how to clean ps4

Sony’s PlayStation 4 includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting bigger and bigger–Grand Theft Auto V alone requires 50GB of space on the hard drive, even if you have the disc. Here’s how to free up space–and upgrade your PS4’s storage capacity so you can fit more games.

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Upgrade Your PlayStation 4 With a Larger Hard Drive

RELATED: How to Make Your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One Faster (By Adding an SSD)

If you find yourself reaching the limit regularly, consider getting a larger hard drive for your PS4. The PlayStation 4 opens up and allows you to get at that 500GB drive, so you can pop it out and replace it with a larger one. You can pick up a 2TB drive and replace it, quadrupling your PS4’s internal storage. Upgrading to a solid-state drive can even make your games load quicker, too.

Unlike the Xbox One, the PS4 doesn’t allow you to install games on external drives. To expand your console’s storage for games, you need to replace the internal drive.

See What’s Using Space

To see exactly what’s using space on your console, head to Settings > System Storage Management. You’ll see exactly how much free space you have available as well as how much data is used by applications, the capture gallery (which contains your saved video clips and screenshots), saved data (like save games), and themes.

Select any of the categories here to see exactly what’s using space and start deleting things.

Delete Games and Apps

Games are likely consuming most of the storage space on your PlayStation 4, so to free up space, you’ll want to start by deleting games.

To see exactly how much space each game is taking up, head to Settings > System Storage Management > Applications. To delete one or more games, press the “Options” button on your controller and select “Delete”. Select the games you want to delete and select the “Delete” button.

When you delete a game, its game save data isn’t deleted. You can reinstall the game in the future and resume from where you left off.

If you want to play a game again, you’ll need to reinstall it. We recommend uninstalling games you own on disc rather than digital games. Games you own on disc will be installed from the disc when you insert them, although they may have to download gigabytes of patches afterwards. You can redownload digital games you own for free, but they will take much longer to download–not to mention they’ll drain your Internet service provider’s bandwidth cap more, if you have one.

Delete Game Saves (and, Optionally, Back Them Up First)

To view how much storage is used by game save data, head to Settings > Applicaiton Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Delete.

If you won’t play the game again in the future and don’t care about the save data, you can remove this data from your console to save space. Some games aren’t well optimized and will have very large save files you can remove to free up a noticeable amount of space. To remove data, select a game in the list, select the save games you want to delete, and select “Delete”.

If you might play the game again in the future and want to back up the saved data, head to Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Copy to USB Storage Device. From here, you can copy save games to a USB drive or external hard drive connected to your PS4 and restore it to your console in the future.

Note that, if you have a paid PlayStation Plus subscription, your PS4 will also back up your save games online. You can head to Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Upload to Online Storage to confirm the data is uploaded before you delete it.

Clean Up Screenshots and Recorded Videos

Screenshots you take and videos you record are stored on your PS4’s internal storage. You may be able to free up some space by managing them. To view your screenshots and videos, head to Settings > System Storage Management > Capture Gallery.

To delete all screenshots and videos associated with a specific game, select a game icon here, press the “Options” button on the controller, and select “Delete”. There’s also a “Copy to USB Storage” option here that will copy the screenshots and videos to a USB storage device before deleting them.

If you like, you can also select a game and manage the screenshots and videos individually.

Themes can also use a small amount of space if you have several installed, and you’ll see how much space they take up on the System Storage Management screen. To manage themes, head to Settings > System Storage Management > Themes. Remove any themes you don’t use. You can always download them again later.

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