How to Free Up Storage Drive Space on PlayStation 4

Introduction

Whether a new device, or a drive you've been using for a while, it can be frustrating if your PlayStation 4 has issues with your external drive.

This guide will walk you through checks and fixes to help get your drive working properly.

PlayStation 4.

? What kind of problems are you having with your external drive?

  1. External drive isn't detected
  2. Setup new external drive
  3. Move game or app to external storage

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Whether a new device, or a drive you've been using for a while, it can be frustrating if your PlayStation 4 has issues with your external drive.

This guide will walk you through checks and fixes to help get your drive working properly.

PlayStation 4.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

The PlayStation 4 has very specific requirements for external hard drives.

Check the information that came with your drive when you purchased it, and compare it to the list below.

USB Interface Type USB 3.0 or Later
Your external storage device must be a USB 3.0 or later device, or it won't be fast enough for the PlayStation 4 to use.
Capacity 250 GB - 8 TB
External drives come in many sizes. Given the size of many games, Sony set up the PlayStation 4 to only allow drives 250 GB or larger.
These are hardware requirements, and can't be solved through settings.
Format exFAT
Your external drive must be formatted as exFAT. This is different than the default format provided by Windows and MacOS by default.
Partitions Single Partition
Your external drive must have only 1 partition.
Enctryption No Encryption
Your PlayStation 4 won't work with an encrypted external storage drive.
The Initialization option on your PlayStation 4 will make sure the drive is setup properly.
  1. Press the PS logo button on your controller.
    DualShock 4 Controller with PS button highlighted.
  2. Connect your external drive to your PlayStation 4.
    External drive connected to PlayStation 4.
  3. Select Notifications.
    PlayStation menu with Notifications highlighted.
  4. Select your drive from the list.
    Drive in notifications list.
  5. Select Format as Extended Storage.
    Drive menu with Format as Extended Storage highlighted.
  6. Select Next.
    Reminder what can be done with drive with Next highlighted.
  7. You'll be reminded all data on the drive will be lost. Select Format.
    Data removal conformation with Format highlighted.
  8. A final conformation will appear. Select Yes.
    Format conformation with Yes highlighted.
  9. The drive will format, this can take a few minutes.
    Formatting.
  10. After formatting, your PlayStation 4 will set it as the default device to store data to. Select OK to continue.
    Format complete with OK highlighted.

The drive you have isn't compatible with your PlayStation 4. You will need to purchase a different drive to act as an external storage device for your PlayStation 4.

When looking for a drive, keep the following requirements in mind:
USB Interface Type USB 3.0 or Later
Your external storage device must be a USB 3.0 or later device, or it won't be fast enough for the PlayStation 4 to use.
Capacity 250 GB - 8 TB
External drives come in many sizes. Given the size of many games, Sony set up the PlayStation 4 to only allow drives 250 GB or larger.
  1. Press the PS logo button on your controller.
    DualShock 4 Controller with PS button highlighted.
  2. Select Settings.
    Menu with Storage highlighted.
  3. Select Storage.
    Settings with Storage highlighted.
  4. Select System Storage.
    Storage with System Storage highlighted.
  5. Select a category, in most cases this will be Applications.
    System Storage with Applications highlighted.
  6. Press the Options button on your controller.
    Controller with Options button highlighted.
  7. Select Move to Extended Storage.
    Options menu with Move to Extended Storage highlighted.
  8. Place a check mark next to the games and apps you wish to have on your external disk, then select Move.
    Applications menu with app selected and Move highlighted.
  9. Select OK to start moving your apps and games.
    Move conformation with OK highlighted.
  10. A progress bar will open showing the progress of the file move.
    Moving app progress bar.
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