PS4 Memory Expansion Guide – Internal & External Solutions
If you have been using PlayStation-4 for a year now or so, most probably you have come to realize that you’ve not been given enough memory with PS4 to save and install all your favorite games and applications, and that you eventually have to face the bitter destination that you need to free up more space on PS4 memory for the new installations by removing less important games/apps, which might not be a suitable solution for the vast majority of users.
Luckily, Sony, the manufacturer of PS4, has offered two workarounds for this situation, which are that either you upgrade the internal memory of PS4 to a larger volume by replacing it with a new memory device, or add an external memory to your PS4 without the need to go through the hassles of internal upgrade process.
Both methods have their own Pros and Cons. And although we always prioritize upgrading PS4 internal memory in all situations, not only because of the additional space you’ll gain, but, more importantly, because of the significant performance boost the new memory device offers to PS4 that will enhance your gaming experience and take it to the next level. That’s because PS4 employs an old (7 years old!) and obsolete memory device that no longer meets the standard specifications of modern devices. And if you bear in mind the constant improvements in video game industry in terms of coding and graphics, you’ll surely realize that the stock memory device is worthless in this age (Read more about this issue here).
Before going into deep details addressing these two memory expansion methods, we prefer foremost to present the best internal and external memory devices that you can use for the purpose of increasing PS4 memory to more than the double of size.
Best Internal Memory Upgrades
If you’ve decided to upgrade the internal memory device of PS4 which is featured by a traditional mechanical hard drive (HDD), then you can’t find better options than the ones listed below.
It’s worth to note that we don’t support upgrading PS4 internal memory to less than 2tb of capacity, as the modern storage needs in gaming space are rapidly and constantly increasing day by day, and having less than 2tb of memory space won’t help you for long if you’re a regular player, unless you deem yourself an occasional player, then the situation differs for you.
Therefore, the PS4 memory solutions listed below are of 2tb of capacity not less, and even not more, as it is the perfect limit for the overwhelming majority of users. If you need larger capacity, you may read our guide on PS4 4tb Storage.
Bear in mind that only Seagate brand is available in the market in 2tb capacity, that’s why we’ve not listed any other brand for PS4 memory upgrade.
|Look nowhere else if you’re serious about enhancing your gaming experience with PS4. With Seagate Firecuda 2tb Gaming SSHD [ST2000LX001], you’ll get a 2tb of HDD storage space, 8gb of SSD memory on the 2nd tier caching, and 128mb cache buffer as 1st tier caching, making this drive the best non-SSD 2.5-inch hard drive ever in history. (Read an extensive review here)|
Alternatively, you can get a complete upgrade kit like “Fantom Drives PS4 Hard Drive Upgrade Kit” that includes, in addition to the above drive, everything you need for a seamless upgrade process.
If, for any reason, you don’t like to opt for an SSHD, you can go for a traditional hard drive like the one laid out below.
It’s exactly the same drive as above with all features except that it doesn’t have a 2nd-tier SSD memory caching plus the warranty is only 2 years.
After this point there’s no other drive we can recommend. We stated already that all of the 2tb capacity hard drives are manufactured by Seagate only, so other options in hands are just obsolete models like Seagate Mobile HDD and Seagate SpinPoint M9T.
Going for SSD
You may want also to upgrade PS4 memory with an SSD memory instead. This solution offers an unparalleled speed and enhance your gaming experience with PS4 to the max. But that doesn’t come without some serious caveats that you have to bear in mind before making this kinda bold step.
You can read more on using an SSD to upgrade PS4 memory in our PS4 SSD Upgrade Guide.
Additionally, if you own the PS4 Pro model, you might want to read about upgrading its internal memory to an SSD in this article.
Best External Memory Add-Ons
It’s possible to expand PS4 memory by adding an external memory device to it. This solution has been available since the initial release of PS4 System Software 4.5 in Feb 2017. With that you can get additional memory space without the need to remove and replace the internal memory device, and it’s a very quick operation that doesn’t require you more than 5 minutes to complete. You can read more details on this issue in our PS4 USB External HDD Guide.
USB Flash Memory
Moreover, it’s also possible to use a USB flash memory stick for lightweight storage purposes with PS4, if all what you need is just a small proportion of external space to save your personal data. Try to read more about that in our PS4 Compatible USB Flash Memory Guide.
As for the recommendations for both options, you can view the complete list in our PS4 USB External HDD Guide for external hard drives, and another list for flash memories in our PS4 Compatible USB Flash Memory Guide. That’s because the lists are long and we don’t want to prolong this section to undesired extent.
What’s PS4 Memory?
PS4 memory is the amount of storage space allocated to store files for the user to access within PS4 system. It is featured by a mechanical hard drive (HDD) and comes in either 500gb capacity (the initial version) or 1tb (the updated version). You can read more on PS4 HDD size to find out the actual storage space available for use.
This limitation of memory in PS4 is considered too small in this modern age, bearing in mind the increasing file size of games and applications to an extent that regular users can easily fill up their PS4 memory in a period of few months only. For this reason, upgrading that memory to a larger size is a preference of a wide variety of PS4 users, and it has been a hot trend now, especially when Sony announced last year its wide-range support for external memory.
PS4 Memory Size
PS4 memory size differs depending on the version of PS4 you have. If you have the initial version of PS4 that was released in 2013, the memory size is 500gb, and the usable space of it is 408gb. As for the updated version of PS4 released in 2015, the memory size is 1tb, and you’ll get 861gb of usable space. And if you gauge your needs as a regular user, you’ll probably deduce that even the 1tb memory size is not enough and that it needs to be upgraded/expanded to a larger volume.
Upgrading PS4 Memory
There are three reasons why users tend to upgrade PS4 memory, which are:
- PS4 memory is full and user needs more space to install additional games and applications.
- PS4 is getting slow due to the degradation of the memory device performance, and replacing it with a new device can often fix that issue.
- PS4 memory device has started to fail and cause errors and becoming unreliable. A new device can resolve this situation properly.
We couldn’t find any other reason that promotes for upgrading the internal memory of PS4.
How to Add More Memory to PS4
The process of adding more memory to PS4 and expanding its limit has been made deliberately so easy by Sony, in order to provide users with the best flexibility in this regard. And, depending on your method to get additional memory on your PS4, the process differs.
Get more Internal Memory
Getting extra internal memory requires you to remove and replace the internal memory device with a new and larger one. If you are somewhat a savvy, the process will be so easy to carry out. But if you have no technical background at all, you’ll need to be very careful when you follow the upgrade process instructions.
You’ll need first a compatible PS4 Memory device. This is the most important part of all. We recommend Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD, as it offers the best solution for PS4 in terms of overall features. It is a well-designed solution that compromises capacity, speed and price in one device.
You’ll need also a Philips-head screwdriver, an external hard drive enclosure [optional], an external memory device for System Software installation (preferably a USB flash memory) [mandatory], and an external hard drive if you want to backup your game and apps installed on the stock memory device.
Now, download the FULL PS4 System software package from this page , not just the patch, and save it to your USB flash memory.
Now, watch the video below and follow carefully the illustrated instructions:
Up to this point you’ll get an extra memory space for your PS4 and enjoy more games, apps and movies like you never before did.
Get More External Memory
Using external memories with PS4 has been recently very popular among PS4 fanboys who seek more memory space for their game console. It’s the easiest way to get an additional memory for your PS4, and it doesn’t require you to be a savvy or go through the hassles of internal memory upgrade process.
It has its own advantages and disadvantages though. The biggest two advantage are that it’s a very easy solution to implement and you don’t have to wait for almost 2 hours to accomplish the new memory addition, unlike the case with the internal memory replacement.
How to Use
There are two types of external memory you can use with PS4—External HDD and USB flash memory. Both has to be compatible with PS4 system in order to get them working properly as an extension to the PS4 main memory.
As for compatibility, the drive must support USB 3.0 standards and its capacity ranges from 250gb to 8tb. You can read more about the compatibility issue in details here.
Once you get a PS4-compatible external hard drive or USB flash memory, you need to follow the steps illustrated in the video below, and you’ll be done.
Now you can enjoy the additional memory space on PS4. But you have to note that if performance is one of your priorities, then you may consider upgrading PS4 internal memory first. Read a quick comparison between the two solutions here.
Using PS4 Memory Bank
One of the most common ways to increase the memory of PS4 in the past was to use a memory bank, or what is called: Data Bank. It is an accessory that helps user to integrate a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive into PS4 without the need to cram it inside the drive cage. Instead, user has to connect the hard drive cables from the PS4 motherboard to that memory bank. Then, place that memory bank box above the body of PS4, and install the desktop hard drive inside that memory bank, as you can see in the image below:
The use of memory bank is rapidly declining after the wide-range support for external memories that allows to expand PS4 memory externally, without the need of replacing the internal memory device. But though, it’s still one of the popular options due to the high performance advantage desktop HDDs offer over laptop drives.
PS4 Memory Card
Unlike PS1 and PS2, PS4 doesn’t support adding memory cards the traditional way it used to be in the older versions (i.e. internally) and this would appear obviously when you fail to find a memory card slot on your PS4 box.
PS4 has traded memory cards for USB Flash drives. So if you want a small storage device where you can store your game saves and share them with your friends, the best option here is a USB flash drive, NOT a memory card. [I would suggest SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43 as it’s too small in physical size just like an SD memory card]
If you want still to use a memory card with PS4, you better go then for a USB 3.0 memory card reader, and we recommend Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader.
Adding more memory to PS4 is mandatory in this modern age due to the fact that games and apps are coming in a constantly-increasing file size that the limited memory space offered by PS4 can quickly get filled with regular players, let alone enthusiasts.
Therefore, if you are a player who has lots of games and apps to install for your PS4, then you must take the matter of expanding PS4 memory seriously and consider getting at least 2tb of memory space. Other users who have big needs for storage would prefer 4tb or even 8tb, but usually they have exceptional needs and special circumstances, like that they share their game console with other family members that each one of them have his own set of games to play.
Whatever the reason you have for upgrading PS4 memory, it’s always recommended in order to meet the storage requirements of today. And once you get more memory on PS4, you’ll feel the real difference.