7 Ways to Save Space on Your PS5 SSD

Image: MKfilm / Kotaku (Shutterstock)

While the PS5’s standard 825GB storage (for both the digital and disc versions of the console) might have sounded like an oasis of infinite storage in days gone by, the colossal size of many games means any active PS5 user can run into trouble free places at some point. And today’s digital storefronts, with services like PS+ that let you just download tons of games at any time, don’t make things any easier. Also, out of that 825GB, you really only have about 600 or so to allocate for games, apps, and snaps.

You’re also unlikely to save a lot of space if you use disks, since most of them require serious installation anyway. Many discs these days are just a big plastic license key; it’s okay if you want to think a little about this sad reality (they will be good coasters in the apocalypse).

Despite storage issues on modern consoles, there are a number of guidelines you can follow to make sure you save space as it makes sense for your purposes. And all this without buying an external drive or upgrading what’s inside your PS5.

Read more: 6 Ways to Improve Your PS5 Controller’s Battery Life

Unlike our more comprehensive guide to saving juice in your PS5’s battery drain controller, the amount of storage space you have to work with on PS5 can vary greatly depending on your priorities. Want to have an archive of great games on your console? Are you streaming or recording footage? All this is changing the world. So take a moment to think about your interests and needs as there are a few tips in this guide that are not a one size fits all solution. Let’s start with the basics.

How to use storage settings to get a bird’s eye view of your PS5’s storage

If you didn’t know, you can easily figure out what is taking up space in your storage. This is handy for diagnosing “why don’t I have enough space for this game?” a problem that may occur from time to time.

From the home screen, go to Settings > Storage.

Here you will find three options: Console storage (which is on the disc itself in your PS5), Extended USB storage (which is on any storage device you have externally connected to the PS5), and the setting for Installation locationallowing you to separately manage default storage locations for PS5 and PS4 games and apps.

In the console’s storage, you can see what’s taking up space between games and apps (self-explanatory), media gallery (videos and screenshots that you take yourself or that the console takes automatically), saved data (your progress in various games), and amazing useful and not at all vague “Other”. Don’t worry about the Other; you can’t access it or do anything about it.

Wow, you clicked on Other, didn’t you? I told you to leave it alone. (It just contains the files needed to run the PS5 OS.)

In the Games & Apps section, you’ll find one of the first handy tools for diagnosing storage problems and saving space.

Manage installed games and downloaded DLCs (add-ons)

The Games & Apps menu in your PS5 storage settings will list all actively installed games on your system, along with how much space each one takes up. Here you can select and remove multiple games from the storage. It’s as easy as choosing one and hitting the “Delete” button on that menu.

While many PS5 games are already quite large in size, DLC doesn’t help. But what if you don’t need to install a specific DLC?

When you select games in the Games & Apps view in Storage Settings, you may see a pencil and line icon to the right of the game entry. By clicking on it, you will see what “add-ons” you have installed.

For example, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade may show a hefty 90.38 GB install size, but the add-ons menu shows that its DLC, FF7R Intermission Episode occupies almost nine of them. You can easily remove it from this menu if you don’t plan on playing this DLC anytime soon.

If you want to save some memory for a new game, but don’t want to completely clear another game you’ve already installed, sometimes a quick fix is ​​to pull the DLC.

How to prioritize storage for games, games only, and games only

If you bought a PlayStation 5 with only one goal in mind – to play as many games as possible, games that you want to keep installed and available, then this is for you.

Obviously you don’t care about screenshots, videos or live streaming. In fact, you probably consider the “Create” button on your gamepad to be a waste of space. You might even enjoy clinging to random demos you can snag in the store. If that’s you, let’s set up your PS5 so it doesn’t take up too much space.

Set screenshots and videos to the smallest possible size

The first step to saving as much space as possible for gaming is to make sure that any screenshots or videos you might catch will take up as little space as possible. Note. This results in lower quality screenshots and videos.. But if you are only interested in games, this is most likely not a problem.

To optimize the size of your screenshots, go to Settings > Captures & Broadcasts > Captures > Screenshot Format > File Type and select JPG. PNGs are of higher quality, but this comes with storage costs. Unless you have a special reason to take higher quality screenshots, there is no reason to let these PNGs take up so much space.

To optimize video dimensions, go to Settings > Captures & Broadcasts > Captures > Video Clip Format and select the following options:

File type: Most Efficient (WebM)
Manual Recording Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Unmute your microphone: turned off
Enable party audio: Off

Note. These settings are best for players who don’t care about grabbing.

Stop PS5 from auto-capturing

The PS5’s nasty habit of automatically taking screenshots and videos whenever you get a trophy can slowly increase your storage load. If you’re a recent PS5 owner, these files might not seem like a big deal, but give them time and with enough games, you’ll end up with a mountain of tiny files that require space that’s best reserved for a full game install or DLC expansion. If you do not need to save the moment of reaching a certain trophy, these settings are for you:

To prevent auto-capture of trophies, go to Settings > Captures & Broadcasts > Auto-Capture > Trophies.

In the Screenshots section, set it to None. Then, in the Video Clips section, set it to None.

The PS5 also has another auto-capture setting, one for Challenges. As with trophies, you may not need this feature. In Settings > Captures & Broadcasts > Auto Capture > Calls, you’ll find a toggle to disable this feature.

How much space can you really save this way? Here are two examples: My complete walkthrough The Last of Us Part 2 adds up to half a gigabyte of memory just for screenshots of trophies and automatic captures. Full walkthrough forgotten, which is a much shorter and more modern game, tops it with 640.9MB of screenshots and trophy shots alone. That’s over a gigabyte in total on a machine that I’ve only used for about a month. Imagine what it will look like in a year. Three years? Five?

If you play a lot of games, the automatic captures can easily reach the size of an indie game or even an older PS4 game. You can save a lot of space (and the unnecessary work of cleaning up old snapshots you don’t need) by turning these features off.

Image optimization if you want to capture the best moments and create content

Maybe you love taking screenshots and videos, or even creating something on them after you’ve taken them, but you still want to be conservative with your storage. Here are some settings to consider:

Unless you have an absolutely specific and necessary reason for saving PNG files for your screenshots, JPGs are fine. As in the previous steps, go to Settings > Captures & Broadcasts > Captures > Screenshot Format and select JPG under File Type.

However, for videos, you might want to consider switching to MP4 instead of WebM. WebM is not as compatible with video editing software and will require a lengthy transcoding process if you want to mess around with it. However, you’re still better off setting your video capture resolution to 1920×1080 instead of the full (and higher) resolution of 3840×2160 (4K).

As with PNG files, unless you have an absolutely specific need for 4K videos, there really is no reason to let them take up so much space. Even if your videos are meant to be uploaded to YouTube or some other service, online compression will still start cropping that beautiful 4K image. As fun as it is to save everything in 4K, it’s really not worth all the extra space these files take up.

You may or may not want to disable auto-capture if you are taking screenshots and recording. Follow the steps in the section above to customize this to suit your needs.

Manage auto-updates and save data

Go to Settings > Saved Data and Game/App’ll find several options for controlling where save data goes and whether games automatically update.

Saved data doesn’t take up much space, but like automatic screenshots, it can add up. You can export it to a USB stick or upload it to the cloud if you’re a PS+ subscriber. I recommend leaving save data alone for the most part, as it’s essential to your progress in the game.

However, you may want to consider turning off automatic updates. In the “Saved Data” and “Game/Application” settings, the fourth option will allow you to specify whether your PS5 will automatically receive updates for games as they become available, and whether it will do so in rest mode.

Unlike saved data, updates are not always small. If you want the base games to stay installed but still have control over downloading updates, turn off Automatic Downloads.

PS5 menu screenshot showing Yakuza 5 streaming capability.

Screenshot: Sony/Sega/Kotaku

PS+ Premium Members: Stream Games to Test Before Downloading

If you are a PlayStation Plus Premium subscriber, you will have access to PlayStation streaming services for various games. This is a great thing to use as it will let you know if you want to set aside time and space to download the game before committing to it.

Note. Streaming games have higher latency and lower resolution.. Use streaming to see if you like the overall feel, look, and tone of the game. Streaming games are very playable, but you will probably notice a lot of lag and the image will certainly look more washed out. However, it allows you to try the game without taking up a single byte of internal or external memory.

With game sizes constantly increasing, almost every modern console owner will have to deal with storage space sooner or later. These steps are pretty modest at first, but they will save you a lot of space on your PS5 over time.

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