Option : External Sata/usb Solid State Drives
Note: Cant be used to play Xbox Series X or S or optimized games that rely on Velocity Architecture.
If you cant spring for an official expansion card right now, but you still want something snappy, consider an external solid-state drive. These are just like a standard external hard drive, except they also use SSDs for superior read-and-write speeds. Theyre also far less likely to fail because they dont use moving parts.
Depending on the speed of the drive, 1TB of external SSD storage will cost you around $150, with options like the WD 1TB My Passport using NVMe to reach write speeds of around 1GB per second. You can save some money if you opt for something like the Samsung T5, which caps out at 540MB per second.
Unfortunately, you cant use an external SSD over USB to play Xbox Series X and S optimized titles that rely on the Velocity Architecture. Unfortunately, external drives just arent as fast as Microsofts internal NVMe. Theres also a bottleneck on the USB 3.1 gen 1 ports used to connect external drives.
But theres good news, too! You can use an external drive as cold storage for optimized games. This allows you to copy your Xbox Series X or S optimized games to your external drive, and then transfer them back whenever youre ready to play. This way, you wont have to re-download the same game, which is very handy if you have a slow internet connection or data cap.
Format The Hard Drive For Game Installations
Head to Settings, then System and then choose the Manage Storage option. Youll then see your internal hard drive on the left-hand side, and the new external one on the right.
At the moment, you can only store pictures, music and video files on the external hard drive, so youll need to format it in order to be able to store games on it.
Select it and youll be presented with a dropdown menu. Choose the Format for Games & Apps option and then select Format Storage Device.
Youll be asked to give it a name, and then decide whether you want it to be the default installation drive or stick with the internal hard drive for now. You can always change it at a later date.
If you stick with the internal hard drive, as soon as it fills up content will automatically start spilling over into your external hard drive.
But if you start storing your games on your external hard drive, you can then take that drive to a friends house and start playing your own games over there if you sign into Xbox Live first anyway.
Once youve made your choice, select the Format Storage Device option again.
The little Xbox One loading circle will show for a moment and then youll have yourself a new location for all your games.SEE ALSO: Upcoming Xbox One Games 2015
Usb External Hard Drives For Xbox Series X
Unlike the Xbox Expansion Card, opting for an external USB drive opens your options to a competitive market of third-party devices. While inferior to Microsoft’s slick SSDs on the spec sheet, they’re much more affordable, but still lighten the load on your internal storage.
Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles all run on an external USB hard drive with Xbox Series X and Series S. And provided previous-generation software doesn’t receive Xbox Series-geared upgrades, it also runs on USB storage.
But to stress, Xbox Series X and Series S titles won’t run on external hard drives due to slow transfer speeds, failing to meet next-generation demands. An internal SSD or an external expansion card is required for upcoming releases or older games updated for the latest generation.
But with the high price of the SSD expansion card, it’s worth stressing that all Xbox Series X and Series S titles can be offloaded to an external USB hard drive. While some titles may not be playable from the slower storage, it’s still possible to shift data between an SSD where your games can be playable and a USB for storage. Your USB hard drive’s transfer speeds will determine how fast they move back and forth, but it’s a useful way to cycle games from the internal SSD with a huge investment.
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Best Xbox One External Hard Drives 2022
Our top pick for best Xbox One external hard drive belongs to the Western Digital 4TB My Passport series. We used to recommend a 2TB drive , but with Xbox One X ownership rising and the increased size of 4K games, this is the best way to future proof yourself. In terms of features, this USB 3.0 compatible hard drive offers 256-AES encryption and cloud storage, along with WD’s own backup software. In reality, all you really need to know is that this hits the sweet spot of size, speed and affordability. This 4TB external hard drive will store up to 40 Xbox One X games , and up to 100 or so regular Xbox One games. Basically, it’s a monster, and with a three-year limited warranty, there’s every reason to buy with utmost confidence. It’s available in a 2TB option, too, but 4TB feels like maximum value. What’s more, the new design is excellent, stylish and keeps all that is good in a sleek new aesthetic.
The WD Black P10 hard drive is a superb portable option for expandable storage. And while not listed as an armored or ‘rugged’ hard drive, we found it to have a really sturdy build-quality with the metal topside giving it a bit of a shipping container aesthetic. We also noticed the hard drive runs cool , even with back to back-to-back 16-hour days for a couple of weeks.
Why would you have it running that long? Well, we decided to test the 5TB version and download every single Xbox Game Pass game . And we managed it too, that’s over 280 games, with a bit of space leftover.
How To Use Expanded Storage On Xbox Series X
Whichever you pick the Seagate Storage Expansion Card, an external SSD, or an external hard drive utilizing them works the same. After your external memory is plugged in , head to Settings from the systems dashboard, followed by System> Storage. Here, youll see your internal memory, as well as whichever external device youre using. If youd like to copy files from the internal drive to the external drive, press A on Internal, and then Move or Copy.
Youll then be brought to a page with all your games and apps, so select whichever ones youd like , and then choose Move Selected on the right side of the screen. Youll get a confirmation notice letting you know where youre transferring the file to and from, so press Move once more, and youll be ready to go. Use this same method to transfer files back to the systems internal storage if need be.
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Manage Your Internal And External Storage
After you connect and configure external storage, heres how to manage your internal and external drives:
You can hover over any drive and press the Menu button on your controller for a list of options. Herere things you can do:
It takes you to games and apps, and you can see how much space any game or app is using. If you want to uninstall something:
Install Here by Default
It will choose the drive as the default install location of any game or app you download.
Move or Copy
The option allows you to transfer files from one drive to another. That includes games, apps, screenshots, videos, and more.
Heres how to do it:
As I explained above, it will allow you to uninstall games and apps. You simply check the boxes and then uninstall games and apps.
What Are Series X
Both the Series X and S are backward compatibility powerhouses. This means they maintain compatibility with all Xbox One titles, over 500 Xbox 360 titles, and a handful of original Xbox games . But not all games can be run from all types of storage.
For example, games that were designed specifically for the new Xbox Series X and S consoles can only be run from the internal NVMe drive or via a Seagate expansion card.
Similarly, games that have been optimized for Series X and S, like Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5, feature enhancements dependent on the internal SSD. This means they can also only be run from the internal NVMe drive or Seagate expansion. Optimized games are labeled as such in the Microsoft Store.
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Seagate Expansion Card Vs Usb: Which Is For You
When your Xbox Series X or Series S runs low on storage, your decision to expand primarily hinges on whether to invest in the official Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox. With fast storage fundamental to titles designed for the next generation, this external SSD offers a seamless solution at a high price. The cost may deter some but reflects the reality of the hardware, pushing the best from either console.
While Microsoft first launched its Storage Expansion Card with just one 1TB model from Seagate, we’re now seeing additional capacities hitting the market, spanning a variety of price points. Pricing now starts at $140 for the entry-level 512GB model, while those with larger game collections can invest considerably more with 1TB and 2TB variants.
USB external drives may yield more gigabytes for your dollar, but the functionality posed by official Xbox Expansion Cards helps justify the cost. It might be a significant investment, but with years of Xbox Series X and Series S games ahead, it’s a solid companion for the latest console generation. It delivers the most seamless extension of the console’s internal SSD, avoiding the pain of shuttling games between drives on the regular.
Clean Up Hidden Leftover Game Add
Freeing up existing Xbox storage doesn’t mean uninstalling your favorite games, and there’s one lesser-known feature that feels like a “trick.” The Xbox Series X and Series S both stow a menu dedicated to clearing up leftover add-ons, and that could highlight several unwanted gigabytes blocking up your system.
Leftover add-ons on Xbox Series X and Series S can accumulate over time as you delete titles on your hard drive. While uninstalling games usually removes the associated content, various expansions, map packs, and other downloadable content may linger over time. It means that while an Xbox game may disappear from your games library, some leftovers could eat up space in the background.
The remedy? Microsoft cooked up a dedicated “leftover add-ons” tool, accessible through the Xbox system settings. It provides the ability to quickly see which stray add-ons remain installed and remove them in a button press. Here’s how to access the leftover add-ons and uninstall them from your hard drive.
While your mileage may vary, we’ve previously managed to save upwards of 30GB using the feature. That number will change both on the titles you’ve uninstalled and the type of DLC that remains. It’s also worth ensuring any external drives are also connected to clear all space occupied by leftover add-ons.
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Now You Can Expand Your Xbox Series X/s Memory
Armed with the information above, you should be able to decide which Xbox Series X/S storage device suits your needs best. Then, you can add it, whether it is the official Seagate Expansion Card SSD, or a regular external HDD.
Now that you’ve installed your new storage device, it makes sense to learn a little more about your console before you dive straight in, including finding out how to fix any problems you may run into along the way.
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Expand Your Xbox One With More Storage Space
To get more storage space, consider getting an external hard drive for your Xbox One. Plug an external hard drive into your Xbox One via a USB cable and, assuming the drive is fast enough, the Xbox One will be able to install games to that drive.
Theres no way to actually upgrade the internal, built-in drive, but a USB hard drive is easier to hook up anyways. Plug in a 2TB hard drive and youd raise the capacity of your Xbox One from 500GB all the way to 2.5TB. A faster drive could even make your games load faster.
To see whats using space on each hard drive, head to All Settings > System > Storage on your Xbox One . If you have multiple drives connected, you can see how much space is used on each drive separately from this screen.
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How To Move Xbox One Games To An External Hard Drive
With your external drive installed and formatted, existing game installations can be moved. This allows games to take advantage of performance benefits without redownloading over Xbox Live. We recommend transferring all but the lowest-priority games.
Xbox One Hard Drive And Ssd Requirements
Xbox consoles support most modern hard drives on the market, including the most popular models from top brands like Seagate, Western Digital, and more. The baseline requirements include USB 3.0 support, now standard among even budget USB external hard drives. USB 3.0 support ensures data will transfer between your console and drive at a relatively fast rate. Compatible external drives work with all Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games, unlike the limitations imposed on some games designed for the new Xbox Series X|S consoles.
When choosing a drive, your first consideration should be storage space. Drives must also be at least 256GB to work with Xbox consoles, eliminating some entry-level capacities. The consoles also have a 16TB limit on external storage, far beyond the reasonable storage capacity of most drives on the market. For most, 1TB externals provide a welcome boost, ideal for those on a budget. Making an upgrade to 2TB offers more flexibility, while 4TB and 8TB prove overkill for many.
Hard drive speed should also be considered, roughly estimated by the drive’s revolutions per minute . Theoretically, the faster the drive, the quicker games will install, load, and save. For example, 7,200 RPM drives are faster than entry-level 5,400 RPM drives, while 10,000 RPM drives provide a further boost. For those demanding the best storage speeds, solid-state drives lead the pack, delivering unrivaled performance on Xbox One, albeit at a higher price.
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How To Check Xbox Ones Hard Drive Space
Follow the steps below for a quick check of the space.
Step 1. Press the Xbox button on the console.
Step 2. In the dashboard, select the options one by one: Profile & system > All Settings > System > Storage.
Step 3. Check the Xbox One screen that displays the percentage of space used, the available free space, etc.
How To Save Storage On Xbox Series X Series S
While the Xbox Series X and Series S include features to save storage, their internal SSD capacities will be restrictive over time. Xbox Series X includes a 1TB SSD, shrunk to 512GB on Xbox Series S but after the system files, actual storage space is only 802GB and 364GB, respectively. Storage isn’t simple this console generation, and you’ll need to frequently manage your game library or invest in an external drive.
Expanding the available storage makes for the easiest solution, working around the notoriously small drives included with the latest systems. You can find compatible drives for relatively cheap in 2022, with affordable alternatives to Microsoft’s official SSDs retailing for less than a new video game. However, investing in one of the official Xbox Expansion Cards is a seamless extension of either console, making for a worthy investment for the coming decade in gaming.
But if you’re looking to save some cash, Xbox Series X and Series S also have some handy tools to free some extra space. While dependent on how you use your console, including installed games and apps, these hassle-free tips are the best ways to keep your drive in order.
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Samsung T7 Portable Ssd 500gb
Samsung’s T7 500GB external drive packs top-tier speed below $100. You’re getting an over 50% boost in capacity with Xbox Series X while over doubling Xbox Series S. That speed won’t match what’s inside either console, but it’s still a vast improvement over other USB drives. Encased in a shock-resistant metal finish, it fits stealthily beside any console.