How to add 128GB of storage to your MacBook Pro for sixty bucks

MacBook Pro 13-Inch

When I took advantage of a great deal on a MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina early 2015, the 128GB storage limit didn’t seem like a big deal. Until only a few months later, between syncing Google Drive, Creative Cloud, and running Parallels with a Windows 10 installation on it for some web development work, I’d maxed out my storage. Opening up the machine and swapping the SSD for a bigger one would be expensive and void my warranty. So I look for other options. Here’s what I ended up doing.

The Transcend JetDrive Lite 330  gives you 128GB of flash storage, sits almost flush in the cardreader on the MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina, and sells for $65.99 on Amazon (free shipping with Prime). They make a whole line of these, and they get great reviews – 4 and 5 star.

So I ordered on, popped it in and my MacBook recognized it immediately.

BUT – when I disconnected my Google Drive (a big storage suck at 20GB) intending to reconnect it and sync with a folder on the new Transcend drive, I got a message that it couldn’t be synced to. Uh oh.

Not to fear. Turns out the drive comes by default formatted MS-DOS (FAT). So open your Disk Utility tool on your Mac, choose the Transcend drive, and select “ERASE.” At that point you’ll be given a choice in the dropdown menu for how the volume should be formatted. Select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

And voilà, Google Drive syncs just fine to this drive. Creative Cloud files, same deal.  I’ll see what else I can move over there when time permits. But already I’ve freed 20GB on my internal SSD and have 100GB free the new Transcend drive for whatever I need. A super simple, very inexpensive solution to a vexing problem.