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How to upgrade your PS4 hard drive to 4TB or more

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  • The easy way: How to expand your PS4 drive via an external USB 3.0 HDD
  • The harder way: Replace the HDD inside your PS4

When the PlayStation 4 was first released, 500GB of storage seemed ample. It soon turned out not to be, however, with game file sizes expanding at a fair rate of knots.

  • How to install an internal SSD for your PS5: Get more PlayStation 5 storage

Now, years later, games like Call of Duty: Warzone can easily top 100GB. That doesn’t leave too much space on your default drive for many other games.

Even if you have the enhanced version of the PS4 or the PS4 Pro, each with 1TB drives, they will struggle.

Luckily, there are two options for increasing the storage space on your PS4 or PS4 Pro. One is blindingly simple, the other slightly more complicated. They both work very effectively though and aren’t too costly.


The easy way: How to expand your PS4 drive via an external USB 3.0 HDD

The easiest way to increase the storage of your PS4, whether it be the original model, 2016 refresh or a PS4 Pro, is to add a USB 3.0 hard drive to your setup.

Any USB 3.0 drive will do the job and the PS4 supports drives up to 8TB in size.


We chose a dedicated PS4 edition of the Seagate Game Drive with 4TB of space. It’s great value at under £100 and is designed to match the PS4 perfectly.

Another great alternative is a WD_Black P10 Game Drive, which is specifically designed for gamers and costs only a little more for up to 5TB.


Whichever you choose, to get it work with your PS4, just plug it into any of the three USB 3.0 ports. We chose one of the rear ports to tuck it out of the way.


You then need to head to the Settings menu in order to format the drive to work as external storage. Head to Devices, then USB Storage Devices. You should see your new drive listed on the next screen.


Click on it and you will be taken to a page with a box that says «Format and Extended Storage». Click on that, wait for a short while and bingo, the drive is ready to use.

The PS4 will automatically set your external drive to be the default to install games on.


If you want to use your internal drive instead, go back into the Settings menu, head to Storage and press Options. You will have the option to choose between the internal and external drive as the game installation location.

The harder way: Replace the HDD inside your PS4

Another way to expand the storage of your PS4 is to replace the hard drive inside the machine. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and could be ideal if you, say, want to add a solid state drive for speedier access.

You will have to take at least part of the console apart. Sony makes it very simple for you, but you will still find the process a little long-winded. The easy part though is choosing a drive.


The PS4 uses a 2.5-inch SATA HDD, the type of which you’ll find in a laptop. However, not any old 2.5-inch drive will work. To fit a PS4 it will need to be no greater than 9.5mm in depth or it will be too big for the hard drive enclosure drawer.

There are some out there that will meet the specifications, at around the £50 mark. We opted for a Western Digital WD10JPVX — an older 5400RPM Blue drive with a 7mm depth which fits nicely — but there are plenty of more recent SATA III alternatives.

You can even opt for an SSD/HDD hybrid drive, such as the 1TB Seagate FireCuda gaming drive that’s available on Amazon UK.

Some have also suggested pure SSD equivalents, which ramp up load speeds dramatically, but can be prohibitively expensive if you’re trying to increase storage rather than shrink it.

The set-up

Installing a PS4 hard drive is a lot more time consuming than increasing the storage via an external solution. The PS4 will take a bit more to get up and running, which includes having to back up files as you’ll have to completely start afresh once the new drive is in place.

The files that will need to be backed up are games saves and any video clips or screenshots you wish to keep. You can do the former in a couple of ways.

If you are a PlayStation Plus member you can upload all of your save files to the cloud, ready to download again when you’re done. In fact, if you had already set this up to happen automatically you needn’t bother yourself with this part of the process again. If you haven’t and have a fair few games, this can take a while.


If you aren’t a PlayStation Plus member or wish to keep a more local copy of your saves, you will need a USB memory stick or (ironically) an external hard drive formatted to FAT, FAT32 or exFAT standard to store data on. Plug it into the PS4 through one of the front USB ports and get ready for a laborious process.

Head to Settings, Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data in System Storage and you’ll see Copy to USB Storage Device. Go into that menu and you’ll see a list of all your games. Enter each one individually and you can tick the files you want to copy and confirm. The files will instantly be copied onto the external drive (or uploaded to the cloud if you go through that route).


Also remember to back up your captured videos and screengrabs from the Capture Gallery section of System Storage Management. And once you have you’re ready to install the new drive.

Installing the drive

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. Put the console on a flat surface and then slide off the hard drive casing. It shouldn’t be difficult to do but does vary in location from the original PS4, latest PS4 and PS4 Pro.


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. Undue that with a Phillips screwdriver and you can slide out the existing drive using the small handle.


Unscrew the four black screws, two either side of the hard drive enclosure — leaving the rubber holders in place. Then remove the drive that came with the PS4.


Replace it with the new drive and screw the black screws back in place.


Slide the drive back into the console until it feels like it has attached properly and screw it in place using the large PlayStation screw.

Clip the lid or flap back into place and that part of the job is done.

Reinstalling the system software

As the console now has a brand new drive with none of the system software installed, you’ll need to reinstall it manually. You’ll definitely need an external USB drive (or memory stick) on at least 1GB in capacity for this part of the set-up, even if you stored all of your saved games in the cloud.


Create a folder called «PS4» on the drive using a computer, then a folder inside that called «UPDATE». You then need to download the latest system software file from Sony and be wary of following some links on the PlayStation site as they can send you to earlier versions that won’t work (you’ll just get an error message when trying to install).

The latest system software (at the time of writing) is version 8.03 which we found here at It will be around 1GB to download but is the complete software, not just an update. If the file is much smaller it’s the wrong one and won’t work.

Move the downloaded file (named PS4UPDATE.PUP) to the UPDATE folder on the drive and you’re ready to install it on the console.


Reattach all of the leads into the rear of the PS4, plug your USB drive into the front and attach a DualShock 4 controller via its own USB cable. Then press the on switch on the front of the machine for seven seconds or longer. This will boot up the console into Safe Mode and give you some options. Choose «Initialise PS4 (Reinstall System Software)» and the PS4 will find the update (if the correct one) and install it. It only takes around five minutes in total and then your PS4 will reboot and start up as if it has just been unboxed and set up for the very first time.


Of course, you’ll then have to reinstall everything again and sign into your PlayStation Network profile, but at least you’ll have much more storage space than when you started.


As we opted for a 5400RPM drive much like the one that came with the machine in the first place we’ve not really noticed much of a performance upgrade on the internal drive.

We weren’t aiming for speed though (for that you can opt for a 7200RPM drive instead if you’re willing to splash a little more cash) and just having that extra storage space is making a big difference to our gaming lives.

If we’re being honest, you’re best advised to go down the external drive route, considering that’s dead simple and relatively cheap these days. But if you really want to beef up your system, you might want to add a new, faster internal drive too at some point.

Best external hard drive for PS4 2022: The top PlayStation 4 drives from just £44

Is your PS4’s internal hard drive holding you back? Would you like to have more games installed but lack the space to accommodate them? You’re not alone. More of us are buying our games digitally these days, and even those that ship on Blu-ray disc can install 50GB or more of files. Monsters like Red Dead Redemption 2 can consume up to 105GB of your precious hard drive, which is a problem when the standard model only has 500GB to play with, some of which is already occupied by system software. Even the 1TB hard drive of the PS4 Pro struggles when confronted with the files required by today’s most graphically intensive games.

Of course, you can always replace your PS4’s existing internal hard drive with a higher-capacity 2.5in HDD – or even an SSD or hybrid drive if you wanted slightly faster loading times. However, you don’t have to switch drives just to get more capacity, as the PS4 also supports external USB 3 hard drives for use as extended storage. Just plug one in and you’re good to go. You don’t need to transfer any data or lose your existing space.

Looking for next-gen storage? Try our roundup of the best drives for PS5

How to choose the best external hard drive for your PS4

What should you look for in a PS4 hard drive?

Interface type: Any USB 3 drive of almost any size will work; 250GB is the minimum capacity and a whopping 8TB the maximum. Neither the PS4 nor PS4 Pro support USB 3.1 gen 2 or USB Type C, so don’t worry about spending extra on a drive that sports these newer interface standards.

Portable or desktop? For convenience’s sake, we’d recommend going for a portable external hard drive. The portability isn’t actually that useful, but the one USB 3 connection will handle both data transfer and power, so you won’t need an external power supply.

Right now, there are only two reasons to choose a desktop external hard drive. First, they can run to larger capacities: even the biggest portable drives max out at 5TB, while desktop drives go up to the full 8TB maximum capacity. You’d have to have a massive games library, though, to make that a deciding factor. Otherwise, some desktop drives have a 7,200RPM spindle speed, where portable drives usually only manage 5,400RPM. This can mean slightly better performance, and slightly shorter loading times.

Anything else? Drives have to be connected directly to your PS4 – not a USB hub – so make sure you have a USB 3 port available. Both the original PS4 and the newer PS4 Slim have two USB 3 ports at the front, while the PS4 Pro has an extra USB 3 port at the back. You’ll need one free to connect and charge controllers or connect the PSVR control unit, so bear this in mind.

READ NEXT: Best external hard drives for Xbox One

How much storage space do you need?

You can only have one extended storage drive connected to your PS4, so you really want the biggest drive you can afford. Games these days can eat up vast amounts of storage space, so unless you’re exclusively planning on playing Fortnite or Minecraft, you’re going to need a large external drive.

Here’s a look at some top-selling games for PS4 on Amazon, and how much room they take up on your hard drive (including low-storage games such as Fortnite, for reference):

Game storage requirements – PS4

Fortnite 7.5GB
Apex Legends 18.5GB
FIFA 20 44GB
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 46GB
Marvel’s Spider-Man 47GB
Ghost of Tsushima 50GB
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 60GB
Grand Theft Auto V 68GB
The Last of Us Part II 78GB
Red Dead Redemption II 99GB
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2020) 190GB

1TB is a sensible minimum, but we’d suggest going for 2TB as there’s not a vast price difference between the two and you’ll have enough space for a pretty sizable games library. However avid gamers might want to jump straight to 4TB. You’ll have enough space to download free PlayStation Plus games and take advantage of those tempting PlayStation store special offers, while still spending less than £100 on the drive itself.

Is it worth spending extra on an SSD?

Simply using a conventional external hard drive can speed up loading times. On the PS4 Pro, for instance, we’ve seen the time taken to load a saved game from the title screen in God of War reduced from 45 seconds to 41 seconds just from plugging in Seagate’s PS4 Game Drive – and that’s not the fastest USB3 HDD by any means.

However, there are more significant speed gains you can get from using an SSD. With a SanDisk Extreme Pro connected, the God of War saved game loaded in just 32 seconds. Loading a Horizon: Zero Dawn saved game took 59 seconds with the Seagate Game Drive but 26 seconds with the SanDisk external SSD. That’s a lot less time spent looking at the loading screen.

External SSDs have grown a lot faster over the last two years, but with the PS4 you don’t really gain much performance by opting for the newer 1,050MB/sec and 2,000MB/sec NVMe drives. Where the PS5 has a more efficient storage architecture and a faster USB 3.2 gen 2 interface to make use of them, the PS4 does not. What’s more, even on the PS5 the differences in loading times don’t appear to be that significant. You could be spending an extra £50 to £100 just to shave off one or two seconds here and there.0

In any case, SSDs are still expensive, so you have to work out whether the price and capacity make sense for you. 500GB external SSDs are creeping in below the £80 mark, but for a 1TB drive you’re looking at £100 to £150. That’s not ideal when for under £100 you could have a 4TB hard drive to fill with PS4 games.0

If loading times really drive you crazy, then our recommendation would be to splash out £100 on an internal 2.5in 1TB SSD and fit that inside your PS4, then use an external drive to store most of your games library. You can easily move games between internal and external storage, meaning you can run the games you’re playing now from the faster SSD and keep your other favourites on the external HDD for when you want to play them.

READ NEXT: Best external hard drives

1. Seagate Expansion Portable: The best value HDD for PS4

Price: £44 (1TB), £57 (2TB), £92 (4TB), £97 (5TB) | Buy now from Amazon

It’s not the fastest drive and far from the most stylish, but the Expansion Portable gives you exactly what you need for your PS4: decent speeds and plenty of storage. The 2TB version reaches read speeds of 132MB/sec and write speeds of 129MB/sec, both of which are in excess of the 120MB/sec quoted and perfectly respectable for a portable HDD. And while it’s a chunky little slab of plastic, it’s well-built and very quiet. Unless you’re desperate for a ‘proper’ gaming drive, there’s little reason to spend more – and the 4TB and 5TB versions are an absolute steal.0

Key specs – Type: Portable HDD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: 5,400RPM; Size: 117 x 80 x 15mm

Seagate Portable Drive, 5TB, External Hard Drive, Dark Grey, for PC Laptop and Mac, 2 year Rescue Services, Amazon Exclusive (STGX5000400), Black

£93. 80 Buy now

2. Samsung T5: The best high-performance SSD for future PS5 upgraders

Price: £88 (500GB), £140 (1TB), £275 (2TB) | Buy now from Amazon

It’s not the last word in SSD performance, but the Samsung T5 is about as fast a drive as we’d recommend for PS4 use; any more speed won’t make any significant difference to your game loads and continues. It can reach read/write speeds of up to 554MB/sec and 519MB/sec, so you can expect shorter waits before you’re in the game, while it also supports the faster USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface of the PS5; a nice feature if you plan to upgrade later. Both USB-A and USB-C cables are provided. It’s a robust drive with a powder-coated aluminium shell, and absolutely tiny, measuring just 74 x 57mm, and only 11mm thick. The SanDisk Extreme Portable is slightly better value, but if every second while you’re waiting to reload a saved game is agony, then this is the drive you want plugged in. 0

Key specs – Type: Portable SSD; Connectivity: USB 3.2 Gen2; Spindle speed: N/A; Size: 74 x 57 x 11mm

Samsung T5 1 TB USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps, Type-C) External Solid State Drive (Portable SSD) Deep Black (MU-PA1T0B)

£232.00 Buy now

3. Seagate Expansion USB 8TB Desktop: The best high-capacity hard drive for PS4

Price: 8TB, £137 | Buy now from Amazon

If 4TB isn’t enough for your massive games collection, then Seagate’s Expansion Desktop drive will give you the additional capacity you crave. It comes with 8TB of storage – the maximum the PS4 can cope with – and while it doesn’t have the 7,200RPM spindle speed of some desktop drives, it’ll still give you better performance than your average portable drive. In fact, its 160MB/sec transfer speeds will shave a few seconds off the loading times of demanding PS4 titles. True, you don’t have the convenience of a single cable for data and power but, to compensate, you do get a far higher capacity for your money, costing less than some 4TB portable drives. If your games library keeps on growing, this is the drive you want plugged into your PS4. Just make sure you don’t power it off when your PS4 is active – your console won’t like it one bit.

Key specs – Type: Desktop HDD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: 5400rpm; Size: 179 x 119 x 41mm

Seagate Desktop, 8 TB, External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac and Two-year Rescue Services (STGY8000400) — Amazon Exclusive, Black

£151.73 Buy now

4. WD_Black P10 Game Drive: The high-performance hard drive for PS4

Price: 2TB, £76; 4TB, £98; 5TB, £133 | Buy now from Ebuyer

Western Digital’s Black line of HDDs has always had a good reputation with PC gamers, but this is its first foray into the console gaming world. Not only do you get rugged build quality and a cool, industrial design, but you have more choice when it comes to capacity, with 5TB drives available for just over £100. If you don’t mind setting aside a mains socket, the P10 also comes in larger 8TB and 12TB sizes as a desktop hard drive.

Meanwhile, performance is on a par with WD’s MyPassport Ultra drives, with sequential read/write speeds of 133MB/sec and 129MB/sec – not bad given that the latter is widely seen as a fast drive and the P10 isn’t any more expensive. Factor in that it’s also more affordable than Seagate’s and WD’s PS4-specific drives, and the WD_Black P10 is a gaming drive that’s worth the little extra.

Key specs – Type: Portable HDD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: 5,400RPM; Size: 118 x 88 x 21mm

Western Digital_BLACK P10 5TB Game Drive for On-The-Go Access To Your Game Library — Works with Console or PC

£124. 98 Buy now

5. WD My Passport Portable Gaming Storage for PS4: The best-looking hard drive for PS4

Price: 2TB, £80; 4TB, £113 | Buy now from Amazon

Both Western Digital and Seagate manufacture gaming drives for Xbox One and PS4, which mean that they’re designed to complement your console, for which you’ll pay a small premium. There’s no real benefit in terms of easy setup or performance, but WD’s textured top and bottom panels, and the blue edge, replicate the colours of a switched-on PS4. Stick it on top of your PS4 or Pro and it’ll blend right in with the hardware. Speeds are in the same ballpark as the regular MyPassport (available for £15 less), but if you’re proud of your PS4 then this is one drive you won’t want to hide behind it.

Key specs – Type: Portable HDD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: 5,400RPM; Size: 110 x 81.5 x 13mm

WD 2TB My Passport Portable Gaming Storage for PlayStation 4 New, Black

£79. 00 Buy now

WD 2TB Gaming Drive works with Playstation 4 Portable External Hard Drive — WDBDFF0020BBK-WESN

$51.34 Buy now

6. Seagate Game Drive for PS4: The best official hard drive for PS4

Price: 2TB, £70 | Buy now from Amazon

Seagate’s PS4 Game Drive is officially licensed and bears the PlayStation logo, and Seagate claims that it uses the same firmware as the PS4’s internal drive to ensure that it’s optimised for the console. Its other plus is that it includes setup instructions, though there’s nothing there that 30 seconds’ work in Google wouldn’t reveal – it’s a very easy process. Performance isn’t anything special – it’s roughly the same as the Expansion listed above – and the 2019 version seems to stop at 2TB; the 4TB version you’ll see on offer is last year’s model. Still, it’s a solid, ultra-slim and reasonably speedy drive, guaranteed to work specifically with PS4.

Key specs – Type: Portable HDD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: 5,400RPM; Size: 114 x 76 x 10mm

Seagate Game Drive for PS5, 2TB, Portable External Hard Drive, Compatible with PS4 and PS5 (STGD2000200)

£69. 29 Buy now

7. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD: The best SSD for PS4

Price: 500GB, £80; 1TB, £120; 2TB, £290 | Buy now from Amazon

The SanDisk Extreme makes a great PS4 SDD; it’s relatively cheap by SSD standards, but also fast, rugged and reliable. With maximum read/write speeds of 442MB/sec and 497MB/sec over USB3, it’s going to cut down your loading times on even the biggest games dramatically. On games like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn loading times were cut by more than half. And while there are faster SSDs available – including SanDisk’s Extreme Pro, which we also tested – they’re significantly more expensive and you’ll only shave a second here and there. We’d still recommend using an internal SSD while using an external HDD to store your games library, but if you’ve got the desire and the money to go down the all-SSD route, this is the drive to do it with.

Key specs – Type: Portable SSD; Connectivity: USB 3; Spindle speed: N/A; Size: 96 x 49. 5 x 8.9mm

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB up to 550MB/s read

£192.45 Buy now

Spatium M480 Play: SSD for PlayStation 5

MSI introduced a special SSD drive for PlayStation 5. This time, the vendor decided not to be limited to PC enthusiasts and created a unique product for fans of the PS5 game console — the Spatium M480 Play drive.

In the partner material with MSI, we talk in detail about its characteristics.

Partner material?

Why choose this SSD

The Spatium M480 Play not only meets the performance requirements of PS5 hard drives, it far exceeds them. This is a state-of-the-art PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe 1.4 SSD with a read speed of up to 7000MB/s. With such a companion, gaming pleasure is guaranteed.

This SSD can also hold many of your games. Just choose the amount of memory you want — 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB or even 4 TB — and not think about which game to delete in order to download a new one.

MSI’s hard drive adopts a special aluminum heatsink to ensure reliable cooling and stable console performance. Therefore, you can load your PS 5 to the fullest — the SSD will still remain cold.

Spatium M480 Play also has a convenient form factor standard, which sets the overall dimensions of the technical product M.2 2280 . It is specially designed for the M.2 slot of the PlayStation 5, so it is very easy to install it in the console. To do this, you will need a few minutes of your time and a #1 Phillips screwdriver.

Learn more about the Spatium M480 Play.

Step-by-step installation instructions

1. Before installing the Spatium M480 Play, update the console software to the latest version, completely turn it off and disconnect from all wires.

2. Lay the console with the logo down and remove the side panel.

3. Remove the screw that secures the expansion slot cover and remove it.

4. Remove the screw that holds the bonnet rivet that holds the screw to secure the SSD and replace it to the position marked 80. into the M.2 expansion slot at a slight angle.

6. Press the SSD against the bobbin and secure it with the screw you removed in step 4.

7. Replace the connector cover and console side panel.

8. Launch the console and follow the instructions on the screen.

Learn more about the Spatium M480 Play and view its full specifications on the MSI website.

Spatium M480 Play with a memory capacity of 1 TV can be bought in partner stores at a price of 7399 UAH.

Affiliate material?

Buy Spatium M480 Play

This is partner material. Information for this material was provided by a partner.
The editors are responsible for the compliance of the style with editorial standards.
You can order material about you in the format of a PR article here.

Why is the volume of flash drives, HDD and SSD hard drives smaller than indicated?

Home News & Reviews Why is the disk space smaller than advertised?

Why are flash drives, HDDs and SSDs smaller than indicated? You have paid attention more than once — the real volume of USB flash drives, HDD and SSD hard drives, visible to the operating system, is much less than declared. Why this happens, who is to blame and what to do, we will tell you in this article.

Seeing real examples:

  • Fleshka 32 GB (gigabyt) — Free ~ 29.8 GB ( KingSton SE9 32 GB)
  • SSD 9001 128 b. 119.2 GB ( Kingston A400 120GB)
  • HDDs on 500 GB — free ~ 465 GB (WD Blue 500GB [WD5000AZLX], Seagate 500GB [ST500DM009])
  • HDD 1TB (Terabyte) — free ~ 931 GB (WD Blue 1TB (WD10EZRZ), Seagate 1TB [ST1000DM010])
  • HDD 901 — 901 2TB free 1861 GB ( Toshiba P300 2TB [HDWD120UZSVA], Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM008)

This happens because the data on the SSD and HDD drives of the computer are measured in binary, in the form of ones and zeros, and not in decimal, as we used to. The whole difference arises when the disk manufacturer specifies the size in decimal for convenience.
Due to the fact that 1 KB (kilobyte) = 1024 bytes and there is such confusion.
Let’s go further, and calculate the values ​​for higher values:

  • 1 MB (megabyt) = 1024 KB
  • 1 GB (gigabyt) = 1024 MB
  • 1 TB (terabyt) = 1024 GB

9000 2 begins to get it away , is not it? 🙂 Then let’s count how many bytes are in a regular 16 GB flash drive.


The estimated size of some flash drives.

  • 4 GB.

4 billion/1024/1024/1024 ≈ 3.7 GB.

  • 8 GB

8 billion/1024/1024/1024 ≈ 7.5 GB.

  • 16 GB

16 billion/1024/1024/1024 ≈ 14.9 GB.

  • 32 GB

32 billion/1024/1024/1024 ≈ 29.8 GB.

  • 64 GB

64 billion/1024/1024/1024 ≈ 59.