What USB Does PS4 Use – the Type and the Format

What kind of USB does PS4 use and what format USB does PS4 use? Luckily, in this article, you’ll not only get the answer to the 2 questions but also learn the way to fix it when the USB can’t be read by a PS4.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Help! The PS4 cannot read my USB flash drive. After I plug it in, it shows the storage device is not connected. What’s wrong? What USB does PS4 use?

What kind of USB does PS4 use?

PS4, short for PlayStation 4, is Sony’s fourth-generation game console launched on November 15, 2013. Since then, PS4 has attracted millions of users worldwide and Sony has also brought many exclusive masterpieces including Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us.


As a PS4 owner, a USB drive is also a very inevitable gadget in daily use. Similar to other PS4 storage devices, you might use the USB drive for the following 4 reasons.

1. For PS4 backup

2. For file transfer.

3. For PS4 system upgrade.

4. For storage extension when PS4 storage is full.

Perhaps you are using a USB stick on a PS4 for one of the above purposes. For 1, 2, and 3, all types of USBs fit the bill. However, if you wish to take a USB as external storage, the USB flash drive have to meet the following requirements:

1. It supports USB 3.0 or higher connection.

2. Its usable storage space shouldn’t be less than 250GB.

What format USB does PS4 use?

Generally, most USB flash drives on market come in NTFS which is the newest file system. NTFS supports an individual file as large as 16EIB and file compression. In spite of these virtues, only USBs in FAT32 are compatible with PS4. Namely, if you connect a USB stick in NTFS to a PS4, then, it can’t be recognized. In this case, you must change the USB from NTFS to FAT32. There’re 2 ways to get it done and I’ll walk you through every step.

Method 1. Format a USB drive from NTFS into FAT32 (data loss)

To change a USB from NTFS to FAT32, Windows offers its inbuilt tool Disk Management to help format it. However, in the course of the format, all data on the USB will be lost and so, please take a backup of it ahead of time.

1. Right-click on “This PC” on the desktop and select “Manage”.

2. Click on “Disk Management” under “Storage”.

3. Right-click on the partition of the USB stick and select “Format”.

ntfs to fat32

4. Preset a volume label and the file system as FAT32 and click on “OK”.


That how long it takes depends on the size of the USB. Usually, it’s not too long.

Method 2. Convert a USB drive from NTFS to FAT32 (data safe)

As you can read from above contents, all data on the USB drive will be lost by formatting. This is absolutely intolerable for it causes so much inconvenience. To make everything easier, this time, I recommend another better alternative – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard – that helps convert NTFS to FAT32 without formatting and data loss. More than NTFS FAT32 conversion, this freeware also allows for MBR GPT conversion without data loss.

Free download the ultimate disk manager to convert a USB from NTFS to FAT32 with ease.

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and then, the info of all disks and their partitions will be displayed on the main interface.

Step 2. Click “Convert” from the top pane, and choose the “Convert to NTFS/FAT32” option.

ntfs to fat32 converter

Step 3. Select the option “NTFS to FAT32” and click on “Next”.

ntfs to fat32

Step 4. Select the partition of the USB drive and hit “Next” > “Proceed” > “Yes”.


Step 5. After the conversion process is finished, click on “Finish” to quit.


How to fix it when a USB stick can’t be read by a PS4?

Sometimes, after plugging a USB stick into your PS4, you may be prompted with the warning “The USB storage device is not connected”. Here, I listed several fixes and hopefully, they can help you out.

1. Completely turn off the PS4. The first step to take when dealing with the error “The USB storage device is not connected” is to completely shut down your PS4. All you need to do is to unplug the console from power source and wait 3~5 mins before turning it on again. The operation helps the console overcome any error causes by abrupt electrical short. 

Also, try disconnecting the USB stick from the console during this operation. Before turning the PS4 on, connect the USB stick again. Then, turn on the console and check whether the storage device can be recognized.

2. Switch to another USB port. If your PS4 fails you in recognizing the USB storage device, then, you might as well try another USB port since there’re 2 ports on the console. Also, if it doesn’t work, try connecting another USB to the PS4 to see whether it resolves the problem.

3. Rebuild PS4 database. If the 2 ways above don’t work yet, it’s time to rebuild PS4 database. It won’t fix every error, but it does fix many. Factually, you’re supposed to rebuild the database once every 6 months to ensure the best performance of the console.

1. Power off your console and don’t enter the rest mode.

2. Hold the power button down until hearing 2 quick beeps which means the safe mode has been enabled.

3. Connect your controller to the A-slot in front of the console.

4. Select option 5 “Rebuild Database”.

5. Hit the “X” button to start the rebuilding process.

4. Change the USB from NTFS to FAT32. What USB does PS4 use? In the former part of the article, we’ve learnt that only USB in FAT32 can be recognized by the console. So, if you run into the error that PS4 can’t read the USB, you might as well check whether the stick is in FAT32. If not, run the conversion. How to do it? Find the answer in Method 1 and Method 2 above.

5. Initialize the PS4. If none of the methods mentioned helps you out, last but not least, you should try initializing your PS4. You should try soft initialization first and if it doesn’t work, you’ll go for full initialization.

Select “Settings” > “Initialization” > “Initialize PS4”. Then, follow the onscreen guide to finish rest steps.

initialize ps4


In this post, you’ve learnt both what type of USB PS4 uses and which format the PS4 USB should be in. Meanwhile, the 2 tools – Disk Management and the best disk management freeware AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard – are introduced to help convert NTFS to FAT32.

More than file system conversion, the software helps format partitions and create partitions as well. However, if you want to try more features like dynamic basic disk conversion, please upgrade it to the professional edition.

In the second half of the article, 5 solutions to the error that PS4 can’t read the USB are listed and hopefully, they can fix the problems you’re encountering.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.