How to install an m.2 SSD

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One of the easiest ways to speed up your PC is to install an m.2 SSD. But, make no mistake, this is a little bit different from installing a hard drive or similar, but we’ll guide you through the process with ease.

Wondering how to install an m.2 SSD? We’ll have you covered in this guide which will cover everything that you need to know about installing one into your system. If you have a prebuilt PC, you might not know how to do this, but if you have built your own PC, you might have some familiarity. You might also be able to place an SSD into things like a Steam Deck, where we’ve assembled our own guide.

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Identify what kind of m.2 SSD you require

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Not all m.2 SSDs are born the same, there are several types to watch out for, and you will need to figure out which one you need for your device. The most common m.2 SSD is a 2280 SSD, which will fit into most computers and devices. However, for more compact things like the Steam Deck, you might need to pick up a smaller size.

From here, you need to also figure out what generation of m.2 you want to pick. Right now, the most common is a PCIe4 SSD, which has blazing-fast transfer speeds, but in most cases, a PCIe3 SSD will also do just fine, but it will be a bit slower. No matter what you pick, it will be a significant upgrade over a mechanical hard drive.

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We’ve recommended some of our favorite m.2 SSDs below.

How to install your m.2 SSD

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The port of an M.2 SSD will be keyed, meaning that you can simply slot it in, making sure to keenly align it with wherever the gap in your SSD might be. You might find that it sticks up after insertion, and that’s totally normal, and you shouldn’t worry about it. Then, you’ll need to secure the SSD down.

Most likely, with your device, you will have some kind of screw to attach here. Be sure to check your manuals and boxes. These can be pretty tiny, so equip yourself with the smallest Phillips head screwdriver you can find.

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Then, push down on the SSD where the notch on the end lies. then, secure the screw at the notch, and then firmly screw it in, but be careful to not fasten it too tightly.

Then, your SSD will be ready for use on your chosen device. It’s really as simple as that.

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