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How to transfer games to PS5 external hard drive

The blue glow of the PS5 in the dark
(Image credit: Getty / Mikhail Konoplev)

To transfer games to a PS5 external hard drive is not a difficult task, and it's worth knowing how to do. Using a hard drive allows you to store your games on separate devices and free up the PS5 storage for further games and files. It's worth admitting that you'll lose out on the faster SDD processing power, but you'll probably appreciate the space if you want to have the choice of more games. 

Fortunately the PS5 supports a large range of external storage options, so make sure you check out our best PS5 external hard drives guide for our top choices if you need to buy one. We also have a guide for the best PS5 SSD options, which will let you get the best possible SSD for super-fast loading. Either way, let's break down the various methods to transfer games to a PS5 external hard drive below.

How to transfer PS4 games to PS5 external hard drive

transfer games to Ps5 external hard drive

(Image credit: Sony)

As mentioned earlier, a new PS5 system update now lets you transfer PS5 games as well as PS4 games to an applicable external USB or USB-C hard drive or portable SSD.

This includes all those PS Plus Collection games that you can download for free from launch if you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber, anything you want to re-download from your PS4 library on PS5. and now you can store all those games getting a free PS5 upgrade.

Don't forget though, while you can now store PS5 games externally, you can only play them once you move them back onto your PS5's internal SSD. PS4 games on the other hand can be played straight from an external storage device, freeing up even more space on your PS5 itself. Transferring games on either platform is certainly faster than redownloading them too.

To transfer your PS4 and PS5 games, head to:

Settings > Storage > Console Storage > Games and Apps

transfer games to PS5 external hard drive

(Image credit: Sony)

In this menu, tab over to "Items You Can Move" by hitting R1, and then either select the games and apps you want to transfer to your external hard drive, or simply hit select all to move all appropriate content. 

To save you having to constantly monitor your installs it's worth checking the tickbox that says "Always Install PS4 Games to Extended Storage" in:

Settings > Storage > Extended Storage

How to use a PS4 external hard drive with PS5

OWC PS4 hard drive kit

(Image credit: OWC)

But wait, there's more good news if you're already using a PS4 external hard drive with your PS4 - and most likely you will be if you've been on the PS4 train for a few years. 

You can simply take your PS4 external hard drive and plug it straight into your PS5, and it'll recognize all your games. Heck, it'll even queue up any PS5-specific updates there are for those installed there. Hack!

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Brendan Griffiths
Brendan Griffiths

Brendan is GamesRadar's former Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. He also spent time as the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar. He's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He also spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead. Nowadays you'll find him as the eCommerce Content Director for Future's mobile tech sites, Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central.