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How to upgrade storage on PlayStation 5

A step-by-step guide on upgrading your PlayStation 5 storage with an M.2 SSD.

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PlayStation 5 users are able to upgrade the storage of their console with an SSD drive. However, the process isn’t as straightforward as plugging in an external hard drive. While PC builders are well-versed in tinkering with hardware, those who prefer the simplicity of console ownership may be surprised at what’s involved in upgrading the storage of the PS5.

How to upgrade storage on PlayStation 5

Upgrading the PlayStation 5’s storage by adding an M.2 SSD is an easy enough task for someone who has any experience building or modifying PCs. However, if you’ve not done something like that before, installing the M.2 might seem a bit daunting. But don’t fret, because below you’ll find a step-by-step process for removing the PS5 cover, putting in the M.2, and putting it back together again. There is also the PlayStation support page for further reading material.

  1. Turn off and unplug your PlayStation 5
  2. Flip the console on its back, so that the screw hole of the base is facing you and the PS logo is facedown (power button should be away from you)
  3. Remove the faceplate by using your palms near the top corners, gripping the edge. Pull the cover up and towards you – you may hear a click.
  4. With the faceplate removed, you will see a cover over the storage expansion slot
  5. Remove the screw and place it and the cover to the side
  6. Inside the slot will be a screw and spacer you must undo and move to the right size of your M.2 (the screw will sit at the top end of your M.2, keeping it locked in)
  7. Take your M.2 SSD and align its notch with that on the expansion slot
  8. Insert it diagonally, with the connector inserted and the other end higher
    1. If your M.2 SSD is not inserted correctly or all the way in, if you move to the next step you may damage your M.2, the connector, or your PS5.
  9. Tilt the M.2 down until it lies flat on the spacer, and fasten it with the screw
    1. If your M.2 requires a separate heatsink, attach that now (the PS5 requires the M.2 either come with a heatsink attached or one be added)
  10. Put the cover back on and put in the screw
  11. Put the faceplate back on
  12. Reconnect your PlayStation 5 and turn it back on
  13. Follow the on-screen instructions to format the newly installed M.2 SSD

Choosing the right M.2 SSD

Part of the challenge of upgrading the PlayStation 5 is choosing the correct M.2 SSD. We’ve got a thorough guide on what SSDs are compatible with the PS5 that has all the necessary information. However, the most critical elements are that the SSD must be an M.2 and the interface has to be a PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD. You will also need to ensure it either comes with a heatsink or you purchase one that fits the very specific size requirements of the expansion slot. Mark Cerny, the Lead System Architect for the PlayStation 5, took to Twitter to show off his choice of M.2, the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD.

Installing an M.2 SSD in your PlayStation 5 to upgrade the storage will take a bit of work. Those that are familiar with tinkering with PCs will have an easier time than those who have not. However, if you get the correct sort of M.2, all you need to do is pop off a couple of covers and slot it in. Be sure to check out the Shacknews PlayStation 5 page for more console-specific guides and the latest news.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 24, 2021 5:00 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, How to upgrade storage on PlayStation 5

    • reply
      September 24, 2021 7:38 PM

      Did we vote on the best m2? 1tb?

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        September 24, 2021 7:39 PM

        Anyone have a link to a decent drive on amazon that'll work for this?

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        September 24, 2021 7:51 PM

        Whichever Gen 4 WD or Samsung you can get the best price for. There was a DOTD for the WD drive I picked up at Best Buy, lowest price I've seen for any 1TB Gen 4 drive I've seen so far. If I saw the same or lower for Samsung beforehand I'd have picked one of those up instead. Both are good based on videos I've seen, can't go wrong

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      September 24, 2021 7:47 PM

      Never play more than 3 games at once. 1Tb is totally fine for me

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        September 24, 2021 7:48 PM

        there's like 660 GB or something free to start

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          September 24, 2021 7:55 PM

          Yeah. A spare USB 3.1 drive I had laying around took the curse off of that but the default storage space is insanely thin.

          Glad I expanded now, especially since I'm not certain that holiday shipping will be any better than last year given how much worse the logjam at shipping ports is compared to a year ago.

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            September 24, 2021 9:24 PM

            Rachel and clank is 30 gigs. Deathloop is also 30. Demon souls is 60. Given these sizes a person could fit like 8-10 full aaa games on a PS5 all at once. I don’t think that’s insanely thin

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              September 24, 2021 11:58 PM

              I have a lot more PS4 games installed than PS5 games

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                September 25, 2021 12:06 AM

                PS4 games are also generally larger. God Of War is almost 50GB, TLOU2 and FF7R are both around 80GB, etc.

                Interesting to note that the PS4 version of Guilty Gear Strive is 30GB while the PS5 version is just under half the size at 14GB.

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                  September 25, 2021 2:58 AM

                  I watched a video on this exact phenomenon on a digital foundry video about spiderman mm. Apparently because of seek times and stuff with regular hdd's, devs have to put literally GB's worth of the same assets on a disk at different points, so the game doesnt hitch while seeking for the correct data as you're moving through the game. This is why they're larger on the PS4. PS5 just needs like 1 place for the asset, and it'll load it every time super fast.

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                    September 25, 2021 3:39 AM

                    Yup. There are a few exceptions that don’t do this, FF7 Remake is the one I’ve seen where the PS5 version is just as big. On the plus side, starting up that game from scratch and loading saves are basically only a second long, its kind of silly.

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        September 25, 2021 6:34 AM

        I added 2TB internal, plus a 2TB external SSD USB. That external one is full. My backlog scares me sometimes.

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