PS4 USB External Hard Drive – The Best Options

PS4 USB External Hard Drive – The Best Options

Two years ago, particularly when PlayStation-4 was not supporting external storage devices, many users complained that they had to replace the internal hard drive of PS4 in order to get more storage space for their game console. Whereas, other game consoles, like xBox, allowed its users to easily employ an external hard drive for their storage needs.

Sony was resisting the escalating number of complaints and appeals, justifying its attitude by claiming that allowing PS4 to use an external storage devices means to open the doors wide for game piracy, and Sony wouldn’t ever allow it.

But it seems that Sony was not strong enough to bear the too heavy pressure of its users, especially when PS4 started to lose its top position in the market. Therefore, the long, waited-for feature was finally supported, and it’s possible now to use an external hard drive on PS4 for two main purposes—Either as a backup storage or an extended storage. Each purpose has its own conditions and limitations that we’ll address throughout this comprehensive guide.

It’s worth to note that if you come here seeking for an external hard drive so as to expand the storage capacity of your PS4, you better first learn the advantages & disadvantages of this purpose before picking one.

Let’s start first with listing below the best external hard drives for PS4, in order to make it easier for readers who have come here solely to pick an external HDD for their PS4.

Best PS4 External HDD

The external hard drives listed below are the newest drives of their class in the today’s markets. They implement the latest storage technologies in order to enhance user experience and offer better reliability and more solid performance.

Additionally, every drive we recommend here is fully compatible with PS4 and follows high standards in the external storage industry. Moreover, only portable hard drives are listed below, as we don’t support using stationary desktop external hard drives with PS4 unless it’s inevitable (i.e. 6tb and 8tb capacities are only available in stationary form).

PS4 8tb External Hard Drive

The 8tb capacity is the maximum limit PS4 system can handle of an external storage. You can do a lot with that vast capacity to the extent that you’ll probably not need any additional storage space in the coming one or even two years unless you’re an exceptional enthusiastic user who feels that 8tb of storage capacity is not that enough.

Note that there’s no portable 8tb available in the market, therefore we only list below Desktop external hard drives. They work properly with PS4 and are fully compatible, but you need to connect it to electric power socket in order to get it working.

Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop
G-Technology G-DRIVE 8tb HDD

PS4 4tb External Hard Drive

The 4tb external storage capacity is usually chosen by enthusiasts or players with special needs, especially those who share their PS4 with other people (i.e. family members) in a situation that every user has their own favorite games. Moreover, a 4tb can store a large number of movies, which makes it preferable for many users who want to watch videos on PS4.

Below are our top recommendations of 4tb external hard drives for PS4:

Seagate Backup Plus 4TB
WD 4TB Black My Passport

PS4 2tb External Hard Drive

The 2tb storage capacity is the most popular among PS4 fanboys who seek an external storage extension. To average users, this capacity limit is perfect and meets almost all storage needs for more than a year or two.

The 2tb external hard drive is suitable for PS4 users with mediocre storage demands. It can store up to 40 AAA-grade games and movies that support 4k resolution (based on 50gb-file-size standard factor).

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB
WD 2TB Black My Passport
Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB

PS4 1tb External Hard Drive

The 1tb external hard drive is suitable for PS4 users with basic storage demands. It can store up to 20 AAA-grade games and movies that support 4k resolution (based on 50gb-file-size standard factor).

To acquire this capacity limit, we recommend the following drives:

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB
WD 1TB Black My Passport
Toshiba Canvio Connect II 1TB

PS4 External HDD Compatibility

In order for an external hard drive to be fully compatible with PS4 and accepted by its system, it must conform to the following mandatory standards, otherwise it’ll be rejected.

You must bear in mind that the wide-range PS4 external hard drive support comes with the latest PS4 system software, so make sure to update your system to the latest version.

Note that these standards must be met if you want to use the external hard drive as an extension to the main system storage. Otherwise, using the external hard drive for backup & restore purpose has different standards manifested in the second list.

  • Storage capacity ranges from 250gb minimum to 8tb maximum. Any external hard drive out of this range is rejected.
  • Support for USB 3.0 connection. Older external hard drives with earlier USB generations won’t be accepted. You can use higher generations though, like USB 3.1 (1st and 2nd gen).
  • Must connect directly to USB port. PS4 system doesn’t recognize/support an external hard drive connected to it via a USB hub or any other medium. The external HDD alone must totally engage that port without any partner.
  • One external HDD only. PS4 system doesn’t accept connecting multiple external hard drives simultaneously.
  • Must be successfully formatted by PS4 system. Once you connect an external hard drive to PS4, it will ask you, by default, to format it with a special utility offered by PS4 system. If the format process fails for any reason (like if the external HDD is locked), the drive won’t be accepted.

You might be interested in reading about how to format and use an external hard drive as an extended storage on PS4.

If you want an external hard drive just for a backup and restore purpose, the standards to follow are different, which are:

  • Must support USB connection. The USB generation doesn’t matter here as long as it is a USB.
  • The drive must be formatted with FAT file system only (either FAT32 or exFAT). Other file systems like NTFS, HFS, UFS, etc. are rejected.
  • Only one partition is allowed. Therefore, if your external hard drive is divided into multiple partitions, you have to to fully format it and make the whole storage space one partition only.

For more information on how to use an external hard drive as a backup storage on PS4, please view this article.

PS4 External HDD not Recognized

For some reasons, PS4 system won’t recognize the external hard drive connected to it. You need first to ensure it fully follows the compatibility standards, then verify it is not a defected drive.

If everything seems fine, try to follow the instructions in this article to resolve this issue.

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