(Pocket-lint) - The PlayStation 5 has been out for a while, now, and it's finally got one of the features that was revealed before it came out - the ability to take on an additional internal M2 SSD for more quick storage.
With about 825GB of SSD space out of the box, and only around 667GB of that actually accessible to gamers because of the OS taking up room, getting more space is something that plenty of people will be really keen on. It's not the simplest process but we're here to walk you through how to get it done.
1. Choose a compatible SSD
First up, you should know that only a select few SSDs are actually going to work with the PS5 internally - they need to be an M2 drive, and even more crucially they need to fit into the slot they're allocated to, with a heatsink attached.
For now, there are two top recommendations to go with. First, there's the Seagate FireCuda 530. This is a lightning-fast drive that shoots past all of Sony's requirements on the speed front, and happily also has a small enough heatsink that it'll fit.
Secondly, you could also go with the SN850 from WD_Black, which similarly is more than fast enough to work with Sony's requirements, and also has a diminutive heatsink - either is a great choice, although Sony has clarified that even the fastest drives might not perform exactly like the PS5's own standard SSD.
2. Make sure you're on the right system software
For now, SSD expansion is only available to users who are enrolled in Sony's beta testing system, which means you absolutely shouldn't keep going if you're not a beta user. If you're running the latest beta software version, you're fine, but if not this won't work for you yet.
You can tell whether this applies to you by going to the following parts of the settings menu on your console:
If you are on the beta version, though, you'll be able to proceed once you've checked that you're on the latest version of the OS possible.
3. Turn off your PS5 and unplug it
Next up, you'll want to fully power-down your PS5 by holding its power button for three seconds. Leave it to cool down for a few minutes, then unplug it completely. This'll have you ready to install your SSD.
4. Open your PS5's cover
You'll want the PS5 laying on a soft surface with the disc drive side facing upward (so upside-down compared to how it normally rests). Then, with a bit of force, you can lever the white cover off the PS5 by gripping it at the top corner and lifting it up while sliding it toward the base.
It's a little finnicky so don't exert too much force - if you pull it outward a bit and slide it down toward the base screw hole of the PS5, you should be able to click it off. This will show you the slot for the SSD, although it'll be covered by a metal plate, as you can see below.
5. Remove the slot's cover and click in your SSD
You can easily unscrew this cover using a cross-head screwdriver, letting you see the slot for the SSD.
Then it's a fairly simple matter of clicking the SSD into place and securing it using the screw and spacer that you'll find within (they're at the end of the slot marked with 110).
The size of your SSD will determine where the screw and spacer secure it, and it should be fairly obvious once you click the SSD into its slot. You'll find it easiest if you click it into its housing at the base, as in the image above, then secure it from the other end.
You'll want the spacer underneath the SSD, and the screw to go through the semi-circular housing on the SSD's end, to secure it in place.
6. Close your PS5 back up and format your drive
From here, it's about going back in reverse. Once your SSD is secure, you can screw the cover for its slot back into place. Then you can reattach the white plastic side of the PS5, sliding it into place until it clicks solidly, then hook it all back up to power by your TV.
If you've done everything right, powering on the PS5 should send you to a formatting screen to set your drive up. Once that process is complete, in under a minute from our experience, you'll be free to enjoy your expanded storage and forget about the days of deleting games all the time.
If any of these steps are unclear, meanwhile, you can check out Sony's extremely detailed information page here, which also contains really granular breakdowns of exactly what type of SSD you'll want to buy, in case our two recommendations aren't to your tastes.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 2 August 2021.