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How To Add Expandable Storage To Your PS5 Using An M.2 SSD – Updated September, 2021

Sony PS5
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It’s a great day for PS5 owners who are eligible to take part in the first PS5 beta software rollout, as they can now add expandable storage to their consoles. You might be wondering how you add expandable storage to your PS5 though.

Maybe you’re already aware that you can add more storage to the console. But maybe you’re unaware of the compatible derives. And you’re not quite sure how to add the drive to your system so things work as intended.

Not to worry. If you’ve been asking yourself any of these questions, we’ve whipped up a little guide to help walk you through the process. It’s not a terribly difficult process to complete. But you also don’t want to just go willy-nilly and slap an SSD in there.

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You’ll find all the steps you need to add expandable storage to your PS5 below. Also keep in mind, that there’s no point in you physically going through the steps unless you have the beta software that started rolling out today. As the system won’t recognize your M.2 SSD without it. But, it doesn’t hurt to know what to do for when you have the feature support.

Why add expandable storage to your PS5?

There’s one main reason why you’d want to do this. And really, only one reason in general. And that’s so you can have more room for games to be installed on your PS5. Technically, you had more storage for games at launch. But this was only possible through the external storage drives, and you can’t run games from those as they can only store your games.

By adding the expandable storage through the M.2 SSD, you can store and run the games from that drive. So there’s no need to move games back and forth. You can also use the M.2 SSD for storing PS4 games, and media apps as well.

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Tools to grab before you start

  • A soft cloth to lay the console down on
  • A Flat Head screwdriver
  • A #1 Phillips Head screwdriver

How to add expandable storage to your PS5

For starters, you’ll need an M.2 SSD to use. We’d suggest this one from Western Digital, as it meets the recommended specs and it comes with a heatsink already attached. But it’s not the only one that would work. The requirements are listed at the end of this guide.

Install the PS5 system beta software

First things first. You need to make sure you install the PS5 system beta software. As you need the software for the M.2 SSD storage slot to be supported. To potentially receive the software, you need to register to participate in the beta program. And you can do that here. Keep in mind though that registering does not guarantee access to the beta software update.

Once the software is installed, power off the console

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After the installation finishes, make sure to power off the console. You can do this by either using the DualSense controller to bring up the dock and finding the power options, or by pressing the power button on the console and holding it down for three seconds to power it down manually.

Unplug the console from the power source along with any other cables

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Next, make sure to unplug the PS5 from whatever power source it’s plugged into. Also unplug any other cables, like USB’s that may be plugged into the back ports, the HDMI cable, etc. Basically just unplug the console from everything.

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Lay the console down and remove the base/stand

You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver for this part. After you have that, lay the console down and unscrew the base/stand from the console using the flathead screwdriver. A coin that fits into the screw’s notch will also work. As will really anything that fits into the notch.

Also important to note is that you need to lay the console on its side with the disc drive facing upward. Like shown in the image below.

Remove the faceplate

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Next, you need to remove the faceplate to get to where the M.2 SSD slot is located. To do this, simply grab the top corners of the plate, then gently pull the plate up and towards you to unlatch it. Listen for a small click as you should hear one.

Remove the cover from the M.2 SSD slot

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Once you have the console’s faceplate off, you should easily spot the M.2 SSD slot. You can see it marked in the image above. There will be a single screw on the cover of the slot, which you need to remove using the Phillips Head screwdriver.

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Remove the screw and spacer at the top of the M.2 slot

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Once you have the cover removed, you’ll see a screw and a spacer that sit near the top of the M.2 slot. Take these out and the adjust them to the size of the M.2 SSD you have for your console. You should see additional holes for the screw and spacer based on how long or short your drive is.

Align your M.2 SSD with the connector

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Next, make sure and align your M.2 SSD with the connectors on the slot. As shown in the image above, start by aligning the SSD diagonally and then give the SSD a firm press into the connector.

If the SSD is incorrectly connected, then you can damage the SSD terminal or the console itself, which you don’t want to do. So make sure it’s done correctly before moving on.

Lay the M.2 SSD flat and secure it with the bracer and screw

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Now lay the SSD flat into the slot after it’s connected properly, then secure it with the bracer and screw. Then, reattach the cover on top of the M.2 SSD slot and secure that with its own screw.

After all that’s done, reattach the base/stand and faceplate, and then plug all the cables back in and connect the PS5 back up to the power source. Then power on your console and you should nearly be good to go. Once powered on, the PS5 will prompt you to format the M.2 SSD. Follow the prompts to get through that and you can start using it for storing and running games.

Removing the M.2 SSD from your PS5

The process for removing it is basically the same as the process for inserting it. When removing the actual drive, you pull diagonally upward.

M.2 SSD requirements for the PS5

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Chances are a lot of different drives will work. But Sony has still set out some requirements for compatible options.

It has to be an M.2 NVMe SSD. It will also need to be running on PCIe Gen4 technology, and have a read speed of at least 5,500MB/s. Attaching a heatsink to it is optional, but Sony does highly recommend attaching one. So you’re probably best off getting a drive with one already attached, unless you already have a drive and a heatsink laying around that you can use.

The capacity for the drive has to be at least 250GB, and can’t be more than 4TB. The module width must be 22mm, and the form factor has to be M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, or 22110. The socket type also has to be Socket 3 (key M), and the total size including the cooling structure must be smaller than 110mm in length, 25mm in width, and 11.25mm in height.

Compatible SSDs

There are a range of different PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSDs that will work for the expandable storage on the PS5. For the most part if they’re PCIe Gen4, they should work. However, it is worth noting that they do need to meet the requirements for size and function. Some potential options include the WD_Black SN850 with a heatsink from Western Digital. As well as the Firecuda 530 with a heatsink from Seagate. You can find more options on our buyer’s guide list here.