How to Safely Backup Your PS4 Hard Drive

Depending on your internet speed, the file download and drive switch combined shouldn’t take you more than 15-20 minutes. Just insert the drive, then in the PS4 menu go to settings > application saved data management > saved data in system storage. It took us a good 20 minutes or so to do all our files. The PlayStation 4 supports a variety of third-party hard drives that replace the standard 500GB 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive included in the system. Here you’ll see an option to copy your saves to a USB drive.

hard drive options available for PS4

If you are a PlayStation Plus member you can upload all of your save files to the cloud, ready to download again when you’re done. Just remember to have a copy of the latest firmware as you have to install that to the new HDD before restoring. Now even with the best PS4 storage upgrade you cannot guarantee the top-notch speed accomplished on computer systems. However, it’s an extremely expensive upgrade: you’ll pay around £175 (about US$269, AU$175) just to match the 500GB standard storage. In fact, if you had already set this up to happen automatically you needn’t bother yourself with this part of the process again. You can upload all your games and saves to an external hard drive and then restore to the new hard drive after.

restoring ps4 hdd data

  • It is no quicker than the hard drive which comes with standard PS4, so this is the option for those with a huge gaming library but aren’t too concerned with their current game loading speeds.
  • The PS4 will take a bit more to get up and running, which includes having to back up files as you’ll have to completely start afresh once the new drive is in place.
  • Since I’m on the verge of upgrading my PS4, I’d rather go smaller than compromise my info.
  • These tend to cost a bit more.
  • The files that will need to be backed up are games saves and any video clips or screenshots you wish to keep.
  • If you do a full backup to the external, then everything moves.
  • Want to go all-out?
  • You can do the former in a couple of ways.

If you have swapped my original HDD back in (was testing out the hybrid I’d used in the PS3) and the restore even took half the time that the backup took. For even better performance, you can install an SSD.

Ouch. If you haven’t and have a fair few games, this can take a while. In fact I am doing it right now. Got the hard drive? If you aren’t a PlayStation Plus member or wish to keep a more local copy of your saves, you will need a USB memory stick or external hard drive formatted to FAT, FAT32 or exFAT standard to store data on.

Backup the saved games and movies

Allow about 3 hours each way if you are using a USB 3.0 external hard drive on a fully used 500gb standard PS4 drive. The next step is to backup anything you definitely don’t want to lose on your PS4. Plug it into the PS4 through one of the front USB ports and get ready for a laborious process. This page documents how to replace your PS4 Hard Drive (HDD) with a larger one, or how to replace a broken hard drive yourself in case of failure. The bad news is that you can’t backup game installs. You will have then to backup your saved games and movies from the old stock hard drive to an external hard drive.

replacing PS4 hard drive

USB 3.0 external hard drives but not USB 2.0

Head to Settings, Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data in System Storage and you’ll see Copy to USB Storage Device. When replacing the hard drive, you can use a standard SATA II hard drive or use a solid state (flash) drive. Your home internet will just have to take a beating to reinstall the lot. Go into that menu and you’ll see a list of all your games. If the PS4 hard drive you’re choosing is large enough to hold all your favorite data, you’ll not need a support from an external hard drive as a backup solution. Below are the directions for installation.

the different external hard drive brands

PS Plus subscribers don’t need to worry too much about game saves either, as they will automatically be saved to the cloud. Enter each one individually and you can tick the files you want to copy and confirm. Whatever drive you choose, the upgrade process is very easy and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. However, if you want to be extra-safe, you can back them up to a USB stick or external hard drive. The files will instantly be copied onto the external drive (or uploaded to the cloud if you go through that route). Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to batch upload or copy all game files so you’ll have to go through each game at a time.

Backing up PS4 data to an external hard drive

And it’ll take just as long to reinstall them after too. The PS4 does not support a USB/external hard drive solution at this point. You need to select the files game-by-game so you might want to leave out any titles you’re never going to play again. Now we wished we’d set automatic uploads from the off. However, the physical replacement process is simple and only requires a screw driver.
Also remember to back up your captured videos and screengrabs from the Capture Gallery section of System Storage Management. The most complex part of the hard drive upgrade is the backing-up and system software install that follows. And once you have you’re ready to install the new drive. For all the details, consult: How to Replace a PS4 Hard Drive. Make sure you completely power down your PS4, not just into rest mode, and then unplug it from any of the wires at the back.

PS4 game console for the future gaming

Restoring the original set of games

Replacing the PS4’s internal hard drive (screwdriver required) by swapping the integrated the drive for a new, compatible 2.5-inch, 9.5-mm tall (laptop) drive. Put the console on a flat surface and then slide off the shiny part of the casing. While there are no Sony-made HDD solutions for the PS4, the PS4 works with a variety SATA and 7200 RPM SATA II speed hard drives — both standard and solid state. It shouldn’t be difficult to do. SATA III (aka SATA/300 or SATA 3.0) drives may work fine, but without the added speed benefit the format brings.

Installing the operating system of PS4

Inside you’ll gain access to the hard drive enclosure, which is fixed in place with just one large screw with the PlayStation symbols on it. To download the whole package of PS4 operating system, please click here. Hybrid drives may also work, but are not officially endorsed by Sony. Undue that with a Phillips screwdriver and you can slide out the existing drive using the small handle. Connecting an external hard drive that doesn’t fit into the PS4’s internal drive bay. Unscrew the four black screws, two either side of the hard drive enclosure – leaving the rubber holders in place.

If you don’t mind the cosmetic issues, you can connect any hard drive via a SATA cable. Then remove the drive that came with the PS4. This would mean leaving the top of the PS4 open to run the cable (or drilling a hole into the casing). Using a third-party solution such as the Nyko DataBank.


As the console now has a brand new drive with none of the system software installed, you’ll need to reinstall it manually. This add-on alters the physical case of the PS4 to make room for a larger drive.
You’ll definitely need an external USB drive (or memory stick) on at least 1GB in capacity for this part of the set-up, even if you stored all of your saved games in the cloud. Instead of a 2.5-inch laptop drive, it’ll enable the use of 3.5-inch desktop drives, which are usually cheaper. Create a folder called “PS4” on the drive using a computer, then a folder inside that called “UPDATE”. The DataBank draws power from the console itself by utilizing the PS4’s AC port in the back and requires a simple install that’s similar in complexity to an outright hard drive swap.