You can expand your PlayStation 5’s storage by using an external hard drive. However, sometimes the console will refuse to recognize the drive.
If you’re having this issue, read on and we’ll give you various potential fixes for this error!
How to Fix PlayStation 5 External Hard Drive Issues
The first thing you should try is a database rebuild. This is a safe process that shouldn’t harm the data on your device.
You will need to boot your PlayStation 5 into Safe Mode to use this feature!
First, hold down the physical power button on your console until it fully turns off. You should hear two beeps to confirm that it’s fully turned off.
Now hold the power button again for about 15 seconds and you should hear two beeps again. This will boot into safe mode, which allows you to make use of a variety of recovery features.
Note that you will need to plug your controller into a USB port, the wireless controller functionality is disabled in Safe Mode.
Once you load into Safe Mode, navigate to option 5 which says “Clear Cache and Rebuild Database” and select it.
Choose the Rebuild Database option and confirm the process. The console warns that it might take a few hours, but it usually takes 10 to 30 minutes at most. Sometimes it takes even less.
Reboot the PlayStation 5 back into normal mode and check for your external HDD.
If that still didn’t help, you should try using a different USB port on the console. We recommend using the back ports for your external drive!
Still nothing? You might need to use a more drastic method.
Formatting your External Hard Drive
As a disclaimer, note that we aren’t responsible for any loss of data caused by this method. Be warned that formatting the drive will completely wipe all the data on it!
With that out of the way, plug your external hard drive into any computer. It should appear as an external drive.
Right-click on it from the File Explorer and choose Format from the drop-down menu.
Make sure that the drive’s File System is set to exFAT. The PlayStation 5 system only supports exFAT and FAT32 file systems. FAT32 doesn’t support files bigger than 4GBs, however, so you will need to use exFAT.
Click on Start once you’re all set and the drive will format. Plug it back into your PlayStation 5 and it should be recognized!
If that did not help, you might need to contact the external HDD’s manufacturer. You might have a faulty drive and might need official support.
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