How to expand your PlayStation 5 storage

Sony will allow you to install your own SSD to expand the storage capacity on PlayStation 5. Here's how to do it

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According to Sony, the company's new console, the PlayStation 5, will soon allow you to add an extra M.2 NVMe SSD to your console via an internal slot, and the feature is already in beta testing. Unlike Microsoft's solution, which is a proprietary Seagate back-attached expansion card, Sony offers a choice of several different drives from third-party manufacturers, allowing you to choose (within specs) the option that's best for you.

Sony's approach allows for more flexibility in how you expand the PS5's storage, but is limited by a list of specs that the company has approved in advance. This is to ensure that the SSD you buy matches the minimum bandwidth of 5,5GB/sec only offered by newer PCIe 4.0 SSDs that companies like Samsung and Western Digital have started producing.

See the requirements for expanding your PlayStation 5 storage

Sony official video teaching how to do the procedure

Although it has already come out, Sony has not yet announced any compatible SSD for the PS5. We know the specs required for the drives, but we cannot say with certainty whether drives that meet these requirements will work in the system until they have been tested and approved by Sony itself.

The PS5's side panels can easily detach without tools, revealing an empty SSD slot on one side. This slot supports the full range of SSD drives, including the 2230, 2242, 2260 and 2280 standard sizes. You must use a heat sink with the unit of your choice, pre-installed by the manufacturer or installed by you. Sony's support page includes diagrams showing integrated heatsinks as well as one-sided and two-sided heatsinks.

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PS5 M.2 SSD Requirements

The following list of requirements comes directly from Sony

Iinterface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

Capacity: 250GB - 4TB

Ecooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure such as a heatsink. You can even attach one to your M.2 SSD in either one-sided or two-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have built-in cooling structures (such as heat sinks).

Sequential read speed: 5.500 MB/s or faster is recommended.

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Lmodule width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)

Form factor: Type M.2 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.

These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to width, the remaining digits refer to length.

Socket Type: Socket 3 (M switch)

Total size including cooling structure:

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In millimeters: less than 110 mm (L) x 25 mm (W) x 11,25 mm (H).

In inches: less than 4,33 in. (L) x 0,984 in. (W) x 0,442 in. (H).

See below for complete requirements.

Length

The following M.2 SSD lengths are supported on PS5 consoles:

30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm (corresponding to form factor type as above).

Largura

A 2mm wide M.22 SSD module is required.

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The total frame (including an added cooling frame) cannot exceed 25 mm (0,984 in.).

Height

The total height of the M.2 SSD and its cooling structure (such as a heat sink) – whether built-in or separate – must be less than 11,25 mm (0,442 in.).

The height must also be in the right place, in relation to the circuit board of the SSD M.2:

The size below the plate must be less than 2,45 mm (0,096 in.).

The total size above the plate must be less than 8 mm (0,314 in.).

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(Note: measurements in millimeters are the technical standard and are more accurate than inches. We recommend double-checking that the total dimensions of the SSD M.2 and heatsink products you are considering meet the millimeter requirements before purchasing )

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Installing M.2 SDD on PS5

The installation of your M.2 will vary slightly depending on the model you have selected, but make sure your system is up to date and as it is only available in beta at the moment, make sure the latest beta version is installed . Turn off the system, unplug it, remove the outer panel with the disk slot if it's on a normal system or the “right” one on a digital console, and you'll see the drive slot below the fan.

Remove the screws, adjust the spacer based on the size of your own drive, then insert the drive diagonally before lowering it into the screw hole. Once that's done, screw it into place, carefully replace the cover and place the outer panel back on the console before turning the system back on. You will have to format your drive at startup just as you would any other drive.

Under “Settings” and “Storage” on your PS5, you will see an “install location” option with M.2 installed correctly. This will allow you to choose to download games directly there and can also move games from the internal storage that came with the system or from an external USB drive.

How to install and manage PS5 beta system software

As stated above, this system for Storage Expansion with an SSD drive is in Beta and to do this you must enroll in Sony's Beta software program. The beta program gives you early access to new features on the PS5 console. By signing up, you can be one of the first to try out new features and provide essential feedback that will help guide your development.

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How to apply for access to PS5 beta system software

Registration is open to players over the age of 18 in the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and France. For subscribe, you will need a PS5 console with an Internet connection and a PlayStation Network account.

How to Upgrade to PS5 Beta System Software

Please note that only qualified adult accounts approved for the beta program can upgrade their system software to the beta version. Guest users, child accounts and offline users cannot upgrade to beta system software. Always back up your data before using a beta version of the system software.

Go to Settings > System > System Software > System Software Update & Settings. Select Update system software (beta) > Update. This option will only appear during the PS5 beta period for players who have received an invite to the beta program.

You will see the system software beta feature list. Accept the Beta Agreement for the PlayStation 5 system software.

If a new beta version is released and your console has automatic updates enabled, it will update automatically. To manually update the system software beta to the latest version, follow the steps above. If a new version is available, you will see Update available next to Update system software (beta).

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M.2 NVMe slot on PS5

How to revert to the latest official version of the system software

Go to Settings > System > System Software > System Software Update & Settings > Stop using beta.

How to close the beta program

Once the beta program ends, you will need to update your system software to the official version of system software. If your console has automatic updates enabled, it will update automatically.

Go to Settings > System > System Software > System Software Update & Settings > Update System Software.

Sony FAQ about the Program

Sony has also released a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the SSD Drive program and installation.

Can I insert a SATA drive into the PS5 console?

No.

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Should I remove the M.2 SSD if I send my PS5 console for repair?

Yes. Please remove the SSD M.2 before sending it in for repair.

Can I format part of SSD M.2 for use on PS5 console?

No, you must format the entire SSD M.2.

Can I install a heatsink on an M.2 SSD with a built-in heatsink?

No. If your SSD M.2 has a built-in heatsink, we don't recommend adding additional heatsinks. This can reduce the effectiveness of built-in heat sinks.

What is the difference between an M.2 SSD and USB extended storage on PS5 consoles?

PS5 games can be played on M.2 SSD storage.
PS5 games can be downloaded directly to M.2 SSD storage.
PS5 games can be updated on M.2 SSD storage.

Is it possible to store part of a game on M.2 SSD storage?

No.

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What should I do if I have game issues when playing games stored on an M.2 SSD?

Press the PS button on your controller to go to the control center and select Downloads / Uploads. Pause all downloads in progress. If you are trying to play a game on disc, wait for the complete installation to complete. If you are still having problems, move the game from the M.2 SSD storage to the console storage.

Do PS5 consoles support host memory buffering?

No. Also, SSD M.2 devices that support HMB (Host Memory Buffer) may perform slower than expected because the PS5 does not support HMB.

Now, leave it there in the comments: What did you think of Sony's initiative? Already have a PlayStation 5? Are you going to risk doing this installation? Take the opportunity to read more about the PlayStation on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.