How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage

Games are getting more immersive with this console generation. Multiplayer modes have morphed into huge spectacles, with at least one game – Battlefield 1offering a war zone stuffed with 64 live players at a time. The latest titles look amazing and get updated regularly with new content. All of this is great for Xbox One owners but it has the side-effect of causing the size of games for the system to balloon. Microsoft decided to tackle the growing size of video games by offering up new console bundles with more storage and rolling out support for external drives. You don’t have to buy a new Xbox One. Instead, you can add a hard drive to Xbox One for more storage.

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Read: Xbox One Review 2016

Adding a hard drive to Xbox One is straight forward. You don’t need tools to open your console. In fact, you may not need to go out and purchase a hard drive at all. When the console detects a hard drive that meets the right requirements, it gives you the option to add that drive to your pool of storage. You can then use that drive to hold all of your games and entertainment apps.

Here’s how to add a hard drive to Xbox One for more storage

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How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage: Hard Drive Requirements

Before you can add a hard drive to Xbox One you’ll need to make sure that your current hard drive qualifies. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase another.

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Microsoft lets the Xbox One detect storage devices of any size, but it only lets hard drives with more than 256GB of storage store games and apps. The company hasn’t publicly commented on why that is, but it may have something to do with how the Xbox One itself handles formatting.

The drive that you’re adding for more storage needs to be USB 3.0 compatible. Microsoft hasn’t commented on this requirement either, but the reason for it seems pretty straight forward. USB 2.0 technology wouldn’t allow the Xbox One to communicate with the hard drive as quickly as it needs to guarantee the best gaming experience.

Read: 31 Xbox One Tips for a Better Experience

Finally, the hard drive needs to have a partition created on it already. Luckily, it’s pretty hard to find a hard drive that doesn’t already have this done; most manufacturers handle partitions at the factory.

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How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage: Hard Drive Recommendations

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As long as a hard drive you own meets these requirements, it can be used to add more storage to your console. If your hard drive doesn’t, you’ll have to go shopping for a new one.

Seagate has a set of Xbox themed hard drives that work perfectly with the console and meet all the requirements. They even come with a special green theme and an Xbox logo.

The Passport line of drives from Western Digital are just as good, but don’t come with custom branding.

These drives are small and unobtrusive. They’re easy to put in a bag and take with you. That being said, the Xbox One takes more than portable drives. Any desktop hard drive that meets the requirements above should work just fine too.

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Adding Your Hard Drive to Xbox  One for More Storage

Connect your hard drive to your Xbox One console. As the console checks out the hard drive, you won’t immediately see a notification confirming that your drive has been connected. Give it a minute or two to be sure that everything is working correctly.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage (1)

When you see the pop-up below, you know that the console detected that you want to add a hard drive to Xbox One successfully. Use your controller to select Format Storage Device. If you’re reusing a hard drive that you already had, be sure to transfer your pictures, music, videos and back ups to another drive. The Xbox One will reformat hard drives used for extra storage and your computer won’t be able to interact with it without deleting all of your games.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage (2)

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Read: How to Fix Your Hard Drive After Using it on Xbox One

Add a name to your drive.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage (3)

Now you need to decide whether you want to install things only on the new drive or keep installing games on the internal drive. Generally, it’s better to choose Install New Things Here since you can just grab that drive and head to a friend’s with all of your titles in one place.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage (4)

Use your controller to select Format Storage Device.

That’s it. You’ve successfully added a hard drive to Xbox One for more storage.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Xbox One for More Storage (7)

Head into the Settings app and look under System for storage management options going forward. This screen gives you a breakdown of how much storage you’re using overall. You can come here to switch which drive automatically handles your game downloads too.

Once you’ve set up your drive, be sure to start moving your favorite games over. Highlight a game in the My Games and Apps area. Press the menu button on your controller. Select Manage and you can move your favorite titles and related content over to the drive.