How to check the health of your Mac’s SSD drive

An SSD drive, unfortunately, isn't forever. If you have a Mac with a solid-state drive, it might come in handy to know its health: here's how to do it

Replacing a magnetic hard drive with an SSD greatly improves the performance of a desktop or laptop computer. Choosing an SSD at the time of purchase, however, is always a right choice despite the fact that the cost of these storage units is still much higher than that of traditional disks, for the same GB. But even the SSD, over time and with use, goes through errors and performance decay and this applies to Windows computers as well as iMacs and MacBooks.

The problems that an SSD can have, however, are completely different than those typical of a traditional disk. Sooner or later, even an SSD drive starts to fail, which is why there are a number of utilities that help you know when your solid-state drive is about to fail. Most of these applications read the "SMART" data of your disk (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology), i.e. a series of disk parameters such as operating temperature or the amount of read and write errors useful to understand if something is wrong. For the macOS operating system, the best utilities to use to check the health of your Mac-mounted SSD are these.


DriveDx is a Mac utility that keeps an eye on all SMART parameters and shows them to the user with a simplified interface that helps you immediately detect if there is a problem with your SSD. It can also calculate an estimate of the remaining useful life of the drive, helping you to know when it is time to start thinking about changing this component even if it is not actually broken yet.


As its name suggests, SMARTReporter is another utility that bases its operation on reading the SMART parameters of the SSD. When installed, it runs at the startup of the macOS operating system and creates an icon in the menu bar. At each startup it scans the main parameters, for the in-depth check just launch the application. You can customize the notifications sent by SMARTReporter, so you can choose when and what to be alerted for.


SSDReporter has an interesting feature to manage notifications on detected SMART parameters: you can choose a set of thresholds (or leave the ones suggested by the application) when you exceed them you will be alerted with a notification or an e-mail. At the same time, SSDReporter's icon changes color from green to yellow to red as the SSD's SMART parameters worsen.


DiskHealth also uses colors to warn you clearly and quickly about the worsening of one or more SMART data via a dynamic icon that changes color as the detected values change. It can also compile a detailed summary document but, unfortunately, it cannot analyze SSD disks connected via USB or Firewire.