Although the M2 Mac Mini can be configured for up to eight terabytes of storage at the box, upgrade options aren’t as welcoming after purchase.


Apple’s brand new M2 Mac Mini can be configured to hold up to eight terabytes of storage at the box, but what upgrade options are available after the computer’s original purchase? As more components in Apple computers are soldered to the device’s logic board, they become consistently less upgradable. Also, components that are socketed – like a solid-state storage drive (SSD) – can be connected to the M2 system-on-a-chip (SoC), limiting upgrade options. However, third-party companies continue to develop options that allow for expandable storage through aftermarket accessories. This means that even if Apple doesn’t directly support upgradeable storage on the M2 Mac Mini, there may be an accessory available to fill the gap.

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The M2 Mac Mini is similar in many ways to its predecessor – the M1 Mac Mini – and that says a lot about potential upgrade options. The original M1 Mac mini offered SSD storage using two flash storage chips soldered to the logic board. While it’s unclear if the M2 Mac Mini has the same configuration, it’s safe to assume that the flash storage chips on the M2 Mac Mini are also soldered and non-upgradable. At the time of writing, Apple’s technical specifications do not specify whether the Mac Mini’s SSD is soldered or socketed.

Related: Students and educators can buy the M2 Mac mini for just $499


Other ways to expand Mac mini storage

Satechi Stand and Hub for Mac mini (with SSD slot)

Although tearing down the M2 Mac mini reveals that the SSD is replaceable, it’s probably not an endeavor the end user can undertake. Since some components are attached to the M2 chip, upgrades and repairs are not as simple as a simple swap. However, third-party options allow users to expand their SSD storage without paying an exorbitant fee at the time of purchase.

Specifically, Apple accessory maker Satechi has become known for its Stand and Hub for the Mac Mini, which includes an SSD enclosure inside the dock. It matches the dimensions of the Mac Mini it sits below and has a silver aluminum finish to match the color of the Mac Mini. It adds plenty of ports to the Mac Mini, with one USB-C data port, three USB-A data ports, micro SD and full-size SD card readers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an internal SSD enclosure.

The dock allows users to insert an M.2 SATA SSD storage device to connect with an M2 Mac Mini. Once the additional SSD is installed, connecting the dock will expand the device’s storage capacity to include the drive just inserted. Satechi’s Stand and Hub retails for $99, but routinely sees discounts on sites like Amazon. The Mac’s internal storage appears separately from the external drive, and read/write speeds will definitely be worse on the external drive. But when faced with paying Apple or adding an external storage device, some users will definitely choose the latter for their M2 Mac Mini.

More: Apple’s Mac Studio is like a Mini Mac Pro

Source: Apple, Satechi

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