PS4 Storage Upgrade Guide – Everything You Want to Know
There’s no doubt that PlayStation 4 (aka PS4) is one of the most powerful game consoles in the today’s market, and that its popularity has prevailed throughout modern gaming history, due to what it offers of solid features, reliable and consistent support, and high flexibility that entitle users to enhance their gaming experience with it, either by adding new high-end accessories, or by expanding the PS4 system storage capability and remarkably improving its performance via replacing the stock storage device with a larger, faster and more powerful drive.
Now, after more than 4 years of the initial release of PS4, many things have changed in the PS4 gaming world. Starting from how Sony released many fixes and updates for the PS4 system that efficiently improved the performance and fixed major errors, and ending to the much-larger file size modern PS4 games are coming with as compared to the past years.
Many old users get annoyed and perplexed by an error message that shows up on the screen stating that there’s not enough free space in system storage when they try to download and install a new game or application. This is simply because the storage capacity of PS4 is too limited for meeting the modern storage requirements, and the best solution for this situation is to expand it.
This guide is well-composed to high standards so as to help you acquire the essential knowledge you need for upgrading/expanding PS4 storage limitation.
Getting More Storage on PS4
Adding additional storage space to PS4 is not a difficult task at all, rather it’s way too easy. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know in order to successfully achieve your goal without any hassle.
Let’s start first with the available options for this purpose:
PS4 Storage Expansion Options
Sony allows PS4 users to expand the storage capacity of their game console with extreme ease and high flexibility. Just almost a year ago or so, PS4 system storage could be only expanded by replacing the internal storage device with a larger one. But now it’s possible to add more storage space to your PS4 with an external storage device (either an external hard drive or a USB flash drive).
Moreover, Sony has increased the free dedicated cloud storage space each PS PLUS subscriber has, from 1gb to 10gb. This is interesting to users who prefer online cloud storage over USB flash drive to store their game saves and trophies.
So now, at this point, you have learned the available options for expanding PS4 system storage, which are again:
- Upgrading/replacing the PS4 stock internal hard drive with a newer and larger drive
- Connecting an external storage device (USB external hard drive or USB flash drive) to your PS4
- Taking advantage of the small free 10gb cloud storage space given to you with your PS PLUS subscription
Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll be discussing all of them in the sections below. Also, you’ll learn how to add additional storage to PS4, either by replacing the internal hard drive or by just connecting an external storage device via the USB port of PS4.
Add More storage By Replacing the Internal HDD
Replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 for the intent of upgrading its storage capacity and improve system’s performance has been the most popular option among PS4 fanboys who look forwards to enhance their gaming experience with PS4.
The major advantage of this option is that you’ll get rid of the obsolete, small, and slow stock hard drive of PS4, and replace it with a much powerful drive in all aspects. By this you’ll get up to 2tb of storage capacity, improved system performance and more solid reliability.
As for the disadvantages, they are indeed minor. The whole upgrade process may take up to 1.5 hours, divided in taking a backup copy of the stock hard drive, installing PS4 system software on the new hard drive, and restoring your backup file on the new drive.
This option is our top recommendation for the purpose of expanding PS4 storage capacity. You can learn more on that in our article: PS4 Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Guide.
How to Replace PS4 Internal HDD
Before getting into the process of replacing the internal storage device of PS4, the new hard drive must be compatible with PS4 storage upgrade specifications.
So, in order for the new drive to fit as a storage upgrade for PS4, it must conform to the following standards:
- 2.5-inch form factor. As larger or smaller form factors won’t fit into PS4 drive cage.
- SATA Interface. Other interfaces are not accepted by PS4 motherboard.
- Larger than 160gb. PS4 System won’t accept smaller drives. This will benefit users who want to upgrade their PS4 storage with an SSD and think they can go for a 64gb or 128gb capacity. Unfortunately, this is not possible with PS4.
Once you find a compatible drive for PS4 storage upgrade, then make sure the following tools are ready on hand:
- Philips-head screwdriver in order to open PS4 drive case.
- USB external storage device (Flash drive is preferred) in order to install PS4 system software from scratch on the new drive. Also to use it to backup your games on the stock hard drive to restore them later.
- External hard drive enclosure. This is not mandatory, but it helps using the removed hard drive as an external storage for your PS4.
If everything is ready now, you can start right away with the storage upgrade process.
Add more storage by Connecting a USB External Drive
Sony has made it super easy to connect a USB storage device to PS4 in order to expand the PS4 system storage.
PS4 memory storage can be easily extended by adding an external storage device to it, as long as it goes with the following standards:
- Supports USB 3.0 connection. PS4 doesn’t accept USB 2.0 external hard drives.
- Not smaller than 250gb and not larger than 8tb. Any storage capacity not confined into this limit is not accepted.
Only two conditions that your external storage device must achieve so as to be compatible for extending PS4 system storage.
The major advantage of this method is that it is so quick and easy, and doesn’t require PS4 system software re-installation or carrying out backup and restore process.
On the other hand, it has its own disadvantages also that you’ll lose the significant performance boost an SSHD offers, and you’ll not be able to storage game saves or trophies on it. Moreover, streaming movies directly from an extended storage doesn’t seem possible. Let alone that PS4 system will fully format and encrypt your external hard drive that you won’t be able to use it on any other system. Additionally, no matter how large your external hard drive is, PS4 system doesn’t support storage partitions, and this might be bad news for a variety of users.
How to use external storage on PS4
Once you’ve decided to extended PS4 memory storage using an external storage device, you just need to connect it to the USB port on the rear of your PS4, and boot up PS4 system. The PS4 system will recognize the new external hard drive, and you’ll need to instruct it to format it as an extended storage. You can read more on that in detail in our article: How to format external hard drive for PS4 as extended storage.
PS4 Storage Expansion
We have learned already how to add more storage on PS4 and expand the overall system storage capacity. Basically, you can either replace the internal hard drive of PS4 or just add an external storage device (usually an external hard drive). Then there’re a few methods based on these two options, and the best of them is what offers the capacity you need with a high performance boost. That way you’ll not get PS4 storage full any sooner, and, at the same time, you’ll enjoy the new performance improvement.
PS4 Storage Space
The storage space of PS4 that you can use for your personal needs is limited to almost 408gb in the initial version of PS4, and to 861gb in the updated version. This storage space is not enough according to the modern storage needs of an average user, let alone enthusiasts. It’s good to know that you can simply increase PS4 storage space to up to 16gb, as stated in this article.
PS4 Storage full
When PS4 storage becomes full, you have two choices to work around this problem: Either expand the PS4 system storage to a capacity that can satisfy your storage needs for too long. Or, free up your current hard drive by deleting unused games and neglected movies. But the second option seems, to many users, temporary, and PS4 storage will become full again in a short time, especially with the escalating file size of modern PS4 games that come in minimum 70gb of size.
To avoid getting your PS4 storage full, you need to expand it to at least 2tb of storage capacity. That way you will relax for a long time that there’s still enough free space to install new heavyweight games at anytime you want.
PS4 Storage Problem
The problem with PS4 storage is that it is too limited in capacity to the extent that it doesn’t meet the modern storage requirements of an average gamer. Additionally, the storage device used by PS4 is a low-quality device that’s not worth it at all (read about PS4 HDD specs in order to full realize this fact).
In order to work around the storage problem of PS4, you need to get more storage so as to expand the capacity of PS4 system to store your games. By doing this, you extend the limitation of PS4 in regard to holding more games and movies for you and your family members. That way there will be no storage problem with your PS4 anymore, especially if you upgrade the internal hard drive and add an external storage device all together.
PS4 Storage Device Type
The storage device that PS4 utilizes to store games and applications is featured by a traditional mechanical hard drive, the same as the one found in laptop computers. This hard drive comes in 2.5″ form factor, spins at 5400RPM, and is configured with SATA II interface.
The brand of this drive is HGST Travelstar, and its performance is not pleasant at all compared to other drives from the same class (For more details, please view our article on PS4 stock hard drive specs).
If you come to know the reality of this storage device PS4 is using, you’ll not only want to replace it for storage expansion purpose, but also to improve the performance of your game console, as modern hard drives offer better performance, higher reliability, and, for sure, larger storage capacity. For more details, you can check our PS4 Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Guide.
Depending on the version you own of PS4, the PS4 storage size is determined.
The initial version of PS4 came with a 500gb hard drive that offered 408gb of usable storage space. As for the updated version, which bears the name “PS4 Ultimate Player 1TB Edition“, it comes, as the name indicates, with 1tb hard drive, and offers almost 861gb of usable storage size.
Today, even the 1tb of storage space is not enough for an average PS4 fanboy, especially if the game console is shared by multiple players (say family members) that, each of them, has his/her own favorite games to store.
Checking PS4 System Storage
In order to find out how much storage space is remaining on your PS4, you need to check the PS4 System storage page. Doing this is very easy and it happens in two steps only. Simply, go to Setting -> System Storage and you’re done. You’re supposed to see this page showing up:
PS4 Out of Storage
When PS4 becomes out of storage, it means the storage device of PS4 has reached its maximum capacity to hold data you store on it. The way to fix that is simple. Either you free up more space on the PS4 storage device, or just expand it with either a hard drive replacement or adding a USB external hard drive. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and we have discussed them in several articles now that we advise you to read in order to get a clearer picture of this situation to avoid falling in the same problem and prevent PS4 from getting out of storage again.
When PS4 storage device is entirely filled, you’ll get a message stating: “There is not enough free space in system storage” like you can see in the image below:
This can be simply fixed by expanding the storage capacity of PS4.
PS4 Game Storage
Modern games released for PS4 require huge storage space in order to install and be ready for play. It’s enough for a user to know that an average PS4 game needs about 50gb to allow you to enjoy it. What about other games that need more storage space? These are a nightmare to users who still stick to the stock hard drive of PS4 and don’t look forward to extended the storage capacity of their game console.
Thee’s a huge trend among PS4 fanboys to upgrade their game console’s storage capacity, especially that today’s games are coming in real huge size that 500g or 1tb can be way too less than being sufficient to an average PS4 user.
Add more storage to your PS4 and enjoy the vast capacity of the new storage extension. While we prefer carrying out an internal hard drive upgrade, for the performance boost it offers alongside the vast storage capacity, the external storage device option is still popular among novices who don’t want to spend almost 2 hours replacing the stock hard drive with a new one, even if their current drive is not performing as fast.
Eventually, you’ll come to realize in the near future how important it is to expand PS4 storage capacity, especially with the dramatic increase of game file size that leaves the ones who still use the stock hard drive of PS4 with very limited options.