Why can't you download a PlayStation 4 game or update when there should be enough room on the hard drive? How come your PS4 won't let you download any new PS4 games or patches? When you go to download or install a new game or patch for your PS4, sometimes it might claim you don't have enough space in system storage. However, when you check for yourself, it looks like there should be plenty of room. What's that about? How come you can't install something even though you should have enough storage? Let's go through everything in this quick guide.
Why does your PS4 claim to not have enough free system storage space?
If you're trying to download a game, or even just an update for a game you already have installed, your PS4 might tell you there's not enough free space in system storage. It's possible your hard drive is simply too full, and you legitimately have used up all possible room. However, sometimes that isn't the case.
Sometimes, your PS4 will refuse to complete a download, even when it looks like you should have plenty of space left on your hard drive. Why is it doing this? Well, it all ties into that lengthy copying process your PS4 goes through whenever you install a game or update. Let's use an example to explain what's happening.
Say you've just bought Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that takes up a minimum of 105GB according to PlayStation Store. Let's also say you know that your hard drive happens to have 150GB of space free, meaning you should be able to install the game with no issues. You try to set it to download, only for your PS4 to tell you there's not enough space.
The problem is that, whenever your PS4 downloads a game, it's also downloading all the updates to ensure you're getting the most recent version. This can seriously inflate the game's file size beyond what's advertised on PlayStation Store pages. Downloading a game plus any patches will require more space than it might first appear. However, that's not all.
Let's say you're trying to download a patch for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and your PS4 says there's not enough room, even though there should be. The reason you can't download and install the update is because of the aforementioned copying procedure. When you download an update, your PS4 then makes a second copy of the game file, adds the update, installs this new version of the game, then removes the outdated version. In other words, your PS4 needs around double the storage space for a game in order to download and update it. For example, if you have 30GB free and a 2GB patch for Call of Duty: Warzone arrives, you won't be able to download it until you make some extra room -- enough to technically install Warzone twice on your hard drive. The old version will be deleted, which frees up some space again, but you need that extra space free in the first place.
What can you do to prevent your PS4 from saying you have no free space?
The answer, unfortunately, is to ensure you have as much hard drive storage as you can. If you have a PS4 with the standard 500GB hard drive, you'll probably find it fills up pretty quickly. In order to download and install new games, you will probably have to delete some older titles. Remove the game data for some games you don't play anymore to keep your hard drive as clutter free as possible.
Of course, you can also expand PS4's storage space. You can install bigger hard drives and even SSDs into your PS4, or you can simply plug a USB external hard drive into one of your PS4's USB slots. Pretty large external hard drives can be bought nowadays fairly cheaply, and having more space than you need will ensure you don't get this annoying issue with your PS4 anymore.
We hope this guide has been helpful for you. Have you been having trouble with your PS4's hard drive space? Make some room in the comments below.