How to use an external hard drive with PS5 and limitations

Knowing how to use an external hard drive with PS5 will help players add some extra storage space to the next-gen console. There are some limitations to bear in mind when looking to expand storage space on PS5, however. Here’s the lowdown on what you can and cannot save on an external hard drive on the PlayStation 5 and whether or not an SSD is needed over an HDD.

Can you save PS5 games on an external HDD?

how to use an external hard drive with PS5

The PS5 and its games make use of the ultra-fast SSD with its 5,500 MB/s write-speed. Unfortunately, the PS5 comes with only around 590 GB of usable space to store games. This will need to be expanded if players plan on playing a bunch of different games on the console given today’s game file sizes.

You cannot save PS5 games to an external hard drive. Standard external HDDs are not fast enough to be compatible with PS5 games. Only PS4 games can be stored on a standard external hard drive.

As explained in our detailed PlayStation 5 review, too, PS4 games will only receive decreased load times when installed on the internal SSD of the PS5.

PS4 games can be played on a PS5 using an external hard drive. Players will be able to move PS4 games to and from an external HDD on the PS5. Only when a PS4 game is installed on the internal SSD, meanwhile, will the game see a boost in its load times.

How to use an external hard drive on PS5

  • Plug the external hard drive into the PS5
  • Only PS4 games can be stored and played on a standard external hard drive
  • PS5 SSD storage can be increased for more PS5 games using the console’s m.2 bay
    • SSD must meet the 5,500MBs write-speed of the console

At launch, the PS5 SSD storage cannot be expanded. Support for correct SSDs will be added in the future. The M.2 bay can be found underneath the removable bottom plate on the PS5.

So how to use an external hard drive with PS5 is as simple as plugging the external HDD into the console. Unfortunately, PS5 games cannot be installed on a standard external hard drive. Only PS4 games work on the HDD format.

In other PS5 news, our Astro’s Playroom review is worth a look, as well as our Spider-Man: Miles Morales review.