How to expand your PS5 SSD storage

PlayStation 5 games are big and there’s not a lot of storage on either PS5 unit. Thankfully, there’s a way to change that.

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Nathan Lawrence
Aug 24, 2022
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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Whether you buy a regular PlayStation 5 or the disc-less PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, you’re working with the same 825GB internal storage space. That may sound like plenty, but once you start getting into double figures with new-gen PlayStation 5 games, you’ll start running out of space. Thankfully, Sony has two ways to expand the storage on the PS5.

How to expand PS5 storage

Internal and external PlayStation 5 storage expansion

There are two options for PS5 storage expansion. One is easy but limiting, and the other one is more complicated but adds greater versatility. Let’s go with the easy one first.

Like the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 5 supports external hard drives for storage expansion. You can connect pretty much any external hard drive to boost storage, but there is a catch. External hard drives are only useful for storing PlayStation 4 games, so you can’t just plug in an external hard drive to store more PlayStation 5 games.

For new-gen games, you’ll need some tools and you’ll want to be comfortable getting inside your PlayStation 5 to access the purpose-built M.2 solid-state drive (SSD) storage expansion port.

PlayStation 5 M.2 SSD requirements

You can’t just buy any old SSD and pop it into your PlayStation 5 for a storage upgrade. There are specific requirements an M.2 SSD needs to meet before you can safely place it inside your PlayStation 5 knowing it will properly expand the internal storage.

Here are the official M.2 SSD requirements according to Sony:

  • Interface: PCI-express Gen4x4 M.2 NVMe SSD (Key M)
  • Storage: 250GB (minimum) to 4TB (max capacity)
  • Supported sizes: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110
  • Size (including heat-dissipation mechanism): 25x11.25mm thickness (max); 30/40/60/80/110mm length
  • Sequential read speed: 5500MB/s (or faster) is recommended
  • Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)

Note that Sony notes you should have the latest system software update installed before fully powering off the PlayStation 5. We also advise checking for a disc in the PlayStation 5 before fully powering off (eject if you find one). For the M.2 SSD size, Sony notes that the thickness can be up to 8mm from above the board and up to 2.45mm from below the board. The M.2 SSD you buy should have a cooling structure, like a heatsink or other heat-dissipation method, to stop the drive from overheating inside the PlayStation 5 console.

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PlayStation 5 M.2 SSD installation

With a compatible M.2 SSD, your PlayStation 5 up to date with the latest system software, the disc port clear (for regular PS5 consoles), and the PlayStation 5 console fully powered off, you’re ready to get started. Disconnect all of the cables from the back of the PS5 console. You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver (I used a 1.5mm head) and, ideally, a flathead screwdriver (otherwise a flat metal object will help in a pinch) for installation.

Sony recommends working on a flat surface (with some kind of protective covering) in a well-lit room. Optionally, grab a small torch, which I didn’t have any use for. Touch a metal-grounded object to remove any potential static electricity from your body before you get started. Sony also advises waiting a while for your PlayStation 5 to cool down before proceeding.

Step 1 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 1

Lay out everything you need on a flat surface. I placed two microfibre cloths on a desk to protect the PlayStation 5 cover. Note that the console should be placed with the PS logo facing down and the power button facing away from you.
Step 2 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 2

If you have a base attached, now’s the time to remove it. Use a flathead screwdriver or other flat metal tool to unscrew the bolt. The base should slide off easily.
Step 3 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 3

Grip the bottom-right corner of the PlayStation 5 cover with your right hand and grip the top-left corner with your left hand. Gently lift the cover with your right hand while sliding the cover to the left. Sony advises using your left thumb for sliding and your left fingers for stabilising the console as you remove the cover.
Step 4 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 4

The silver panel above the fan is where the M.2 SSD expansion drive will go. Use a Philips head screwdriver to remove the medium-sized black screw and keep it off to the side along with the silver panel.
Step 5 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 5

Use a Philips head screwdriver to remove this small black screw and the silver spacer beneath it. Keep them both within reach.
Step 6 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 6

Now it’s time to install the M.2 SSD. Line up the drive’s connector with the left of the port and gently slide it into place at an angle, then lay it flat. When installed correctly, it should line up with one of the numbered screw holes.
Step 7 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 7

Slide the silver washer into place beneath the M.2 SSD until it slots into place (you may need to slightly lift the drive). Now gently place the M.2 SSD onto the silver spacer and screw it into place with the small black screw.
Step 8 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 8

Ease the silver panel back into its grooves on the left, then push it into place over the screw hole. Insert the medium-sized black screw into the hole and fasten it back into place.
Step 9 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 9

Slide the PlayStation 5 cover back into place from right to left. You may need to properly align the cover. There will be a click once it’s properly in place.
Step 10 - How to expand PS5 SSD Storage

Step 10

Optionally, reattach the console base for horizontal or vertical orientation. Align the base with the corresponding edge of the console and screw the flathead screw back into place. The entire process should only take around five minutes.

Now connect all of the relevant cables to the back of your PlayStation 5 and power it on. You’ll receive a message that the M.2 SSD needs to be formatted. This should take a few seconds, then your PlayStation will give you an indication of the read speed of your newly installed M.2 SSD.

If you want to change where games are installed, go to ‘Settings’, ‘Storage’, then ‘Installation Location’. There’s a drop-down option for internal storage or the M.2 SSD. That’s it! Enjoy the expanded storage. If there are any issues playing new-gen games from M.2 SSD storage, Sony advises copying those particular titles over to the default internal drive

FAQs about PS5 storage

The main PlayStation 5 internal drive isn’t upgradable, but you can expand storage by installing a compatible M.2 SSD.
The internal read/write speed of the PlayStation 5 SSD is 5,500MB/s, while the M.2 SSD expansion slot supports drives up to 7,000MB/s. If you install an M.2 SSD that’s faster than the default PlayStation 5 drive, you should expect slightly faster load times.
If you want more space for PlayStation 4 games, you can use an external hard drive. We’d recommend using any self-powered external hard drive with at least 1TB capacity and, ideally, one with the fastest available read/write speeds for faster loading times.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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