How To Connect An External Hard Drive To A PS3

There are plenty of reasons to know how to connect an external hard drive to a PS3. You may want to bring up old saved game data, or you might want to access movies, music or photos on your TV. When you use an external hard drive, you aren't restricted by the capacity of your PS3's internal hard drive.

To connect an external hard drive to a PS3, you need:

  • a PlayStation 3
  • a TV
  • a computer
  • any kind of external hard drive
  1. Make sure that your external hard drive is formatted to FAT32. This is the only disk format that the PS3 recognizes. You can reformat the external hard drive on a PC using Disk Management and on a Mac using Disk Utility.
  2. Plug the external hard drive into the PS3. The PS3's USB ports are located on the front of the unit to the left.
  3. Access files saved onto your external hard drive through your PS3, or save PS3 files onto your hard drive. You can open up video, music or photo files saved on your external hard drive by going to the corresponding section on your PS3 (i.e. "Photo," "Music," or "Video"), scrolling down until you find your external hard drive, and click the "X" button. You can also use the external hard drive to backup PS3 data by going to "Settings," then "System Settings," then "Backup Utility," and finally "Backup." Once you are prompted, select your external hard drive as the storage device you want to save to.


Since the PS3 only recognizes external hard drives formatted in FAT32, you can only transfer files that are four GB or less onto the hard drive. This could be an issue if you want to watch large, high-definition movie files on your TV through your PlayStation. Instead, consider streaming your videos wirelessly to your PS3 through your modem.

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