Upgrading storage on the PS5 is a bit of a process and not for the faint of heart. This is because unlike previous generations where an external hard drive was sufficient, the PS5 requires an internal upgrade if you want to store and play optimized games on it. Also, you can only use a PCIe 4.0 SSD, and Sony makes no guarantees as to which ones will work. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you’re ready to move on to leveling up. You only need a screwdriver and 15 minutes of spare to complete the installation. At this time, the functionality is limited to beta members of the PS5 and if you do not have the software update not first install the SSD. Sony says you can’t get it with a drive installed, so you’ll have to hang in there.
How to install an SSD in the PS5
Before you begin, make sure your PS5 has been turned off long enough to cool down (for your convenience). Then make sure you have detached the stand as it makes the whole process a bit easier and put the console down with the power button in front of you and at the on the right hand side.
- Take it back left corner of the PS5 cover and remove it. You will feel a click and you will need to pull quite firmly.
- Do the same with the front left corner, pulling up until you hear a click.
To remove the entire cover you will have to try and ride up while also by sliding it to your right, towards the base of the console. Again, you will need to be firm.
- After removing the cover, make sure the console is positioned so that the fan and metal cover is in front of you.
Take your Phillips screwdriver and remove the retaining screw on the metal panel.
- Remove the panel and set it aside.
Unscrew it SSD fixing screws that you find inside and remove it along with the metal spacer.
- The metal spacer is to be installed in one of the cutouts, depending on the size of your SSD. You will need to match it depending on what you buy, but the 80 mark is where you’ll be if you’ve purchased a full-size PC SSD.
Insert the SSD at an angle into the slot and push gently until it stops moving.
Push the SSD down and secure it with the retaining screw.
- Reinsert it metal panel and screw it back on.
- To replace the PS5 cover, carefully line up the lugs and slide it up from the base towards the fan while pushing down until it clicks into place.
This is the hardest part. Just take your time and be very careful with the cover if you don’t want to break the lugs when removing it. We speak from experience. The last thing you want is a piece of plastic to come off and get lodged in the console fan.
It is also interesting to note that you can and should use a heat sink with your SSD. Sony does not recommend using an SSD without a heat sink as it will cause the system to overheat. Better yet, buy an SSD with a heatsink already installed.
How to set up SSD storage on the PS5
Once you have completed the installation and turned on your PS5, you should be prompted to format the drive out of the box. You have to format everything and all the data you had there previously will be erased.
Once it’s ready to use, you can manage your installations between console storage and SSD.
To manage the SSD as a whole, head to Settings> Storage> M.2 SSD storage where you can move games between console and SSD and delete data from SSD.
If you want to move a single game, you can also do that from your PS5’s game library. press the Options button then select Move games and apps. Once you’ve installed an SSD, you’ll have a tab called Items you can move to M.2 SSD storage as well as to help you, which is especially useful if you are also using an external hard drive. You really only want to install PS5 games on SSD, PS4 games are better on external storage.
SSDs to buy
Unfortunately, Sony has not committed to which SSDs, but luckily we can give you some interesting recommendations.
WD Black SN850
A verified and quality SSD
As a balance of price and performance for upgrading your PS5, the stunning WD Black SN850 is probably the best you can get. It meets all the criteria to ensure you have a good experience, WD has run the tests to let you know it works and won’t completely drain your wallet.
Samsung 980 pro
One of the best PCIe 4.0 SSD on the market
Samsung makes some of the most reliable and fastest SSDs you can buy and the 980 Pro is king today. It offers blazing read and write speeds and would be a great addition to your PS5.
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