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How To Format External Hard Drive for PS4 on PC

External Hard Drive

It could be a massive discomfort to erase previous files to get new ones. If you know this, you know what alternative I am thinking of – get an external drive! Expand your storage space.

However, you will also have to format them. Your PS4 only supports specific storage partitions entirely different from your PC or the new hard drive you just got. This makes it difficult for you to use these storage devices between each of the devices seamlessly. But don’t worry, a few simple steps should take care of that. Just keep reading.

Why You Will Need to Format

You have gotten your new external drive and plugged it into your PS4, but your console does not detect it. What possibly could be the problem? Well, I’ll tell you this: it is not what you think. Your PS4 is not faulty.

While the PS4 supports either a FAT32 or exFAT storage partition, the typical storage device used on a Windows PC uses an entirely different partition: the NTFS system. This is exactly why it would refuse to show on your PS4.

Formatting Your External Drive

Many formatting procedures exist for both a Windows 10 and an Apple PC. Although the processes on a Windows 10 OS could be a little more complicated than converting it on an Apple’s OS, an advantage is that it has a lot of options.


Ensure you connect your external drive to the PC before commencing any procedure.

Method #1: The Command Prompt Method

Accessing your command prompt should be the first thing to do, usually by searching on the text space at the bottom of your screen or right-clicking the Windows icon on the bottom part of your screen. The next you will need to do is:

  1. Navigate for the “Run” option. 
  2. Now, type in “cmd.”
  3. In the box,  type in “Diskpart.”
  4. On the confirmation box, click on the “Yes” option. 
  5. Select the disk by typing “select disk 2.” 
  6. After that, erase the disk with a simple, clean command. 
  7. Type in a simple “create partition primary” command to create a new partition.
  8. Then, type in the partition you want (example: fs=FAT32). 
  9. You can now mark this new file with a letter (example: assign letter z).

Method #2: The Disk Management Method

For this method, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Windows icon on the bottom of your screen.
  2. Click on the right side of your mouse.
  3. Select “Run” after that, write “diskmgmt.msc” inside the provided space.
  4. This action should yield a box.
  5. Navigate to and right-click on the concerned storage device.
  6. Scroll through the options to select “New Simple Volume.” 
  7. Continue this process until you reach the “Format Partition” segment.
  8. Select the partition you want, and you should be done with the process.

Additionally, you could initiate this process by simply right-clicking the Windows logo at the bottom of your screen and navigating the provided choices.

Method #3: The File Explorer Method

This one is by far the easiest method to format a storage device. Let’s check the steps to follow:

  1. Select “File Explorer,” “My computer,” or “This computer.” 
  2. Please navigate the external drive (it should be right below the existing drive).
  3. Right-click on the storage device.
  4. Select the “Format” option.
  5. Look for file system options. Choose whichever you want.

Method #4: Using a Mac OS

If you’re a Mac user, check out the following steps to format your external drive:

  1. First, open a “Finder” window.
  2. Navigate till you find “Applications.” 
  3. Now, click on the “Utilities” section, then choose “Disk Utility.”
  4. Click on the concerned drive, then clear the files by selecting “Erase.”
  5. Finally, choose “exFAT” and “Erase” again.


If you have carefully gone through these steps, you now understand that formatting a drive for your PS4 is probably the easiest thing you have ever done. Enjoy the space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my PS4 format my external hard drive?

While the PS4 supports either a FAT32 or exFAT partition, the normal drive uses an entirely different partition: the NTFS file system. This is exactly why it would refuse to function with your PS4.

Why is my PS4 not reading my external hard drive?

Your PS4 only supports specific storage partitions completely different from the external drive’s partition. This makes it impossible for a PS4 to detect another storage device.

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