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You can't install your own SSD into a Mac Studio despite there being slots

Dual Mac Studios
Dual Mac Studios (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Despite the discovery of SSD slots on the inside of the Mac Studio, they can't be used.
  • Apple appears to need to configure storage for use in Mac Studio SSD slots.

Following the discovery of internal slots that could be used to expand Mac Studio storage, one YouTuber has confirmed that you can't actually install your own SSD and have it work.

A YouTube video shared over the weekend showed that the new Mac Studio has internal slots that could theoretically be used to install new storage. But given the fact Apple itself says that people can't upgrade their Mac Studio's storage themselves it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that those slots don't appear to work as some had hoped. You can't just put an SSD into one and expect it to work.

That news comes after YouTuber Luke Miani set about trying to swap an SSD from one Mac Studio into a spare slot in another and while it was physically possible, the recipient machine wouldn't boot with the donor SSD installed.

Check out the video to see how it all went down:

With news swirling recently about the removable SSD in Apple's new Mac Studio, I thought I'd try to answer any questions we might have about future upgradability the only way I know how: by actually TRYING IT! In today's video I'm putting $9,000 of Mac Studio on the line by trying to upgrade the storage in Apple's latest Mac!

It's clear from Miani's test that the Mac Studio knew that an additional SSD had been installed, but wouldn't actually fully power on. Miani also then tried putting the donor SSD into the already-populated slot of the recipient machine and ... no dice.

At this point, it's clear that Apple software is preventing storage from being taken out of one Mac Studio and used in another. It's also presumably going to prevent any other SSD from being installed, too. The new Mac Studio might be the best Mac Apple has ever built in terms of performance, but don't expect to be adding your own storage anytime soon.

Of course, that's just as Apple had said all along.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.