Backup PS4 Games to an External Hard Drive – [How To]

Regularly taking a backup copy of PS4 data, including games and game saves, is essential to every serious PS4 user who really cares about his gaming experience with his friends and mates, whether online or offline.

One of the most frequently asked questions is that how to backup PS4 games to an external hard drive in a way that user can later restore his games back to their original status without having to re-download and reinstall them.

Note that we’re talking here about backing up the original game file that comes in 10’s of gigabytes of file size. It’s different from the game saves that are small in size and any USB flash memory can simply hold them.

In order to do this operation properly without any mistake, I strongly advise you to read this great article published on where it explains to you in detail what you need to do from the beginning to end.

What is Backup Process?

Before going through backup steps, you better know what a backup is, and why it’s important, and the types of available backup processes that fits for PS4 system. The 2TB Seagate Expansion Portable we tested, for example, will set you back just £75. The files system is not supported” or “The USB storage device is not connected”. Every game we tested gives faster results, and there’s nothing to stop you buying multiple drives as your library expands – it’s so much easier than using PS4’s lumpen back-up/restore system, and for those with large digital libraries, you have virtually instant access to all your games and will never have to delete anything. Once you’ve saved all the necessary saves and gameplay clips and screenshots, it’s time to start tackling the HDD business. Themes are unlikely to take up too much space, but they can add up if you have a few.

you better take a regular backup of PS4 games

A word, though, about capacity: while the 4.5 software update supports drives up to 8TB in capacity, anything above this simply won’t work. These two messages show you two different cases which are caused due to some reasons:In situation 1, it is due to the limitation of the file system. Backup PS4 games is an easy process if you know what you’re doing in this regard. But we wondered whether using USB impacts performance compared to slotting the same drive directly into your PS4. Turn off your PS4 completely – don’t just put it into Rest Mode – and unplug your console from the wall, removing any wires from the back of your PS4, too. Just head into Themes, and pick the ones you don’t want any more – you’ll always be able to redownload them later on.

Different types of backup

We had trouble using an 8TB drive which, for some reason, was seen by the PlayStation as having a capacity of 8.01TB – and it refused to format it. In other words, it is because your USB drive is formatted to NTFS which is not compatible with PS4. In the case of PS4 system, there are two ways with which you can backup your PS4 DATA, the first is using an external hard drive as an extended storage, and the second is to upload your PS4 game saves to a cloud storage provided by Sony to PS4 members of their network. With that in mind, we tested our SSD – an OCZ Trion 100 – internally and via an external enclosure. Move your PS4 to a flat surface such as a table, where you’ve got enough room for all your necessary tools. You can get a 1tb external hard drive for your PS4 if you feel this capacity is enough for your needs. They’re not likely to make the biggest difference to your storage space, but some save files can be bigger than you might think, so it’s sometimes worth deleting a few to make extra room – and luckily Sony will let you back them up first.

Using an external hard drive

Partitioning the drive into smaller sectors using a PC didn’t help, either, as the PS4 doesn’t seem to recognise these, and will continue to demand that you let it re-format the drive in exFat format – before refusing to do so. The use of external hard drive for backing up PS4 games is only possible if you set up the external HDD as an extended storage. If you are using a PS4, you should know this game console can only recognize exFAT and FAT32. Unfortunately, using USB does mean slightly longer loading times in many cases – in the region of 10 per cent. Slide off the shiny part of your PS4’s casing. If your PS4 Slim hard drive is too limited in capacity, try first to upgrade it to 2tb hard drive. Some games are pretty badly optimised, so their save files take up a bit more space than is really ideal.

  • As for situation 2, if your USB drive is connected to PS4 but shows not connected, you should consider the compatibility.
  • At best there are a couple of results where running externally is just as fast or maybe a touch faster, but these tend to be shorter loads and we suspect that it’s more margin of error in these scenarios.
  • Once this section is completely removed, you’ll be able to see the metal HDD enclosure below.
  • Select Delete, and you can pick specific save files for each game to get rid of.

Using cloud storage

Perhaps this is a PS4 bug that will be squashed in a future update, but for now you should approach 8TB drives with caution.• Your PS4 will recognise two formatted drives at once – but only one can be used as an external storage location at any one time. The cloud storage only allows you to backup game saves, so it’s not really a practical solution for many users. If the USB storage device adopts other file systems, PS4 not recognizing USB hard drive issue will happen to you saying “..cannot be used. Battlefield One has some of the longest loading times out there, with the Mud and Blood campaign stage taking almost two minutes to complete on PS4’s stock drive. Using PS4 2tb external hard drive can assure you to not run out of space for at least a year or so, depending on how you’ll use it. It’s pretty easy to do, especially when you place a thumb at either end and push away from the matte section. To identify the worst offenders, go to Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Delete.

PS4 system now supports extended storage feature

Types of External HDDs used for PS4 backup

To swap which one that is, head to ‘USB Storage Devices’ in the settings menu. You can hot-swap, too, meaning you don’t have to re-boot your console if you want to change drive. The file system is not supported” after connecting a drive to PS4 console. You don’t need more than an external hard drive that supports USB 3.0 connectivity and its size ranges from 250gb to 8tb in order to get it work properly on PS4 system as an extended storage that can store games within it. In this scenario, we clocked 51 seconds externally, versus 47 with the SSD installed internally. It might feel like it’s sticking in parts, but just apply a little force. You’ll see how much space each app or game is taking up, so look for any games that you won’t play again soon and are taking up plenty of space.

Simply tell the PS4 to stop using the current drive (through ‘USB Storage Devices’), before unplugging it and sticking your new drive in – your PS4 should see the new drive in five to 10 seconds. Therefore, there’s no special type of an external hard drive that works for this purpose. Just any drive that conform to the standards specified by Sony, and you’re done. Transferring games over to your new drive is as easy as heading to the ‘storage’ menu and hitting the options button.

the extended storage can store games individually

This will bring up a list of your games with the option to shift them over. In theory, you could use a large-capacity USB 3.0 flash stick to serve as a backup drive – but, given the minimum capacity for an external drive on the PS4 is 250GB, we sadly weren’t able to find one big enough to try. You might not be aware that there’re two ways to use an external hard drive for backup purpose on PS4&mdash,the first way is all about thorough system backup, which means you can get a clone of your PS4 hard drive, without being able to store games individually. The second way allows individual saving of games, but you can’t save the game saves on the external hdd then.


Finally, taking a backup of your PS4 games must be one of your priorities as a serious gamer. The PS4’s USB slots are – annoyingly for this task – on the front of the console. As you know, PS4 is the newest game console of PlayStation series, so it is possible that some old USB storage devices are not compatible with PS4. Regardless, using an SSD either internally or externally is still much faster than a mechanical drive in many scenarios, but you may like to consider an internal SSD paired with a larger HDD connected via USB for optimal results. So, simply backup PS4 games to an external storage device then leave it as it is. This enclosure is fixed down by a large screw, which is easily spotted thanks to the fact that it has the PlayStation button symbols engraved on it. Before you delete them though, it’s worth creating a backup just in case you ever want to play them again.