How to Know If You Have an SSD or HDD Hard Drive

Spot what type of hard drive you have

What to Know

  • Search for defrag on Windows 10 to find hard drive details.
  • On macOS, Click Apple Logo > About This Mac > Storage to view the hard drive type on Mac.
  • SSDs are much faster than conventional hard drives.

This article teaches you how to check if you have an SSD or HDD hard drive on either a PC or Mac desktop computer or laptop.

The instructions in this article apply to computers running the Windows 10 operating system.

How Do I Know If I Have SSD or HDD Windows 10?

If you need to know whether your Windows 10 PC has a SSD or HDD for storage, there are a few different ways of finding out. Here's the quickest solution in Windows 10 to find out if your storage is SDD- or HDD-based.

There are some key differences between SSD and HDD storage that are worth consulting.

  1. On your Windows 10 PC, press the Windows Key + S. 

    Windows 10 search bar

    Alternatively, click the search bar on the taskbar.

  2. Type defrag.

  3. Click Defragment & Optimize Drives.

    Windows 10 Defragment and Optimize Drive app
  4. Check what's listed under Media type for your hard drive to determine if it's a SSD/solid-state drive or HDD/hard disk drive.

    Windows 10 Optimize Drives app

How Do I Find Out What Type of Hard Drive I Have?

Another method to check what type of hard drive you have is to use the PowerShell or Command Prompt to find out. It's a little more involved but still fairly simple. Here's what to do.

  1. Press Windows Key + S or click the Search Bar on the Taskbar.

    Windows 10 search bar
  2. Type PowerShell.

  3. Click Windows PowerShell.

    Windows PowerShell highlighted in search bar results
  4. Type Get-PhysicalDisk | Format-Table -AutoSize

    Windows PowerShell with command for finding hard drive type typed in
  5. Look under MediaType to see what kind of hard drive your PC is using.

    Windows PowerShell with Hard drive types listed

How Do You Check Which SSD You Have?

Another method to check your hard drive type is to use Device Manager. Here's where to look for it.

This method is particularly useful if you need to know the storage drive involved.

  1. Press Windows Key + S or click the Search Bar on the Taskbar.

    Windows 10 search bar
  2. Type Device Manager.

  3. Click Device Manager.

    Windows 10 Device Manager
  4. Double click Disk Drives.

  5. View the hard drives listed below.

How Do I Know If I Have SSD or HDD on macOS?

Checking what type of hard drive you have on macOS is different to Windows. Here's where to look.

The vast majority of Macs use SSD drives unless your device is very old.

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the desktop.

    MacOS desktop with Apple logo highlighted
  2. Click About This Mac.

    macOS desktop with About This Mac highlighted
  3. Click Storage.

    macOS About This Mac with Storage highlighted
  4. Under the hard drive icon will be a description of the hard drive type such as Flash Storage which means it has an SSD installed.

    macOS with hard drive type highlighted within About This Mac

What Difference Does My Hard Drive Type Make?

It might seem like there's no difference between SSD or HDD but there are some fundamental things that make each stand out. Here's a quick look at them.

  • SSDs are faster. SSDs are a lot faster than conventional HDDs as they use a solid state drive method instead of spinning disks like a regular HDD. 
  • HDDs can last longer. It's only possible to write to a SSD a certain amount of times. That's a large number of times for the average user running into the tens of thousands but a conventional HDD can last even longer. Whichever you choose, it's far more likely that you'll upgrade the PC a long time before this becomes an issue.
  • SSDs are smaller. Thanks to NVMe technology, SSDs are typically much, much smaller than HDDs which means they're well suited to increasingly small and lightweight laptops and other devices. 
  • How do I tell if my Chromebook has an HDD or SSD?

    Chromebooks have SSDs for limited local file storage. For an update on the amount of local storage you have, select the App Launcher > My Files > More (three-dot icon) and find the amount of available space listed at the bottom of the drop-down menu. To view all your Chromebook specs, open the Chrome browser and type chrome://system.

  • How do I check that my HDD or SSD is healthy?

    On Windows 10, use the Windows Error Checking Tool; right-click your disk > select Properties > Tools > Check > Scan drive. On macOS, check the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) status; go to About this Mac > System Report > Storage > S.M.A.R.T. Status and look for Verified. You can also use a free hard drive testing program or tools provided by your HDD or SSD manufacturer to look for issues.

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