I bought a MacBook Air 13.3″ i7 8 GB RAM 128 GB SSD (early 2014) some months ago and found out that the 128 GB are definitely not enough!

To somehow rectify my problem I though of buying a fast external HD, make it bootable and do everything from there (I need the space on my startup disk because of the big iTunes collection, at least 500 MB).

In order not to slow down the whole computer too much I’m not sure if I'd better buy an external SSD1 with USB3 or a Thunderbolt 1 disk (for some reasons there are no SSD1 with Thunderbolt). The transfer speed is faster on the Thunderbolt but there might be other problems involved with it, I don’t know, The original disk on the mac is a flash storage, so maybe SSD1 via USB3?

I add here two examples of these external HDs I’m talking about in order to make the comparison easier, maybe some of you might give me some good advice.



  • Why don't you just put your iTunes on an external drive, then it doesn't really matter how fast it is. my iTunes folder is 55GB & I for sure don't need it clogging up my SSD, even if it is a 1TB drive. You would be far zippier keeping your internal as boot drive… not to say more portable
    – Tetsujin
    May 16, 2015 at 15:50
  • 1
    while at it Photos and movies can go there as well. is is definitely not one of those you need high speed access and can eat up lots of GB.
    – Ruskes
    May 16, 2015 at 15:55
  • Thanks a lot Tetsujin, I thought the itunes library had to be on the systems drive but after your tip I rummaged through the web and you're completely right!
    – user68500
    May 17, 2015 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


My personal recommendation would be not to move the OS to external drive as you would have to carry it around just to make the computer run.

I recommend:

  1. Move all the files that you only need slow access to but are GB-eating to iCloud or similar network location. (For example: iTunes Library, Photos, Movies…)

  2. Get a Thunderbolt drive for applications that need speed. Thunderbolt drives are often faster then the internal SSD, the drawback is they would occupy your Thunderbolt port.

Use the About this Mac and take a look what I am talking about.

Also see http://www.cnet.com/topics/storage/best-hard-drives-and-storage/thunderbolt-drives/

  • Thanks Buscar웃, I appreciate this very much. Now that the itunes library can go to the external hd all is suddenly well. AND I WILL USE A THUNDERBOLT.
    – user68500
    May 17, 2015 at 11:35
  • Glad to see you are now up and running.
    – Ruskes
    May 17, 2015 at 17:05

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