Best Xbox One external hard drives for 2019

best xbox one external hard drives 2019

If you need more storage space for your games, you need one of the best Xbox One external hard drives. Simple as that. In 2019, external HDDs are getting cheaper and cheaper, and you can pick up an additional 4TB of space - roughly equivalent to 50-80 full-sized Xbox One games - for less than $100/£100. While the Xbox One X comes with a reasonably-large 1TB internal drive, that will quickly fill up if you're installing games that require extra space for 4K assets (Red Dead 2 alone manages to occupy more than 100GB of space). So, having an Xbox One external hard drive on hand, to avoid deleting your games and files on the console, is essential.

Best deal today

4TB WD My Passport Portable Hard Drive for $94.99 at Amazon (save 41%)
If you want the maximum value for money on your hard drive, you want WD's 4TB My Passport. It's our top pick for Xbox One, hitting the sweet spot of affordability and ample storage space. You can also get it for less in the UK at £91.60.

What makes for the best Xbox One external hard drive, though? And how can you use it? Well, the best drives are ones that work fast and reliably, via a USB 3.0 connection. Most modern external hard drives have roughly the same file transfer speeds, and will have modern USB connections. What's more, because the Xbox One is Windows-based, it's very easy to set-up your drive - it's often just a case of plugging it in, although some drives may need reformatting the first time you use them. What makes the difference is the brand you choose, and the actual look of the HDD itself. Anything from WD (Western Digital), Samsung, Seagate, and Toshiba will be fine, and Seagate actually has several officially licensed external HDDs for Xbox, with all kinds of lovely 'Xbox green' styling. If you can find them on sale, it's well worth picking one up - the 2TB version is currently £69.99 at Amazon in the UK, saving you 22%, and $79.99 at Amazon in the US, saving you 33%.

We'd always recommend you go for at least 2TB HDDs, and we'd always recommend you check compatibility with Xbox One before you buy. All the HDDs on this list are fully compatible with Xbox One, and we've tested them ourselves.

Best Xbox One external hard drives

The WD 4TB My Passport is our best overall Xbox One external hard drive.

The WD 4TB My Passport is our best overall Xbox One external hard drive.

1. WD 4TB My Passport Portable

The best Xbox One external hard drive hits the sweet spot of space and affordability

Capacity: 4TB | Storage Type: HDD

Huge storage capacity
Trusted brand at a great price
Good speeds
Slightly short connector cord

Our top pick for best Xbox One external hard drive belongs to the Western Digital 4TB My Passport series. We used to recommend a 2TB drive (which is still more than large enough for most people), but with Xbox One X ownership rising and the increased size of 4K games, this is the best way to future proof yourself. In terms of features, this USB 3.0 (and USB 2.0) compatible hard drive offers 256-AES encryption and cloud storage, along with WD's own backup software. In reality, all you really need to know is that this hits the sweet spot of size, speed and affordability. This 4TB external hard drive will store up to 40 Xbox One X games (or more), and up to 100 or so regular Xbox One games. Basically, it's a monster, and with a three-year limited warranty, there's every reason to buy with utmost confidence. It's available in a 2TB option, too, but 4TB feels like maximum value. 

2. Toshiba 1TB Canvio Basics

Our recommended low-cost option to double your original Xbox One hard drive

Capacity: 1TB | Storage Type: HDD

Great price
Small and slick
Standard HDD speed

If you're primarily looking to store in-game video capture or maybe the odd Xbox One or Xbox One X game then the Canvio Basics is a great external hard drive on Xbox One. We've listed the 1TB option but a 500GB option is also available. It's cheap and features a speedy USB 3.0 connection. As long as you're not expecting to store a huge amount, it will boost your storage at a great price. It's worth remembering that you still have your internal hard drive, so adding a 1TB external hard drive to a 500GB Xbox One S gives you an overall capacity of 1.5GB. Again, we'd usually recommend you pick up 2TB or more, especially for Xbox One X storage, but if budget is an issue and you don't mind deleting and reinstalling games, the Toshiba is a great option.

3. Seagate 2TB/4TB Xbox One Game Drive

The best hard drive if you want lots of space and value the official branding

Capacity: 2TB/4TB | Storage Type: HDD

All the space you'll ever need
Looks great
A little on the expensive side

This officially branded external hard drive on Xbox One comes in 2 or 4GB options giving you a choice depending on if you want to go for media storage, or games. It's basically a regular Seagate drive in a flashier case, and you're paying about $15-20 extra for having the (admittedly quite nice) embossed Xbox logo and official green case colour. If your budget allows, and aesthetics are important to you, it's functionally still a great choice, and you can often find it on sale. The Seagate 2TB Game Drive in official Xbox green often drops in price around big retail events, so while now is a great time to buy, we'll surely see reductions in the new year sales.

If you're not worried about official branding, this Seagate 4TB drive at Walmart is currently $40 off.

4. Seagate Expansion 8TB

Our pick of the biggest hard drives if you never want to run out of space

Capacity: 8TB | Storage Type: HDD

Gargantuan storage space
Great price
Needs plugging into the mains
Not exactly small

The Seagate Expansion 8TB is USB 3.0 compatible and offers more storage than you'll likely ever need. It's the ideal choice for the prolific Xbox One user who wants to buy one hard drive and never have to think about storage again. The huge storage capacity raises the price, obviously, and the 8TB drive requires an external power adapter (supplied in the box), but is surprisingly elegant for such a large device. At 2.09 lbs with dimensions of 4.75 x 6.93 x 1.44 in, the Seagate Expansion 8TB is also considerably lighter than rival large capacity external hard drives, such as the WD 8TB My Book drive at 3.0 lbs with dimensions of 1.9 x 5.5 x 6.7 in.

5. Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

Our pick of the fastest hard drives provided you're willing to do a little DIY

Capacity: 500GB | Storage Type: SSD

All the benefits of SSD
Again, you'll need a caddy
Expensive to go bigger

You will need to buy a separate USB 3.0 caddy to use this, since the connector is Serial ATA-600 not USB 3.0, but they're circa $10 and easy to install. At 500GB you're not getting the best price-to-storage ratio, but what you are getting is the speed of an SSD external hard drive on Xbox One. That means it's solid state memory, rather than an actual spinning disk. You won't immediately feel the difference when accessing media files and in-game video, but the speedier loading times can make a noticeable improvement in games like, say, Far Cry 5 where warping across the map causes the game to reload. If you want a great 500GB SSD drive, but don't want to buy an external USB 3.0 caddy, we recommend the Samsung T3 Portable 500GB USB 3.1 SSD. It's about $60 more expensive than buying a Serial ATA-600 (SATA) SSD drive and a USB 3.0 caddy - but that's the premium for having USB 3.1 (which is USB 3.0 compatible) built in.

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