How to Format External Hard Drive for PS4 [2024 Full Guide and Choice]

Cici updated on Apr 19, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

PlayStation 4, commonly known as PS4, is a 2013 console by Google in their PlayStation series. Widely hailed as the premium and most famous platform of the PS line, PS4 was an incredible upgrade from its predecessor, the PS3.


So, in this article, we're going to explore an important topic about PS4—PS4 external hard drive format. It needs external storage to upgrade PS4 hard drive because the latest games tend to run out. So, which type of external storage is the best? And how do you format it using a PC or Mac?

We'll answer all these questions as we dive deeper into the topic. So, let's get started.

What Is the Best PS4 External Hard Drive Format?

Finding the right PS4 external hard drive format isn't rocket science. You can find out which format to use if you know the key specs. For instance, the two main formats you can use are exFAT and FAT32. So, always remember, NTFS or HFS+ is a no go for any PS4.

But it's also important to understand that each file system has some key features. Let's talk about them first:

Can PS4 Read FAT32?

Yes, it can read FAT32. However, FAT32 is one of the oldest operating file system format today. Therefore, it's riddled with limitations and doesn't really stand up to modern standards. It's still in use, yes, but its limitations pull it back, such as:

  • The maximum file size is only 4Gb, whereas some games are 50-60 GB.
  • The maximum Volume Size is 8 GB, which is more than acceptable but still not the highest.
  • Its cluster size of 32KB cache makes it really slow compared to other formats.

These limitations make it not really ideal for today's consoles. Simply because there are rarely any games that take up 4GB or less.

Is exFAT the Same as FAT32 PS4?

FAT32's latest and more advanced version is exFAT. It's a lot more suitable for modern usages, and it's used extensively in server devices—that should tell you about its abilities and competence. But why exactly is that? Here are a few reasons:

  • The maximum supported file size is 16 EB—that's Exabyte, mind you.
  • The maximum volume size supported is 128PB—Petabyte.
  • The cluster size cache is 32MB—100x quicker than FAT32.

Now, these factors are all great, but to help you visualize why it's preferable over FAT32, here are a few reasons:

Features  FAT32 exFAT
Max File Size 4 Gigabytes 16 Exabytes
Max Cluster Size 32 Kilobytes 32 Megabytes
Max Cluster Count 228 232
Time Resolution 2 Seconds 10 milliseconds

If you want to know the differences between exFAT and FAT32, you can click the button below. 

How to Set PS4 External Hard Drive Format? [7 Solutions]

So, exFAT is better than FAT32 because it's faster, more reliable, and offers the right storage and volume amount for any PS4 today. Plus, it's ideal for saving games that take up hundreds of gigabytes and this can make you get more storage on PS4.

In this section, we will talk about how to format an external hard drive for a PS4. So, we're talking about formatting your external hard drive with the help of tools on both Mac and PC. This means we're using file explorer, Disk Management, or a professional partition tool. Let's begin, then.

How to Format External Hard Drive for PS4 on PC

This section explores the four most common ways to format an external drive on a PC. So, here are the methods you can use:

Method 1. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using EaseUS Partition Master

The first and perhaps the easiest way for you to format your PS4 external hard drive is with the help of a professional tool like EaseUS Partition Master Free. This is an ideal tool to help you partition any external hard drive, as it's able to do what conventional ways don't.

So, what makes this tool an ideal companion for any PS4 user? Here are a few reasons:

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

  • Format file system efficiently
  • Managing your partitions on any OS, including Windows 10, 11, 8 and 7 

So, how do you use it to convert your external drive's format? Here's how:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

When your PS4 hard drive is not working, you can rely on EaseUS Partition Master to fix some issues.

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Method 2. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using Disk Management

The second-best thing you can do is format the external hard drive with the help of Disk Management. It's a tool within your computer, and here's how you can use it:

Step 1. Press Windows + X on your keyboard.

Step 2. Select Disk Management.

Step 3. Find External Storage in the disk management.


Step 4. Right-click on the external device and click Format.


Step 5. Click Yes when prompted.

Step 6. Pick the exFAT file system.

Step 7. Check the quick format and click "OK."


This will format your partition in the exFAT format, and it'll take less than a minute. Once you're done, you can try the next method if this one is too complicated.

Method 3. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using File Explorer 

The next method is to use the file explorer to format your external device. So, plug in your device and follow these steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + E on your keyboard.

Step 2. Select the device and right-click on it.

Step 3. Press the Format button in the menu.

Step 4. In the file system, pick "exFAT" and format.


This will format your external device much quicker than disk management and make it ready for your PS4.

Method 4. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using CMD

The final method you can try on a Windows PC is with the help of CMD or Terminal. This allows you to format your external partition without any errors. So, here's how you do it:

Step 1. Open CMD as Administrator.

Step 2. Type Diskpart and list disk.

Step 3. Select disk 3 (or the designated number of your external device).

Step 4. Type Format fs=exFAT.


Step 5. Then press enter.

This will format your drive into the exFAT partition. Then, all that you have to do is connect your device to your PS4 console.

How to Format External Hard Drive for PS4 on Mac

In this section, we're talking about formatting the PS4 external device on Mac. There are only two methods, so let's get right into it:

Method 1. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using Disk Utility

The first thing you're going to do is open the Disk Utility on Mac. In order to do that, you'd have to go to finder. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open Disk Utility in finder.

Step 2. Find and click on an external device.

Step 3. Click on "Erase."


Step 4. Pick the "exFAT" file system in the next prompt.

Step 5. Click "Erase."

This will format your device into the exFAT format and allow you to connect it to your PS4 without any issues.

Method 2. Format External Hard Drive for PS4 Using Terminal Command

The next step is to format the device using the terminal command. In this, you'd have to use the command lines in macOS. Here's how:

Step 1. Open Terminal in macOS.

Step 2. Type diskutil list.

Step 3. Type diskutil eraseDisk ExFAT DiskName /dev/Disk 3 (replace 3 with external drive partition).


And this will finish up the device format. Once again, all that'll be left after this is plugging your external device into PS4.

How to Format External Hard Drive for PS4 on PS4

A simple way to do it is by formatting an external device on PS4 with PS4. Here's how:

Step 1. Plug your external device into your PS4 console.

Step 2. Wait for this prompt to show up.


Step 3. Tap format by pressing X (enter) on your controller.

Step 4. Tap on "Format as extended storage."


Step 5. Press "Backup PS4."

This will push PS4 to use your device as the extended storage of itself. However, do not ever plug your external device out when PS4 is running. Otherwise, it'll cause the games to be corrupt. If you meet other PS4 errors, click the link:

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The best format for PS4 external devices is exFAT. This article covered all the steps you can take to convert your external device into an exFAT file system and use it on your PS4. So, did you enjoy this article?

If so, try to use these methods. We suggest you rely on professional software like EaseUS Partition Master. Simply because it helps you avoid all the hassle present in the rest of the steps.

FAQs of PS4 External Hard Drive Format

If you have additional questions and queries, then here are some of the questions we get asked frequently. Let's hope it answers any further queries!

1. What should I format my external hard drive to for PS4?

As mentioned in the article, the best format for any PS4 is exFAT. Simply because it uses the most advanced file system methods and allows you to save larger files-which is ideal for heavier games today.

2. How do I format my Seagate external hard drive for PS4?

You'd have to use the aforementioned steps to format any hard drive. If you're facing any additional troubles that either the command prompt or other conventional methods cannot fix, then try using EaseUS Partition Master.

3. Why won't my PS4 recognize my external hard drive?

It's possible that your PS4 has a hardware issue. However, if you can read it fine on your computer, then the problem might be with the cable or the file format. So, try to format using the methods in this article and make sure the file system is exFAT.

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Updated by Cici

Cici is the junior editor of the writing team of EaseUS. She accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS for over one year. Now, she wrote a lot of professional articles to help people resolve the issues of hard drive corruption, computer boot errors, and disk partition problems.

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