If you are amongst the thousands of gamers who have recently purchased one of the best external HDDs for PlayStation 5 to expand the storage of your device so that you can simply store more titles at once, chances are that you have questions regarding compatibility and usage that need answering.
Here, it is also worth mentioning that while pretty much every external HDD is backwards compatible with PS4 games, you will not be able to play or store PS5 titles on it.
In this short but comprehensive guide, we will walk you through how to use an external drive with a PS5 so that you can play your favorite games without having to delete and re-install large-sized titles all the time.
What Can You Do with an External HDD on PS5?
Firstly, you are probably wondering why you would need an external HDD for PS5. The answer is quite simple. If you are planning on playing a lot of your PS4 games on your Ps5, you will need extra storage space to have enough space for all the titles.
At the time of publishing this post, you can only use an external HDD to store and play only PS4 games. This means that unfortunately, you cannot store any PS5 games outside of the console’s integrated storage space. In terms of Media Gallery and Saved Data content, it will all be stored on your PS5’s SSD.
How to Use an External HDD With a PS5
If you already have an external hard drive that you have used on your PlayStation 4, you can just connect it to your PS5 and continue using it. As a side note, make sure that when you plug in that hard drive, you are using exactly the same PSN account so that you can play the games that you have stored.
This is because your game licenses are tied up to your PlayStation Network username. After all that is done, make sure that you plug in your external HDD to one of the two USB ports on the back of the console because they are the ports that can provide a high-speed connection.
In case this is the first time you are looking to use an external HDD for your PS5, make sure that you first format it completely. To do that, connect the external hard drive to your console and go to Settings > Storage > Extended Storage > Format As Extended Storage. If you have one of the biggest external HDDs, this process can take a few minutes, but at the end of it, the external hard drive will be ready to use. Make sure that you have enabled the Always Install PS4 Games to Extended Storage setting if you desire all of your PS4 games to be automatically saved to your external hard drive.
Once your PS4 games are installed on your PS5 SSD, select Console Storage > Games and Apps > Items You Can Move. Then, you can simply select the titles that you want to transfer to your external HDD and just confirm the transfer by clicking on the “Move” button. Once your games are installed on your external HDD, a cylinder symbol will appear. You can also see these games in the Game Library under the Extended Storage section.
Note: As of writing this guide, you are unable to directly play games on your PS5 from your external HDD. Rather, the external SSD can be used to store games back and forth in minutes as compared to spending hours installing recently uninstalled PS4 games because you quite simply can’t make up enough space for all of your favorite games.
It is also worth mentioning, like we said above, that you cannot store any PS5 titles on an external hard drive, even for safekeeping.