Youtube for instructions for your specific Mac model. Keep in mind that you will likely need a jewelers screwdriver set and you may need some tiny torx drivers.

– Once the new drive is installed, boot the Mac using the MacOS system disc. Open the Disk Utility and select the new hard drive on the left. (If the drive has an existing partition, be sure to click on the drive, not the partition.) Then click on “Partition” at the top. Click on the Options button. Choose GUID and click OK. Then make sure to select Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and click Apply.

– Once done with setting up the new drive, open Time Machine and restore the backup. If you used a USB external drive for the backup, it should easily find the backup and restore it. If you stored it on a network drive, you will have to connect to the network and mount the drive to restore the backup.

Give it several hours to restore but once it does you will be up and running with your new hard drive! (And if something doesn’t work you can pop the old drive back in since none of the data was harmed.)