PS5 External Hard Drive Issues | Fixed by Experts

After Sony has enabled the use of an external HDD on PS5, so many users went for getting one for their game console. But, like most new features, many issues may occur while using external hard drives on PS5 that must be fixed.

Backing up your data is crucial, and while most PS5 users now store their backed-up data on the cloud, there’s still nothing like having everything saved on a physical storage device.

PS5 external hard drive issues

One of the greatest advantages of PS5 external drives is that they are easy to use: you plug them in, they show on your PS5, and you can drag and drop files onto them. However, if your PS5 external hard drive does not show up when you plug it in, or if you experience some weird issues with the PS5 external HDD, there may be a problem. Here are some troubleshooting steps to help you fix the most common problems in PS5 external hard drives.

Most Common Issues With PS5 External HDD

When looking up the most common issues PS5 users encounter with external hard drives, we found them to be 5 issues.

Issue #1: PS5 External HDD Not Recognized

In this situation, you’re sure that your external hard drive is working properly and has no sort of hardware failure (i.e. you have already tested it on another system and it worked great), but when you connect it to your PS5, the PS5 can’t recognize the drive, thus it won’t work. We have already published a comprehensive guide on fixing this particular issue here.

Issue #2: PS5 External HDD Not Working

There are several reasons why the PS5 external HDD won’t work, not necessarily a hardware failure. The description of this issue is that when you connect your external HDD to PS5 it won’t work. This can either mean that there’s a problem with your external HDD or the PS5 system itself. You can visit our guide on fixing this particular issue for more elaboration.

Issue #3: PS5 External HDD Not Showing Up

When your PS5 external hard drive doesn’t show up, you should not immediately conclude that it won’t at all work on your PS5. The problem might be caused by a faulty USB cable, a loose USB bridge, a dirty USB port, or even a PS5 system data corruption. Just try our tips in this guide to figure out what causes the PS5 external HDD to not show up and the way to resolve this issue.

Issue #4: PS5 External HDD Not Supported

Using an incompatible external hard drive on PS5 is not acceptable by your console’s system. Your external HDD must meet a few conditions in order for the PS5 system to support it. Make sure your external HDD supports USB 3.0 connectivity, and its capacity is between 250GB to 8TB. For more details, continue reading this guide to figure out whether your PS5 system really supports your external HDD or not. You can visit also our guide on fixing the PS5 external HDD not supported issue.

Issue #5: PS5 External HDD Keeps Disconnecting

In some scenarios, the PS5 external hard drive would work properly, but would suddenly disconnect for no obvious reason. It can disconnect and reconnect numerous times then eventually turn off. This is usually a hardware issue. It’s either your USB cable, external HDD USB bridge, or the PS5 USB port. Read more details on this specific issue here.

Fixing PS5 External Hard Drive Problems

The following tips will help you resolve most of the PS5 external hard drive problems. If eventually, nothing has worked for you, you may consider getting a new external hard drive for your PS5.

Repairing PS5 External Hard Drive

Is your External HDD Really Compatible With PS5?

This is the first question you must ask before judging the issue you have with your PS5 external hard drive. Have you verified that it is fully compatible and meets all requirements? These requirements are:

  • It must support USB 3.x connectivity (i.e. USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen1/USB 3.2 Gen1). External hard disks that are USB 2.0 will not operate on the PS5 system.
  • Your external hard disk has a capacity of between 250GB and 8TB.
  • Wireless, Dual-Layer, and HUB external hard drives are not supported by the PS5 system.

Generally, if your external hard drive works fine on PS4, it will work on your PS5 as well.

Properly Connect Your External HDD to PS5

Your external hard drive might be fully compatible with the PS5 system, and there seems no reason why it won’t work on it. But what many users are not aware of is that not because your external HDD is compatible with PS5 it shall work the way you want it. This is a BIG NO. You have to learn how to properly connect it to your game console.

the two PS5 USB ports on the backside

  • You’ll need to connect your external hard drive to one of the two USB-A ports on the back of the PS5 or else it won’t work. The front USB-A port is only rated for USB 2.0, so it will not fit for the purpose.
  • Also, avoid using a USB hub or extension cable when connecting the drive to a console because it’s not possible for an external hard drive to be connected to PS5 through a USB hub.
  • Only connect one external HDD to PS5 at a time. If you try connecting multiple USB storage devices to your PS5 simultaneously, the PS5 system will reject one of them and use the other.

Now, if everything seems ok to you, yet you still have issues with your PS5 external HDD, let’s try the other methods below.

Make Sure It’s Plugged In and Powered On

I know, I know, but hear me out: just because you plugged the drive into your PS5 doesn’t mean it’s necessarily receiving the power it needs. While some drives can draw enough power from your PS5’s USB port, others—especially larger drives not intended to be portable, like the Western Digital My Book—may require wall power to spin up.

If your PS5 external hard drive came with an AC power adapter but you haven’t plugged it in, try hooking it up (and pressing the power button, if there is one). If it came with two USB plugs, make sure they’re both plugged into your PS5. With any luck, your drive will appear normally once it gets the juice it needs.

Try Another USB Port

If the PS5 external hard drive still isn’t working, unplug it and try a different USB port on the back of your PS5 (remember the front USB port only supports USB 2.0 connectivity, so don’t use it).

two USB ports on the back of PS5

It’s possible the port in question is failing, maybe due to dust/debris inside, or just being finicky with your specific external hard drive. Try cleaning the inside of your USB port and the USB connector. If it’s plugged into a USB hub, you have to plug it directly into the PS5 instead. You might also try it on another computer to check whether it’s really a functional drive or not.

If you’re a multi-platform household, I’d especially recommend trying it on another system, whether it is another game console such as PS4, Xbox or Nintendo, or a computer, whether it’s a PC or MAC. If you can’t get the drive showing up on a Windows PC, try plugging it into a Mac. It’s possible the drive’s filesystem is corrupted causing a Windows PC to have troubles recognizing it. So, try it on MAC instead.

Update Your PS5 System Software

Occasionally, the PS5 system runs into driver issues that will render a device unrecognizable. To resolve this issue you have to do some sort of system maintenance, including PS5 system update if possible.

Repairing the PS5 external hard drive by updating PS5 system software

Some of your PS5 system core files might be corrupted to the extent that impacts its capability of recognizing peripherals connected to it. Therefore, rebuilding the PS5 database, updating the PS5 system software, and even fully resetting the PS5 to factory settings can resolve these issues.

Usually, external hard drives just use the PS5 system’s built-in USB and hard disk drivers, so this isn’t likely to fix a temperamental external hard drive, but it’s worth a shot if you have luck here.

Format Your PS5 External HDD on a PC

One of the most effective ways to fix PS5 external HDD issues is to format it on a PC. You need to perform a full format that will override bad sectors and restore the functionality of your PS5 external HDD.

How to Format PS5 External Hard Drive On Windows 10

Before moving on to this method, you have to note that formatting your external hard drive will erase all the existing files on it. So if your external hard drive already has important files on it, make sure to back them up before proceeding.

Below are the steps you have to follow in order to format your PS5 external hard drive on a PC that runs Windows 10 operating system.

  1. Connect your PS5 external hard drive to a Windows computer. If your PS5 external hard drive is working properly and has no functionality issues, your computer will automatically detect it, and the drive will appear under Devices and Drives next to your internal drives in the This PC window. You can also find it in the left sidebar of File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the external hard drive and click Format.
  3. Choose a format under File System. By default, Windows computers will choose NTFS (New Technology File System) for you because that’s the native Microsoft filing system. But in the case of PS5 system, you should choose exFAT.
  4. Uncheck the Quick Format box, and click Start. Depending on the size of the drive, and if there are files to be deleted in it, this can take a while to finish.
  5. Click OK when the Format Complete pop-up screen appears.

Formatting PS5 external hard drive on a PC should fix many issues but not all, although it is a good thing to try here.

Remove and Test the Bare Drive

If none of the preceding methods work, take the drive out of its external casing and test it on its own. The components that convert that SATA drive to USB can fail (i.e. the USB bridge), yet the disk may still work well if connected in another way.

If you are tech-savvy and have a desktop PC, you can open it up and connect the drive to your motherboard directly. If not, get a new external SATA-to-USB adaptor dock or enclosure, plug in your bare drive, and connect to your PC through USB.

If it works, your old enclosure (or power supply) is probably dead. If your drive still isn’t detected, it’s possible that it’s dead. Check to verify if you’re still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and make sure your other hard drives are in good working order.


When you use an external hard drive on PS5, it’s normal to encounter some issues that impede you from flawlessly using it. This guide will help you resolve most issues concerning using an external HDD on PS5.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do I encounter issues with my PS5 external hard drive?

It's normal to have issues with any electronic device if it's not set up properly or not connected as it should be. It might be faulty though, but you cannot really say that until you run several tests on it.

What are the most PS5 external HDD issues?

The most issues PS5 users encounter with their external hard drive are that the PS5 external HDD won't show up thus won't work. Also, one common issue is that the PS5 external hard drive keeps disconnecting. Read more in this article about the rest.

How to repair PS5 external hard drive?

There are several methods that help you repair your PS5 external hard drive and resolve its issues, such as choosing a fully compatible external hard drive and properly connecting it to your PS5. Additionally, you may want to format your PS5 external HDD on a PC instead of PS5 system.

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2 Responses

  1. Sam says:

    Same thing I used on PS4. I plug it in the back as stated and nothing shows up.

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      – On a desktop PC, open This PC (My Computer) and select the desired external hard drive. Right-click it and select Properties -> Tools -> Click on Check. …
      – Use chkdsk.
      – Use Disk Management. …
      – Use diskpart.

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