How To Free Up Space On Ps4 Without Deleting Games

Games are getting bigger yearly, and they can eat up your 500GB or 1TB of PlayStation Storage before you notice. Let’s say you like all of them, so we’re teaching you how to free up space on PS4 without deleting games

You need space for downloading and installing more games and apps on your PS4. You also require free storage to download updates and save screenshots, videos, themes, wallpapers, and data.

There’re three ways to free up space on your console. You can manage your internal data, use an external HDD, or install larger internal storage.

Also, remember all games require more than their listed storage to install, as you need to reserve space for their updates. In fact, some titles ask you for twice the size of the listed storage space. 

How to Free Up Space on PS4?

Free Up Space On PS4 Without Deleting Games

You can free up storage by deleting applications, screenshots, saved data, themes, and games. Of course, we’re leaving out games, but all of this works through the same menu.

The second option is plugging an external HDD drive. The PS4 should recognize a compatible option automatically and prompt you to format the drive. Then, you’d be able to use it to store apps and add-ons.

Like the Xbox One or Xbox Series, the PS4 allows you to install and play games on external drives, so the second option is perhaps the best.

Still, there’s a third option. You can install a larger drive on your PS4. You can pick up, for example, a 2TB HDD drive and expand your internal storage. However, you would lose the data within the internal drive unless you back it up on an external HDD or a USB flash drive.

How to Manage the PS4’s Internal Storage?

You can go to the System Storage menu, delete apps, screenshot themes, and save data.

Deleting Applications From the PS4

Let’s say you want to delete applications. Here’s how to do it 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Storage > System Storagesystem storage
  3. Select Applications. The menu will showcase apps as well as games, so be careful about what you delete ps4 applications management
  4. Highlight the app you want to delete managing ps4 storage
  5. Press the Options button on your controller
  6. Select Delete delete app

You can delete as many apps as you want. Then, you can go back to the System Storage menu and access the other categories to manage your data.

For example, on Capture Gallery, you will find all the videos and screenshots you saved while playing.

Deleting Saved Data From the PS4

You can also delete saved data to save up a couple of gigabytes. Here’re the instructions:

  1. Select Settings
  2. Select Application Saved Data Management saved data ps4
  3. Select between System Storage, Online Storage, or USB Storage Device. You can select Auto-Upload to upload all of your saved data to the cloud if you have a PSN account plus a PSN connection. application saved data management ps4
  4. Select Delete. Again, you can select Upload to Online Storage to save your data on the cloud. It requires an active PlayStation Plus accountdelete storage
  5. Select a game to delete its data with the X button delete saved data
  6. Select all of the game’s data
  7. Select Delete delete saved data ps4

You can repeat the process to delete saved data stored online or on an external HDD drive / USB flash drive.

How to Use an External Storage Drive on Your PS4?

You can buy or use external storage or a USB flash drive at home. You can also buy a new one, as HDD drives are cheap. 

Here, you can install applications, games, and add-ons. You can’t save data, screenshots, and themes, though. 

Regardless, here’s what you require to use external storage on the PS4:

  • The console needs to have software version 4.5 or later. An update to its latest version will ensure it will work
  • The external drive must be HDD
  • The storage can be 250GB to 8TB
  • The USB connection protocol must be USB 3.0 or later
  • You can use a single external drive for games and apps simultaneously

There’re also particular SuperSpeed requirements:

SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen1/USB 3.2 Gen1
SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2/USB 3.2 Gen2/USB 3.2 Gen1x2
SuperSpeed USB 20 Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2x2

Here’re two options so you get the idea:

Formatting the External Drive for Your PS4

Here’s how to make the external drive on your PS4:

  1. Plug the external drive into the console’s USB port
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Go to Devices devices ps4
  4. Select USB Storage Devices usb storage device
  5. Select your external HDD
  6. Select “Format as extended storage.” Here, you can also find the option of “Stop Using This USB Storage Device” if you want to leave it behind or use it somewhere elseformat external drive

Formatting the drive will remove all of its data, so ensure you back the important bits. Also, after you format it to fit the PS4, it becomes available for its games and apps only. 

Moving PS4 Games to the External Drive

Now, you can move your games and apps to the external storage: 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Storage > System Storage system storage move items
  3. Select Applications ps4 applications management
  4. Highlight the game or app you want to move
  5. Press the Options button on the controller
  6. Select Move to Extended Storagemove to extended storage

You can repeat the process with all the apps you want to move. Alternatively, there’s a way to move various items in a bundle:

  1. Go back to Settings
  2. Go to Storage > System Storage
  3. Select Applications system storage menu ps4
  4. Press the Options button on the controller
  5. Select Move to Extended Storage move to extended storage
  6. Select all of the games and apps you want to move by ticking the boxes
  7. Select Copy and then Ok to begin the transfer copy to extended device
  8. You can move games and apps from external to internal storage. It would be the same process; only you would choose USB storage rather than system storage.move to system storage

Moving Saved Data to the PS4

Similarly, you can also move your saved data to the external drive:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Application Saved Data Management application and data management
  3. Select Saved Data in System Storage saved data in system storage ps4
  4. Select Copy to USB Storage Device copy tu usb storage
  5. Select all of the data you want to move
  6. Select Copy and confirm copy save data to usb storage

The process is similar, but you would have to choose “Saved Data on USB Storage Device” rather than “Saved Data in System Storage.”

Selecting the External Drive as the Default Install Location

Additionally, you can select the external HDD as your default install location:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Storage
  3. Press the Options button on your controller 
  4. Select Application Install Location
  5. Select Extended Storage install location by default

Backing Up Your Data on an External HDD

You can back up your data on the external drive. In case something goes wrong, you won’t miss anything.

For example, if you swap the internal drive or restore the console to factory settings, you will find a use for your backup.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select System ps4 system
  3. Select Backup and Restore ps4 back up and restore menu
  4. Select Back Up PS4 back up ps4
  5. Select Yes
  6. Select what you’ll back up by checking the boxes (applications, captures, saved data, and themes)back up ps4 menu
  7. You can press the X on Applications to check and uncheck the games and apps you want to copy back up apps and games
  8. Click Next to continue. The Next button won’t be available if what you’re copying is more than the available space on the external drive next back up ps4
  9. Once you click Next, select Back Up to finish the process back up games and data

How to Install a New Internal Drive on Your PS4?

The most difficult way to upgrade your storage is by replacing the internal storage drive. It requires you to take part of the console apart. For the process, you need a T8 screwdriver or a Phillips head screwdriver. 

Also, you can install either a SATA SSD or an HDD. An SDD would be a big boost for your old console in terms of speed and overall performance, but it’s pricier than an HDD.

For requisites, the console supports up to 8TB of internal storage. You can put any 2.5” SATA or HDD drive as long as it’s 9.5mm in depth. Most models fit the description, but if they don’t, the drive would be too big for the drive bay.

Here’re some examples:

Before you install a new drive, we recommend you backup your internal data, as we explained above. That’s because the new internal drive won’t have anything, not even the operating system.

Installing a New Internal Drive on the PS4

After you buy the new drive, here’re the installation instructions:

  1. Shut down the console, and unplug all of its cables
  2. Put the PS4 on a flat surface
  3. Slide off the hard drive casing slid the case off
  4. Unscrew the large screw holding the drive bay in place. It should have a PlayStation symbol on it unbscrew drive bay
  5. Slide the drive bay out slide drive bay
  6. Unscrew the four black screws on the side of the drive enclosure. Don’t take out the rubber holders unscrew drive bay screws
  7. Remove the drive, and place the new one
  8. Screw the black screws back in place screw the new drive
  9.  Slide the back in place. Make sure it attaches properly to the console
  10. Screw the bay back by screwing the large screw again put back screw
  11. Clip the flap or lid back into place put back the lid

Reinstall the System Software

The next step is reinstalling the system software. You need to do this offline, so you need an additional external USB drive.

We have a full tutorial, but we’re guiding you anyhow. First, get yourself a USB drive with 6GB of free space.

  1. Plug the USB drive on your Windows or macOS PC
  2. Format the drive to FAT32. For example, on Windows 10, right-click the drive on My PC, select Format, select FAT32 on the File system, and click Startformat usb drive on windows
  3. Inside the drive, create a folder with the name “PS4
  4. Inside the “PS4” folder, create a folder with the name “UPDATEps4 update folder
  5. Download the PS4 console reinstallation file from this page
  6. Save the “PS4UPDATE.PUP” file inside “UPDATE” ps4 console reinstallation file
  7. Unplug the USB drive from your PCP
  8. Press and hold the power button on the PS4 for about seven seconds ps4 power button
  9. After the second beep, it will initiate in Safe Mode
  10. Plug your controller into the console with its USB cable, and press the PS button
  11. Select option 7: Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) reinstall ps4 software
  12. Select Update from USB Storage Device
  13. You can plug the USB drive with the reinstallation file at this point
  14. Select OK

Afterward, let the console finish the process. It will restart and guide you through the initial tutorial to set it up.

You will have to put your Wi-Fi password again if you don’t use an ethernet cable and put your PSN account credentials. On top of that, you will select region, date, and other data.

Once you’re done, perhaps you may want to get your data back. You can use the online saved data automatically after logging into your PSN account.

But if you saved data on an external storage drive, there’s an additional step you need to take.

Restoring Your Data From the External Drive

If you restored your data to the external storage, here’s how to get it back:

  1. Plug the external storage on your PS4
  2. Go to Settings > System
  3. Select Back up and Restore ps4 back up and restore menu
  4. Select Restore PS4restore ps4 backup data
  5. Select the restore file. You will see them in the order of creation (by date) select back up data
  6. Select Restore select restore
  7. Select Yes
  8. Wait until the process finishes

The process should take back all your games, apps, videos, screenshots, and saved data you backed up on the external drive.

Alternatively, you can move your saved data, games, apps, and gallery files from the external storage to the system storage.

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