Storage space is at a premium with game consoles. Even if you're more inclined to pick up hard copies than download full games, patches, DLC and installs can fill up the standard hard drive on your PlayStation very quickly.
If you want to score a little more space, here's how to put a new, bigger hard drive in your PS4. The whole process should take about 15 minutes.
What you need
- PlayStation 4 (duh)
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- USB flash drive (at least 1GB)
- 2.5-inch laptop hard drive (here are some of our favorites)
- PlayStation 4's latest operating software
A quick note before you start: You probably have some data you don't want to lose. If you want to keep that data -- and eventually move it to the new hard drive -- Sony explains how you can back up to a USB drive.
Replace the hard drive
- Disconnect your PS4 from the power supply
- Remove either the casing on the rear if you have a PS4 Pro or the top left chassis plate on a PS4 classic.
- Unscrew the hard drive bracket. It'll be help in place with a screw engraved with the PS4 button symbols.
- Take out the housing bracket for the hard drive.
- Remove the four screws holding the drive in the bracket (but make sure to keep the rubber inserts).
- Replace the existing hard drive with the new one, screwing it in.
Download the software
- Download the operating software from the PlayStation support site on your computer.
- Connect the USB flash drive to the computer and format it to FAT32, which will erase all the data on the drive and allow it to be recognized by the console. This can be done on Windows by right-clicking the drive, selecting Format, choosing the "FAT32" option from the pull-down menu, and clicking the Start button.
- Create a folder on the flash drive called PS4, and a folder within that called UPDATE, both in all caps.
- Upload the installer file to your flash drive, dropping it in the UPDATE folder.
- Plug the PlayStation back in and start it in safe mode by holding the power button for 8 seconds.
- Select "Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)."
- Run through the prompts and enjoy your upgraded hard drive!
- There's some issues with formatting the flash drive with the operating system installer in Windows 8. We butted heads with that ourselves, and had to use a computer with a different operating system to prepare the flash drive.
- Speaking of issues with the flash drive, make sure it fits in the recessed USB ports on the PS4. Don't be like us.
- Make sure you grab the full operating system install and not just the upgrade to the latest version. Both files have the same name, but the full install will be much larger. It's a sneaky link further down on this page that looks like this:
- If you use a compatible drive, you won't void your warranty.
Dan Graziano contributed to this story.