Gaming Consoles & PCs How to Upgrade the PS3 Hard Drive to Create More Space for Games Download more digital content by adding storage to your PlayStation 3 by Jason Rybka Writer Jason Rybka is a former Lifewire PC and Console gaming writer with expertise in gaming exploits. Jason was also the developer/owner of Xbox Solution and other web properties. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Jason Rybka Updated on March 02, 2020 Consoles & PCs Xbox Buyer's Guide Tweet Share Email The Sony PlayStation 3 has a finite amount of storage space, which means there's a limit to how much digital content you can download. It's possible to upgrade the PS3 hard drive so that it can hold more games, movies, and other media. Instructions in this article refer to the original model of the Sony PS3, but the process is similar for all PS3 models. What Do You Need to Upgrade a PS3 Hard Drive? You will need the following tools to upgrade your PS3 hard drive: A 5400 RPM SATA laptop hard driveA Phillips screwdriver No. 0 x 2-1/2"An external USB hard drive to save content from the old PS3 hard drive Your PS3 replacement hard drive should be a similar SATA laptop hard disk drive (HDD) such as a 160 GB Maxtor. The original PS3 drive is a 20-60 GB SATA laptop hard drive rated at 5400 RPM, so a similar speed is recommended. How to Upgrade the PS3 Hard Drive Upgrading the console hardware will void your warranty, so do so at your own risk. Connect a USB hard drive to the PS3. The PS3 system software should automatically recognize the external hard drive. Locate the media on the PS3 you want to back up and copy it to the USB drive. The console settings, your online IDs, and other important data are retained in the PS3 flash memory, so there is no need to copy this content. Move any game content including your PlayStation game save data as well as other media such as pictures, video, movies, and trailers. Power down the PS3 console, then disconnect all cables from the PS3 including HDMI cables, controller cables, and the power cable. Failure to unplug the PS3 before opening it up can result in electrical shock and damage to the console. Remove the PS3 HDD cover. Move the PS3 console onto its side. The side with the HDD sticker should be facing up. Remove the plastic HDD cover plate next to the sticker using a flat tip screwdriver or your fingernail to pry it up and off. If you're trying to upgrade a PS3 Slim hard drive, then the cover plate is located on the bottom of the console. The hard drive carriage is secured by one screw. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove this screw, which will allow the old hard drive to slide out from the unit. Gently tug on the hard drive tray and pull straight up to remove it from the PS3 shell. Remove the four screws in the tray that secures the hard drive using a Phillips screwdriver and replace the old hard drive with the new one. Secure the new hard drive in the exact position the old hard drive was on the tray. Only use a SATA laptop hard drive to upgrade your PlayStation 3. Slide the tray to its original location. Gently move the hard drive into the slot, and when you reach the end, use a firm press to ensure the connections are secured. Replace the single screw and place the HDD cover plate back on the side of the PS3. Never force or use a large amount of pressure when opening cases or installing new hardware. The new hard drive should easily slide into place. Reconnect all cables and turn on the console. The PS3 will recognize that the hard drive you just installed will need to be formatted. Select Yes to proceed. Hook up the USB drive and move the content you copied earlier from your old hard drive. Once finished, you'll have room for plenty of new digital media. Keep the original PS3 hard drive in a safe place in case anything goes wrong with the new one.