By Lily / Last update October 14, 2021

Why should we backup PS4 to external hard drive?

As time goes by, your PS4 disk space is taken up by increasing captures, saved data, settings, and installed applications. You’ll find it necessary to backup PS4 to external hard drive for following reasons:

  • Get your game data back from backup on external hard drive if you suffer a drive failure.

  • The default hard drive in PS4 is running out of space and you want to upgrade your PS4 hard drive to an external hard drive.

  • Use the backup on external hard drive in other systems like Windows and Mac without the need of reformatting it and the risk of losing all stored data.

Since it’s requisite to backup PS4 games to external hard drive, you must want to know how to accomplish the task. Move on to the next part.

How to backup PS4 to external hard drive with the built-in tool

To backup hard drive for PS4, you should check the following things in the beginning:

  • Format your USB flash drive, external HDD or SSD as FAT32 or exFAT. PS4 only supports these two file systems.

  • If you want to back up a full drive, the external drive should have at least double the storage space the PS4 hard drive has. Or you can choose not to back up application data.

Now follow the instructions below:

1. Insert the external storage device into PS4. Navigate to Settings > System > Back Up and Restore > Back Up PS4.

Back up PS4

2. Confirm which data you’d like to back up. If you uncheck the applications section, you’ll need to download and reinstall them after you restore your PS4 with the backup you’re creating.

Confirm Backup Data

3. On the next screen, you are able to give the backup a descriptive name. When you’re ready to proceed, highlight “Back Up” and press “X” button.

4. Wait for the process to be done. When it completes, you will get a message saying “Backup complete. The PS4 will restart.”

Although it seems simple to backup PS4 to external hard drive with the built-in tool, there are some limitations:

  • You can’t backup the PS4 System Software.

  • You can’t backup individual games separately.

  • It’s not supported to update the existing backup file. You can only make a full backup each time.

  • Trophies are not included in the backup data. You have to sync them with PlayStation Network.

  • PS4 System allows a single partition on the backup device instead of multiple partitions.

To overcome the shortcomings, you may be looking for another way to backup hard drive for PS4. Surely you can try backup PS4 to PC or backup PS4 to cloud, but I’ll show you an alternative way to backup PS4 to external hard drive in the coming part.

How to backup PS4 hard drive on a Windows PC

To backup PS4 in Windows, first you need to connect your PS4 hard drive and the formatted external hard drive to a Windows PC. You may remove the hard drive from PS4 with a Phillips screwdriver. Then, you can backup PS4 games to external hard drive with a handy freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard

★ It offers you four types of backup: System/Disk/Partition/File Backup, which can meet your different needs.
★ It allows you to perform incremental and differential backup instead of full backup every time, thus saving backup time and storage space.
★ All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported.

Just follow the steps below to perform PS4 hard drive backup. You can also backup PS3 to external hard drive in the same way.

1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Click “Backup” on the left pane and select “Disk Backup”.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Disk Backup

2. Click “Add Disk” to select the PS4 hard drive as the source disk to be backed up.

Add Disk

3. Click the folder shaped button in the second bar to select the external hard drive to save the image backup.

Select Backup Destination

4. Click “Start Backup” to run the backup.

Start Backup

>> Options: you can write a comment for the backup. You can also compress or split the backup image here.
>> Schedule: you can set the backup task to run at fixed intervals.
>> Scheme: the program will delete old backup images automatically based on your settings. It is supported in paid versions of AOMEI Backupper.

✍ Tips:

  • You can also copy PS4 games to external hard drive using the Disk Clone feature. It is quite helpful when you want to upgrade PS4 hard drive to an SSD or a larger HDD.

  • You may upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional and enable Universal Restore when you restore from the PS4 backup made by AOMEI Backupper, thus ensuring the system is bootable after recovery.


If you want to backup PS4 to external hard drive next time, you can either try PS4 built-in tool or AOMEI Backupper. However, you can benefit more from AOMEI Backupper—it enables you to replace C drive with an SSD without reinstalling OS. Give it a shot and discover more!