How do you install an internal PS5 SSD and expand your storage? As any long-standing PlayStation 5 owner will tell you, the 825GB SSD that the console ships with doesn't go as far as you'd imagine (See Also: PS5 SSD: How Much Storage Space Does It Have?). With the OS swallowing up a bit of space, you're ultimately left with around 667GB of storage for game installs, which quickly gets eaten up if you're a keen gamer with a large library of titles.
Thankfully, it is possible to expand the storage capacity of your PS5 using an M.2 SSD. That means you'll get the original 825GB plus whatever additional storage you add via an M.2 SSD.
In this PS5 guide, we'll explain how to open up your PS5 console for the installation and how to actually fit your shiny new M.2 SSD and expand the amount of storage space you have available for games with a PS5 SSD upgrade. If you've not yet bought a new drive, then you can find the Best PS5 SSD: Compatible M.2 SSD Storage Expansion for PS5 through the link.
Note: The following steps will only work if are running PS5 firmware 2.0-04.00.00 on your PS5. Do not attempt to install an SSD if you're running the standard retail firmware, as it simply won't work.
PS5 SSD: How to Install an Internal SSD and Expand Your Storage
Below, we're going to explain how to install and internal PS5 SSD and show you how to expand your storage.
Purchase a Compatible M.2 SSD
You'd think that the PS5 would accept any old SSD, but you'd be wrong. You need an M.2 SSD and it must have a heat sink connected. Sony recommends the SN850 from WD_Black, which comes with the personal seal of approval of PS5 system architect, Mark Cerny. That's the model we've used in this guide, and we can confirm it works perfectly. For other options, you can refer to our Best PS5 SSD: Compatible M.2 SSD Storage Expansion for PS5 guide.
You'll be able to use any M.2 SSD on your PS5 to expand your storage, but you'll need to ensure it has a read speed of 5,500MB/s or more and doesn't exceed a size of 110 x 25 x 11.25 millimetres with its heat sink attached. You can find all PS5 M.2 SSD Expansion Requirements through the link.
Just to reiterate, whichever model of SSD you end up using, make sure it has a heat sink installed – some come with them pre-fitted but you can buy heat sinks separately and fit them to the SSD.
Further reading: Best M.2 SSD for PS5 Storage Expansion
Open Up Your PS5
First, make sure you've unplugged your PS5 console – never try to do any install of this kind with the unit powered on.
Flip the console over, so the base of the unit is facing upwards, as shown below.
While it doesn't look like there's any obvious way of removing the bottom section of the PS5, it's actually quite a simple process when you know what you're doing. Grip both sides of the white base panel, as shown below.
With your right hand, gently lift the edge of the panel, and then, with your left hand, pull to the side in the direction shown. The panel should unclip from the main body of the console on the right-hand side, and then slide off, exposing the main bodywork of the system.
Remove the SSD Slot Cover
Right next to the PS5's fan, you'll see a metal cover held in place by a single screw, which, in a neat touch, has the PlayStation symbols engraved on it. Nice attention to detail, Sony! You can remove this screw using a standard cross-head screwdriver.
Install Your SSD
Once the slot is uncovered, you can install your M.2 SSD. In this case, we've selected the SN850 from WD_Black.
Before fitting the SSD, you'll need to make sure the heat sink is fitted. In the case of the SN850, there are two rubber bands included which you use to fit the heat sink to the SSD itself.
Once the SSD and heat sink are combined, the next job is to actually get the SSD into your console. There's a screw and a spacer at one end of the SSD slot which need to be removed and then refitted once the SSD is fitted in place (more on that in a moment, though). The size of the SSD you're fitting will determine where the screw is located on the holes shown below.
Next, place the spacer you saved earlier (just the spacer, not the screw) into the screw hole underneath the SSD and then insert the SSD into the slot as shown, making sure to align the contacts correctly. Give it a firm push and it will lock into position, which only leaves the screw (also saved from earlier) to be fitted on top to keep it 100% secure.
Reassemble the PS5
With the SSD firmly in place, refit the SSD slot cover using the screw, then refit the white bottom panel. You can do this by sliding it in the direction shown below until it clicks back into place.
Formatting the SSD for Use in Your PS5
When you first power up your PS5 after installing the SSD, you'll see the following screen:
As you might expect, you need to select the Format M.2 SSD to make sure the console can use it for game storage. If you don't select this option at this stage, the PS5 will boot as normal and you won't be able to use all that lovely additional space.
Upon selecting the formatting option, you'll see the following screen:
You'll then be told how fast your SSD can read data, which will impact how it performs when games are installed to it. As you can see from the screen below, the SN850 is well above the 5,500MB/s read speed recommended by Sony, so we're all good.
With the process successfully completed, you'll see the following confirmation screen:
PS5 SSD: How to Select the SSD as Your Primary Installation Location
By default, your PS5 will install games to its built-in SSD, so if you want to start dumping games on your new M.2 SSD, you'll need to change a setting. Go to Settings > Storage, and you'll see the following screen:
Here, you can see information about the available storage options on your PS5. You can also reformat the M.2 SSD from this screen as well, if you're having problems with it. However, what we're interested in is the option to select the M.2 SSD as the primary installation device. Navigate to Installation Location on the left-hand menu. As you can see from the screen below, you have options for both PS4 and PS5 games.
PS5 SSD: How to Move Games to the M.2 SSD
If you want to shift over some of the games you've already installed on your PS5, then you can do that with minimal effort. In the Settings > Storage menu, select Console Storage and you'll be presented with a list of all of the games and apps currently installed on your PS5's built-in SSD.
Find the item you want to move to the M.2 SSD and select it. You'll see the following sub-menu:
The item will then be moved over to the M.2 SSD.
Have you installed an internal PS5 SSD and expanded your storage on PS5? Check out our PS5 guide, and let us know how much space you've got in the comments section below. Remember to find our list of the Best PS5 SSDs through the link.