PS4 External Hard Drive NOT Recognized [Quick Fix]

PS4 external HDD not recognized on PCBefore we start with this article, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that if you’re trying to connect the PS4 external hard drive to a PC or MAC and asking why it’s not recognized, then be aware that when you choose to use your external hard drive as an extended storage for PS4, PS4 system will fully format and encrypt it to a special file system to the extent that no other system can recognize it but PS4 system.

So, what you have to do here in order to get it recognized on other systems is to perform a FULL format that will erase all your stored data and rebuild the file system to a recognizable one, such as FAT or exFAT or whatsoever.

If this is NOT what you’re looking for, and you want to know why PS4 system doesn’t recognize your external hard drive, then this article provides suitable and efficient solutions for this issue.

First Step: Reboot PS4

Once you connect your external hard drive to PS4, in many cases you have to reboot PS4 in order for the PS4 system to recognize it. So let this be your first step in the pursuit to fix this issue.

Make Sure the External HDD is Working Properly

Before diagnosing your external hard drive and find out the real reason that prevents the system you’re connecting to from recognizing your external HDD, make sure it is working properly and has no issue that confuses PS4 system. Here’s a checklist of what you have to try foremost:

  1. Check your external hard drive on another system, such as PC or MAC, and ensure it works flawlessly without any issue. Be noted that sometimes the USB cable itself is the real issue, as it may be damaged and you need to replace it. Connecting the external hard drive to a PC or MAC will manifest whether it’s functioning or not.
  2. Ensure the health of the drive and that it’s clean of any kind of bad sectors or viruses. You cab run the CHKDSK tool in Windows to fix bad sectors and other errors.
  3. Make sure it’s NOT encrypted by any third party software that prevents PS4 system from recognizing it. If this is your case, simply perform a full format with FAT file system.
  4. Make sure the drive is NOT partitioned. PS4 system doesn’t recognize multiple storage partitions.

That’s all. If your external hard drive is working properly, and you’re still finding issues to get PS4 system recognize it, then probably you’re using the external hard drive the wrong way.

PS4 Compatibility

Your external hard drive has to be compatible with PS4 system standards for external storage devices, otherwise PS4 system will reject it.

In order for PS4 system to accept the use of an external hard drive, you’ve to make sure that:

  1. Your external hard drive supports USB 3.0 connection. PS4 system doesn’t approve earlier versions of USB in storage devices, although it accepts it for other devices like headsets and controllers.
  2. Your PS4 system is up to date. Download the latest version of PS4 System Software Update and apply it. It offers a wide-range of support for external storage devices.

Backup Storage or Extended Storage

If you’re looking to use your external hard drive as a backup storage device and asking why PS4 doesn’t recognize it for this purpose, then you have to know that PS4 system only recognizes external hard drives formatted with FAT file system for this purpose. (Read more on that in this article).

Otherwise, if you want to use it as an extended storage, you don’t have to format it initially, as PS4 system will do that for you (Read more on that here).

Still Not Recognized?

If you have followed all the instructions presented above and PS4 system still doesn’t recognize your external hard drive, probably, for some ambiguous reasons, your external hard drive is not supported. This is very rare to happen, but it is still possible, though.

Solution: Rid of it and get a new one, or just wait for PS4 to support that brand.

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12 Responses

  1. Kevin bonebrake says:

    Has worked for bout 6-7 months possi my longer. All of a sudden ps4 will reboot saying the hard drive wasn’t disconnected and I have to repair it. I choose yes says repair failed and have tto reformat it I go to reformat it and it won’t notice anything is connected. It hasn’t been used for anything else but being in my ps4. It turns on when I plug it in and the light is on.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Connect your external HDD to a PC, and perform a FULL format (not quick), then try to connect it back to your PS4. Hope this will fix your issue.

      • Kevin bonebrake says:

        Tried accessing it on my pc went to properties and then it froze and made my computer screen go black.

        • PS4 Storage says:

          That’s caused by either a virus or a bad sector (physical error).

          Format your external HDD via DOS mode on your computer, this should fix it.

          As for why that happened, it’s because of several reasons, most common is that it was subjected to a high electrical shock or hard physical vibration (falling from high place). Sometimes the drive itself underwent manufacturing defect that finally became realistic after a while of use.

          Hope this would help

  2. Kevin bonebrake says:

    Any idea why it suddenly won’t read a usb that’s been plugged the same spot in for 6 months?

  3. miles says:

    Hello my segate HHD 1 terabyte is saying it is on while plugged in my PS4 but it is saying nothing is plugged in because my games will not open saying i need it be plug it in. It works on my laptop perfectly. I am basicly saying it wont register i think.

    Do you have any ideas

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Make sure you connect your external HDD directly to the USB port and not via a USB hub. Then, while connected, restart your PS4 and it shall be recognized then.

      Hope this works with you.

  4. miles says:

    Same thing as Kevin is happening to me

  5. Allen says:

    Have no idea what happened. I got my hdd and it worked great for awhile. I unplugged it for a few weeks. Went to plug it back in and it wouldn’t reconize.

    Reformatted 5 or 6 times nothing. Reformatted again one last time but stopped it mide way through basically leaving it “unallocated” and finally it reconized it again.

    I guess don’t unplug it again?

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Hi Allen,

      When you leave a mechanical hard drive for so long without any use, this sometimes happens, especially if it was subjected to a magnetic field caused by other electric devices.

      Usually a FULL format (not quick) is supposed to fix this issue, and I think you were only doing quick format all the time.

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