Install PS5 SSD | How to install expansion hard drive

PS5 owners can expand their storage space by adding an m.2 SSD, or at least they can when Sony patches the console to allow expansion storage. This will allow players to add double the space (or more) for installing PS5 games, as they’re restricted to being stored on internal storage only. Installing an SSD into a PS5 isn’t too tough, but it does require owners to do a small bit of disassembly to reach the m.2 slot.

While the PS5 is definitely more versatile in its expansion storage options than the Xbox Series X|S, this has come at the price of potentially confusing customers. We’ll detail how users can install an expansion SSD into the PS5. We’ll also cover what type of drives can be used with the console.

Note: Again, the PS5 does not support expansion storage yet. If an m.2 drive is installed, the console will refuse to boot until it’s removed.

How to install a PS5 SSD

PS5 M.2 SSD expansion port teardown

Both the digital and standard editions of the PS5 come with 825GB of onboard storage, which is soldered directly to the console’s mainboard. This storage cannot be removed or replaced by users. However, the console does have a single m.2 slot, which allows for an expansion SSD to be added.

To install a new hard drive in a PS5, there is some minor disassembly required, and users will need a small Philips Head screwdriver. To access the m.2 slot:

  • Remove the stand from the console.
  • Turn the console to where the bottom is facing upward.
  • With the front of the console facing toward the user, lift the back left corner and slide the plate to the right.
  • The m.2 slot is located near the fan assembly and is protected by a metal cover, which is held down by a Philips head screw. Removing this plate will give users access to the m.2 slot area.

To install the m.2 drive:

  • Determine the correct orientation of the m.2 drive.
  • Gently insert the m.2 drive into the socket. (This should take very little force).
  • With one hand, push the end of the m.2 drive downward to lie flush with the mounting hole and thread the retention screw in with the other hand.
  • Using the screwdriver, tighten the retention screw until it’s flush with the board. (Users do not need to torque the screw further once the drive is held firmly in place. Doing so may damage the drive.)

Now that the drive is installed, just replace the PS5’s bottom cover and remount the stand. However, note that since expansion storage is not yet supported the console will refuse to boot until users removed the drive.

What m.2 form factors and speeds are compatible with the PS5?

The PS5 is compatible with almost any form factor of m.2 drive. Users are instead limited by drive speed when choosing an expansion SSD.

PS5 m.2 compatible form factors

The PS5 can mount the following m.2 form factors:

  • 30
  • 42
  • 60
  • 80
  • 110

The most common form of consumer m.2 SSD is the 80mm, but the option exists to use smaller drives as well. The PS5’s SSD bay is relatively large too, so both bare m.2 drives and those with heatsinks will fit comfortably. However, users shouldn’t feel the need to purchase a drive with a heatsink as the PS5 channels some of the air coming from the fan to cool the SSD bay.

PS5 m.2 speed requirements

  • An expansion SSD for the PS5 must meet these requirements:
  • m.2 form factor (30, 42, 60, or 80mm)
  • Drive must be PCIe 4.0 compatible.
  • Read speeds of at least 5.5GB/s.

The first requirement is easy to meet, but the second and third aren’t. There aren’t many PCIe 4.0 drives on the market currently, and some of those that are don’t meet the 5.5GB/s read speed requirements. We’ve put together the short list of models that are theoretically compatible with the PS5 currently, but it’ll be slim pickings until next year. Also, expect these few compatible models to be hard to find as they’ll be high in demand.