How Much Storage Do I Need?

by Raven Harman | Last Updated: June 1, 2022

People often ask me how much storage do I need on my laptop? But there’s no exact answer to this question because every person has different usage. Therefore, in the end, it depends on what you want from your device.

But today, I will share some use cases of different professions (related to computers). So, you’ll have an idea regarding how much storage do I need on my laptop/desktop 2022.

How Much Storage Do I Need

Keep in mind that this topic covers only laptops and computers. So, if you want an answer for smartphone storage, then we’ll cover that topic some other day.

Now, let’s begin today’s discussion.


Storage is one of the major factors to consider while buying a Windows laptop or MacBook because all your data will save in that storage. However, deciding on storage is one of the hardest things because when storage increases, the price of the laptop also increases. So, you should have an idea about the storage space that you’ll need.

But if you don’t know how much storage do I need, then that’s what we are going to cover here. We’ll give an estimate about the current norm of the storage in markets for MacBooks and Windows laptops.

Prerequisites For Deciding on a Storage Space

Before deciding on the storage, you should know which operating system you will use because each operating system needs a different amount of space. For example, Apple recommends 35.5GB of free storage space for installing macOS Big Sur (11. x), whereas Microsoft recommends 32GB of free storage space for installing the latest version of Windows-10.

Similarly, you should also know whether your Windows laptop or MacBook storage is upgradable or not. Most modern Windows laptops or MacBooks come with an SSD that is soldered onto the board and you can’t upgrade their storage. But some Windows laptops or MacBooks still have an option of upgrading the storage.

So, if you think that you might need to upgrade the storage of your MacBook or Windows laptop in the future, then upgradeable laptops are the way to go.

However, there’s a dark side to the storage that most laptop manufacturers don’t show. So, let’s see what it is.

Dark Side of Storage in Technology

If you deal with technology a lot, then you would know that some part of every storage media is already occupied. But have you ever wondered why that happens?

That’s because manufacturers use base-10 numbers to show the storage on the specs sheet of the laptop instead of base-2 numbers. This means every storage media has 70.3 megabytes less disk space for each gigabyte.

To be more precise, if you have a 128GB hard drive and if you subtract 70.3MB from each gigabyte, then you will get the actual storage space of your hard drive.

How Much Storage Do I Need? – Use Cases

When we talk about the secondary storage of laptops or PCs, two types of storage media come to our minds: SSD and HDD.

In short, SSDs are faster than HDDs because SSDs read and write data to a substrate of interconnected flash memory chips that are fabricated out of silicon. Plus, SSD stores data without moving any parts. So, if you install your operating system on an SSD, your system will have less latency time and faster boot time.

Considering the modern needs, it’s better to go with SSDs and 256GB SSD is an appropriate amount of storage for most users. But you should know that SSDs come at an extensive price and you’ll hardly see a 2TB SSD. On the other hand, 2TB HDDs are not hard to find.

1.     Required Storage Space for Students

If you’re a student and you’re searching for how much storage do I need on my laptop for college or how much storage do I need on my laptop for university, then 128GB or 256GB SSD will be enough for you.

School students generally rely on Chromebook because students mostly rely on browsers and cloud storage.

2.     Required Storage Space for Audio and Music Production

If you make studio recordings or compose audio tracks on your computer or laptop and you’re searching for how much storage do I need PC or how much storage do I need a laptop, then a 512GB SSD should be your choice. It’s enough for handling your existing projects, DAW plugins, DAW tools, and sample music libraries.

3.     Required Storage Space for Gaming

If you’re a gamer and you’re searching for how much storage do I need for gaming, then a 512GB SSD will be enough for you. Because the setup size of most games is around 40-50GB. But the size of every game will increase over time because of the game updates or installed patches. So, 512GB is a pretty reasonable storage space for a gamer.

4.     Required Storage Space for Photo and Video Editing

If you edit pictures or videos professionally or as a hobby, then an SSD with larger storage should be your choice. So, content creators should go with 1TB of SSD because you can easily store your project backups and software files in this storage.

These are the use cases that I’ve picked according to the common choices. So, it’s not a rule of thumb and in each case, if you think you will run out of storage, then you can upgrade the storage.

Read More: Can We Use External RAM for Laptop?


As mentioned earlier, there’s no exact answer to this question. But generally, non-professional users will be fine with 128-320GB storage space. Whereas professional users will need more than 512GB and close to 1TB storage space.

Some users invest in cloud storage rather than buying physical storage media because there are no chances of physical damage in cloud storage. Therefore, it depends on your budget and what you want to do with a laptop or MacBook.

But, after reading the whole discussion, if you’re still searching how much storage do I need on my MacBook, then only you would know the answer to this question.