Image for article titled How To Choose And Install The Right External Hard Drive For Your PS5

Sony recently approved the requirements for Update the PlayStation 5’s internal memory with an M.2 solid state drive (SSD) and it’s very confusing. On paper, there are several SSDs that meet Sony’s requirements, but only a few drives am currently working on PS5– and the ones that do are pretty expensive. In some cases, users are expected to improve the SSD’s cooling capabilities by adding a heat sink – an extra step more in line with hardcore PC building that undermines the plug-and-play simplicity of home consoles.

Fortunately, there is another way to add more space to your PS5 with an external hard drive that is much easier to remove.

To be fair, using an external hard drive is different from increasing your console’s internal storage, but moving some of your games to an external hard drive will save space on your PS5’s main SSD. The only major downside is that you can’t play PS5 games from an external storage device, but you can save them there for easy access if you want to reinstall them. PS4 games, on the other hand, can be played from an external drive on PS5 and work perfectly, making it a viable option if your main goal is to get more games installed on your PS5.

External storage requirements for PS5

Of course, you can’t plug an old hard drive into your PS5; only certain hard drives are compatible as advanced storage options. In particular, you’ll need a drive with one of the following SuperSpeed ​​USB connection types:

  • SuperSpeed ​​USB 5 Gbit / s (USB 3.0 / USB 3.1 Gen1 / USB 3.2 Gen1)
  • SuperSpeed ​​USB 10 Gbit / s (USB 3.1 Gen2 / USB 3.2 Gen2 / USB 3.2 Gen1x2)
  • SuperSpeed ​​USB 20 Gbit / s (USB 3.2 Gen2x2)

Size also plays a role. The expanded storage drive must have at least 250 GB of space and the largest supported size is 8 TB.

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But even if your hard drive meets these specs, Sony understands that some drives just won’t work on PS5. Do some research and purchase specifically for PS5-compatible drives if you are planning on purchasing one.

Don’t worry if your USB hard drive doesn’t work as an extended storage device for your PS5. you can Instead, use it to create an external backup of your console. This can be done on any USB storage device large enough to hold the data to be backed up. You can’t play games from a backup drive, but you can safely store data locally, which is handy if your PS5 ever experiences a hardware failure or memory corruption and could free up additional space on your PS5’s internal SSD.

How to use an external USB drive as extended storage on PS5

So once you have a PS5 compatible hard drive, it’s time to start using it as an expanded storage device. To do this, you need to properly connect, format, and configure the drive on your PS5. Here’s what to do:

Connect the drive to your PS5

The first step is very simple: plug the drive into a USB port on the back of your PS5 console. The drive needs to be connected directly to the PS5 – it will not work if you connect it through a USB hub. Likewise, you can only use one external hard drive at a time. Several can be linked, but only one is active as an extended storage location.

Format the drive

Next we need to format the drive so that the PS5 can use it. Go to on your PS5 Settings> Storage> USB Expansion Storage, and choose “Format as USB expansion storage. ”

Warning: This will erase ALL of the data previously stored on the drive, so back up these files on your PC before proceeding. This will also make the drive incompatible with other devices until you format it again.

Install games on the drive

You are now ready to transfer games to your hard drive and install them. Remember, PS4 games are playable from expanded memory, but PS5 games are not.

To move PS4 games to the external drive:

  1. Highlight the game you want to move on your PS5’s library screen.
  2. Press the “Options” button on your controller and then select “Go to USB expansion storage.

You can also choose to automatically download PS4 games to the external drive by going to. walk Settings> Storage> Extended Storage and toggle “Install PS4 games on USB expansion storage.”

How to move PS5 games to the external drive:

  1. Highlight the game you want to move on your PS5’s library screen.
  2. Press the “Options” button on your controller and then select “Copy.”
  3. Follow all the instructions on the screen.