How to upgrade a PS4 hard drive: Need more storage? Here’s how to replace your HDD
In 2016, 250GB or even 500GB of hard drive storage isn’t what it used to be. Games such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ask for around 130GB of space on their own, and when you combine that with all the other DLCs and add-ons, it’s pretty easy to run out of space. In fact, if you’ve had a PS4 for around three or four years now, you’re probably coming to the limits of your HDD space. So why not replace your PlayStation 4’s hard disk drive?
While getting a brand-new PS4 Pro is a great idea, if you don’t need or want the benefits of Sony’s new machine, but still want some extra storage, replacing your PS4’s hard drive is a relatively easy and cheap option to extend your console’s life. Interested? Read on to see how to replace your PS4’s hard disk drive.
How to upgrade your PS4 hard drive
The process at a glance
- Back up all of your game saves and captures
- Physically install the new hard drive
- Upload the console’s firmware to the new hard drive
- Reinstall your game saves and captures
Finding the right hard drive
First, you’ll need to find a suitable hard drive. The PS4 will accept a standard serial ATA 2.5in internal drive of no more than 9.5mm. A quick search of Amazon or any other electronic retailer will provide plenty of results. You can go for a superfast SSD disk, a hybrid unit disk or even a larger conventional one. Just make sure it fits all of the PS4’s criteria, or there’s a chance it may not work.
We were supplied a huge Crucial 1TB SSD for this tutorial, and that means the PS4 now runs much faster than before, particularly when loading installed games. However, SSDs are a bit more expensive than their traditional counterparts, so if you’re more interested in overall space, I’d recommend looking at a cheaper, but larger 2TB hard drive.
- After you’ve bought the right drive, the next step is to back up your PS4’s existing data. If you’ve got PSN Plus, you’ll just need to make sure your game saves are uploaded to the cloud. To do this just, go to Settings | Application Saved Data Management | Saved Data In System Storage.
- Once there, go to “Upload to Online Storage” and select all the data you want in the cloud. After that, just click Upload.
- DLCs? Don’t worry about them. As long as your PSN account is active, you can redownload all your downloadable content from the PlayStation Store.
- If you haven’t yet got PS Plus, or just don’t trust the cloud, you can upload your game saves to a USB device. To do that, with USB stick inserted, navigate to Settings | Saved Data In System Storage.
- Finally, select “Copy to USB Storage Device”. Once you’ve selected the files, click Copy.
Removing the hard drive
- Once the backup process is complete, it’s time to get down to the physical part of the job. First, make sure your PS4 is completely off – that means no cords attached, no lights on and unplugged from the mains.
- When you’re confident the PS4 is totally off, you’ll need to slide the HDD bay cover from the top of the console. The picture below shows exactly where it is, but it’s easy to think of it as the glossy part of your PS4. Doing this doesn’t break any of the seals of the PS4, so won’t void your warranty.
- After sliding open the console, you’ll find the PS4’s hard drive, but to get it out you’ll need to remove some screws. First, remove the retaining bracket at the front of the HDD and its mounting bracket.
- When you’ve pulled out the HDD, you’ll need to undo four additional screws to separate it from its mounting bracket.