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Upgrading your Xbox One storage by 2TB: Allows for an extra 100 games or more

Written by  Nov 24, 2017

The new generation of gaming has been highly successful, with more consoles sold than ever before and more top quality games made available than you could imagine.

However, with so many games needing so much space the standard hard drives are simply too small.

In todays gaming world where digital downloads are replacing disc media and even physical games require installation to the hard drive by default, 500GB hard drives found in the standard Xbox One and PS4 consoles - are just not enough.

xbox one x1

You could opt for a 1TB model of the Xbox One S or the Xbox One X, that comes with 1TB as default, but considering games now go up to around 110GB including One X enhancements  on the likes of Halo 5: Guardians, you will fill up even that internal drive quite quickly. Plus, with games of that size downloading is a a very long drawn out process, even with a 100Mbps connection or more.

A good solution to this issue is to add to or replace the hard drive on any of the Xbox consoles which is easy, it doesn't even require a screwdriver.

The Xbox One recognises external hard drives, as long as they have a USB 3.0 connection. Once installed they can be used in exactly the same way as the existing internal hard  drive.

Expanding an Xbox One hard drive by a further 2TB lends enough space to store an estimated 100 games or 20 top end enhanced titles on Xbox One X. Being stored on an external hard drive such as the 2TB Seagate Game drive means games run smoothly and faster the internal drive on the Xbox One and Xbox One S. 

seagate 2tb

The external drive

Our recommended choice as an external drive is a 2TB Seagate Game Drive at Amazon for £79.99 designed especially for Xbox and is good value for money too. It's USB 3.0, doesn't require an external power source, and its Xbox-adorned facia makes it a good fit. If you are an avid Xbox games player you can even opt for a 4TB version at Amazon for £119.99 to fit even more games.

You can also add multiple drives - after all there are three USB 3.0 ports on the Xbox One but be aware that the Xbox One can only accept up to three external drives in total.

Also see: Xbox One X Tips: Make the most of your new console

The external hard drive set-up

Once you have your drive ready, set-up is simple. Plug it into one of the three USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear, one on the front or side depending on the model) when the Xbox One is on. A message will pop up on screen to show it recognises that the drive has been connected.

You can either go to the settings through interaction with the pop-up or head there manually and enter the "System" settings.

In there you will see the "storage" icon. Select it and the next page will show your existing external hard drive alongside the new one.

The new hard drive will most likely need to be formatted before it can be used for anything other than storing video, picture and music files. The Xbox One needs to do that itself. So choose the new drive and scroll down to the option "Format". Select "Format storage device" and a new screen will pop up with a keyboard to select the drive's name.

We kept the default name "External Drive" and chose to install new games and apps to the new drive when asked.

Formatting the drive takes no more than five or six seconds and that's it.

On your My Games & Apps screen you will now see that the entire storage available, both internally and externally, is accumulated into one statistic.

We also recommend that you completely shut down your Xbox One and reboot, the hard drives will be initiated and available to use.


Moving games and performance

In our tests we found no discernible difference in loading speeds generally, at least on the original Xbox One and Xbox One S.

The internal drive in the Xbox One X is of course newer and much faster than previous standard hard drives, so you might get a slight lag in speeds, but the extra storage more than makes up for that.

One benefit of moving games from the internal to the external drive is that you will be able to play your downloaded titles on a friend's Xbox One by just connecting the hard drive to their console and signing into your profile. You don't then need to redownload any games you wish to play. That's another good reason for opting for a more portable USB 3.0 drive like the Seagate Game Drive.

Also see: Xbox One S Review (UK): 4K Blu-ray at it's best

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