What Will Happen If Your PS4 Hard Drive Is Full?

PS4 hard drive is full

Some users think that the PS4 hard drive becoming full is not a big deal. However, actually, many issues would take place if the PS4 hard drive is full. Now, in this article, we’ll list some serious troubles in such a case.

With more and more data created and stored in the PS4 hard drive, it will definitely become out of space one day eventually. At that time, you’ll encounter a great number of problems in your game console. Now, in the followings, we will expose 5 of the most terrible and obvious ones.

1. Error Messages

First of all, the most visualized one is the frequent popup error messages. More specifically, if the full hard drive is the system drive on your console, generally, you would receive the error – “There is not enough free space in system storage”.

2. PS4 Runs Slowly

In addition, you may find that your console becomes slower. Just imagine it in the following way – you have a box jam-packed with all kinds of stuff, almost each inch of space has been occupied. In this situation, you will find that it’s far harder and longer to find what you are looking for. The same holds true for the PS4 internal hard drive. If the PS4 internal hard drive is full, when you attempt to access the drive data, it is more difficult to find data on the internal hard drive. Thereby, your game console will slow down.

3. System Crash

Apart from strangely slow system, PS4 system can freeze or crash from time to time. A game console requires a certain portion of hard disk drive be free for virtual memory. It is used for storing data while RAM clears. Hence, if there isn’t sufficient virtual memory space left to act as an overflow, memory-intensive operations can result in PS4 freeze and crash. Read more on PS4 crashing.

4. Unable to Install Updates

installing PS4 update

Moreover, a full PS4 hard drive won’t be big enough to meet all of your requirements. For instance, if you would like to update the PS4 system software, install or update new games/apps, you will find that there are not enough spaces to complete such tasks.

5. Data Corruption

PS4 database is corrupted
Furthermore, sometimes, you may be subject to data corruption. For example, as your PS4 crashes due to insufficient free space, if some of your files are still opened at that time, the file may become compromised, such as damaged PST.

For more details on this situation, please read about PS4 data corruption and PS4 corrupted database.

How Full Should I Let My Hard Drive Get?

There is no exact number for how many gigabytes of hard drive space should remain untouched for optimum PS4 performance; the amount of space you should leave empty varies depending on the capacity of your drive and the type of drive you use. A solid state drive (SSD) has different needs than a traditional hard disk drive. Older or slower hard drives may need to maintain more free space than newer, faster drives.

Recommended Free Space

For an HDD, keeping somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of your drive empty should leave you with plenty of space to spare for virtual memory and temporary files. Older drives with less capacity than a modern drive may need a little more extra space for better performance. For an SSD, the recommendation is higher — about 25 percent.

Free Space and Performance

Game consoles do tend to slow down as the hard drive fills up. Some of this is unrelated to the hard drive; as they age, operating systems get bogged down with extra programs and files that slow down the console. However, hard drives do need empty space for virtual memory. When your RAM becomes full, it creates a file on your hard drive for the overflow tasks. If you do not have space available for this, the PS4 may slow down drastically.

As for an SSD, it has an extra layer tied into free space and speed. When an SSD has empty blocks, the PS4 console writes quickly to those blocks. If your SSD is nearly full to capacity, the PS4 system must find partially empty blocks, which takes longer.

How to Get Extra Storage for PS4

There are two ways to increase the storage capacity of the PS4—Either upgrade the PS4 internal hard drive to a larger drive, or get an external hard drive instead.

Each method has its pros and cons. You can read a quick comparison on PS4 Internal HDD upgrade vs External HDD.

Additionally, you can read our specialized article on this issue here.


In order to prevent the above problems, you had better keep enough free space in the PS4 hard drive. The minimum percentage of the hard drive capacity to keep free is 10-15% if you want to be on the safe side. If you own an SSD, however, you have to keep free between 20-25% of the overall storage capacity.

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