If you’re like me, you may have settled on a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD for your PS5 and then realized that you probably want more space for games, which means you’ll have to now transfer them to a new drive. This might seem like an arduous task. Something that you really don’t want to do and are dreading the process for. But trust me when I tell you that the process is actually rather quite simple and really your worst enemy here is time.
So the one thing you will need, outside of two M.2 NVMe SSD drives and a PS5 to have put them in, is patience. Because you’ll first have to back the games up. But this process is easy to do as well. So, if you’re feeling antsy about the whole thing, not to worry. We’ll walk you through the process step by step.
Keep in mind this guide can be useful for anyone needing to swap out a drive for any reason. Whether it’s because you’re having issues with the one currently in the PS5 (provided you can still access the data) or you just want one with more storage space.
If you haven’t picked up an M.2 SSD for your PS5 yet, check out our Best SSDs For PS5 list here for some recommendations. We’re using the Samsung 980 Pro, and are moving games from the 1TB model without a heatsink to the 2TB model with a heatsink.
How to transfer games to a new SSD on PS5
The first thing you’re going to need to do is back up any games on the SSD that’s in your PS5 currently. This way you won’t have to download and reinstall them the traditional way on the new drive. This process will take a while most likely. But, it should be a heck of a lot faster than trying to re-download every single game you may have already installed. Even if you only have a game or two on the SSD, the back up should be quicker than the download. So we’d still recommend it.
To do this, you will need an external storage device that you can plug into the PS5. It will need to be formatted for the PS5 as well. If you’re using Seagate’s officially licensed PS4 game drive for example, this is already formatted for the PlayStation platform. So it’s plug and play. If you’re using a flash drive or an SD card (via a USB adapter), then you will need to format the drive before transferring games to it.
Cleaning up your external storage drive
If you need to clean your storage drive, follow the below steps and you’ll be good to start the transfer.
Head to settings, then storage
From the homescreen go to the settings menu which is accessed from the cog button in the top right corner of the screen. Next to your avatar. Then, scroll to and select the storage menu. If your USB extended storage device is already plugged in, highlight it to bring up its options.
Highlight the games and apps and select what you want to delete
Once the USB extended storage device is highlighted, you should see how much space it has used up from installed games and apps. Highlight the games and apps and select that to bring up the list of what’s installed. You’ll now need to decide what you want to delete off the drive to make room for the games and apps you will back up from the internal M.2 NVMe SSD that you’ll be swapping out.
If you don’t care to save anything, check the “select all” box and then scroll to the delete button at the bottom. Click delete and let the console wipe the USB extended storage for later use during the backup. This can take a few minutes. More than a few depending on how much stuff you have installed. So be patient. Also worth noting is that you should not turn off your PS5 during this time.
Backing up your M.2 NVMe SSD to the USB extended storage drive
Once the games and apps are deleted from the USB extended storage, you can go about doing the backup.
Now, you’re not going to be doing an actual data backup of your games through the system menu like you would with a backup and restore process. What you’re actually doing is moving the games and apps installed on your M.2 NVMe SSD to the USB extended storage. That way you can move them to the new M.2 SSD later.
Head to settings, then to storage
We’re going back to the storage menu here. Because you want to move the games from the M.2 drive to the USB extended storage drive. Select the M.2 drive from the list of available drives.
Highlight games and apps
Now, highlight the games and apps that are installed so you can select what you want to move. You want to move everything here. Because you’re switching M.2 drives entirely and you’ll surely want to keep all the games you had once you get the new drive installed.
Select items to move
Click on any game that populates in the list and a tiny popup panel will show up to the right of the screen with three options. Select items to delete, select items to move, and view game content. Click on select items to move.
Select all games
Next, make sure to select the “movable to USB extended storage” option at the top of the page. Then, check the “select all” box in the top left corner to select all games. Finally, highlight the move button at the bottom of the page and click to start the move process. This may also take a few minutes just like when you deleted games and apps off of the USB extended storage drive.
In fact, this process will most certainly take a lot longer than the deletion process. So you may want to step away from your console for a bit. Once done, power down your PS5 and swap the M.2 NVMe SSD drive in the console for the new drive. If you’re unsure how to do this, you can refer to our guide on that here.
Transfer games and apps to the new M.2 NVMe SSD in your PS5
Once you have the new drive installed in your console, you’ll be moving the games from the USB extended storage to this new M.2 SSD. The process for this is basically the same as when you moved them off the old drive.
Head to settings, then to the storage menu
Just as before, head to the settings menu on your PS5. Then scroll to and select storage.
Highlight the USB extended storage drive
Scroll to and highlight the USB extended storage drive. Then highlight the games and apps option and click that to bring up the list of installed items. Just as before when moving games or deleting them, click on any game in the list.
This will bring up the panel with your options to delete or move. As before, click “select items to move.” Once again make sure to select the drive you want to move the games and apps to. Select the M.2 SSD option from the top of the page and not console storage.
Check the “select all” box
Now, check the box in the top left corner once again to select all games and apps. And finally highlight the move button at the bottom of the screen to move the games to the new M.2 SSD drive you just installed into your console earlier.
This will take about the same amount of time as it did to move them to the USB extended storage. So sit back and relax and let the drives do their thing. Once the process is complete, you’re good to go. You have now successfully made the transfer of your games to a new SSD in your PS5. And if it’s a drive with more space, that’s cause for celebration.