Can I Use an External Drive for Video Editing?

Are you tired of running out of storage space on your computer while editing videos? Or perhaps your computer just can’t handle the high demands of video editing software.

If so, you may be wondering if using an external drive for video editing is a viable solution. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using an external drive for video editing.

Pros of Using an External Drive for Video Editing

  • More Storage Space: One of the biggest advantages of using an external drive for video editing is that it provides you with more storage space. When working with high-resolution video files, storage space can quickly become a limiting factor. External drives come in various sizes, from a few hundred gigabytes to several terabytes, so you can choose one that fits your needs.
  • Portability: Another benefit of using an external drive is that it’s portable. You can easily take it with you wherever you go and work on your videos from different locations.

    This is especially useful if you’re collaborating with others or need to work on a project while traveling.

  • Faster Transfer Speeds: External drives typically have faster transfer speeds than internal hard drives. This means that transferring large video files to and from the drive will be quicker, which can save you time when working on projects.
  • No Need to Upgrade Your Computer: If your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements for video editing software, using an external drive can be a workaround solution. You won’t need to upgrade your computer’s hardware, which can be costly.

Cons of Using an External Drive for Video Editing

  • Potentially Slower Performance: While external drives can offer faster transfer speeds, they may not perform as well as internal hard drives when it comes to read and write speeds. This can lead to slower performance when editing videos, especially if the drive is connected via USB rather than Thunderbolt or other high-speed ports.
  • Additional Cost: Buying an external drive specifically for video editing can be an added expense.

    However, if you’re already running out of storage space on your computer, it may be a necessary investment.

  • Risk of Data Loss: If you’re only using the external drive for video editing and not backing up your files elsewhere, there’s a risk of data loss if the drive fails or gets damaged. It’s important to regularly back up your files to avoid losing all your hard work.
  • Potential Compatibility Issues: Some video editing software may not work well with external drives or may have compatibility issues with specific drives. It’s important to research and ensure that your software and external drive are compatible before making a purchase.


Using an external drive for video editing can be a great solution for those in need of more storage space or seeking portability. While there are some potential drawbacks, such as slower performance and additional cost, these can often be outweighed by the benefits. Just make sure to do your research, back up your files regularly, and ensure compatibility with your software before making a purchase decision.