[Solved] PS4 External Hard Drive Not Recognized Issue

This article aims to assist you in fixing PS4 external hard drive not recognized issue and recovering any lost game data associated with your PS4 external hard drive.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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“Why doesn't my PS4 recognize my external hard drive?”

Due to the limited storage capacity of the PS4 internal hard drive, users often seek to connect an external device to their PS4 to accommodate more games.

However, it can be quite frustrating when your PlayStation 4 fails to identify the external hard drive.

Sometimes, users receive an alert message stating that the USB storage device is not connected, similar to external hard drives showing as Unknown Device; while in other cases, no warning is displayed.


Whether the external hard drive has never been recognized by the PS4 or has suddenly stopped working, there are corresponding solutions to address these issues.

This article will provide insights into the reasons behind the PS4 External Hard Drive not working and not being recognized, as well as guide you through the process of fixing the PS4 not recognizing external hard drive error.

Additionally, you will learn recover data from PS4 hard drive after resolving the issue.

How to resolve the PS4 external hard drive not recognized issue?

To begin, it is crucial to determine when your external hard drive stopped functioning or being recognized. Based on the specific scenario, you can then attempt the appropriate solution outlined in this article.

Scenario 1. PS4 external hard drive not working issue occurs from the beginning

If your PS4 fails to support or recognize the external hard drive from the outset, consider checking the following potential causes and attempt to fix the PS4 extended storage issue independently.

  • Make sure the device is not physically damaged. Connect it to your PC and verify if the computer detects it. If it functions properly on the computer, proceed to the next fixes.
  • Check and see if the PS4 device is compatible with its official standards. You can find this information on the official PS4 website.
  • Connect the PS4 external hard drive through a wired connection, as PS4 system cannot support wireless connection.
  • Make sure the PS4 system software is up-to-date. Update it to the latest/newest version if it is using the old versions now.
  • Note that the PS4 only allows one storage device at a time. Therefore, ensure that the drive was not previously formatted for external storage.

Upon finding a suitable solution for your specific problem, your external hard drive should start functioning properly. If the issue persists despite these attempts, it is recommended to seek assistance from a technical expert.


Scenario 2. PS4 device not recognizing issue occurs suddenly

If your external hard drive was previously functioning flawlessly and has recently stopped working, it is crucial to determine whether the issue lies with the drive itself.

To do this, connect the drive to another computer or PS4. If the PS4 fails to recognize the external hard drive in this scenario, it may be necessary to replace it with a new one.

However, if the external hard drive can successfully read/mount on other devices, the problem might be within your PS4. In such cases, try the following fixes to resolve the PS4 not recognizing external hard drive problem.

Fix 1. Restart the PS4

Some users are curious about “Does restarting PS4 delete everything”; of course not. Simply put, a restart will refresh the footprint, clear the running process, as well as fixing some small errors or problems.

Try these simple and quick fixes.

  • Power off your PS4 and disconnect the power source for a short while.
  • Disconnect the external hard drive and turn on the PS4.
  • After some time, power off your PS4 again and reconnect the external HDD.
  • Finally, turn on the PS4 and check if the external HDD is recognized.


If this solution fails to rectify the problem, proceed to one of the alternative methods provided below.

Fix 2. Rebuild the PS4 database

Rebuilding the PS4 database involves defragmentation, which not only optimizes performance but also resolves various other issues while freeing up storage space.

  • Power off PS4.
  • Press and hold the power button, do not let go until hearing two beeping sounds.
  • Connect your PS4 controller via a USB cable and press the PS button. This activates safe mode, displaying a menu with several options.
  • Choose the 'Rebuild Database' option and press 'X' to initiate the process.
  • A dialog box will appear. Click 'OK.'

The database rebuilding process will commence, and your screen may go black for a few hours. Once finishes, re-connect the device and see if it can be recognized by the PS4.

Fix 3. Initialize the PS4 console

Please note that initializing your PS4 will erase all data stored in the system. Therefore, consider this option as a last resort if your PlayStation 4 encounters a severe software glitch.

Firstly, before initializing, back up PS4 to external hard drives or cloud; for example, back up your important data such as images and videos to the cloud or an external device.
  • Power off your PS4 using the power button. After the PS4 is powered off, release the button after hearing two beeps to access safe mode.
  • Connect the DualShock®4 controller using a USB cable and press the PS button.
  • Select Option 7 - Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) and wait for the process to complete.


Once the initialization process is finished, update your PS4 to the latest system software version. Afterward, connect the external HDD to your PS4 and verify if the extended storage functionality is restored.

How to recover data from PS4 external hard drive?

Losing data can be distressing, but there is a way to recover it. Utilize MyRecover, an incredibly reliable and secure data recovery tool available for Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.

This software provides a comprehensive solution for recovering various types of data from different storage devices, including PS4 External Hard Drives. With its unique features, users can efficiently & safely perform external hard drive data recovery.

Support for two advanced scanning methods, facilitating the easy and quick recovery of deleted or missing files. 
Ability to recover a wide range of file types, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, photos, audios, videos, emails, webpages, compressed files, and more. 
The option to filter and recover files from specific folders (e.g., Downloads folder), internal or external disks, USB drives, SD cards, etc., during the scanning process. 
Compatibility with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.

Follow the steps below to recover data from PS4 hard drive using MyRecover.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Please make sure you choose a different drive as the destination drive instead of recovering the files to the original place. Otherwise it will cause data overwriting and leading to further data loss.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your Windows device. Launch MyRecover, hover the mouse over your connected external device, and click Scan.


Step 2. The software will automatically scan the selected drive and display all the files it detects. You can utilize the Filter feature (including Type, Date Modified, and Size) or expand the "Other missing files" category to preview or select specific files, e.g., Images.


Step 3. Select the files you wish to recover and click "Recover xxx files". You don't have to wait for the final scanning result if you have already identified the files you need to recover.


MyRecover currently offers Monthly, Yearly, and Lifetime plans. Upgrade MyRecover to the Pro or Tech versions of MyRecover to enjoy unlimited file recovery.


In conclusion, issues such as PS4 extended storage not working or PS4 external hard drive not recognized can be resolved through various methods, ensuring that your external HDD is functional again in no time.

However, in the event of data loss during the fix process, MyRecover is a convenient and reliable software for recovering lost data on Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.