PS5 SSD Upgrade – Step by Step Guide to Expand Your Storage

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If you’re lucky enough to own a PlayStation 5, you’re probably too. unlucky enough to run into the console’s main problem – running out of storage space for your games. Game distribution is increasingly leaning towards digital downloads, with even physical discs requiring heavy downloads before they can boot properly. Your PS5 SSD needs an upgrade.

While the PS5 has a 1TB internal hard drive, only around 667GB is actually usable for storing games and other apps. And with big hit games floating between 50 and 100GB – sometimes above 100GB – you’ll likely find yourself doing a lot of deletions and redownloads (a pain if you’re on a limited data cap with your cellular provider). Internet services), or a lot of transfer to and from an external storage device.

The best solution to all of these problems is to expand your PS5’s internal storage by installing another high-speed NVMe SSD in the console – an easier process than ever, compared to the PS3 and PS4 generations. Let us show you how.


Which NVMe SSD should I use for a PS5 storage upgrade?

The world of NVMe SSDs can certainly be confusing, especially since Sony was very concerned about the particular models it recommended for use when the company first introduced the ability to expand and upgrade the internal SSD storage of your PS5.

Choosing the right SSD is probably the hardest part of the whole upgrade process, but thankfully several storage manufacturers are now announcing PS5 compatible drives.

The difficult factors you need to keep in mind are that you need:

  • A M.2 NVMe SSDwho uses the
  • PCIe Gen4 protocol (also sometimes labeled as 4.0)
  • And is at least 250 GB, and no more than 4 TB.

The reader too must have a heater installedwhether pre-affixed or self-affixed.

If you’re the type of person who stumbled across this guide looking for help, we recommend buying a drive with a pre-attached heatsink to avoid any further issues.

To be clear: these are the drives that look like big thumb drives, not larger SSDs that you might find as portable external hard drives on the shelf at your local electronics store.

They come in multiple sizes, but luckily the PS5 supports multiple sizes: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110. Your NVMe enclosure should show one of these numbers.


What NVMe SSD did you use?

For the purposes of this PS5 SSD storage upgrade guide, we contacted Western Digital, as we have personally used several different WD hard drives and SSDs in the past and have never had any issues. They provided a Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850X NVMe SSD with Heatsink for the process.

This is the latest in Western Digital’s line of high-end gaming-focused storage products, specifically designed for PC gaming and PlayStation 5 users. These come in 1 TB and 2 TB models, which we spotted online for AU$239 and AU$469 respectively at the time of writing. These prices are more or less in line with comparable drives from other manufacturers, although prices fluctuate.

Picture: Gameshub

While PS5 users won’t be able to take advantage of the flashier aspects of the WD_BLACK SN850X – the heatsink is quite attractive and it has a customizable LED light on top designed to appeal to custom PC builders – the read and download speeds Incredibly fast writing is what you will benefit from here.

The PS5 has a minimum recommended reading speed of 5500 MB/swhich is the nominal value of the built-in internal SSD.

After installation, our WD_BLACK SN850X achieved an average read speed of 6800 MB/sec, according to the console’s built-in speed benchmark tests, which is far above the recommended target. It’s worth noting that Western Digital advertises a read speed of up to 7300MB/s for this drive, which you might more easily achieve on a PC.

Usually, Sony does not recommend running games on the external NVMe SSD expansion, preferring that you transfer games to the internal drive first. However, with these read speeds, we saw absolutely no discernible difference. If you decide to go with another NVMe SSD drive, it’s worth doing some research to make sure others haven’t noted any significant issues with them.

Here are some other highly recommended models for PS5 upgrades:

Once you’ve gone through the mental gymnastics of choosing a suitable NVMe SSD that meets all the requirements, the rest is easy.


How to Upgrade Your PS5 SSD Storage – Step by Step Guide

Before you start upgrading your PS5 storage, you’ll need to prepare a few things

  • Make sure your PS5 system software is updated to the latest version.
  • Find a Phillips #1 screwdriver (for SSD installation).
  • Find a flathead screwdriver or a coin (to remove the bracket).
  • Make sure your workspace is well lit (to see).

Step 1: Prepare the PS5 console

  • The first thing you need to do is turn off your PS5 consolemaking sure you really turn it off – don’t just put it in rest mode.
  • Once you have done this and confirmed that no console lights are on, unplug all cables – including HDMI cable, power cable and Ethernet cable (if applicable).
  • Remove the vertical/horizontal support, if present. You will need a flathead screwdriver (or a coin) for this.
  • Lay your PS5 horizontally on a flat surface, upside down. Make sure the The PlayStation logo faces downward.
If you’re smarter than us, you’ll want to use a bigger area. Picture: Gameshub

Step 2: Remove the back cover from the PS5

This can be a bit tricky, as you may feel like you’re about to break something, but don’t worry. The faceplate is secured by small hooks, which you will need to lift and move to remove it.

  • First, make sure the the power ports face you.
  • When you are sure, use both hands to grab the top left corner and the The lower right corner of the facade
  • Simultaneously lift the right front corner while pushing to the left.
PlayStation 5 PS5 SSD upgrade - step by step guide to expand your storage
Picture: Gameshub
  • You will see the NVMe SSD expansion slot right after the fan
Picture: Gameshub

Step 3: Remove the SSD expansion slot cover

  • Use the #1 Phillips screwdriver you prepared earlier to remove the single screw that secures the expansion slot cover and set it aside in a safe place. Note the PlayStation shape symbols on it.
  • Remove the expansion slot cover and set it aside in a safe place.
PlayStation 5 PS5 SSD upgrade - step by step guide to expand your storage
Note the PlayStation shape symbols on the screw. Picture: Gameshub

Step 4: Remove the NVMe screw and spacer

On the right side of the expansion slot, you will see a screw holding a small cylindrical metal spacer.

  • Use the Phillips #1 screwdriver to remove this screw. Put the screw in a safe place.
Picture: Gameshub

Step 5: Move the spacer to the appropriate hole for your NVMe SSD

As described earlier, NVMe SSDs can come in different sizes.: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110and the expansion slot holes correspond to the different drives.

You can see that the holes are labeled 30, 42, 60, 80 and 110 respectively – which correspond to the last two digits of the size numbers.

  • Find out the size of your NVMe SSD and move the spacer to the corresponding hole.

For our example reader, the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850Xwe used hole ’80’.

Step 6: Insert your NVMe SSD into the expansion slot

On the other side of where you found the screw and spacer, you will see the slot where you will need to plug your NVMe SSD.

Picture: Gameshub
  • Line up the pins on your NVMe SSD with the slot (you’ll notice there’s a gap, which you need to check to make sure your drive is the right way round).
  • Starting at a 45 degree angle, carefully lower and insert your drive, pushing the pins into the expansion slot.
Picture: Gameshub
  • Make sure the drive is firmly inserted. The notch on the edge of the drive should be directly above the spacer you placed.
PlayStation 5 PS5 SSD upgrade - step by step guide to expand your storage
Picture: Gameshub

Step 6: Secure your NVMe SSD

  • Retrieve the screw that came with the spacer (not the one with the PlayStation shape symbols on it), and screw it into the hole the spacer sits on, securing your NVMe SSD in place.
Picture: Gameshub

Step 7: Replace and secure the expansion slot cover

  • Retrieve the expansion slot cover and replace it by inserting it into the space above the NVMe SSD slot and pushing it down.
Picture: Gameshub
  • Collect the screw with the PlayStation shape symbols on it and screw it into the hole it came from, securing the expansion slot cover.
PlayStation 5 PS5 SSD upgrade - step by step guide to expand your storage
Picture: Gameshub

Step 7: Replace PS5 faceplate and start your console

  • Replace the back cover by sliding it into place. You’ll need to be firm to make sure it’s secure – you’ll hear a click when it’s fine.
  • When you plug your PS5 back in and turn it on, if all went well, you’ll be greeted with a screen prompting you to format your new NVMe SSD.
Picture: Gameshub

Step 8: Format your drive and enjoy!

  • That’s it! You will now be able to access your drive through the “Storage” option in the “Settings” menu. You can transfer existing games there and select it as the default installation location if you wish.

Your new improved storage will allow you to install more games on your PS5, to enjoy on a whim. Hopefully the average PS5 game size doesn’t get much bigger anytime soon, huh?

Western Digital has provided an SN850X NVMe SSD for the purposes of this guide. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence the editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small commission percentage for products purchased through affiliate links.

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