Entertainment Technology Explained

Everything You Need to Know About Xbox One External Hard Drives

Ben Stegner Updated 21-11-2019

If you’ve had your Xbox One for a while, the chances are it’s running low on storage space. Most Xbox One models come with 500GB or 1TB drives, which isn’t much to work with.


Thankfully, you can add some additional space using an Xbox One external hard drive. In this article we detail everything you need to know about Xbox One external hard drives.

You Can’t Replace the Internal Xbox One Drive

It’s important to note that external hard drives are the only officially supported solution for gaining more Xbox One storage. While you can technically replace the internal hard drive, doing so will void your console’s warranty.

It’s also moderately difficult, so we wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re very comfortable opening up your gadgets. Buying an external drive is a much simpler solution.

Games Can Run Faster From External Storage

While it might seem counterintuitive, older Xbox models can actually see better performance when running games from an external drive.

This is primarily because the external drive’s USB 3.0 connection offers faster speeds than the SATA II drive inside the console. Additionally, the external drive doesn’t have to handle console features like juggling multiple apps and running the OS. Thus, it has more resources to dedicate to games.


If you have an Xbox One X, however, the performance from an external drive will likely match that of the internal drive. The more powerful Xbox One X uses a superior SATA III connection for its internal drive, meaning that the speeds are comparable to what you get from external disks.

See our comparison of Xbox One models Xbox One X vs. Xbox One S vs. Xbox One: What Are the Differences? Got your eye on the new Xbox One X? Find out how it's different from the Xbox One S and original Xbox One and see which one is best for you. Read More for more on their differences.

You Can Use External SSDs Too

Most people are interested in buying an Xbox One external hard drive to increase available storage. However, you can purchase an external solid-state drive (SSD) if you prefer.

SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives, but are more expensive for less storage space. If you have a few specific games that you like to play and want them to load as fast as possible, consider an external SSD. For everyone else, though, the sheer size of HDDs makes them the better value.


External Drives Let You Bring Games to Other Systems

Modern consoles make it difficult to bring a game over to your friend’s house to play, due to account restrictions and huge file sizes. However, you can use your external hard drive to easily play installed games on another Xbox One.

The only requirement is that you’re logged into the account that owns the games. As long as that’s the case, you can enjoy the Xbox games installed to your external drive on a friend’s console. If the games are disc-based, you’ll also need to insert the disc to play them.

Xbox One External Drive Requirements

The requirements for Xbox One-compatible drives are pretty lenient. Microsoft’s Xbox One external storage troubleshooting page notes them:

  • The drive must be at least 128GB (though other Microsoft pages put this minimum at 256GB). You’ll probably want to use a much larger drive to store games, though, as 128GB won’t store more than a few titles.
  • It has to use a USB 3.0 connection. This makes sure it can handle the high data transfer speeds that games require.
  • You cannot connect more than three storage devices to your Xbox One at once. However, other Microsoft pages state that the limit is two, so you may want to stick to that.
  • While it hasn’t been officially been confirmed, the maximum storage size for an external drive is 16TB. You’re unlikely to need this enormous amount of storage, so it shouldn’t be an issue for most people.

Any drive inside these parameters should work fine. Pretty much all external hard drives from the last several years are at least 500GB and use USB 3.0, so you shouldn’t have much issue finding a compatible unit.


See our explanation of USB cables and standards Understand USB Cable Types and Which One to Use Why are there so many different USB cable types? Learn the differences between USB connector types and how to buy the best cable. Read More for more info on USB 3.0 if you’re not familiar with it.

The Best External Hard Drives for Xbox One

Not sure which drive to pick up for your Xbox One? Here are our recommendations…

While shopping around, you might notice there’s an official Xbox-branded Seagate drive. We recommend avoiding this, as it’s more expensive than comparable drives but offers no additional value.

The Best Overall Xbox One External Hard Drive: WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive Buy Now On Amazon $54.84


For the average gamer, this 2TB WD drive strikes a great balance of affordability and space. Its small profile means you can plug it into the back of your Xbox One, set it on top of the system, and forget about it.

If you like this drive but need more or less space, you can pick it up in sizes ranging from 1TB to 5TB.

The Best Xbox One External Hard Drive for Maximum Storage: Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive Buy Now On Amazon $144.99

If you have piles of games to store, take a look at this desktop Seagate drive for plenty of space. 8TB should be enough for almost anyone to keep their entire collection on, and it’s still relatively affordable.

Since this is a desktop drive, it’s not powered over USB like the other options. You’ll need to plug it into a power outlet instead. It’s also larger than portable drives, so make sure you have some extra room for it.

The Best Budget Xbox One External Hard Drive: Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive

Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive Buy Now On Amazon $47.99

Do you need more storage but don’t want to break the bank? 1TB is the smallest size that’s worth buying, and this Silicon Power drive has a lot to offer. In addition to its affordable price, the drive has a rugged build and water resistance.

These features, along with the built-in cable storage slot, make it a great fit for those who travel with their console often.

The Best Xbox One External SSD: Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB

Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB Buy Now On Amazon $138.44

Those who want an external SSD instead of an HDD should look at this drive from Samsung. It’s tiny in size and offers 500GB of speedy storage for your favorite titles.

Of course, an SSD is more expensive per gigabyte than standard hard drives.

How to Use an External Hard Drive on Xbox One

Once you have one, using an external drive on your Xbox One is simple. Here are the basic steps you need to know.

How to Set Up an Xbox One External Hard Drive

First, plug the drive into your console. You can use any available USB port; the ones on the back work well to keep the cable out of the way.

After a moment, you’ll see a message appear asking if you want to use the drive for media or games. While you can use an external drive to store music and movies, this isn’t what most people are after, so select Format storage device.

Xbox One External Device Connected

Next, give your device a name. You’ll then choose whether you want to install games on the external drive by default. Based on the speed gains discussed above, this is usually a good idea.

Finally, you’ll need to hit the Format storage device to confirm.

Xbox One Format External Drive

Keep in mind that formatting an external drive for use with your Xbox One will erase everything on the drive, so make sure you’ve backed up any existing contents beforehand. Also, once you’ve formatted a drive for use with Xbox One, you can’t use it on other platforms like your PC unless you format it for them.

Managing External Storage on Xbox One

Once you’ve formatted the drive, it’s all set to go on your Xbox One. To manage your storage, hit the Xbox button on your controller and use RB to scroll over to the cog icon, then choose Settings. Open System > Storage.

Xbox One Storage System Settings

You’ll see a Manage storage section on the right, which breaks down all of your connected drives.

Select one to see various options, such as setting it as the default install location, viewing what’s installed on it, transferring content between devices, and more.

Xbox One Manage Storage Options

Your Xbox treats all available storage as one big pool, so it shows everything you have installed in My Games & Apps. Thus, you don’t need to worry about where a game is saved unless you want to move it due to speed or space concerns.

Get More Xbox One Storage With an External Drive

Now that you’ve installed an Xbox One external hard drive you should have plenty of room to store your game collection. A few extra terabytes goes a long way, so you shouldn’t have to worry about uninstalling anything until you upgrade to the next generation of Xbox.

To get more from your system, check out some useful Xbox One settings you might have missed 10 Useful Xbox One Settings You Should Know About Here are the most useful Xbox One settings you should know about to unlock new features and get more from your gaming console. Read More .

Related topics: Gaming Culture, Gaming Tips, Hard Drive, Hardware Tips, Storage, Xbox One.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Frankie
    January 18, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Hi, I have an external hard-drive for my Xbox One. It has been formatted and I installed a few games on it. Fortnite was installed on the XBO's internal drive. It needs an update, and I get an error message saying there is no storage space. Why isn't it updating on the external hard drive? Do the updates for a game installed on the internal system need to update on the internal system as well? Thanks.

  2. Victoria
    November 1, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Hi, can tell me if you're allowed to turn the power off on the harddrive (it's a separate power source to the xbox)? My brother says it will delete all the data, but the Xbox is powered down?

    It just gets really warm and the (fan)/(motor)? is loud enough to hear. I thought that turning it off whilst the xbox is off might help, but my brother refuses. Any help or suggestions?

    • Ben Stegner
      November 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      If your console is in Instant On mode, it goes into a sleep-like state when you turn it "off". During this time, your external drive will still have power if you have the following option disabled:

      System > Settings > Power & startup > Power mode & startup > When Xbox is off, turn off storage.
      (Via https://support.xbox.com/en-US/games/troubleshooting/console-doesnt-detect-external-storage)

      If you want to shut off your external drive when your Xbox is in sleep mode, turn that option on. Unplugging your external drive won't delete the data on it, but your system won't auto-update any games on the drive if it's unplugged, obviously.

  3. Tim
    October 22, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    can you put the external hard drive inside a pc?

    • Ben Stegner
      October 22, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      > Bear in mind when buying one, however, that the system will format it for XBO use, so dedicate the HDD you buy to your Xbox. It isn’t meant for also using on your computer.

      Once you connect a drive to your Xbox One and format it for XBO use, it's only readable by your Xbox One. You'll need to format it, which will wipe everything on it, to use it on a PC.

  4. killian
    August 31, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    i will say by a external HDD you really need to be in the details because i had a intenso HDD 2 TB i placed games on it and play on it the worst buy ever the external HDD was like a energy saver you play a game you will see its freezing that's true the HDD was stopping being active until its starting to realize i need to get out of idle so to let the HDD start from idle takes 3 seconds to load everything to get the game running again 15 seconds its so annoying i crushed the external HDD

  5. Ken
    August 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Can the XBox One read a hard drive connected to a wireless router?
    I'd like to have the ability to download movies from my PC to an external drive which can then be read by the XBox.
    I could get a harddrive with wifi, but the cost is greater.
    Thanks for an informative article.

  6. Marcel
    August 6, 2017 at 12:52 am

    You are very missinformed.

    1) External CAN decrease loading speed, but can also slow it down all depends if drive you connect is faster or slower thaninternal.

    2) USB3.0 without UASP is no faster than SATA II, besides unless you are plugging in SSD it makes no difference besides higher latency on USB3.0. Both SATA II and USB3.0 without UASP are limited to about 200mb/s which no HDD is that fast.

    3) Rotation speed of the HDD is not indication of performance 5400RPM goes from 20mb/s to 160mb/s and 7200RPM goes from 50mb/s to 180mb/s. So 120MB/s 5400rpm drive is better and faster than 100mb/s 7200rpm drive

  7. Don Dingleberry
    July 12, 2017 at 3:06 am

    not even close to ALL i wanted to know.
    i mean 32 vs 64 vs 128 mb cashe, 3Gbs vs 6 Gbs sata. the cheaper route of getting an internal HDD and enclosure/ usb 3.0 adapter wasnt mentioned. the specs of the original hard drive werent mentioned.
    a boon: referenced his accusation of seagates manufacturing ineptitude with a random tweet.

    annoying clickbait with absolutely no valuable info. this site should be hacked.

    • Ben Stegner
      July 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Just because the article doesn't contain the exact information you're looking for doesn't mean it's clickbait. Clickbait refers to content that could have easily had the useful content in the title but instead hides it in the article so you have to click to read it.

      Regardless, most people buying an external drive for their Xbox don't worry much about the cache of the drive. I understand we could have covered more in this, but the article is also nearly two years old and a lot has changed since then.

  8. Thomas J Fonock
    March 6, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Does anybody know the steps or process when you get a replacement Xbox one device how external hard drive works with a new replacement device.... I had to take my Xbox one back to Best Buy under the warranty and they sent me a new device anybody able to help me out with this ? I have my external hard drive with a lot of data just want to make sure I don't mess this up before I hook up my replacement Xbox to the external hard drive

    • corey
      March 18, 2017 at 5:16 am

      it should be plug and play after you do all updates on new system

      • corey
        March 18, 2017 at 5:19 am

        only thing it could possibly do is ask for a formate and you stop and unplug your external...

  9. Joshua
    February 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Hi. I have an Xbox One with 2 external hard drives attached to it and I was wondering, when those get full is it possible to swap out one for a new one as long as only new games get put on the new hard drive. Then switch between them for different games or do I have to move everything over to the new external if it has a much larger capacity?

    • Ben Stegner
      February 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      As long as you have the right drive plugged in for the games you want to play, swapping them shouldn't be a problem. You can buy a new drive and only put new games on that, but you obviously can't play any of the games on the other drives if they're not connected. Thus it might be worth purchasing a larger drive and moving everything over for convenience.

  10. Chris
    January 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Forgive my ignorance, but I just purchased an xbox one within the last month. It is the 500 Gig model and I am already seeing some of the constraints of having such a harddrive. If I were to go and purchase an external (looking at the 2TB WD), do you just plug it in and are prompted to format it? Then the xbox will read it as separate storage unit or all one large storage capacity?

    • Ben Stegner
      January 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Yes, you're correct. If you buy an external drive (the one you mentioned is a good choice), then you simply plug it in. The system will prompt you to format it and once done, the Xbox will see both your internal drive and the external one as a big storage bucket.

  11. Paul Weston
    December 14, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Hey Ben!
    What are ypur thoughts on the Samsung evo 850?

    • Ben Stegner
      December 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Paul,

      The Samsung line of SSDs is quite good. I put an Evo 750 in an old 2010 MacBook and it breathed new life into it. However, I wouldn't recommend an SSD for your Xbox One.

      Price is the biggest reason for this. You can get a 2 TB external HDD for $100 or under, but external SSDs are still pretty expensive. The Xbox One has USB 3.0 ports, and a 3.0 external drive loads games just as fast, if not faster, than from the internal drive. An SSD is only going to give marginal performance past that.

      I hope this helps!

  12. Paul Weston
    December 14, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Hey Ben!

    What are your thoughts on the Samsung evo 850?

  13. Tyler
    December 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the article and thank you in advance for your loyalty on replying to these comments.

    I have 1 TB Seagate (I know) that I've always just used to keep media - movies, pictures - to play on the Xbox Media Player app, and never have had any issue there. However, I would like to use my external drive for game storage as well.

    I've contacted Xbox hardware support and they tell me it's not possible to have an external formatted for both game storage and media - it has to be one or the other.

    Does this sound right to you? Do you know how exactly the external drive is formatted once it's formatted for games & apps by the Xbox, and do you know if you could then take that hard drive to a PC and transfer back all media that will allow it to be recognized and played on the Xbox Media Player?

    Thanks again!

  14. Greg
    November 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Ben, thanks for the article. I just purchased a WD 2TB drive and will install it on my 500GB XBox One today. I understand about the option to place new items on the WD drive, but what about the existing games on the XBox drive? Questions:
    o) Should I leave the existing games on my XBox drive?
    o) If I should transfer my existing games to the new WD drive, how do I do that?

    Thanks again.


    • Ben Stegner
      November 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      The Xbox sees all space, whether on your internal drive or external drive, as one big pool. So you shouldn't have to worry about moving an existing games over. If you're totally done with the games, you can delete them to save space. But don't feel obligated to, as you have plenty of extra space now.

      Follow these steps to move games if you need to. Basically, you need to go to My Apps and Games, select the game you want to move, and choose to move it over to the external drive.


  15. Cesar Aguilar
    November 14, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I have a quick question. So i have to constantly be disconnecting my xbox one from power outlet because my parents dont know i have it (long story) so if i get an external hard drive would this unplugging and plugging of the xbox cauee it to not work properly? And will i still be able to game share my friend? Thanks in advance.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 15, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      I'm amazed that you're able to keep an Xbox hidden.
      Um, as long as you aren't disconnecting the Xbox from power while it's working with a game that's on your external drive, you should be fine.

      As far as I know, Xbox One game sharing works by designating a system as your "home" Xbox. If your friend has designated your Xbox as his home system and you designated his system as your home console, game sharing should continue to work. The only difference that adding an external drive makes is where the games are saved to.

      • Cesar Aguilar
        November 18, 2016 at 2:51 am

        Sorry, but can you elaborate a little more when you say, "working with a game that's on your external drive.." do you mean as long as I don't have the game open and playing or can I just close the app and disconnect it like that? Sorry pretty big noob.

        • Ben Stegner
          November 18, 2016 at 4:06 pm

          That's OK. Yes, I mean that as long as you don't unplug the system when you're playing a game on the external drive, or unplug it when it's downloading a game to the external drive, you should be fine.

  16. Samuel Green
    September 21, 2016 at 2:37 am

    @BenStegner There's one very important thing you forgot to mention: If you let your XBOX one format a storage drive, then it will never work on PC again. It will become totally unresponsive and only work on XBOX One consoles!

    • Ben Stegner
      October 6, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Unfortunately, this is the nature of using one with your Xbox. Just as a drive formatted for macOS won't work with Windows, this is also the case with Xbox. Were you not planning on keeping this drive plugged into your Xbox all the time?

      • Samuel Green
        October 17, 2016 at 5:29 am

        I was actually building my 1st gaming PC when I realised this problem. I brought a 480GB SSD (totally wrong for XBOX usage) in an amazon sale. Rather than let it gather dust until my PC was built, I used it on my XBOX. In the end, after multiple attempts, I was able to reset it using a combo of my old 360 and the drive format tool on windows (but it took about 10 attempts and much worry).

        Personally, I'm a Windows person through and through. I've never touched Mac OS and I thought that all drives formatted in ExFat or NTFS would be mutually readable.

        With all due respect, I feel as though this should be mentioned in an article titled 'Everything You Need to Know About Xbox One External Hard Drives'. I've heard so many accounts of people buying 4TB drives and SSDs and other inappropriate drives and finding they've wasted a lot of money as a result.

    • Max
      December 2, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      This information is untrue, I have a WD mypassport that I've switched from pc storage , formatted for XB1 use then switched back .... twice. Also have used a 320GB WD black as well as a crucial 256Gb m4.... all of which were able to work on a pc afterwards ... you have to reformat it, extend the new volume and assign a drive path.

      Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management ... Locate your external disk # in the list and like i said earlier - reformat it, extend the new volume and assign a drive path.

  17. Chris R.
    July 26, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I just bought an elite and I'm not really saavy on the subject. How would this compare to internal vs external since the elite has a SSD.

    • Samuel Green
      October 17, 2016 at 5:36 am


      In my experience of using an SSD external drive, it doesn't make a huge difference. The 1st thing I did was transfer Fallout 4 (infamous for it's long load times) to it; the decrease in loading times was evident, but not game changing (pardon the pun).

      I should point out that the XBOX One Elite uses an SSHD, which is a very small SSD augmented with a traditional hard drive. Unless you upgrade to a full SSD drive, you'll probably actually notice an increase in loading times! Most external drives are just mechanical (and therefore slower) than your internal one.

  18. Adam
    July 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    @Noah - All hard drives will fail, it's just a matter of when. What the author probably alludes to is an article that was released a few months back that showed the failure rates across the major HDD brands. Seagate came out on top (or bottom, depending how you look at it). The margin, however, was very minimal if I recall, so it's not like it's reason to panic if you own a Seagate drive. Working the IT world, I've seen them all fail, so the bias only comes from a statistical standpoint. For what it's worth, I 'feel' like I've had better luck with Western Digital mechanical drives.

    • Ben Stegner
      July 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      I'm not biased against any particular brand. I want people to make a purchase that will last, and wanted to include relevant info to help them with that. I have a Seagate drive in my PS4 that's working fine.

  19. Noah
    July 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I don't know if I'm just lucky or the article is bias against seagate, but I've had a 3TB seagate external for over a year now and I haven't had a single problem on my xbox one.

    • Ben Stegner
      July 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      I'm not biased against Seagate. There's research showing what drives fail and I wanted to be sure to include that so I can give everyone the best information. I have a 2TB Seagate drive in my PS4 right now and it's been kicking for almost two years.

  20. JT
    June 30, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    My xbox one wont read my 4 tb external hard drive. It is a non ac powered why would that be?

  21. CS
    March 30, 2016 at 9:15 am

    WD 4TB kicks out during game play any ideas? thanks in advance

  22. Zachary
    March 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Wait how can I recover from accidentally formating my hard drive. What I mean is it formatted my hard drive and now all my saved games are gone:(

    • Ben Stegner
      March 12, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Did it format your external drive or your internal one? If you formatted the internal drive, everything is gone. You can re-download your game files though, and hopefully you backed up your saves to the cloud.

  23. Tim
    March 7, 2016 at 11:58 am

    If i own 2 xbox consoles in different locations is it possible to use the external hard drive to switch the saved games between consoles? Therefore allowing me to continue my saved games on either console.

    • Ben Stegner
      March 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I think this should work. They say that this is a good way to bring games over to your friend's house, so it should work between Xbox systems.

      However, note that external HDDs are meant for storing games themselves, not save data. If you have two consoles both signed in with the same account, you should have your save data backed up to the cloud anyway. Save data likely won't be saved on external hard drives.

      • kreedome
        January 17, 2017 at 12:39 am

        yes, you can switch the hard drive between consoles, one of my friends brought his and it worked just fine with mine

  24. Chris
    February 16, 2016 at 12:19 am

    So once I transfer my games to my external hard drive can I delete them from the internel storage and still play ?

    • Ben Stegner
      February 16, 2016 at 5:14 am

      Yep, your games only need to be in one place. If you want to move some to the external drive to make more space on your internal HDD, go ahead.

      Just note that technically, once you transfer the game it's no longer on the original hard drive, so you actually don't have to delete anything :)

  25. Teisju
    January 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I have to disagree that Seagate drives are bad. Long time ago I switched from Western Digital to Seagate because several failed on me, I now have only Seagate drives and only 2 failed me which were 500GB same model and bought at the same time. None of the modern ones I bought (1tb or more) have failed on me and I've bought quite a few because I have 2 nas enclosures and I've also sold a few used PC's with them and no problems.

    One thing I don't like about Seagate is how they lowered their warranty, I remember one reason I switched was because at the time they had a 5 year warranty.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 30, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      I didn't want to come across that Seagate is awful and should be avoided no matter what, so I apologize if I did. I just wanted to cite the statistics and warn people. I'm sure plenty of people have used a Seagate drive for years with no issues.

      • Teisju
        January 30, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        I have to agree about Seagate's statistics failure rate, at least I've read about it online, so in that aspect you're absolutely right, but I wanted to share from my own personal experience, Seagate drives are great and given how many I have used, almost none have failed on me.

        More on the subject, I bought a Seagate 2TB Backup Plus and stripped it out to upgrade my PS4 HDD which had a Seagate 500GB which I then installed back in the enclosure and now use it as an external hard drive for my XB1. They also had the name Samsung on the label.


        So Seagate owns Samsung HDD division so hopefully they have improved Quality over time as well.

        Thanks for the article!

  26. Krista
    January 30, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I have a Toshiba Canvio 1T that I've been using for external storage with my xbox one. I first got it about 6 weeks ago and had no problems after following the instructions for formatting. However, today my xbox will not recognize the hard drive (it worked fine yesterday). I spent almost an hour with xbox one tech support who finally told me to get a new hard drive. My question is, can I transfer the files from my current hard drive to a new hard drive if the xbox is not recognizing my current hard drive? I have games and lots of data on the current hard drive.


    • Ben Stegner
      January 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      You could hopefully connect it to a PC (don't format it if it asks you) and copy the files over to a folder on your PC, then copy them back onto the new drive if you get one. However, the Xbox might not like this since you have to format it before using it.

      Regardless, the only things stored on your external are game files, which can be re-downloaded from your account for free. You won't lose any save data - is that what you're worried about?

      • Krista
        January 30, 2016 at 10:29 pm

        Yes that is what I am worried about. That the game files would be lost. If I can download them from my account that would be awesome.

        Thanks! :-)


        • Ben Stegner
          January 31, 2016 at 3:32 pm

          Okay, great! Yes, game files are re-downloadable and don't contain anything important that you can't get back. Your game saves should all be on your main hard drive, so if you have to re-format just go into your games list and re-download the ones you need again. You own them, after all! :)

  27. Danny
    January 29, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Hi my name is Danny and I bought the Xbox one and used all my internal 500gb memory in one day so I bought an external hard drive for my Xbox one and it's the western digital my passport ultra 1tb. I love it I have over 28 games on it and about 12 applications on it and I have only used only 47.8% of my memory on my external. So I recommend the western digital my passport ultra.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 30, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Glad to hear you got set up correctly!

      You used 500 GB of space in one day?! How many games did you install?

  28. stephen
    January 16, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    i also assume then, by putting everything on an external hdd, you can plug that hdd into any xbox one as long as you log in to your account/profile, you can access all your content without issue

    • Ben Stegner
      January 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Yes, as long as you're logged in, you can use the content on that drive. You can't load it up with your games and just hand it to a friend, because they need to be logged in as you to play them.

      But yes, if you're traveling or going to a friend's house for a while, this is a good way to bring all your games with you.

  29. John
    January 6, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I had a 1 tb hard drive and being a tard I didnt read the text b4 formatting and now I cant use it is their anyway I can unformat it

    • Ben Stegner
      January 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      I don't completely understand what you're asking, but are you saying your hard drive isn't compatible with your Xbox due to its format? When you plug it into the system, it should ask you if you want to format it for use with the Xbox One -- did that not happen?

      • John
        January 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm

        I figured it out my problem was that I didnt want the external hard drive to be used solely for the xbox I had things on my pc I wanted to use it to back up. I had reformated the ssd (after an hour on my pc -_-) and now I can use it on my pc kinda dumb though that its one or the other... stupid anti piracy bull crap

        • Ben Stegner
          January 28, 2016 at 11:21 pm

          Ah, I understand now. I didn't realize you wanted to use the same hard drive with your PC and Xbox. Glad you got it working!

  30. gaffback
    January 2, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    The more reliable drive imo is Seagate but i agree there are certain models of each i would avoid all together.

  31. Lee
    December 26, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    What about drive format? What formats can XBone read?h

    • Ben Stegner
      December 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      You'll have to format the drive when you plug it in, so the Xbox takes care of the work there. Also, only NTFS can have file sizes above 4 GB (which games obviously are), so it's very likely formatted as NTFS.

  32. Freds YourFriend
    December 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Blah blah f blah

    What do u do after plugging it into the xbox one to use it

    The whole spiel was a big sales pitch for getting a usb external but doesnt answer the question poised by the title of this story

    You should be a politician

    • Ben Stegner
      December 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Wasn't I clear enough in explaining everything? All that's left to do is buy an external hard drive, plug it in to format it, and start installing games. The Xbox sees everything you have as one big bundle of space, so there's not much to worry about except deleting games if your drive gets almost full. What don't you understand?

      I should be a politician? Thanks, I guess, but I'll stick to technology.

  33. ALAN
    December 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I had the 2GB WD drive listed in your article fail within 6 months, two WD 250gb 7200 rpm hard drive fails in my kids computers with 6 months of install. I have 1TB 7200 RPM Seagate in my Desktop for 3 years and 2 250gb 5200 rpm external Seagates that I have had for 5 years. I used to swear by WDs quality. No more WD for me. They have proven themselves to me. It may have been true in the late 90s that Seagate sucked, but no more.

    • Ben Stegner
      December 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      I bought a Seagate 2 TB drive for my PS4 and haven't had any issues with it so far. I just wanted to be sure people were aware of the general statistics, but your results could definitely vary. Thanks for your input!

      • gaffback
        January 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

        I have had 1 500 gb seagate drive outlast 3 western digitals,i replaced the wds with a 3tb toshiba which already has something rattling around inside it while the seagate is built like a tank.ive had it for over 5 years now,ive moved 3 times and on top of it i now use it as my main storage for my laptop so it goes in and out of the trunk of my car where as the WD sat on a desk and somehow managed to break itself

  34. John Cambara
    December 5, 2015 at 7:33 am

    If I go to my buddies house and copy the games he has bought digitally, could I play them without the disk and without him being signed into my xbox?

    • Ben Stegner
      December 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      No, you'll need to be signed into the account that owns the games. If you brought your games on an external drive to his place, you'd have to sign in to enable them.

  35. Anonymous
    November 7, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I'm not sure I get all the Seagate hate. Yes, they've released a couple of batches of bad drives over the years, but so has WD (anyone remember the famous IBM "Deathstar" drives? Well Hitachi bought IBM's hard drive business, then WD bought Hitachi's hard drive business, so if you want to go by legacy...). In years of running a mix of both WD and Seagate I've seen them fail at about an equal rate (that is to say: not often, except the really old ones).

    • Ben Stegner
      November 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      I wasn't hating on Seagate. I'm simply letting you know what's been researched so that you don't make a poor purchase. It's not like every Seagate drive is a problem waiting to happen, but if you can get a better deal on a more reliable drive, why not?