PS5 External Hard Drive Not Working Not Recognized | Fixed
Due to the limited size of PS5 internal storage, most users would like to add an external hard drive for PS5 to get larger storage space. In this way, users are able to enjoy more games on their PS5 without worries about running out of space and play their games on another device easily.
An external hard disk is a very valuable thing for your PS5 console, but it happens that the external storage device suddenly stops working or the PS5 couldn’t recognize it in the first place.
Summary Of the Problem
According to the reports from PS5 users, the external hard drive cannot be connected or recognized or is not showing up in their PS5. As a result, they are unable to access the games or applications saved in the PS5 external hard drive, which is really a frustrating problem.
It happens sometimes that users receive an error message stating that the USB storage device is not connected, whereas the external HDD is already connected to the PS5 USB port. In other cases, the PS5 console doesn’t respond to the connected external hard drive without any error messages. If the PS5 external hard drive suddenly stopped working, perhaps there are some problems with the hard drive itself or something wrong with the PS5 system.
Some users reported that from the very beginning they tried to use the external HDD on their PS5, it would not work at all. On the other hand, other users would have their PS5 external hard drive working flawlessly before, but it stopped working suddenly without any warning or sign. Which exactly is your case? Figure out your own case and find the corresponding solutions in the following contents.
Common Reasons Why PS5 external hard drive is not working/detected
When the PS5 external hard drive isn’t working with you, either that it turns on but the PS5 system can’t recognize/detect it, or that it won’t turn on at all, then it can be for the following reasons:
- The PS5 external hard drive itself is defective and needs maintenance.
- The USB cable of the external HDD is not functioning properly, or the USB-SATA bridge of the external hard drive is defective/malfunctioning.
- There’s a sort of malfunctioning in the PS5 USB connectivity that prevents it from working properly and recognizing external hard drives.
- There might be a sort of corruption In the PS5 system software that hinders the system from properly detecting/recognizing the USB devices, especially storage devices.
- There might be a hardware failure in the PS5 motherboard, although this is very rare.
These are the most common reasons why the PS5 external hard drive is not working or recognized. So, how to fix that issue and enjoy using the PS5 external hard drive again? Let’s start the troubleshooting journey.
Case 1: PS5 External Hard Drive Not Working from the Beginning
If you encounter the issue that the PS5 external hard drive not showing up or recognized from the very beginning and you have never made it work before, one of the solutions laid out below might be the right fix for your issue.
Before you try any technical methods, you can do the following self-examination to troubleshoot the PS5 external hard drive not working issue by yourself.
- Don’t use wireless external hard drives on your PS5. | The PS5 system doesn’t support any wireless external hard drives, so you have to make the external hard drive wired to your PS5. In other words, you have to make sure the external drive is directly connected to your PS5 via one of its USB ports.
- Try connecting the PS5 external hard drive through another USB port of your console. It is possible that the USB port through which you connect the external HDD to the PS5 is actually malfunctioning, thus the external hard drive might work properly with another port.
- Make sure the external hard drive you’re using is compatible with the PS5 platform. Actually, not all external hard drives are compatible with the PS5 system. You should visit the official PlayStation website or contact Sony Support Center in order to find out whether your external hard drive fits the PS5 system or not.
- The PS5 system doesn’t accept multiple storage devices connected to it externally. So, make sure you have connected only ONE external storage device to your PS5. The PS5 system just recognizes one external storage device at a time. If a device that has been formatted as extended storage is already connected to your PS5, your PS5 will not recognize an additional external storage device.
If you have already followed the pieces of advice above yet the PS5 external hard drive is still not recognized or showing up, you can continue troubleshooting the issue with the following fixes:
Fix 1: Exclude Hard Drive Errors
Intuitively, if your PS5 external hard drive is damaged or has a major failure, the PS5 system won’t recognize it. How to check that? Well, you’ll need a computer system to connect the external hard drive to and check there whether it works properly or not.
Commonly, when a healthy hard drive is connected to a computer, you will get a message prompting Your device is ready to use. If you don’t receive the message, you can also find this drive listed in Disk Management. But if the connected hard drive is damaged, it will not be recognized by your computer as well and you will get an error message stating that thing to you (see image below). In this case, you might have to give up the PS5 external hard drive and replace it with a new one.
Fix 2: Update Your PS4 System Software
If you have found out that the external hard drive is not defective and other PS5 consoles can recognize it in addition to computers, perhaps the problem has something to do with your PS5 system itself. The PS5 external hard drive might fail to work if the PS5 system software is outdated. Therefore, you can try updating the PS5 system software in order to fix the PS5 external hard drive not showing up issue.
Here’s how to simply update the PS5 system software in order to get it to recognize the external hard drive:
- Make sure your PS5 is connected to the Internet and go to the home screen.
- Go to PS4 Settings and choose System Software Update
- If any updates are detected, click the Next button. Then, select Update to download the available update.
- Select Downloads to install the updates you have downloaded.
After updating the PS5 system software, now, go connect the external hard drive to your PS5 and check if it is properly recognized by the PS5 system and working flawlessly or not.
Case 2: PS5 External Hard Drive Stopped Working Suddenly
In this case, you were able to use the PS5 external hard drive without any problems before it stopped working suddenly and the PS5 system no longer could detect/recognize it. Similar to Case #1, the PS5 external hard drive might have been also defective here due to misuse or degradation. Therefore, you have to verify first that your PS5 external hard drive is actually functioning by connecting it to a PC.
If you’ve found out that the PS5 hard drive is working fine on a PC and other game consoles, you can try the following solutions to fix that issue:
Fix 1: Restart Your PS5
If there’s a device connection issue with your PS5 game console, the first thing you have to try is to restart the PS5. This is a very common first-step solution to work around this problem. So, in order to get the PS5 external HDD working again and recognized by the system, restart the PS5 while the external hard drive is connected to it, and follow the steps below:
- To restart, you need to go to the PS5 control center menu, which you can access by pressing the PlayStation logo on your new DualSense controller.
- In the control center scroll all the way to the right-hand side of the menu until you’re hovering over the power button.
- Click the power button and you’ll be presented with three options to power down your console.
- This includes ‘Enter Rest Mode’, ‘Turn Off PS5’ and ‘Restart PS5’
- Select your desired option from the three choices, in this case, ‘Restart PS5’, which will close all games and apps, and restart your PS5.
Do note that if you decide to restart your PS5, the console will start to power down but it’s not immediate.
A message will appear which reads: “Restarting your PS5… Don’t unplug the AC power cord when the power indicator on your PS5 is lit or blinking.”
Within around 10 seconds, the PS5 will restart and you’ll load into the PS5. As you’ve not used the DualSense to “turn on” the PS5, you’ll then be required to press the PS button on your controller so that you can log in.
Now, hopefully, the PS5 external hard drive has got to work again. If this method doesn’t work in your case, move on to the next one.
Fix 2: Rebuild the PS5 Database
One of the solutions you can try in order to fix the not-recognized PS5 external hard drive is to rebuild the PS5 database.
There is a feature named Rebuild Database built in your PS5 system. This feature will scan the PS5 internal storage and create a new database of all your stored content to help resolve various problems, such as the PS5 corrupted data issue. This can also help fix the not-working PS5 external hard drive.
In order to rebuild the PS5 database, please follow the steps illustrated below:
- Press the power button until the PS5 system beeps twice to turn the system off. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
- Press and hold the power button for at least seven seconds, only releasing it after you hear the second of two beeps.
- Connect a DualSense wireless controller via a USB cable and press the [PS] button on the controller.
Your system should now be in Safe Mode.
- Once you are in Safe Mode, please select option #5: “Rebuild Database”.
Note: Rebuilding the database scans the drive and creates a new database of all content. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
After that, you just need to wait patiently until the process is completed. When your PS5 completes the process and restarts, you can connect the external hard drive and check if it can work properly now.
Fix 3: Factory Reset PS5
For those unfamiliar, a factory reset is exactly what it sounds like. It resets your PS5 console to its default factory settings as if you were opening it and booting it up for the very first time. You’ll lose all of your game data, save data, and personal account data that are stored on the machine — basically anything on the system’s internal storage will be erased.
Therefore, PS5 factory resetting should be your last resort after trying everything else to get the PS5 external hard drive working again. So, make sure to take a backup of all your important data before you proceed.
Because of this, it’s recommended you first backup any files you don’t want to lose for good. Since you can’t use the external hard drive on your PS5, you can back up your files using the PS Plus cloud service. Once you have properly backed up your files, you can begin the factory reset. Thankfully, Sony makes this fairly easy on the PS5.
Warning: Don’t turn off your PS5 during the initialization process, or your PS5 system will encounter unrecoverable damage.
In your case, we strongly recommend factory resetting your PS5 from the Safe Mode. Follow the steps illustrated below:
- Press the Power button on the console to turn it off.
- Press and hold the Power button until you hear a second beep (about 10 seconds).
- Connect a PS5 controller to the console and press the PS button.
- Select Reset PS5 from the safe mode menu. Wait for the console to restart as normal.
Once the process is completed, connect the PS5 external hard drive and check if it works now. In some cases, you might also need to update your PS5 after initialization.
It does happen to many users, to a point or another, that their PS5 external hard drive stops working and is no longer recognized by the PS5 system. You can try different methods in order to fix that issue. If nothing has worked for you, it means the PS5 external hard drive might be defective and must be replaced with a new one.
PS5 External Hard Drive Stopped Working FAQ
Why is my PS5 not recognizing my external hard drive?
In case your PS5 system fails to recognize your external hard drive, one of the following might be the actual reason for this problem:
- You don't connect your external hard drive wirely to the PS5 USB port.
- Your external HDD isn't connected directly to the PS5 (i.e. via a USB hub).
- The external hard drive you're using is not compatible with the PS5 system.
- There might be another external hard drive connected to your PS5.
How do I know if my PS5 hard drive is broken?
You can know if your PS5 external hard drive is broken or not by observing one of the following signs:
- The PS5 external HDD gets too hot.
- You hear strange noise from the PS5 external HDD.
- When you were using it before you used to get error messages or the drive might crash or was too slow.
- The PS5 system would sometimes not recognize the external hard drive until you do additional steps.
What happens if you unplug an external hard drive from PS5?
Generally, when it happens that you unplug the external hard dirve cable from the PS5 USB port, the data would be affected only if the external HDD is runnig at that time. Otherwise, there's no worry about the stored data. But be careful and don't that so often or it may result it some kind of failure in the external HDD.