PlayStation 4 Drive Upgrade & Drive Replacement – How to upgrade your PS4 Hard Drive

Are you running low on hard drive space for your new games? Perhaps you’re looking for faster Load Times? Or maybe you just want to give your PS4 or PS4 pro a performance boost?

Upgrading the hard drive to an SSD is a sure-fire way to achieve this.

Let’s start with the plus points to doing this:

Whats in The Article


The standard PS4 comes with a 500GB hard drive, which, when the console was released, was ample for the games that were around at the time; meanwhile, the PS4 pro launched with a 1TB hard drive, which was still a decent amount of capacity. Over the years since the console’s launch, games have become more extensive and more demanding on hard drive space. Call of Duty War Zone, for example, needs over 100GB of hard drive space, and this is still growing with every update. 

This is where an SSD will deliver an amazing upgrade with hard drives coming in as big as 4TB, which is a fantastic amount of extra space for all your gaming requirements. 


An SSD hard drive will increase your capacity and give your console a noticeable boost in performance. 

A standard PS4 hard drive typically gives you 100mb/s of read and write speed, whereas an SSD is capable of around 500mb/s. This increase will dramatically increase your loading times and boot-up speed while also giving games faster texture loading and framerate improvements.


If you’re thinking of getting a PS5 in the future, this process won’t waste. The SSD can be used as extra storage for your PS5! Simply remove the SSD from your PS4 and put it in a caddy, thus future-proofing your purchase.


Now the downsides:


SSD’s have come down in price, but they can still be pretty expensive for the biggest sizes, and people will be put off spending roughly the price of a refurbished console on a hard drive for the last generation of consoles.

The Future

If you are planning on getting a PS5 reasonably soon, upgrading your PS4 isn’t going to be worthwhile, and there are cheaper external storage options out there.

Changing the Hard Drive

Many people will find the prospect of changing the hard drive themselves a scary proposition, but Sony does officially support upgrading your storage. It can also be time-consuming having to back up your data, taking your old hard drive out, putting the new one in, and then restoring everything.

While it may seem like it can take time, this transfer will get you the faster memory performance you are looking for; whatever drive you end up choosing, the upgrade process is super simple and requires no technical knowledge.

External Storage

External storage can be a solution for people that don’t want to open up their PS4, but it’s not without its own issues. A PS4 has two USB slots, and an external hard drive will permanently take up one of the slots. You also won’t gain the performance upgrades that come with upgrading your internal storage.

An unfortunate result of using external drives to increase the storage of your PS4 is that the drive uses up a USB port. As these are the same ports used to plug your DualShock 4 controller into, charging space can become limited. Worry not! There are some charging stations and alternatives available. 

Now You’ve purchased your brand-new SSD, now what?

Firstly, the process is relatively simple, so don’t worry and will only require a Phillips head screwdriver, two USB storage devices with over 1 GB for the system software install  (one if you have PS Plus), and a desktop or laptop.

Make sure to place your PS4 on a flat surface with enough room for all your necessary tools.

Step 1

Back-Up Your Data

If you want your trophies to remain, sync all the trophies to the PlayStation network by pressing Options and selecting Sync Trophies with PSN.

PlayStation Plus Subscribers

Head to Settings, Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data in System Storage, Upload to Online Storage.

Non-PlayStation Plus Users:

To Begin the Backup Process, insert your USB Drive. Make sure it plugs neatly into one of the USB ports on your PS4. Some drives can be too large, preventing them from being inserted all the way. Next, head to Settings, System, Back-Up, and Restore Back-Up.

Saved data is a must to back up as this includes all your game saves, but applications are optional. The benefit to backing these up is it avoids the need to download these later.

Once everything has finished backing up, switch off the PS4 (Wait until the light has stopped flashing) and then remove the power cable. Make sure the PS4 is turned off and not in rest mode.  

Step 2

Depending on what PS4 you have will depend on what you need to do.


Slide the glossy panel on the top of the console to the left until it is completely off. Unscrew the screw closest to you on the left. You can now pull the hard drive cage towards you before unscrewing the four screws and replacing with your SSD. You can now put the console back together.

PlayStation Slim:

Turn the console around, so the back is facing you. To the right of the ports, there will be a plastic cover with writing on it, near the Ethernet Port. This is the Bay Cover, and you’ll need to remove it by hand. Apply some pressure and slide it to the right until it comes off. Remove the single screw underneath and slide the hard drive cage out using the black ribbon. Replace with your SSD and put everything back.

Playstation slim
PlayStation Pro:

Turn the console around. Similar to the slim, look for the hard drive cover to the right of the ports. Find the notch on the side and use your finger to swing it open (This can require a bit of force). Remove the screw that lives underneath and slide out the hard drive cage before unscrewing the four screws that hold the hard drive in place (make sure you keep the rubber inserts) and replace with your SSD. Put everything back together.

PlayStation Pro

Step 3

On your computer, insert your USB (Not the one that contains your PS4 data), find the USB in Windows Explorer, and format ensuring FAT32 is your file system. Once formatted, create a folder named PS4, and inside that folder, create another called Update.

Head to the Sony website and go to PS4 Complete System Software File (Ignore the Software Update file at the top), agree to the terms and conditions, and download the complete software link. Save the file in the update folder you created earlier (Do Not Rename The File, it has to be PS4UPDATE.PUP) 

Once it has finished downloading, remove the USB, head back to your console, and put the power cable back in. Grab your PS4 controller and connect it to the PS4 using the USB cable (Charging Cable), press and hold the power button until you hear the second beep. This will bring your PS4 into safe mode. Select the Initialize PS4 option and press X.

Insert the USB with the file you downloaded into the console and press ok on the screen. Once the update is found, click next to install the update to your new SSD. Once it has finished installing, the PS4 will restart, and you will have the start-up screen in front of you. 

Step 4

First, log in to your PlayStation account before inserting the USB with your backed up data into the console (PlayStation Plus users do not need to insert the USB as you didn’t use one)

PlayStation Plus:

Go to Settings, Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data in Online Storage, Download to System Storage. This will download everything you backed up to the SSD. Next, download or re-install your games, and you are good to go. 

Non-PlayStation Plus Users:

(Ensure your USB is connected) Go to Settings, System, Back-Up and Restore, Restore PS4. Once it has finished, download or re-install your games, and you are good to go.


The last stage is to enjoy your PS4 having increased storage and faster loading times.