The standard PlayStation 4 hard drive only holds 500GB, which is enough for a dozen modern games, at best. Upgrading the hard drive allows you to store more content and ensure that your system will perform at peak performance for many years to come. Find out how to upgrade the PS4 hard drive without losing the games saved on your console.
What you will need
- Your new PS4 hard drive
- Phillips head screwdriver
- An external hard drive to save your game data
- A USB stick with at least 1 GB of free storage
Since Sony does not make hard drives specifically for the PS4, the first step is to find a compatible hard drive. The PS4 comes with a hard drive, but you can install a solid-state hard drive if you prefer. SSDs generally run much faster, but sometimes they are less durable and they are also more expensive.
Your best bet is to buy a hard drive from a company like Seagate, which manufactures hard drives optimized for the PS4. That said, any 2.5-inch laptop hard drive up to 9.5mm thick should do the trick; if you’re making the effort to replace your PS4 hard drive, you might as well go to at least 1 or 2 TB.
Changing your console hard drive does not void the warranty.
Back up your data
Most of the games you bought from PlayStation Store can be redownloaded for free to your new hard drive. It is therefore advisable to delete them before backing up the rest of your files in order to speed up the backup process. Some content, such as the PT 2014 demo, has been removed from the PS4 network, so make sure you don’t erase what you can’t recover. PlayStation Plus subscribers can also upload their saved data to the cloud for later retrieval.
Depending on how much data you have, you may be able to fit the backup file to a USB drive. If not, plug your external hard drive into one of the PS4’s USB ports, then follow these steps:
- From the PS4 home menu, choose the option Settings.
- Navigate to System > Backup and restore> Backup PS4. After following the on-screen instructions, your console will restart and the backup will begin.
- Your PlayStation will restart after the process is complete, and a copy of your data will need to be saved to the external drive.
Download the latest PS4 software update
Go to the PlayStation website and download the latest software update for the PS4. Find the latest PS4 operating system update, click “Download Update” and save the files to a portable USB drive.
This step is necessary for your new hard drive to function properly.
- Open the drive and create a folder named PS4.
- In the PS4 folder, create another folder named UPDATE.
- Drag the PS4 OS update file, named PS4UPDATE.PUP, in the file UPDATE. Be sure to eject the USB drive safely and set it aside for now.
Open your PS4
Before you start, turn off your PS4, unplug it, and place it on a flat, stable surface. If you have a newer PS4, look on the back of the console for a removable panel on one of the corners. You may see a sticker indicating the size of the hard drive.
This step will be slightly different depending on your PS4 model. The photos below are for the new PlayStation 4 Slim. The PlayStation website contains diagrams of each PS4 model that you can refer to if you have an older system. The PS4 hard drive is protected by a cover. With the back of the console facing you, remove the panel by gently sliding it to the right with your fingers.
For older PS4 models, you should see two panels on the top of your PS4; one is shiny, the other is the same color as the rest of the console. With the PS4 facing you, remove the glossy panel by pressing on the edges and gently sliding it to the left. Below you should see the hard drive.
While the PlayStation 4 Pro can hold 1TB of data right out of the box, you can always swap out the PS4’s internal hard drive for something more powerful. If you have a PS4 Pro, turn the console flat on its back and look for the plastic tab next to the Ethernet port. Remove it with your fingers to reveal the hard drive.
Replace PS4 hard drive
The hard drive is attached to the console with a single screw bearing the symbols found on the PlayStation controller. Remove the screw with your Phillips screwdriver, but don’t lose it. The PS4 hard drive is secured by a screw with the symbols of the PS4 controller. In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
You should now be able to remove the hard drive by pulling on it. The hard drive enclosure itself is held in place by two or four screws, which you need to unscrew and set aside. Remove the old hard drive and insert the new one without touching the bottom of either drive to avoid damaging them. Make sure the metal pins are facing inward and close the case by tightening the screws.
Put everything back in place
Put the hard drive back into the console and fix the decorated screw; replace the outer cover. Reconnect your system and reconnect it to your TV. Hold the power button on the console for a few seconds to restart your PS4.
When you turn on your PlayStation, it should boot into Safe Mode. You will be greeted with a message such as ” Unable to start the PS4“, What you want to see.
Install PS4 software update
- Connect a PS4 controller to the console via the USB cable and press the PS button.
- You will then be prompted to insert a device containing the PlayStation software update into the console’s other USB port.
- Plug in your USB key, then select okay and Yes on the next screen.
- When the update installation is complete, the system restarts.
Now you will go through the same steps that you had to take when you originally purchased your PS4, such as setting the date and language preferences.
Restore your game data
- Connect the external hard drive containing your backup data.
- In the home menu, go to Settings > System> Backup and catering.
- Choose Restore PS4, select the backup file, and follow the on-screen instructions.
- When your data is successfully restored, the system is restarted one last time.
- When the PS4 home menu reappears, it should be the same as it was before the hard drive change. Your user profile, your saved data and your trophies will all be intact.
Redownload your old games
As mentioned earlier, you can download the games you previously purchased as long as they are still available in PlayStation Store.