How much storage do I need on my laptop? – All That You Need To Know!

There you are, working to your heart’s content, designing an advert for a new and exciting campaign about to hit the streets, and that dreaded message pops up: “Not Responding.”

At first, you wait, surely your laptop is just thinking, but after a few trips down this lane, it starts getting frustrating while your patience is wearing thin.

Where could the problem lie?

Do your programs take up too much space? Could this be affecting the overall performance of the laptop?

The quick answer is yes; your programs will take up most of the space used on your laptop. In turn, the more programs you install, the more storage space you use.

Windows, as an example, can take up to 40GB of space, depending on the version you are using. What about all the other programs and apps?

  • Photoshop needs up to 4GB of space to install
  • Google Chrome uses nearly 3GB of space
  • Mozilla Firefox takes an astounding 48GB of space
  • Adobe can use up to 17GB of space

Individually this does not look like a lot. When you add these all together, you are quickly running out of space.

Considering that most entry-level laptops come with 128GB of space, you have limited space with these programs installed.

Now consider all the files that you have generated using these programs. Each file will take up a little more space as you go.

How can you check how much space you have on your laptop?

  • Click on the yellow file icon on the bottom taskbar
  • Select This PC
  • Under Devices & Drives, you will see how much free space you have

To check your MacBook storage:

Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner, select “About this Mac,” then choose “Storage.”

I bet you are itching to know how to get more space now that you know how limited your current space is.

Let’s explore some options that will alleviate the space issues you may be experiencing.

Alternative storage options

  • Solid State Drive

Most new laptops come installed with an SSD which is much lighter and faster when processing data. They also use Flash Memory to store your files freeing up some space.

SSD’s offer many advantages to users. They are faster than hard drives and make less noise when running, no more spinning motor sounds.

The battery life they offer is longer and, they are shock-resistant against those accidental laptop drops. A laptop with SSD storage offers many benefits.

  • Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage has gained a lot of momentum in recent years for extra storage use. Cloud facilities like Dropbox and Google Drive are easy and freely accessible storage facilities that will save your laptop’s space.

Cloud storage will keep your data secure and give you extra space.

  • Hard Disk Drive

Traditionally we used HHD’s for laptop storage. The downside here was that they slowed computers down dramatically. External hard drives are a much wiser option for those of you looking for additional storage space.

  • Hybrids

Some laptops will come with both an SSD and an HDD giving you the best of both worlds. Now you can enjoy the speed of the SSD and the capacity of the HDD. This is a good option if you want to upgrade storage space for some laptops.

  • Alternatives

You could always opt for a USB or CD to back up. The pitfall here is that the space offering is much smaller than our alternatives and, CDs are pretty much redundant in today’s technology.

All these options will give you some much-needed space to breathe some life back into your laptop’s performance. The more storage space you use, the less speed you have.

We have now come full circle back to the question of the day.

Also Read our guide on differentiating 4K & 1080P resolutions.

How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop?

The storage space that you need will largely depend on what applications you require. If you are designing or doing animation or photoshop editing and saving larger files for work purposes, you need more space.

If you are looking to use standard programs and browse the web or watch Netflix, a traditional setup will suffice.

Let’s not get confused between RAM and GB.

  • RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is the short-term memory of your computer. Essentially, when you open a program, it will be sent to the RAM from storage. This process makes your programs easily accessible and runs faster.

Technically, RAM is a temporary function that is activated whenever you are using a program. This memory clears every time you switch off the machine.

  • Your laptop storage – the SSD – depicted in GB is where all your files are stored once complete or saved.

The SSD is where all your programs and files will live when the machine is powered down.

Typically, there are a few storage options for you that come with the laptop that you buy.

  • 128GB is the most common entry-level standard. This option is best suited to those who want to use the most basic functions and have no need for heavy applications.
  • 256GB is the next step up for all your Netflix viewing, internet browsing, and standard application users.
  • 512GB is better suited to the types of applications that warrant a little bit more oomph for video editing, photoshop graphic editing and designers.
  • 1TB is the top-of-the-range option for users that are serious about their applications and need additional space for their files. Here you can store several big files without compromising the performance of the computer.

It is important to note that even though the storage advertised is what the machine will house and it might be a bit less, it is not all available to you. There are programs already installed that will have eaten into that space.

For example:

  • 128GB will have 99GB of actual disk space free
  • 256GB has 218GB of free disk space
  • 512GB leaves 456GB of free disk space

On average, you will get 70 megabytes less storage for every gigabyte you have.

What’s Good? SSD or HDD?

Well, it was one of the most frequently asked questions so we thought to cover it here only. Yeah, when it comes to storage and stuff, people often get confused between SSD & HDD. So we decided to eliminate that confusion by giving a short overview on both of these storage types.

Usually, SSD is solid state drive, and it’s been used to provided faster booting time and performance, and it’s used rarely for storage purposes. While, HDDs are widely used as a storage drive and it’s comparatively slower than SSDs.

So, if it’s about which one is faster then your answer is SSD. However, these devices are costly compared to HDDs and hence for ideal storage requirements HDDs are more than enough.

In closing

A casual laptop user such as a student can work hassle-free with entry-level storage capacities of up to 256GB. In contrast, a graphic designer will need a more robust level like the 512GB or 1TB storage capacity.

Once you have determined what the usage of the laptop will be, you will know how much storage you need. When you put all this together, your laptop will last much longer.

Now that you have your storage needs all figured out, happy clicking.

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