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Guide: Upgrade macOS to Bigger SSD without Losing Data on Mac

Updated on Jan 18, 2019 by Tracy King to Resource


Are you looking for a way to upgrade macOS to a bigger SSD without losing any data on Mac? Here in this article, we’ll show you how to upgrade and change SSD on Mac and keep all important data on your Mac. Follow to see how to make the job now.

Are you trying to find an effective method to upgrade Mac disk into a bigger SSD? Looking for a way to replace your macOS system disk with a new SSD on your Mac? Don't worry about losing any complex data or having no idea about how to upgrade macOS Sierra system disk to a bigger SSD anymore. Here in this article, we'll show you detail steps about how to upgrade and replace Mac system disk to a new SSD without losing any data. Just follow to see the detail steps and replace your Mac disk now:

Step 1. Select suitable SSD for an upgrade and replace macOS system disk

It's highly necessary to choose a suitable SSD which is compatible with your Mac. And you can go to "Apple menu" > tab "About This Mac" to check out the overview screen of your Mac computer. Then you'll know the exact model of your Mac and find a compatible SSD drive.

Step 2. Back up all important data on Mac

If you think it's time to upgrade Mac system disk with newly selected SSD, relax and we still have one more step to take. It is to back up all important personal files and valuable data which are stored in your Mac.

Here we'd like to recommend you try Time Machine to backup whatever you want on Mac into an external storage device.

  • Connect an external hard drive with Mac and go to "Apple menu" > "System Preference" > choose "Time Machine";
  • Click "Select Backup Disk..." > Select the connected external drive and click "Use Disk" > Switch Time Machine "ON" and tick "Show Time Machine in menu bar";
  • Now you can tab "Options" to select certain files and data or folders in Mac to back up into the external hard drive now.

If you don't have any backups in Time Machine and don't want to lose any precious data, you may try an alternative software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to restore lost data on Mac due to SSD upgrade.

Step 3. Create a bootable USB drive for Mac 

In order to gain a smooth SSD upgrade process and get your macOS installed on Mac without any problems, it's also highly recommended for you to create a bootable USB drive for Mac in advance. And here are some detail steps:

  • Download macOS Sierra installation package from Mac App Store;
  • Connect a new USB drive with Mac > Open "Disk Utility" in "Applications/Utilities" folder > Select thumb drive in the sidebar and click "Format";
  • Name USB as "Untitled" > Choose "OS X Extended" > Click "Erase" > Open "Terminal" once USB is formatted and finish downloading macOS Sierra;
  • Ensure USB named "Untitled" is connected to Mac > Type follow command in Terminal and hit Enter:

   sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/SierraBootInstall --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app --nointeraction

  • Enter the Administrator password if necessary, the command will create a bootable Sierra installer on the USB drive then;

Step 4. Upgrade and replace SSD on Mac

Now it's time for you to upgrade and replace macOS system disk with new SSD on your Mac. And here are some basic steps to guide you upgrade and replace your Mac system disk to a bigger SSD:

  • Remove screws from the bottom of Mac > Disconnect internal batter and don't forget to reconnect it when you finish replacing SSD;
  • Remove the stock SSD drive which is usually held by another screw;
  • Replace with new SSD drive, screw it in and reconnect the internal battery;
  • Put the bottom lid back on and screw it back in.

Now all the process for replacing and upgrading Mac system disk with a bigger SSD is done. But how to get macOS back and all previous data? Follow Step 5 to reinstall macOS from bootable disk which was created in Step 3.

Step 5. Clean install macOS from USB bootable disk and restore all backups in Time Machine

Now you can perform a clean install of macOS from the USB bootable disk now:

  • Connect USB bootable drive on Mac and restart Mac by holding "Option" till you hear the reboot tone;
  • Select disk called "Install macOS Sierra" in the drive list that appears on screen;
  • Once USB drive is booted, select "Disk Utility" > Choose "Mac's startup" from the list > Click "Erase";
  • Once Mac's startup disk is formatted, return to "Utilities" window and select "Install macOS" > Choose just erased startup drive to install macOS > Follow onscreen prompts to complete the installation.

When all the processes are finished, you can reboot Mac to get your beloved macOS back installed on new SSD now. 

Then you can run Time Machine and connect the external hard drive which contains all your Mac data backups to select to restore all those data back to Mac again. 

Extra Tip: Restore lost data due to SSD upgrade on Mac with data recovery software

If you fail to extract and restore all data backups into Mac after upgrading macOS SSD, don't worry. Professional Mac data recovery - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will help. 

You can directly connect the backup drive or your old system disk as a storage device with Mac, and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to follow the tutorial to restore lost data on Mac SSD now.