PlayStation 5s have paltry internal storage. With just 825GB available, it takes little more than a Call of Duty: Warzone installation and the game files for Red Dead Redemption 2 to fill your system storage to capacity. One common remedy is aggressively deleting games. Or you could fix the problem by installing an M.2 SSD expansion to your PS5, adding up to four terabytes of storage.
If you want to install an M.2 SSD onto your PS5 you need to follow the seven simple steps outlined below. This can be done on a disc or digital version of the PS5.
What tools do you need to install an M.2 SSD in your PS5?
Before you get down and dirty in your PS5’s parts, make sure you have everything you’ll need for an installation.
- a size 01 Phillips screwdriver
- an M.2 SSD with a heatsink.
Although not required, try to grab something you can use as a tray to place your screws while they’re not in use.
If you don’t have a properly sized screwdriver in your household, we highly recommend that you purchase the iFixit Essential Electronics toolkit. It features the size 01 Pillips screwdriver and other heads that you might use to make DIY gaming repairs.
PS5-compatible M.2 SSDs
We’re using a WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD with a built-in heatsink for our installation. This specific SSD was directly endorsed by PS5 Architect, Mark Cerny. Other SSDs can work as well if they meet Sony’s six requirements:
- PCI-Express Gen4x4 supported M.2 NVMe SSD (Key M)
- Storage between 250 GB - 4 TB
- Sizes of either 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, or 22110
- When including the heatsink, the width is up to 25 mm and the length is either 30, 40, 60, 80, 110 mm
- Features a read speed of 5,500/s or faster
- Has a socket type of Socket 3 (Key M)
Other decent M.2 SSDs that meet Sony’s requirements include the Seagate FireCuda 530 and the Samsung 980. Although it’s worth noting the Samsung 980 does not come with a pre-installed heatsink, so you’ll have to do some work.
How to install an M.2 SSD in your PS5
Now that you’ve got everything ready to go, it’s time to install your actual M.2 SSD. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Turn off your console. Now detach all cables from your PlayStation 5 including the HDMI, power cable, and Ethernet (if used). If it was recently in use, give the console a few minutes to cool off. Use this time to check in with yourself if needed.
2. Remove the bottom plate from your PS5. This is on the side where you’ll also find your disc drive. If you own a digital-only PS5, the side you need to open is the one that doesn’t feature a PlayStation logo. You can follow the video below for proper hand placement.
3. With your PS5 open, you’ll see a small rectangular metal strip held down by a single screw next to the fan. That’s your M.2 drive slot. Use your 01 Phillips to crack this bad boy open. Slide the metal strip off to expose the M.2 drive slot.
4. Once unscrewed, you’ll a green area with five holes. A small black screw and a metal spacer will be in the hole closest to the fan. Use your 01 Phillips yet again to unscrew it. Set the screw in your tray and place the spacer in the hole correlating with your M.2 drive size.
If you don’t know your M.2 drive size, you can check by briefly inserting your drive in the console. The drive you purchased should end precisely on one of the five holes. Remove the drive then place your spacer on that hole.
5. With the spacer in place, insert your M.2 drive. It will stick up a bit. Hold the drive down gently with your finger. The drive and the spacer should now be overlapping. Re-insert the screw you removed in step 4.
6. With the drive installed, it’s time to cover your tracks. Place the M.2. SSD cover back on the slot and insert the screw that you removed earlier. Refit the white bottom plate that you removed earlier. You’ll hear an audible click if you’ve done it correctly.
7. Plug your PS5 in again and boot it up. You’ll be greeted by on-screen instructions telling you to format your M.2 SSD. Follow them and you’ll be done.
How do you start using your M.2 SSD to play PS5 games?
Now that you’ve installed your M.2 drive, you can begin using it by going to Settings > Storage and selecting Installation Location. This will let you directly download new games to your M.2 Drive. In the same space, you can go to the Console Storage option and transfer games like Call of Duty: Warzone directly to your new drive.