How to transfer games to PS5 external hard drive

Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores
(Image credit: Sony)

To transfer games to a PS5 external hard drive is relatively easy, though you'll definitely want to pick out an SSD over an HDD if that's an option - SSDs might be more expensive, but they process data a lot faster and you can actually run the games off them properly, a massive saving in time and effort.

Fortunately the PlayStation 5 is made to support all manner of external storage options, so make sure you check out our best PS5 external hard drives guide for the best options out there. You can also take a peak at our guide for the best PS5 SSD options, which will let you get the best possible SSD for super-fast loading. Regardless, now we'll break down the various methods to transfer games to a PS5 external hard drive for your convenience.

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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Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.