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PS4: How To Swap Your Hard Drive

If you’re already feeling the pressure of filling up space on that 500GB hard drive in your PS4, this should help. I’ve created a photographic tutorial of swapping out the 500GB hard drive in your PS4 for something larger. Currently, the largest I’ve found is a 1.5TB 5400RPM drive. The hard drive MUST be a 2.5″ (Laptop HD) hard drive that is no taller than 9.5mm, otherwise it will not fit. Most people I’ve talked with have gone to a 1TB, doubling the PS4 capacity. For reference, after formatting and installing the 1TB hard drive I now have 861GB of usable space on my PS4.

First things first: Any and all modifications are at your own risk. While Sony has stated that upgrading your hard drive is a feature of the device and won’t void your warranty, you are dealing with electronic equipment, so be careful. Now, ONWARD!

Things you’ll need: a PS4 (DUH!), a 2.5″ Laptop HD, and a phillips screwdriver.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4,

The black plastic portion of the left hand side of the PS4 (picture above) comes off. The Hard Drive is underneath that portion directly above the blu-ray drive. Put the PS4 with the black plastic facing you, put your hands on top of the plastic and gently pull the plastic straight back towards you without lifting anything. It should pop off and come free.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

One the plastic has popped off the clips, gently slide it off the PS4.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

The Hard Drive itself is housed inside a metal tray that slides into the PS4. It is held in place by one special screw on the left hand corner of the PS4. Remove this screw and then you’ll be able to slide the hard drive tray out of the PS4.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

If you’ll notice, the screw is customized with the PS Symbols. It’s a standard phillips screwdriver. Remove it and the tray should slide out with ease.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

As you can see, the hard drive is housed inside the tray, secured in place by 2 screws on either side. The factory drive in my PS4 was an HGST (Hitachi) 500GB 5400RPM hard drive.

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

And there are two more screws are on the other side. (Circled in red since the picture doesn’t show the screws well.)

PS4 Hard Drive Swap, PS4

These screws are also phillips as well, (again circled in red to identify the screws) so you will literally only need one phillips screwdriver and your two bare hands to change this hard drive…well, and a new hard drive. Once you remove these four screws, the hard drive will simply slide out of the tray. Once you do that, take your new hard drive, slide it into place (be sure to put the hard drive in the SAME orientation as the one you took out. The hard drive can only go one way.). Then simply re-attach the drive to the tray using the four screws, and insert the tray back into your PS4. Secure the tray with the custom PS Symbol screw and then reattach your plastic cover the same way you took it off. Slide the black plastic cover over the PS4 gently. It is a pretty tight fit so just be careful to make sure it goes on right.

Post Hard Drive Installation:

1.) You’ll need to download the firmware update from Sony’s website and place it onto a USB thumbdrive. Sony just recently released a 1.51 firmware update, but when I did this install I used the 800MB 1.50 Firmware. At the PS4 launch there was a 300MB and 800MB 1.50 Firmware file downloadable from the Sony website. The 800MB file was for users swapping to a fresh hard drive. I did not see separate versions of 1.51, so I would assume that the new 1.51 firmware is the one you’ll want to download.

2.) Once you’ve got the firmware downloaded (it’s a .PUP file), put the file on a USB thumbdrive following the instructions from the link above. TIP: Clear everything off the thumbdrive just to eliminate any issues while installing the firmware to your PS4.

3.) Put the USB drive in your PS4 and boot into Safe Mode (hold power button for 7 seconds, the PS4 will beep once it’s in safe mode). The PS4 will show a menu with a number of options from #1 to #7. You want option #7, as you’re initializing a new hard drive and installing the firmware to it from the USB. Once that process is complete, your PS4 will boot up and you’ll be ready to go.

If you’re wondering what I used, I opted for an HGST 7200RPM 1TB Hard Drive. Spider-Jew and Crazy_S used a 5400RPM Western Digital Hard Drive. So far I have read nothing about certain hard drives that haven’t worked, but it’s worth spending the money on a more reputable brand like Western Digital, or HGST which was the factory drive in my (and probably most other) PS4s.

Pretty simple. The whole HD swap process took me about 20 minutes including the time to take pictures. Installing the firmware shouldn’t take too long, but I’d say you can probably swap the HD and install the firmware within 45 minutes if it’s a brand new, bare hard drive. And then all you have to do after that is decide which games you want to install first.

Questions? Leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to assist in any way I can.


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  • JJ Harvey

    Thank you very much!

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome!

  • Alex Jones


    I am looking into buying a PS4, but I just have one problem/question.

    You see, I need to be able to swap between 2 internal HDDs, I already know the process of upgrading the HDDs, but I want to be able to swap between two HDDs on my PS4 system.

    On PS3 I could swap HDDs at will and keep my save data, game updates, and profiles, but whenever I swapped HDDs, I would lose all my DLC. I only used and swapped HDDs on my one PS3.

    So, do you know if I can swap and use two separate internal HDDs/SSDs on one PS4, and swap between them, without losing any of my data/DLC? I also want to have different games installed on each HDD, seperate from each-other.

    Also, if this is possible, is it possible to have two different profiles on the two HDDs? A different profile on each HDD.

    I would only use the two HDDs in the same PS4.

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for any redundancies.