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If you’re like most people, you have a lot of games on your PlayStation 4. And if you’re like most people, you don’t have enough storage space to keep them all. That’s why many PS4 owners are looking for ways to use multiple hard drives on their consoles.
On a PS4, you can use only one external drive out of all the connected drives for playing games at a time. You will have to switch off the current drive in order to play games from the other one.
Let’s understand the process of using multiple hard drives on PS4 in the sections below.
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If you have two devices that are formatted to be used as extended storage, only one of them can be active at a time.
According to the official PlayStation website, you may link a second HDD for use with Media Player, but you can’t do the same with Games, applications, or add-ons. You can read about this more here.
Many online forums suggest connecting multiple extended storages with an USB hub, however, PS4 does not support USB hubs. It is recommended to directly connect to the PS4 console.
Also, it is important to note that you should follow the proper process for ejecting the HDD (even when shut down or in rest mode). If you remove the HDD without following procedures, it could cause damage to your PS console or data.
The PS4 has two USB ports for input/output in the PS4 model and three USB ports in the PS4 Pro model.
You can connect two hard drives to your PS4 and three hard drives to your PS4 Pro, at a time. However, only one of the connected hard drives can be actively used for gaming.
To switch between the hard drives, you will have to deactivate the current drive and then activate the other one.
The PS4 is compatible with most external hard drives, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first is that the drive must be USB-compatible.
- The hard drive must support Super-Speed USB that is USB 3.1 Gen
- The minimum size for an external hard drive is 250GB.
- The maximum size is 8TB.
The second thing to keep in mind is that the external hard drive must use a FAT32 or exFAT file system. NTFS is not supported.
If you’re not sure if your external hard drive meets these requirements, you can check the list of compatible drives on Sony’s website.
Yes, you may connect an external SSD to your PS4. However, keep in mind that the PS4 does not include a SATA port, so if your SSD doesn’t have a USB connection, you’ll need to purchase a SATA-to-USB adapter.
Additionally, you may need to format your external SSD before using it with your PS4. To do this, connect your external SSD to your computer and open up Disk Management. Then, right-click on the drive and select Format.
File format should be set to exFAT or FAT32, and the Allocation Unit Size should be set to Default. Click OK to format your external SSD.
Once your external SSD is formatted, you can connect it to your PS4.
Partition Wizard has a great article on how to format your external hard drive.
Does installing a Ps4 game on an external hard drive make it slower?
Installing a game on an external hard drive typically has slower data transfer rates than downloading a game on the console itself. This can be pretty noticeable if you have a fairly large game to download.
Unfortunately, there’s a higher chance of corrupting save files if you don’t disconnect the external hard drive from your Ps4.
To make potentially improve download speeds:
- Check your connection: Make sure your external hard drive is connected to the PS4 using a USB 3.0 cable faster than USB 2.0. Also, ensure your PS4 is connected to the internet via a stable and high-speed connection, which can affect download speeds.
- Check the external hard drive: Make sure the external hard drive is functioning properly and has enough space to install the game. Check for errors or bad sectors on the drive and consider formatting it if necessary.
- Clear cache and free up space: Clearing the PS4’s cache and freeing up space on the internal hard drive can help improve performance and installation speeds. You can do this by deleting unnecessary game data, saved game files, and other files from the console.
- Limit other activities: While the PS4 is downloading or installing a game, limit other activities on the console, such as playing other games, watching videos, or using other apps. This can help improve installation speeds by freeing up system resources.
- Upgrade your external hard drive: If none of the above methods work, you may consider upgrading to a faster and more reliable external hard drive compatible with the PS4. Choose a drive with a fast data transfer rate and ample storage space to ensure smooth performance.
There are two ways to increase your PS4 storage: by using an external hard drive or by upgrading your PS4 internal hard drive.
To upgrade your PS internal hard drive, you will need to purchase a compatible HDD and remove the old one from your console.
You can find a list of compatible drives on Sony’s website. Here’s an in-depth article for choosing an internal storage.
The most tricky part of the process is transferring your data to the new hard drive. If you are a PlayStation Plus member, you can back up your data to the cloud or to your extended USB storage.
Another complicated task is to open the internal HDD case and physically swap out the old HDD for a new one.
Once the new drive is installed, upload the bootable file with Playstation’s latest software into the HDD and initialize your PS4.
You can also find video tutorials on how to upgrade your internal hard drive on YouTube.
To do this, you will need to connect the external HDD to your PS and format it for use with your console.
You can find instructions on how to format an external hard drive for use with a PS here:
- Connect the external HDD to your computer.
- Open up Disk Management and right-click on the drive.
- Select Format.
- Set File format to FAT32, and Allocation Unit Size to Default. Click OK.
- Disconnect the external HDD from your computer and reconnect it to your PS.
- Go to Settings, select System then select the Storage and Format as Extended Storage.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to format your new drive.
- Once the process is complete, your PS will be usable.
You can also find video tutorials on YouTube, if you need more help.
3. Delete Unplayed Games
Even though Ps4s come with a good amount of storage, it’s easy to use all of it by downloading or buying games over time.
A free way to get more PS4 storage without the need to upgrade the storage itself is to simply deleting games you haven’t played in a long time. To do that:
- Go to your PS4 home screen
- Go to Library
- Go to games, you should see it on the left-hand side
- Select the game you wish to delete
- On your Ps4 controller, press the options button
- Now you’ll see a menu on the right-hand side
- Go to Delete, after that you’ll see an option whether you want to delete the game
- Pick “OK”, after you’ll see that the game is no longer in your PS4 library. If the game is still there, then that means the PS4 did not successfully delete the game.
Please keep in mind that downloaded games can be reinstalled. Maybe you made a mistake in deleting a game or you want to play the game again.
No worries, there’s 3 ways to reinstall your deleted game by doing the following:
- Go to your PS4 home screen
- Go to Library
- Scroll to the Purchase section and your deleted game should be there
- If you have a lot of purchased games or you simply don’t want to scroll, go the “Search” Option and enter the name of the game you deleted
If you cannot find the game in your library, here’s another option:
- On your home screen, go to Settings
- Scroll to Account Management
- In there, go to the option “Activate as Your Primary PS4”
- Go back to Account Management and scroll to Restore licenses.
- Now Go to your library and look for the game you deleted.
Now If you’re still having trouble with looking for the game, you can re-download it by going to the PlayStation website.
Sign in and go to your Game Library under your profile. There, you’ll see all the games you have bought. Look for the deleted game and try to reinstall it.
4. Delete Game Screenshots & Videos
Just like downloading games over time, you probably have a lot of space taken up by various screenshots and video clips.
- In your ps4 home screen, go to settings
- Scroll down to storage and select “System Storage”
- Go to Capture Gallery. There you’ll see a list of the games you played that has video clips and screenshots associated with it.
- Go to the game and press “Options” and “Select Delete”. There, it’ll bring you to a delete section.
- In the delete section, you get the options of deleting multiple screenshots or clips at the same time or simply selecting all.
It is impossible to use two external HDDs simultaneously on your PS4. You can use multiple hard drives (maximum 2 for PS4 and 3 for PS4 Pro) on your PS by connecting an external hard drive or by upgrading your internal hard drive.
You will need to format the drive for use with your console, and the file system must be FAT32 or exFAT. NTFS is not supported. You can find a list of compatible drives on Sony’s website.
You can also find video tutorials on how to use hard drives with a PS on YouTube.