My PS4 No Longer Recognizes My External Hard Drive

When encounter the “my PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive” issue, please refer to this article, we will share several methods to deal with it.


By Tina / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Help! My PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive


" Hi I just bought I 1 TB Toshiba USB 3.0 external hard drive in hopes of being able to add more storage to my PS4 which is out of storage now. I plugged in the hard drive to the ps4 and it can’t be recognized by the PS4. Why my PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive and what can I do? Plz help. Thx!

- Question from

PS4 Cannot Recognize Hard Drive

Why your PS4 no longer recognizes the external hard drive?

When the PS4 storage is full, in order to improve its performance, many users choose to add an external hard drive to the PS4. But they often encounter the problem of PS4 not recognizing hard drive, which makes them unable to play the games stored on the external hard drive.

Some said that PS4 don't recognize the external hard drive in the beginning; while others claimed they used the external hard drive normally for a period of time before it suddenly became unrecognizable.

Why does my PS4 not recognize my external hard drive at first? Here are some causes you can speculate about this issue:

✦ The external hard drive is not compatible with PS4. Sometimes, some external hard drives are not compatible with PS4, you should visit the official website to check if it is compatible with PS4. If not, you can switch to another external hard drive that is compatible with PS4.
✦ There must be a wired connection between the external hard drive and the PS4. PS4 does not support connecting external hard drives without wire.
✦ Check if the USB port is damaged. If the USB port is damaged, it will also cause the PS4 to fail to recognize the target external hard drive.
✦ Check if there is only one external hard drive connected to PS4. PS4 can only recognize one external hard disk at a time. When you connect multiple external hard disks, the recognition will fail.
✦ The external hard drive is not initialized. If the external hard drive is new, it may not be recognized by the device when it is not initialized.
✦ There're some errors on the external hard drive. You can check the health status of the external hard drive first, and then carry out hard drive repair work in a targeted manner.
✦ The file system of the external hard drive does not match the PS4. The PS4 just recognize the hard drive of FAT32, if the file system of the external hard drive is not FAT32, it will not be able to find it on the PS4.

If the external hard drive can be normally used before, but it suddenly became unrecognizable recently. Here are some reasons:

☎ The PS4 database is corrupted. When the PS4 database is corrupted, not only will it slow down, but the external hard drive will not be recognized.
☎ There's something wrong on the PS4. When the PS4 has problems such as freezing, unstable connection, etc., it cannot successfully recognize the external hard drive.


So according to your situation, you need to choose the proper method to solve the PS4 no longer recognizes external hard drive issue.

How to solve PS4 not recognizing hard drive issue

What can I do when my PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive? Here are two cases of external hard drive not being recognized by PS4. Next, we will analyze these two situations one by one and provide corresponding solutions.

◉ Case 1. External hard drive not recognized by PS4 in the beginning

When your external hard drive is not recognized in PS4 from the beginning, you can read this part carefully.

▶ Solution 1. Initialize the external hard drive

If your external hard drive is not initialized, you can try to use AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard - an all-in-one freeware to initialize it. In the bright interface, you can easily do it with just a few clicks.

Besides, this multi-functional tool also provides other managing functions for external hard drive, including cloning external hard drive, wiping hard drive, (Health) SMART Check, etc.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Connect the external hard drive with your PC. Download and run this free tool, then right-click the external and click "Initialize Disk".

Disk Initialize

Step 2. In the popped window, select MBR or GPT, then click "OK".

Choose Disk Style

Step 3. When set all, click "Apply" to operate the disk initializing task.


Note: If you want to use AOMEI in the company and share it with others, you can try the Unlimited Version.

▶ Solution 2. Check bad sectors

You can also check the status of the external hard drive when PS4 cannot recognize the external hard drive. Because if there are bad sectors on the external hard drive, it will also cause the PS4 recognition fail.

Step 1. Right-click on the external hard drive, then click "Advanced" and "Check Partition" in turn.

Check Partition

Step 2. There are three methods to check your external hard drive, choose "Check partition for errors by using chkdsk.exe" and click "OK".

Check Partition for Errors

Step 3. Wait patiently, click "OK" when this task will be completed.

Click OK

▶ Solution 3. Format the external hard drive

Since PS4 is only compatible with FAT32 devices, it cannot recognize external hard drives whose file system is not FAT32. Therefore, you need to format the external hard drive to FAT32.

Step1. In the interface, right-click the target drive and click "Format Partition".

Format Partition

Step 2. Enter the partition label and click "FAT32", then click "OK".

FAT 32

Step 3. Click "Apply" to format the external hard drive.


◉ Case 2. External hard drive suddenly not recognized by PS4

How can I do when my PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive suddenly? You can try to connect the external hard drive to your PC first, and if it works normally on the PC, you can try the following solutions.

▶ Solution 1. Restart the PS4

If the external hard drive is checked to work normally, when it can not be recognized by the PS4, you can do the following first.

Step 1. Turn off the PS4 for about 1 minute.

Step 2. Restart the PS4 without connecting the external hard drive.

Step 3. Turn off the PS4 and connect the external hard drive once again. Then restart your PS 4.

▶ Solution 2. Rebuild Database

There's the "Rebuild Database" function in the PS4, it can scan the PS4 drive and creates a new database containing all current PS4 content. The detailed steps are as follows:

Step 1. Press the power button to turn off the PS4.

Step 2. Press continuously the power button until you hear the second beep.

Step 3. Connect the PS4 controller with a USB cable, then press the PS button to open the PS4 Safe Mode. It will clean up the PS4 and reorganize the files on it without losing the current data.

Step 4. Select "Rebuild Database" and press "X" to start the operation.

Rebuild Database

▶ Solution 3. Initialize the PS4

If the external hard drive is still not recognized by the PS4 after trying the above methods, you can choose to initialize the PS4.

Note: Initializing your PS4 hard drive will wipe delete all data on it, so you should backup the data in advance.

Step 1. Turn off the PS4 power button, get into the Safe Mode. The power indicator will blink a for times and then turns off.

Step 2. Hold the power button for a while until you hear two beep sounds.

Step 3. Connect the controller and press the "PS" button.

Step 4. Select "Initialize PS4".

Initialize Disk

Step 5. After initializing the PS4, you should update the PS4 to the latest system version. Don’t install any other game/app currently.

Step 6. Now, connect the external hard drive to PS4 to see whether it is working normally.


What can I do when my PS4 no longer recognizes my external hard drive? In this post, we analyzed the reason for this issue and provided different methods for two situations. When there’s something wrong on the external hard drive, you can try AOMEI to easily fix it.

By the way, This versatile tool can also help you upgrade Xbox hard drive to SSD without reinstalling.

Tina · Staff Editor
Tina is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She has a positive attitude and full of energy. On her work, she always keeps thinking to figure out the solutions for users' problems, and writes the answers so that can help someone. In her daily life, she likes to sing, watch TV and sleep. She always being grateful and happy to all the things happened and all the people encountered.