This console generation came with a good problem. Games are now bigger than ever, which means larger worlds, better visuals, and experiences that captivate us like never before. But all that extra data means a need for more space to keep it all. That’s exactly why we created this list for the best Xbox One external hard drive you should buy for more storage space.
Gamers have realized that 500GB (even 1TB) isn’t enough to hold all our games, apps, and videos. And this is probably why you’re here looking for the best Xbox One external hard drive for your specific needs.
There’s no reason we can’t have all our games installed and ready to go. This includes the many free games we get monthly as part of the Games With Gold program. Luckily for Xbox One owners, the solution is to buy one of the most popular accessories for Xbox One – an external hard drive.
Why buy an Xbox One external hard drive
- The internal drive can’t be replaced: A big difference between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is that you can upgrade the PS4 internal hard drive. With the Xbox One that is not really the case. You aren’t technically supposed to upgrade the Xbox One internal hard drive and we recommend you don’t. So if you want to have more storage space for games you are unfortunately stuck with the stock internal hard drive. Luckily, you can easily connect an external hard drive for Xbox One and upgrade your storage capacity so you can fit as many games as you like on an external hard drive.
- Games Load Faster: When you run your Xbox One games from the external hard drive you can expect an increase in performance. The Xbox One internal hard drive is quite mediocre so almost any external hard drive you buy will have better specifications. Also, the USB 3.0 connection used from the external hard drive will be faster than the internal hard drive’s connection. Plus, the external hard drive’s resources are used strictly for running games.
- Setup is easy: When it comes to setting up the Xbox One external hard drive it’s quite simple. This is a totally different situation than if you tried to setup a PS4 internal hard drive because you don’t need to take apart the Xbox One. It’s just a matter of plugging in the hard drive to the Xbox One and following some simple instructions.
Why you should upgrade your Xbox One hard drive storage
The stock Xbox One does come with 500GB or 1TB of space depending on which version you buy, but the latest AAA games take around 50-65GB worth of space, and that figure can increase even further as additional DLC’s and updates are downloaded. It can be frustrating deciding what game to keep and what one to delete.
To overcome this problem you can via USB 3.0 for extra space. This helps overcome the problem of limited storage and you can in practice have an infinite amount of storage space by investing in more than one external hard drive.
As more and more games are added to the Xbox One library having access to more storage space will be necessary. Also it’s becoming increasing commonplace to download games as opposed to buying them physically. Additionally, you can store other data such as videos, pictures and music on your new external hard drive. So if you want to watch movies via your Xbox One you can host a large library of movies on the drive.
Backwards compatibility with decades worth of Xbox game releases are also being added, which will only serve to increase your storage needs. If you want your Xbox One to be the ultimate hub for gaming then you’ll need to ensure that you aren’t restricted by the amount of GB’s you have in the internal hard drive.
The process of installing the external hard drive is not hard at all, and requires little in the way of technical knowledge. You will not need any tools, or take your Xbox One apart in order to complete the process. You can expect the process to be completed in 10-15 minutes.
But that still begs the question… which one is the best Xbox One external hard drive for you? To help you out, below is a list of great hard drives for Xbox One to consider.
Top 10 external hard drives for Xbox One
Now that you’ve had a chance to quickly glance over why you should upgrade your Xbox One hard drive you should be a bit more convinced. We’ve packed our list with the top choices for Xbox One hard drives and included a variety of products that come highly recommended to help make your decision easier.
We hope our list of the best Xbox One external hard drives will help you make a great purchasing decision. Whether your goal is to greatly expand your storage or you’re more interested in a performance boost, there’s something in this list for you.
Whichever the case, there’s no denying the convenience of having more space to store games. It’s nice to have to not bother installing and uninstalling games all the time. The ability to take your library of awesome games with you without any hassle is also a huge bonus.
Best Xbox One external hard drive (Editor choice)
You have plenty of more affordable options if all you need is 2TB of storage. Still, none of them will look as perfect sitting next to your console as this external Xbox One hard drive. The Seagate Game Drive features the classic green color and Xbox logo. And having this plugged into your console will make your entertainment center look extra sharp.
The Seagate Game Drive has everything you’d expect from an external hard drive worthy of this list. That includes advanced USB 3.0 support for faster speeds and enough storage to fit more than 50 Xbox One titles. The drive itself is small and compact so you can easily move it from place to place.
It also doesn’t require being plugged into a wall outlet. And instead powers via the USB cord, plus it’s incredibly easy to set up. Again, there are better prices out there for 2TB of storage. We only recommend this if you really want an external hard drive that was specifically built for Xbox One.
Runner-up for best external hard drive for Xbox One
If you’re in the market for Xbox One hard drives that offer plenty of space but won’t take a chunk from your wallet, look no further than Western Digital’s My Book. You have a choice of either a 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, or 8TB drive. And they all come with a great price.
The 3TB, for example, is very reasonably priced on Amazon. The low price makes it a great investment if you want a significant storage upgrade. The 4TB version is also usually only a few bucks more for those interested in even more storage space.
Each version of the My Book comes with cutting-edge USB 3.0 ports that are also USB 2.0 compatible. Other features include password protection with hardware encryption. Plus, the device itself is a decent size and boasts one of the coolest external hard drive looks you’ll find.
A highly rated 5TB hard drive for Xbox One
A list of the the best Xbox One external hard drives is not complete without the Seagate Expansion. As one of the top hard drive makers in the world, it’s no surprise Seagate offers some of the most reliable devices at amazing prices. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 5TB external hard drive elsewhere for less money than what they’re asking for.
With the Seagate Expansion you have a choice of either a 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB, or 8TB version. All of them come with impressive data transfer rates. This means your loading times get reduced and you can get back into the action faster. Every version also comes with USB 3.0 ports that also support USB 2.0 as well.
The Seagate Expansion has an incredible Amazon star rating out of more than 4,500 customers. This is further proof that it’s one of the best external hard drives for Xbox One. All it takes is a few searches through the Amazon reviews to see how many people purchased the Expansion hard drive for their Xbox One and were happy they did.
Best selling external hard drive
We highly recommend this drive if you have your heart set on expanding your storage space with 2TB and want the most bang for your buck. While there’s a 1TB and 3TB option, it’s the 2TB version that normally comes with a very reasonable price tag. It’s just one of the reasons it’s a #1 Best Seller on Amazon with a near-perfect review rating.
The Western Digital Elements hard drive comes with both USB 3.0 and 2.0 support, offering up to 5GB/s of data transfer speeds. It features a thin, compact design so you can put it in your pocket or place it in a crowded entertainment center.
No power cord is required to power it and you get a 3 year limited warranty with your purchase. If you ever need to use it on your computer, it comes out of the box already formatted for Windows 10, 8.1 and 7, plus it can be reformatted for Mac use.
Best external solid-state drive for Xbox One
We included this pricier option for those who have the money to buy perhaps the best external solid-state hard drive for Xbox One out there. A solid-state drive does the same job as a regular hard drive but with superior speeds. If this were in your PC, your computer would boot up several times quicker.
The Samsung Portable SSD T3 claims to transfer data at 450MB per second— about quadruple the speed of regular portable drives. This means you’ll experience the fastest loading times and smoothing gameplay possible while playing your favorite games. If this sounds like your cup of tea and you’ve got the cash to spend, look no further.
Samsung’s T3 Portable SSD comes in four different storage sizes and equipped with the latest shock resistance technology. And in case you’re worried about dropping this kind of cash for a storage device only to have it fail, Samsung offers a limited 3 year warranty.
Cheap 1TB Xbox One external hard drive
Don’t need several terabytes of storage? No problem. If you don’t mind uninstalling games once in awhile or simply don’t need tons of space, the Toshiba Canvas Basics is a great choice. For less than most other devices you can pick up a 1TB hard drive that’s sleek and portable enough to fit in your hand.
Of course, if you do think maybe 2TB or even 3TB would be a good idea, those storage sizes are also available as well. And if you’d rather have something more interesting than the usual Black, the Canvas Basics also comes in White and Silver.
This excellent Xbox One hard drive is powered by USB 3.0 technology, which means quick data transfer speeds. They also come with ramp loading and internal shock sensor technology to avoid failure or loss of data in case of a power outage or damage. Since it’s a portable hard drive you also don’t need an AC plug as it powers directly via the USB connection.
One of the best 7200 RPM hard drives for Xbox One
For some gamers the best Xbox One external hard drive isn’t the one that offers the most storage for the least amount of cash. Some drives are designed to offer a boost in performance via faster data transfer speeds. If this sounds like what you want, look no further than the HGST Touro S.
While most storage devices feature a 5400RPM, this one can perform up to 23% faster thanks to a 7200RPM. This means it’s actually faster than the Xbox One’s internal hard drive, allowing games to run smoother than you’ve ever experienced them. Loading times are also reduced as well.
It comes with a thin, stylish aluminum design with a choice of four attractive colors: Platinum, Gold, Ruby, and Silver. It offers USB 3.0 technology as well as two levels of protection— 3GB of cloud backup at no extra charge along with pre-installed backup software. The option to upgrade your cloud storage to 250GB for a yearly fee is also available.
A hard drive for Xbox One and Mac users
How does spending as little as possible for 1TB of extra space sound? You’d be doubling (or more if you have a 500GB Xbox One) your storage for the same cost of a new video game. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim does come in other sizes, but only the 1TB has a price that’s worth considering.
It comes with a silver metallic look and sleek design, making it perfect for taking it on the go. It has USB 3.0 support for faster data transfer speeds and powers through the USB port. This means no power supply cable needed.
This is also the best Xbox One external hard drive if you’re also a Mac user. That is if you wouldn’t mind using it on your computer at some point as well. That includes Time Machine support if you want to use it to automatically back up everything on your Mac computer.
Great warranty and easy to setup
Few Xbox One hard drives come close to matching the My Passport when it comes to variety and style. The cool two-part design makes it look great sitting next to your Xbox One console. The choice of six different colors is also an added bonus.
The My Passport comes available in four storage sizes, though we recommend the 2TB as it’s one of the best deals you can get for that kind of space. Every version also comes with USB 3.0/2.0 support as well as Western Digital’s famed auto backup and security protection software.
Its also very easy to use. Simply plug the hard drive in and you’ll be asked if you want to use it for apps and storage. The My Password is also designed with durability and shock tolerance in mind so they last as long as possible. As if that weren’t enough, your purchase comes with an impressive 3-year limited warranty.
1TB solid-state hybrid drive for Xbox One
Did the Samsung T3 Portable SSD at the beginning of this article get you excited about using a solid state drive? But then you looked at the prices? If you’re intrigued by the idea of faster transfer speeds but want a more affordable option, consider the Seagate 1TB SSHD. This hybrid drive costs less than a fully solid-state drive but still offers a similar performance boost.
A 64MB cache of SSD storage means data is transferred four times faster than a regular hard drive. Know that since this is a bare drive, you’ll need to purchase a hard disk drive enclosure to keep it in. A USB 3.0 to SATA adapter is another option even if the drive will be exposed.
Since only 1TB and 500GB versions are offered, we recommend this drive if performance is your top priority. If you don’t mind paying a bit extra for an added speed boost, this is the best external hard drive for Xbox One to consider.
How to do an Xbox One external hard drive setup
Did you buy a new hard drive for Xbox One and have questions on how to do an Xbox One external hard drive setup? Luckily for you we cover how to upgrade your Xbox One storage extensively in this guide.
Because gamers want more storage space for games, the Xbox One external hard drive has become one of the most popular Xbox One accessories on the market today. So it’s no wonder that many gamers are looking to learn how to setup their Xbox One external hard drive. In this article you’ll learn everything from doing the Xbox One external hard drive format to finding answers to issues with Xbox One not detecting your external hard drive.
Doing an Xbox One external hard drive setup is fast and easy but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section.
Which external hard drive should you choose?
When performing the Xbox One hard drive upgrade you do not have to select a hard drive that is specifically made for the Xbox One. On this page we have a list of the top Xbox One hard drives you should buy to make choosing easier for you. Just know that when choosing an external hard drive for Xbox One, you have the freedom to select any hard drive that meets the following requirements:
- The hard drive must have in excess of 256GB of storage space. Nowadays it isn’t hard to find such a hard drive as you can see from our “Top 10 Hard Drives for Xbox One” article.
- The storage device must support USB 3.0, or if the connection is made via a hub then it must support USB 3.0.
- If these two requirements are not met then the Xbox One will categorize the external hard drive as for media and music, which means you will not be able to store game on it.
These requirements are not difficult to meet with the large selection of different high quality external hard drives out there in the marketplace today. However, you do need consider the characteristics of the external hard drive. Exactly how much extra space do you need? Is the speed of the hard drive important to you? Questions such as these ones must be examined before you invest in an external hard drive for your Xbox One.
Here is a list of considerations to make when buying an external Xbox One storage device:
- Physical size: having a large external hard drive that takes up a lot of room might not only be ugly to look at, but also take up more room than you have to spare. Therefore, it’s a great idea to look for an external hard drive that has relatively small dimensions. The small size also makes it easy to carry it over to a friend’s house. Also there are models that have no power cable as the power is passed via the USB 3.0 connection. This reduces the need for cable management.
- Storage space: if you plan on having a large collection of Xbox One games then storage space will be the most important factor when buying a new hard drive. Nowadays you can buy external Xbox One storage devices that are 2-4TB in size. That’s a lot of storage space that should meet the requirements for most gamers. Consider the fact that the Xbox One is backwards compatible. This means you’ll need storage space for decades worth of games.
- Construction: since this is a portable device the quality of the construction is important. The device needs to be made from sturdy materials that will not easily get damaged whilst you have it in your backpack. Also heat dissipation is important so that the health of the hard drive is maintained for many years to come.
If you want to save money then you might have to sacrifice one feature to get another. For example, you might opt for an external hard drive that hasn’t got the best construction, but provides up to 4TB of storage space. You’ll need to take a look at the funds you have to spend and the prices of the external hard drives out there.
The process of the Xbox One external hard drive setup
The first thing you’ll need to do is connect the external hard drive via the 3.0 USB connection to a port in the Xbox One. You might not get a notification right away that a storage device has been connected – give it a few minutes to connect.
A pop-up will appear to let you know than an external hard drive has been detected. You’ll need to use your Xbox One controller to select the “format drive” function. If this is a hard drive that you have used in the past then make sure all data such as videos, music and pictures are transferred over to another storage device. Once you select the format drive feature all data will be deleted from the hard drive. Furthermore, your computer will not be able to interact with the hard drive without deleting all the games.
You’ll be prompted to add a name to the external hard drive. If you plan on using several hard drives then it might be a good idea to give each hard drive a name that clearly depicts what’s going to be inside it. For example, if you have a hard drive that is just there to store strategy games, then naming the hard drive “Strategy Games” makes sense.
Now you’ll need to decide if you want the game installations to be made to the internal drive or to the new external drive. It’s a good idea to select the option to install new games to the external drive. That’s because games on the external drive can be easily taken to a friend’s house. At the very least consider the games that your friend does not have and choose to install those games on the external drive.
For storage management tasks you’ll need to head over to the settings app and look under “system” for the storage management options. Here you can execute functions such as deciding which hard drive is going to accept downloads, perform game transfers and so on. You can also take a look at how the data is stored on the different drives. So if you’d like to find out where a specific game is stored you can take a look here.
How to do a Xbox One external hard drive setup (Video)
For those of you who are more of a visual learner, check out this video by Joe Chip on how to do a Xbox One external hard drive setup. It’s fast and the video is easy to follow.
Xbox One external hard drive setup Q & A
Q: My Xbox One has not detected the external hard drive, what do I do?
A: You can make use of the manual hard drive detection feature by navigating to all settings, system and then storage. Here you should see your internal drive and also any external drive that has been detected. From this screen you can initiate the setup process of the new hard drive
Keep in mind that if you do not see the new hard drive detected straight away wait for a few minutes. It might be the case that it takes a few minutes for the Xbox One to detect the new external hard drive.
Is the Xbox One hard drive upgrade still not working? Then it might be an issue with the power management. Via the left pane go to the settings menu and navigate to system and then power. Under power mode ensure that the settings “When Xbox is off, turn off storage” is not checked.
Q: I can only store music, videos and pictures on the new external hard drive. Why won’t it allow me to store games?
A: Make sure that the external hard drive supports USB 3.0 and has more than 256GB of storage space. Otherwise the Xbox One will recognize the external hard drive differently and will not allow games to be stored. If you’re struggling to find such hard drives then take a look at our “Top 10 Hard Drives for Xbox One” article for excellent choices.
Q: How long will the Xbox One external hard drive setup take?
A: This will depend on how quickly your Xbox One recognized your new external hard drive, and how long the formatting process takes. However, typically you can expect the entire process to be completed in 10 to 15 minutes.
Q: How do I transfer games to my new external hard drive?
A: Once you have installed the external hard drive you might want to put it to good use right away. To do that head over to the Xbox One dashboard and select the “My games & apps” menu. Head over to games and select a specific game that you’d like to transfer. Press the menu button and then click on manage game. A drop down menu will appear that gives you access to game transfers.
Q: Can the Xbox One handle more than one external hard drive?
A: Yes! If you want to install more than one external hard drive then you can do so. This might help you organize a huge collection of games. For example, if you’d like to take advantage of the ability to play games that came out on the first Xbox and the Xbox 360, then you could invest in a hard drive that stores these games separately.
Q: How can I make sure the new external drive is not slower than the internal one?
A: It would be disappointing if the new internal drive you have acquired is slower than the internal one. So pay attention to the RPM’s in the product description when purchasing your new eternal hard drive. You’ll typically encounter drives that are either 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM. Buying the latter ones will provide you with a faster drive. So how does that translate in improved performance? The answer is that the games will have much shorter loading times.
Q: Why is only USB 3.0 supported? What is it?
A: USB 3.0 is the third USB format that provides much higher transfer rates than previous versions. The USB 3.0 format provides speeds of 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s), which allows the current generation of GB heavy games to be loaded from the external hard drive without any problems. There are also other technical advantages to USB 3.0 such as improved power efficiency and better handling of data.
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