Can You Plug a Flash Drive Into a PS4?

How to use a flash drive on PS4

What to Know

  • Set up flash drive for extended storage: Settings > Devices > USB Devices > Mass Storage > Format as Extended Storage.
  • To store saves on flash drive: Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Copy to USB Storage Device. Select the save data to copy.
  • To copy saves from flash drive to PS4: Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Copy to System Storage and select the save data to copy.

USB flash drives are handy devices for portable storage, making it easy to move files from one place to another, and they are perfect for game consoles like the PS4. Here's how to use one with the PS4.

What Are the Uses of a Flash Drive on a PS4?

The PS4 system software doesn't make it simple to connect a flash drive. The only way to access the flash drive is through layers of menus. Fortunately, once you know how, it is simple enough to do. The PS 4 uses USB storage drives in two ways, one as extended storage for games and apps and one as portable storage for files like saves and screen captures.

How to Set up a Flash Drive as Extended Storage for the PS4

You can use a flash drive to extend system storage for games and applications. You need a flash drive which supports USB 3.0 and between 250GB and 8T.

PS4 requirements for extended storage for a USB drive
  1. Plug the flash drive into the USB port on the front of the PS4.

    A Playstation 4 with a controller on a wood-grain surface

    InspiredImages/Pixabay

  2. From your home screen, select Settings.

    The Home Screen of a Playstation 4
  3. Select Devices.

    Inside PS4 settings menu selecting Devices


  4. Select USB Storage Devices.

    Playstation 4 Menu Settings>Devices> USB Storage Devices


  5. Select Mass Storage.

    PS4 Mass Storage Menu Screen
  6. Select Format For Extended Storage.

    Format for Extended Storage PS4 Screen

Once you have finished all these steps, your flash drive should automatically connect as an option for installing games and apps.

How to Copy Save Data to or From a Flash Drive on Your PS4

You can back up your game saves on a flash drive. While it's easy to do, you have to know which menus to use. Here's how to do it.

  1. After you plug the flash drive in to the USB port on the front of your PS4, begin at the Home Screen and select Settings.

    PS4 Home Screen with Settings selected
  2. Select Application Saved Data Management.

    The Saved Data Management menu
  3. To copy save data from the flash drive to the PS4, select Saved Data on USB Storage Device

    The menu screen on a PS4 selecting Saved. Data on USB Storage Device

    Select Copy to System Storage.

    Copy to system storage PS4

    Select the game from which the file comes.

    A game is selected to copy the save file to system storage from USB Flash drive

    Select the right save file and choose Copy

    Select copy to save the save file on PS4
  4. To copy save data to a flash drive from a PS4, select Saved Data in System Storage

    Saved data management screen, selecting saved data in System storage

    Select Copy to USB Storage Device.

    Selecting copy to USB storage device in PS4 menu

    Select the game data you want to copy.

    The screen where you choose which game data to copy to a flash drive

    Select the game file you want to save and select Copy.

    The PS4 game data is selected and ready to copy

How to Save Screen Captures From Your PS4 to a Flash Drive

The PS4 can save both screen shots and video, but they can be difficult to retrieve from the hard drive. You can plug a flash drive into the PS4 to save those files so you can use them elsewhere.

  1. From the Home Screen, select Settings.

    The Home Screen on a PS4 with settings selected
  2. Select Storage

    In the PS4 settings menu, select Storage
  3. Select the storage device, in this case System Storage.

    The menu to select the PS4 storage device

    If you are using a flash drive or other hard drive as extended storage, the device will also appear here. You will still need to select System Storage to get to your screen captures.

  4. Select Screen Captures

    The menu to select screen captures on the PS4
  5. Select the game you used to take a screen capture. Then press the Options button on your PS4 controller. It will take you to a new screen with a list of screen captures.

    The menu to select the game from which the screenshot came on PS4

    You don't have to know which game you used for the screenshot or video capture. The All folder contains all your screenshots. If you took a screenshot or video capture from the PS4 menus, it will be in the Other folder on the bottom of the list.

  6. Find the screen capture you want to save. Press Options on your PS4 controller to bring up a menu on the right. Select Copy to USB Storage.

    Select Copy to USB Storage in PS4 menu
  7. Select the screen captures you want to copy, and select Copy.

    Select menu for screen captures to copy to USB flash drive PS4

Why Won't My USB Storage Device Connect to My PS4?

There are a few reasons why your flash drive won't connect to your PS4. Here are a few things to check.

A message to update PS4 system software to use saved data
  • Check your system software, because the PS4 requires the latest update to use copied data.
  • Check to see whether your flash drive fits in the narrow gap around the USB port. Some USB flash drives are too wide to physically connect.
  • Go through the menus in the steps above to see whether it connected without letting you know.
  • Check whether the flash drive is working on another device like a computer.
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