PS4 USB External Hard Drive Guide – The Best Options

Since the first release of PS4 in Oct. 2013 until just a few months ago, specifically in Mar. 2017, probably the major drawback of PS4 game console was the lack of support for external storage devices. The absence of this features held off some gamers from considering PS4 as their next game console, especially those who deem themselves enthusiasts or professional users, and also, on the other hand, caused users who already bought PS4 to flood Sony Customer Service with complaints of their inability of using external storage devices in any way, which seemed unjustified and ridiculous.

After 3 years of constantly accumulating heaps of complains, Sony yielded to the pressure and made its first attempt to please its users and alleviate their heavy pressure by releasing PS4 System Software 3.5 that enabled the use of USB external storage devices as backup storage only that cannot be used for any purpose except backup.

Even the backup feature on external storage devices was not flexible. It was not possible to backup a game individually, the backup should be thorough and covers all savable data on the internal hard drive of PS4.

This didn’t really help Sony please its users. Therefore, after a year of the release of System Software 3.5, Sony released PS4 System Software 4.5 with the long-awaited feature that allows a user to expand the PS4 system storage with an external hard drive without the need of upgrading the internal hard drive.

This new feature has put users in front of two options: Either use the external hard drive as a backup storage, or use it as an extended storage. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best informative articles we’ve found discussing these two options in detail are published on, that are:

We strongly recommend that you read these two articles to better understand this case then determine the best way to use your external hard drive with PS4.

What is a USB Hard Drive

A USB Hard drive is a classical hard drive covered with an enclosure and connected externally to systems via USB port. Now, don’t let the caveats in this list scare you. Between Xbox and PlayStation, SDL says Microsoft finally caught up to Sony in its product score in that last week of Sept. You have that on the USB stick, so you’re going to click “Yes.”The hard drive will spin for a bit then flash to another screen that says, “The PS4 will be initialized. PS4 USB hard drives are becoming popular day after day, especially since the release of PS4 System Software 4.5 that allows an external hard drive to be used as an extended storage. Here is what we know thus far:While both consoles make use of an 8-core AMD Jaguar processor, there is still a big winner in terms of AMD. Alternatively, Windows 10 users can right-click on the start button and choose ‘Disk Management’ directly.

USB 3.0 connectivity

The majority of external hard drives connect via USB ports, but PS4 system doesn’t accept any USB generation below 3.0 if you want to use the USB extrnal hard drive as an extended storage on PS4. Much of the processor was designed by hand (rather than using machine tools) and is pretty unique in terms of design. for its time, it was closer to the vector design of a chip used in a supercomputer. It sounds great on paper, but the reviews and opinions I’ve come across in my research kind of go back and forth on it. PS4 is equipped with 8 GB of unified system memory, easing game creation and increasing the richness of content achievable on the platform. Most disk cloning tools allow you to create a boot disk, that way you can boot your system up on it to clone the drive. You can go for PS4-compatible 1tb USB External hard drive if you want an adequate expansion of the system storage. Destiny, the upcoming shooter from Bungie and Activision, will include some PS4-exclusive content.

PS4 USB hard drive


If you want to use the USB hard drive as an extended storage on PS4, then you have to verify its size is between 250gb and 8tb. Make sure you completely power down your PS4, not just into rest mode, and then unplug it from any of the wires at the back. Note our footage here is in 1080p, and this is simply a snapshot of the machine’s performance with the game in this early state – though it’s nevertheless an interesting turnout. As a matter of fact, you have options. The company does not disclose any details about its HAMR recording heads because they are the most crucial part of the next-generation hard drives. All users and all data will be deleted.


The form factor of the new system inherits the slanted body design of the previous models, with the foreside and backside of its body slightly angled. PS4 external hard drive speed varies depending on the performance of the external hard drive itself and its specifications. Once Windows Disk Management is open, scroll through the list at the bottom of the window until you find your external PS4 hard drive. As your computer operates, it uses the cache as a sort of playground for doing all of its calculations and procedures. You may want to use an external SSD for PS4 in order to gain the highest level of performance an external storage device can offer to PS4. While many people say it works good, others say it runs very hot and can lower the lifespan of the system. NCQ, TCQ, RAID, IDE, SCSI, SATA, MTBF… the acronyms are virtually endless and it can be pretty confusing stuff.

PS4 External Hard Drive Format

Formatting an external hard drive to work on PS4 is done in two ways. The first way is to format it as an exFAT file system and use it as a backup storage. The second is to let PS4 system format it using its special format system. Once you have created a boot disk, you’re ready to go. Intel hasn’t released much more detail about 3D Xpoint, but its basic design is similar to what’s at the heart of an ambitious project by Hewlett-Packard to use devices called memristors to create faster data storage and new computer designs (see “Machine Dreams”). Other large companies as well as startups are working on similar technology (see “Faster, Denser, Memory Challenges both DRAM and Flash”).

If you format the external hard drive with PS4 system format feature, you won’t be able to use this drive on another system until you totally format it and erase your data. However, progress has been slower than anticipated and Intel is the only company promising complete hard drives on the market next year. Put the console on a flat surface and then slide off the shiny part of the casing.

  • The good news is that most of external hard drives come pre-formatted and you don’t need to re-format then for the use on PS4 unless they are not using FAT file system.
  • Compare this to an SSD with the average access time of 0.1 milliseconds.
  • Depending on how much data you want to back up, you could delete any unnecessary games and use a significantly smaller external hard drive or even use a large flash drive and eliminate the need for one line item entirely.

Storing PS4 files on the external hard drive

The platters are mounted on the spindle which is turned by the drive motor. Are you sure you want to continue?” Click “Yes.” Depending on how you use your external hard drive on PS4, storing data on it is determined. The PS4 will be formatting and installing the Firmware. NAND flash based drives are persistent and can therefore effectively mimic a hard disk drive. It should be pretty easy to spot, as it’ll be divided into several sections, called ‘partitions’ in digital storage terminology. A PS4 USB hard drive can either backup the whole PS4 system and the data PS4 system allows, or it can be used to move data to it from the internal hard drive if it is set to be an extended storage. In fact, it’s surprising how resilient that information can be—just ask any corporate embezzler who thought he had deleted all the evidence from his PC, only to have it show up later in court.

compatible external hard drive for PS4

That being said, not everyone has had that issue, so it could be a user error. SMR achieves higher areal densities by squeezing tracks closer together. Replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 with 2tb drive can make things easy for you and keep you away from the hassle of extended storage or backup storage. Basically the process is the same as drive-to-drive, but instead of cloning to the new drive, you create a file containing an image of the existing hard drive on a removable hard drive or network folder. Because Helium is a sealed drive technology, the packaging of the drive is different. It shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Hence even with eight cores, the CPU performance of the PlayStation 4 would remain mediocre at best since its based on a chip that is suited for netbook and tablet use, not the actual desktop computing or gaming. And while only 9.5mm drives are supported, they’re much easier to find in some capacities than others. If you own a PS4 slim model, you can try upgrading the internal hard drive to 2tb in order to avoid any lack of space in future.

  • Are three yrs actually more than enough for the most significant marketing console of all time to be moved a single action down the food stuff chain?
  • Once that’s completed, the PlayStation will reboot and you’ll have to go through setting up the PS4 (i.e., selecting Language, Time Zone, etc.).
  • Once you’ve started everything back up, you can sign into your PSN account, which means you’ll be able to re-download your library of games and save game data.
  • The only thing that would boost the price up to exorbitant amounts is Nvidia’s Titan GTX.

Watching Movies on PS4 from USB External HDD

It’s possible to watch movies on PS4 from the external hard drive only if that external drive is formatted with FAT system and is not used an an extended storage. Right-click on each partition of the drive and choose ‘Delete Volume’ until all partitions are erased and the drive is once again a single, unallocated unit. Comparing the data to previous years’ sales, SDL believes the data points to Xbox One winning out. Overall the general consensus is that the bank works, but it can add extra seconds to your load times. With PS4 Pro limited hard drive capacity, swapping the stock hard drive with a 2tb drive can help add more movies to watch in 4k resolution. The PS4 features 1,152GPU cores as compared to the Xbox One’s 768 graphics cores. I prefer the portable (2.5″) external hard drive, as they don’t require any additional source of power (AC adapter). Boot your computer up on the disk you created.

PS4 allows to use USB external hard drive as extended storage

How many movies you can add to the external HDD

It was a Power architecture (meaning based on a RISC design).The Cell’s PPE (Power Processor Element) would be the main processor. Inside you’ll gain access to the hard drive enclosure, which is fixed in place with just one large screw with the PlayStation symbols on it. You can add as many as you want of movies as long as they don’t exceed the 8tb capacity. GDDR5 is used for this memory, giving the system 176 GB/second of bandwidth and providing a further boost to graphics performance. In this case a total of three hard drives are involved: the original PS4 drive will be backed up onto the external hard drive and from there restored onto the new drive. The list of publishers and developers who have signed on include the usual high-profile studios: Activision, Capcom, EA, LucasArts, Square Enix, Ubisoft, etc.

How to use an external HDD on PS4

Using a USB hard drive on PS4 is easy if you just follow the instructions carefully. You can go back to Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data on USB Storage Device to Upload Files OR Saved Data in Online Storage to download all your saved game files and data. An initial look at Horizon Zero Dawn performance, derived from a 4K, 60fps video asset provided by Sony. Be warned that this will destroy all the contents of the drive—this is the point of no return for your original PS4 data. Remember that using the external hard drive on PS4 requires a compatible drive before anything else. HDD makers, independent producers of recording heads, universities and various other parties have researched HAMR heads for years. Head over to the official PlayStation website (nothing fake, the real deal) and download the latest software update available.

usb 3.0 external storage

Extended Storage

The corners are trimmed and curved, giving it a softer impression that would appeal to a wider range of audience. You first need to pick a compatible external hard drive for PS4, then format it using PS4 system software in order to get it work as an extended storage. Once it is booted up, attach an external hard drive or configure the network settings and select the location for your drive image. Because the cache is so intimately necessary, the electrical pathways to the cache are the shortest, meaning data access is almost instantaneous. The maximum USB external hard drive capacity that works on PS4 is 8tb. Undue that with a Phillips screwdriver and you can slide out the existing drive using the small handle. Manufacturers and retailers aren’t necessarily going to tell you that the exciting bling-word they’re using doesn’t really mean much for you.

Backup Storage

As for the backup storage, you just need to avoid formatting the external hard drive using PS4 format feature, because then it cannot work as a backup storage device. No PC storage is required at all, and no deleting is necessary prior to the backup operation. After difficulties with its own memory technology, HP recently scaled back its memristor plans (see “HP Puts the Future of Computing on Hold”). Computer hard drives could suddenly become far faster, thanks to a new technology that uses heat to write information to the magnetic storage systems, instead of magnetic fields.


Having a USB external hard drive for PS4 is an option that so many users are going for. You just need to know what you can do with the external hard drive on PS4 and how to use it properly, then everything will go fine. Are you looking for more storage space for your PlayStation 4 console? When a user opens a document or program on an SDD, it opens roughly 50 times faster than would an HDD. Next, right-click on the empty, unformatted drive and choose ‘New Simple Volume’. Make sure the USB hard drive you get for PS4 meets the specifications and conforms to the standards Sony specified. A ‘wizard’ window will appear to walk you through the settings for the drive.