If you‘ve ever tried downloading a new game or update on your PS5 only to get an error message that there‘s not enough free space, I totally understand how frustrating that can be. As someone who loves gaming and has run into this issue myself, let me walk you through some of the common reasons why you might see that message and what you can do to free up space on your PS5.
A Quick Primer on PS5 Storage
Before we dive into solutions, let‘s review how storage works on the PS5 just to make sure we‘re all on the same page:
The PS5 comes equipped with an 825GB internal ultra-fast solid state drive (SSD). This is where you store your games, save files, and other data.
Of that 825GB, only about 667GB is actually usable for your games and apps. The rest is reserved for the system software and other functions.
You can expand the storage by adding an M.2 SSD in the expansion slot or connecting an external USB hard drive or SSD. But there are limitations:
PS5 games can only be played from the internal SSD or an installed M.2 SSD.
PS4 games can be played from an external USB drive. So you may want to move those to external storage to free up space internally for PS5 games.
Alright, now that we‘ve covered the PS5 storage basics, let‘s look at some troubleshooting tips.
Check Your Storage Usage
The first thing I recommend doing is going into your storage settings to see exactly what‘s taking up space on your console. Here‘s how:
From your PS5 home screen, go to Settings > Storage.
On this screen you‘ll see a visual breakdown of how your storage is being used. This includes:
Games and Apps – The amount of space taken up by installed games, game data, and apps.
Media Gallery – For your captured screenshots and video clips.
Saved Data – Save files for your games.
System – Space used by the PS5 system software and features.
Other – This includes game patches, downloaded game assets, and system caches. It‘s normal for this category to use a lot of space (100GB+).
Looking at this breakdown will help you identify areas where you can potentially free up space.
Delete Unneeded Games and Apps
One of the easiest ways to free up a chunk of storage is by uninstalling games or apps you are no longer playing.
Here are the steps:
From the Storage screen, go down to Games and Apps.
Scroll through your installed games/apps and select any you want to delete.
Press the Options button and select Delete.
This will completely uninstall the game or app and free up all the space it was taking up. Keep in mind your save data will NOT be deleted, so you won‘t lose any progress. You can always reinstall these games later on if you want to play again.
I recommend focusing on deleting larger games first, as they tend to eat up space quickly. 50GB+ games are prime targets for removal if it‘s been a while since you actually played them.
Clear Cache and Saved Data
Another way to potentially free up a bit of storage is by clearing cached data that builds up over time. Here‘s how:
From the Storage screen, go to Games and Apps again.
Press the Options button on a game or app.
Select Delete and then choose whether you want to delete:
Cached Data – This can include temporary install files or game updates.
Saved Data – Your game progress and settings. Only delete this if you don‘t care about losing your local save files.
Clearing this data forces the game to redownload any cached info the next time you play, taking up fresh space. So it‘s not a permanent fix, but can provide some temporary relief.
Transfer PS4 Games to External Drive
Here‘s a pro tip: since PS5 games can only run from the internal SSD, try moving your PS4 games to an external USB drive to free up that precious solid state space.
It‘s super easy:
Connect an external HDD or SSD to your PS5 using a USB cable.
Go to Settings > Storage > Console Storage.
Select your PS4 games then press Options and choose Move to USB Extended Storage.
This will move the games over to your external drive. And then going forward, you can select to install PS4 games directly to the external rather than filling up the internal SSD.
Moving just a few of your larger PS4 games like Call of Duty, GTA V, or NBA 2K can free up a ton of space on the internal drive for your PS5 masterpieces.
Upgrade with Compatible M.2 SSD
If you still need more capacity after trying the other steps, investing in an M.2 SSD for the PS5‘s expansion slot is a great way to increase your storage.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The PS5 requires a PCIe Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD. Most standard M.2 drives won‘t work.
Look for read speeds of 5,500MB/s or higher. Popular compatible options include:
WD Black SN850
Samsung 980 Pro
Seagate FireCuda 530
Adding a 1TB or 2TB M.2 SSD will basically double or triple your usable space for PS5 games.
Make sure to check Sony‘s official compatibility list and install the M.2 properly.
While a high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSD still represents a significant investment, it‘s much cheaper than buying an entirely new PS5. And getting one early can help you avoid running out of space as more huge PS5 games release.
Check for "Other" Storage Issues
Let‘s say you‘ve tried everything suggested above, but your PS5 storage is still strangely full or the "Other" category is ballooning. There could be a deeper issue going on.
Here are a couple things you can try to troubleshoot "Other" storage problems:
Rebuild Database – In safe mode, select Rebuild Database to clean up any corrupted data.
Power Cycle – Fully power down your PS5, unplug it for 30 seconds, then restart. This can clear system caches.
Initialize PS5 – As a last resort, you can choose to initialize (factory reset) your console. Back up your save files first!
Hopefully it doesn‘t come to that, but rebuilding the database or power cycling down completely should help sort out any weird "Other" storage issues.
Running out of storage space on your PS5 can be seriously annoying, especially if you have a large library of games. But in most cases, the issue can be resolved by:
Deleting old games you aren‘t playing
Moving PS4 games to an external USB drive
Clearing cached data and save files
Upgrading your storage with a compatible M.2 SSD
Checking for and addressing "Other" storage problems
So don‘t despair – with a few simple fixes, you should be able to get your PS5 storage back under control and keep enjoying all the amazing new games. Let me know if you have any other tips for maximizing storage on the PS5!