How to use an external hard drive to upgrade your PlayStation storage

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It used to be when you bought a console, upgrading your storage was something that was easier said than done. When you initially pick up a PlayStation 4, 500GB or a 1TB of space seems like a lot. In reality, that might only hold 15 or 20 games, and when it comes to games that require multiple updates, that number shrinks even more. Luckily, all you need is a USB 3.0 external hard drive, and you can access up hundreds of gigabytes more storage space for your console.

Our top picks

  • Save some space: Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive ($85 at Amazon)
  • Extra storage: WD 2TB Elements External Hard Drive ($65 at Amazon)

The Guide

First, connect your external hard drive to the PlayStation 4 via USB port.

From the menu go to settings
Click on devices.

Click on USB storage devices

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Click on the USB hard drive you want to use.
Click on format as extended storage.

It’s important to note that formatting your external hard drive will wipe all data off of it, and you’ll have to designate that hard drive specifically to the PlayStation 4 going forward. It’s also worth noting that the external hard drive will become the default option for items on the PlayStation 4. Thankfully, switching back to the PS4’s internal storage isn’t tough at all.

How to choose which storage device is the default

From the menu, go to settings.
Scroll down to storage.
Choose which of the two storage devices you’d like to download to.
Press the options button on that storage and then select Application install location to designate that as the default download location.

In you case you want to take out your external hard drive all together, that’s also an easy task!

How to disconnect an external hard drive from PlayStation 4

From the menu select settings.
Click on devices.
Click USB storage devices.

Click stop using this extended storage.

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Once you’ve done this you’re good to go and will be able to download a lot more games. The PlayStation 4 can support up to an 8TB external hard drive should you need that much space, but a simple 2TB model should serve you well.

Our pick

Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive

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$85 at Amazon

Designed for PS4

This particular hard drive was specifically designed by a reliable brand name to work with PlayStation 4 consoles. It sports an outer edge in the system’s trademark blue color.

Budget pick

WD 2TB Elements External Hard Drive

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$65 at Amazon

Cheaper alternative

If you don’t care for the blue edge of the Seagate, you can pick up another reliable brand name with the WD Elements 2TB External Hard Drive. It works just as well and it’s cheaper.