One of the joys of owning the PS3 was its easily upgradeable hard drive — and the PS4 is no different. By sliding off the PS4′s case and removing a single screw, you can easily slot in a replacement hard drive or SSD. The ability to upgrade to a larger hard drive in your PS4 will be very useful if you buy a lot of games, or if you opt to fully install games to reduce load times. If money’s no object, and you want your games to load really quickly, you can also replace your PS4′s standard hard drive with an SSD. To find out how, read on for our guide on replacing the PS4′s hard drive.
Replacing or upgrading your PS4′s hard drive
It is surprisingly easy to replace or upgrade your PS4′s hard drive. The drive itself is a normal 2.5-inch hard drive, and you can replace it with any other 2.5-inch drive (HDD or SSD) as long as it’s no taller than 9.5 millimeters and has a capacity of at least 160GB. Most modern 2.5-inch HDDs, and almost all SSDs, have a height of 9.5mm or less.
If you’re looking for a large hard drive, the 1-terabyte Samsung Spinpoint M8 ($ 80 from Newegg) is a pretty safe bet. Samsung has announced a 2TB Spinpoint M9, but it hasn’t yet hit the market. If you want an SSD, the 160GB minimum requirement means that you’ll probably be opting for either a 256GB or 512GB drive. Here in the ExtremeTech bunker, we’re partial to the Samsung 840 Pro ($ 240 and $ 480 from Newegg for 256GB and 512GB respectively).
With your new hard drive or SSD acquired, it’s now time to remove the old drive from your PS4. Lay the PS4 flat. Slide off the shiny section (to the left, as you look at the console). The hard drive is right there, in a fairly normal-looking caddy. There is one screw with the iconic PlayStation button symbols — unscrew it. Slide the drive caddy out, unscrew the screws holding the drive in, and then carefully pop the drive out. Screw your new drive in, slide the caddy in, and finally replace that fancy screw.
The next step is to reinstall the PlayStation System Software. For this step, you will need a USB drive with 1GB of free space, and the PS4UPDATE.PUP file from the official Sony website. Connect the flash drive to your PC and create a folder called
PS4, and inside that create a folder called
UPDATE. Copy the
PS4UPDATE.PUP file to the
Turn off your PS4. If the power indicator is illuminated orange, touch and hold the power button for at least seven seconds (until the console beeps a second time). Plug in the USB drive, and then hold the power button for seven seconds to start the PS4 in safe mode. Select
Update System Software
from the menu that pops up, and then follow the on-screen wizard to restore your PS4 to an operational state. The restoration process will take at least a few minutes.
If you need help with upgrading or replacing your PS4 hard drive, the video embedded above can walk you through the process.
After installing a new hard drive and running the system restore process, you will be rocking a completely blank console. You’ll have to key in your WiFi details, sign back into your PSN account, and re-download and re-install games. For this reason, if you’re planning to upgrade your PS4 hard drive, it’s probably a good idea to do it before you download and install games, preferably just after you unbox it for the first time.
If you’ve performed a PS4 hard drive upgrade/replacement, or if you’ve found a particular HDD or SSD that works well with the PS4, let us know in the comments.