Today’s video games take up so much space that you’ll probably run out of room on your PlayStation 4’s included hard drive before long. Thankfully, the PS4’s support for external storage means you can expand this without much trouble.
We’ve collected the best external hard drives for PS4 below. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option or maximum storage, you’ll find something suitable. We’ll also show you how to start using your external storage.
1. Best PS4 External Drive Overall:
WD 2TB Elements
If you’re looking for a respectable amount of PS4 storage at a great value, the WD 2TB Elements drive is a great choice. It’s USB 3.0 compatible, so it can keep up with the demands of PS4 games. The slim form factor, measuring just 4.35 x 3.23 inches, means it can sit comfortably on top of your PS4.
2TB is enough for plenty of games, so it will be some time before you need to upgrade again. Those who have a ton of data on their system should consider getting more storage, but this is an affordable option for most players.
2. Best PS4 External Drive for Maximum Storage:
Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB
Need a massive amount of storage space for games? The PS4 supports external drives of up to 8TB, so the Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB gets you as much storage as possible. It’s a desktop drive, so it’s not as portable as the WD Elements option.
This one measures 6.93 x 4.75 inches and is almost three times as deep. Because it’s not powered over USB, you’ll need to plug in the dedicated power cable. 8TB is a load of space, so only those who download dozens of games need choose this drive.
3. Best PS4 External Drive With Modest Storage:
Seagate Portable 1TB
Not everyone needs a ton of space. If you have a more modest game collection, consider the Seagate Portable 1TB for some additional storage. Early PS4s came with 500GB of space included; modern models have a 1TB drive in the box. This means 1TB will either double or triple what your system came with.
Like the WD drive, this is a portable unit, so there’s no separate power cable required. It measures 4.6 x 3.15 inches. You might see a version of this drive that’s marked as an “officially licensed product” for the PS4. We recommend avoiding this, as it costs more than the above but is essentially the same product. You’ll get better value by avoiding the overpriced official drive.
4. Best Cheap PS4 External Drive:
KESU 500GB Ultra Slim
250GB is the minimum size for PS4 external storage. However, 250GB isn’t much space for games, and buying an external HDD of that size isn’t cost-effective. Thus, we recommend you buy a 500GB drive at a minimum. Most 500GB external drives available today are from lesser-known companies, so you take a small risk buying them.
But if you want additional storage at the lowest possible cost, the KESU 500GB Ultra Slim is a solid offering. It’s about the same physical size as the other portable drives we’ve looked at. This 500GB drive won’t give you loads of space for games, but it’s the cheapest option worth considering.
If you can stretch your budget a bit, we definitely recommend looking at a 1TB drive from a trusted manufacturer like WD or Toshiba. You’ll get additional storage and better reliability for just a bit more cash. Plus, bear in mind that you can only connect one external drive to the PS4 at a time. It’s wise to buy a large enough device for your needs the first time to avoid data transfers down the road.
5. Best Rugged PS4 External Drive:
Silicon Power 4TB Rugged
If you often travel with your PS4, you don’t want to have to leave any games behind. The Silicon Power 4TB Rugged is an option that’s built for travel and packs plenty of storage. This drive is a bit larger at 7.3 x 6.1 inches but has rugged features that make it worth a look for those on the go. Silicon Power’s drive includes shock and water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about bumps or splashes.
It’s cased in rubber to prevent slipping and features an anti-scratch surface. The unit also helpfully includes a slot for easily stowing the cable while traveling. Keep in mind that these durability features means it costs a bit more than other 4TB drives. It’s also available in a 1TB option if you don’t need as much storage.
6. Best PS4 External SSD:
SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External SSD
If you’re interested in the fastest loading speeds possible, an external solid-state drive (SSD) is the way to go. SSDs are more expensive than HDDs but offer much faster performance. We recommended the SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External SSD, although it is available in sizes from 250GB to 2TB.
In this case, 500GB is a good balance of cost and size. This is also a rugged drive, featuring water, dust, and shock resistance. The device measures 3.8 x 1.9 inches. We suggest this for people who don’t have a ton of games installed but want them to run quickly.
500GB isn’t a whole lot of extra space, but the games you run from the external drive will have a noticeable improvement. Remember that this won’t speed up the PS4’s operating system, though, since that’s still installed on the internal hard drive.
Other PS4-Compatible External Hard Drives
We’ve picked out the best external hard drives for PS4, but maybe you’re interested in something else or want to use one you already have. Thankfully, the requirements for a PS4-compatible external hard drive are pretty straightforward.
Any external drive that uses USB 3.0 or later and is between 250GB and 8TB will work with the PS4. Make sure it uses a USB-A connection and not the newer USB-C standard, which isn’t compatible with the PS4.
How to Set Up an External Hard Drive on PS4
Once you’ve got your PS4 external hard drive ready, it’s easy to get it configured. Your PS4 must have system software version 4.50 (which was released in early 2017) or newer to use an external drive.
First, connect your external drive to the PS4. Sony states that you must plug it in directly to the system, so avoid using any USB hubs. Once connected, you’ll need to format it (unless you bought a drive that was pre-formatted for the PS4).
To do this, turn on your system and go to Settings > Devices > USB Storage Devices. Select your device and choose Format as Extended Storage. Hit the Options button on your controller to show this option if it doesn’t appear automatically.
That’s it; you’ve successfully added external storage to your PS4. The system lets you keep games, apps, downloadable content (DLC), and game updates on the external drive.
However, save data, themes, and captured screenshots/video clips will always save to the internal drive. The system will use your new storage automatically, but you can make a few changes per your preferences too.
Disconnecting the Drive Safely
It’s important to disconnect your external drive properly when you want to remove it. Disconnecting while it’s in use could damage your data. The system assumes the drive is connected, even when you power off the PS4, until you tell it to disconnect using the below steps.
Hold the PlayStation button on your controller to open the quick menu, then visit Sound/Devices. Select Stop Using Extended Storage here, and hit OK to confirm. Now it’s safe to disconnect your external drive.
Choose Where Games Install
If you like, you can choose where games install to by default. You can’t change this while games are downloading, so it’s smart to set this up as soon as you’ve connected your drive.
Visit Settings > Storage and hit the Options button on your controller to show a new menu. Select Application Install Location here, and set it to Extended Storage. This will configure your external drive as the default save location.
Moving Games Between Storage Locations
To move a game between your storage drives, go to Settings > Storage and select the device that contains the game you want to relocate. Choose Applications from the data types.
Now press Options on your controller and select Move to Extended Storage (or Move to System Storage). Check all the games you want to move, then hit Move and confirm.
The Best External Drives for PS4
Now you have a great selection of PS4 external drives to choose from and know how to get extended storage set up. External drives are a great way to add more storage without much hassle, which is super helpful for anyone with a big game collection.
You might consider replacing your PS4’s internal hard drive as well. It’s not difficult and can give you even more storage. Consider pairing a modest internal SSD with a large external HDD for the best of both worlds.