Best Xbox One External Hard Drives
How would you feel if you’re playing a game one day and the Xbox notifies you of low storage space? The need for more storage space increases as you hanker for thrills sends you further down the rabbit hole. The size of latest Xbox games will surely make you begin looking for the best Xbox One external hard drives.
The Halo 5 can take up 46GB of storage space, Call of Duty – 40GB, and GTA5 – 50 GB. For an Xbox game fanatic, the internal 500GB storage space will certainly not be enough. The 500GB space is actually only 360GB – the data originally installed in the console occupies some of the storage space. Even if you’re able to get your hands on an Xbox console with storage space as large as 1TB, sooner or later, you’ll realize that it may not even be enough.
By the way, interested in finding out which is best drive for PS4 – check out Part 1
Without wasting much of your time, this article will do the following…
- Furnish you with information on the factors to consider when shopping for an Xbox One external hard drive
- Review some of the best Xbox One external hard drives
- Answer your frequently asked questions about Xbox One external drives
- Share some important tutorials in the how to section
To start, we will begin by taking a look at the things to consider
Things To Consider Before Buying An Xbox One External Drive
There’s no gainsaying that the games you play on your Xbox One must be installed on the console’s internal HDD. To increase the capacity of the inbuilt hard drive, you’re left with two options:
- Replace the internal drive that came with the Xbox. This requires a bit of technical knowledge and can void the warranty if something goes wrong
- Simply get an external drive and save yourself the stress
In a bid to provide seamless gameplay, Microsoft increased their efforts. What did they do? Let’s find out. Their decisions influenced greatly what people now look out for when shopping for Xbox One external hard drives.
The following are some of the factors to consider when shopping for an external hard drive for your Xbox One.
1. Compatibility: You’ll be shocked to learn that not every hard drive is compatible with the Xbox One. There’s no need to get antsy about that – the only caveat is that the external drive must support USB 3.0 and have a minimum storage space of 256 GB just like the PlayStation 4 console.
Having met these requirements, the external hard drive must be formatted and totally dedicated to your console. This implies that your Xbox One external drive is rendered incompatible with other devices including PCs and laptops. To make it fit for use in other devices, you’ll have to reformat it and install it in those devices as a clean slate devoid of game data.
2. Size of Storage Space: Of course, the need for more space is the prime motive behind the purchase of an Xbox external hard drive. The minimum storage space required for an Xbox One external hard disk is 256GB, while the maximum is open-ended. If you’re running on a tight budget, you can get externals drives for a paltry sum.
But if you’re well-off to go for a longer-term solution, you should consider going for at least 2TB. On the higher end of the scale, we have 4TB externals ranging from $150 and above, and the 6TB that commands prices in the range of $250 and above.
3. The Power Source: Another key consideration is the power source for the external drive. While some drives tap into the console’s power through the USB 3.0 port, others require an AC power source. The latter group usually come with power cords or AC adapters.
4. The Speed Of The Drive: This is determined by the drive’s RMP (rotation per minute); drives with 5,400 RMP fall short in terms of rotation speed when compared to those with 7,200 RPM. The base range of the speed continuum features the traditional hard drives with speeds between 5,400 up to 10,000 RPM, the middle range features a composite of sizable traditional drives and smaller solid state drive, with much faster RMPs, and at the higher end of the spectrum, we have the supersonic pure SSD there term RMP can’t be applied.
In effect, the RMPs determine the data transfer speed of the external drive, dictating the speed at which games are installed and loaded. While this may not be a very important factor to consider, it is worth noting.
5. Budget: How much are you willing to dole out to buy an external hard drive for your Xbox One? The larger the size of your budget, the larger the size of the drive you’re going to buy. Moreover, the features of a drive can significantly increase the price. It is advisable to overlook some of the features of a drive as you won’t notice any significant changes since it would be used on an Xbox rather than on a computer.
6. Portability: If you intend to take your Xbox One’s drive with you wherever you go, then you need a portable drive. If the opposite is the case, a desktop drive or a portable drive can still suffice. But, who still uses large desktop drives as extended storage on gaming consoles?
7. Durability/Warranty: Of course, a drive with a 2-year warranty is better off than one with a 1-year warranty. Consider the durability ratings of the drive you intend to buy. Find out people’s opinion about it. You won’t be buying an Xbox One external hard drive on a yearly basis if you do this.
8. Brand name:In the world of external hard drives, brand name does not actually matter that much. The most important thing is that an Xbox external drive must have a USB 3.0 interface, as well as an ample storage capacity. These attributes generally make the cut for the need, in principle, although it still leaves a lot to desire with respect to personal preferences.
Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for…
The Best Xbox One External Drives
In this section of the article, we will review some drives. These drives in the table below are touted as the best Xbox One external hard drives. We’ll find out why people call it the best.
Check out the table showing the five Xbox One External Hard Drives we will be reviewing.
|Samsung 500GB T3||Extremely lightweight and pocket-friendly|
Ships alongside its own cables
Ease to synchronize with the Xbox console
Beautiful two-way design
|The drive is quite pricey||Check price|
|Samsung 1TB 850 Pro||Lightweight and portable|
Simplistic design yet classic finishing
Extended warranty period for the product
Ease of synchronization with Xbox One
|Very Pricey||Check price|
|SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD||Lightweight and compact sized|
Aesthetically appealing design
Synchronizes with the Xbox pretty easily
|Rubber cap may get lost easily||Check price|
|Crucial MX300 Solid State Drive||Multiple storage capacities to choose from|
Beautiful and clean design
Easy to connect and set up on the Xbox One console
|Prone to scratches and damages on the body casing||Check price|
|HGST Touro S 1TB||Stylish finishing|
Performs as expected, although not to taste
Can be easily synchronized with the Xbox One game console
Lightweight and very portable
|A tad more expensive than other drives with the same specifications||Check price|
Samsung 500GB T3 – SDD Drive
With this release, Samsung offered customers a product that stands out among its peers. The lightweight hard disks do perform excellently, but their effectiveness is marred by the slow synchronization speed and other vulnerabilities. On the other hand, small flash drives are notorious for easily giving owners the slip, and are plagued with some other vulnerabilities. The Samsung Portable SDD T3 is a hybrid mold breaker, offering ample storage, supersonic speed, with an elegant form factor.
The Samsung T3 sports an aluminum finish half way through the body, and a soft-touch black plastic on the other half. The overall makeover of the casing makes for a comfy grip. The product easily snuggles into your palms and takes up minimal physical space.
The plastic casing is shock-resistant. So, except you really do have a case of dropsy, you can expect to pick up the device in one piece when it accidentally takes a knock or drops on the floor.
On a computer, the read and write speeds of the drive are quite impressive. Who cares about that when you’re actually going to use the drive on your Xbox? This makes it one of the most highly sought after Xbox external drives. When you purchase the Samsung portable SSD T3, you get a complete package with its cables. Integration with the Xbox console is simple and easy. Just plug in the cables into your console and set up for data synchronization and you’re good to go.
Security is also another faucet where the Samsung T3 shines through. It offers a full proof encryption to keep prevent any unauthorized access to your passwords and any other sensitive personal info.
With a read and write speed advantage over hard disks, coupled with the encryption shield it provides for the sensitive information stored in it, the Samsung portable T3 gives excellent consumer experience. It measures 74 x 58 x 10.5 inches and weighs just 51g. That makes the Samsung T3 nothing short of a portable, lightweight drive for those looking for an extended storage drive for their Xbox One.
Did I mention that Samsung offers a whopping three-year warranty on their drives? Of course, I just did. Below is a list of the Pros and Cons of the Samsung T3 SSD.
- Extremely lightweight and pocket-friendly
- Ships alongside its own cables
- Ease to synchronize with the Xbox console
- Beautiful two-way design
- The drive is quite pricey
Save for the fact that the Samsung T3 SSD is pricey, it is in fact, the recommended Xbox One drive. Fast, reliable, and beautiful are three words that describe it.
Samsung 850 Pro – 1TB portable SSD
Designed with the 3D VNAND flash, the Samsung 850 PRO SSD is the first of its kind. Its key attributes include a blazing read/write sequencing speed, efficient power consumption plus extended durability. The 2.5 inch device measures 3.94 x 2.75 x 0.27. The drive is made for top-notch performance, endurance, and efficiency in power consumption. With these attributes, the drive is more than ready to outdo its counterparts.
The Samsung 1TB 850 PRO SSD is made with the 3D NAND feature. It doesn’t matter to say the least, after all, the drive is meant for your Xbox.
You can expect the drive to hit a maximum sequential read speed of 550 MB/s, as well as a maximum sequential write speed of up to 520 MB/s. Synchronizing the drive with your Xbox happens faster than you can imagine. The Samsung 850 PRO operates at optimum performance and makes use of lesser energy when compared to its counterparts.
The product also features a Self-Encryption Drive (SED) technology that shields your private data from unauthorized prying at any point in time. In addition to this, the drive also features an AES-256-bit full disk that is hardware based. This ensures that your drive isn’t tampered with – especially if you are using it on a computer.
If you’re planning on buying this drive you should beware of firmware updates for the drive. There are numerous reports flying around the web that the firmware updates often just fail, and cause extensive damage to the device.
This is a temporary setback though, which the Samsung Customer care are clearly aware of and are keen on fixing. But the reliability of the product is a no-brainer.
The projected lifespan of the drive is 10 years, and that puts the figure of the lifetime workload which the drive can handle at 150 Terabytes Written (TBW). This projected product lifetime is cemented by a ten-year warranty offered by Samsung.
Below are the pros and cons of the Samsung 1TB 850 PRO SSD
- Lightweight and portable
- Simplistic design yet classic finishing
- Extended warranty period for the product
- Ease of synchronization with Xbox One
- Very Pricey
Sporting a textured black finish, the Samsung 1TB 850 PRO SSD makes gaming more fun on the Xbox One.Samsung 850 Pro – Check Price
SanDisk Extreme 500 – Portable SSD
With dimensions measuring 3.96 x 0.28 x 2.75 inches, the SanDisk Extreme SSD makes for a snappy, on-demand memory space expansion. Portability was a key consideration during the conception of this drive. The drive features a shock-resistant plastic casing covered with a tweaked rubber fitting.
A detachable rubber cap which covers the USB 3.0 port is latched onto one corner of the casing, and in the corner directly opposite that, a keychain loop is snapped into place. The detachable rubber is connected to the casing by a semi-loop that make it dangle down when removed. You can attach and detach it easily at any time without any fear of losing it. While there are a number of intricate elements in the design, the simplicity still holds sway.
As it is an SSD drive, installing and using it on your Xbox will be a breeze. The drive can reach super-fast read speeds — 430MB/s the maximum. For encryption, the drive uses a 128-bit AES encryption software to keep sensitive files away from unauthorized access –if you’ll use it on a computer.
Another thing worth noting about the SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD is the energy rating. The product’s low energy consumption counts towards the product’s simplicity. It is powered by the USB cable, which comes along in the package. It doesn’t need power cords so there’s no need to worry about buying one.
Sheer intuition tells you that given the product’s minimal energy consumption, you won’t break a sweat to slot in, synchronize, and manage this hard drive on your console. This SSD solution is a gem that offers a compact, elegant delivery. The sleek casing comes with a 4 x 4 ziplock purse. Also, with the USB port rubber cap, you can keep the inner parts of the port free of dust and impurities.
- Lightweight and compact sized
- Aesthetically appealing design
- Synchronizes with the Xbox pretty easily
- USB powered
- Rubber cap may get lost easily
The SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD is undoubtedly going to make gaming more fun than you thought. Load up your controllers and get ready for Mission Impossible or the Call of Duty.
SanDisk Extreme 500 – Check Price
Crucial MX300 – Solid State Drive
The Crucial MX300 features solid state drive technology that is built using SATA3 standards and is designed to be backward compatible with SATA2. It also uses SATA power connectors.
The drive reads and writes sequential data with a speed range that’s almost equivalent to those of the Samsung 850 Evo and 850 PRO. The entire Crucial SSD product line sports 530MB/s read and 510MB/s write speed. The Terabyte writing (TBW) figures, which shows the estimated workload the product is expected to handle in its lifetime, is pegged at 220TB.
Having a TB figure that is much greater than that of Samsung 850 PRO, but with an equivalent lifespan, this product is designed to handle heavier daily workloads. Despite its high capacity for heavy workloads, the product rates highly in terms of energy efficiency.
Given the good number of fecund features available in the Crucial MX300, its pricing is indeed competitive. Nevertheless, it’s your individual needs that determine whether or not the Crucial MX300 SSD is the best Xbox One external hard drive for you. The drive’s cost per gigabyte space is greater than those of the regular spinning disk externals. If you’re willing to trade space for speed, then you’re up for a great deal. But if you want the best of both worlds, Crucial offers an impressive line of SSD products with various capacities.
The product line includes the 275GB, 525GB, 750GB, and 1TB models. The 750GB was the first to be released before the others were subsequently added. The entire product line features just about the same specs. So when you plug this hard drive into your console, you can expect to not only synchronize it with your console quite easily, but you can also expect to load games and install games in a jiffy. The company stands by the product with a 3-year warranty.
- Multiple storage capacities to choose from
- Beautiful and clean design
- Easy to connect and set up on the Xbox One console
- Prone to scratches and damages on the body casing
Even though the Crucial MX300 drive is relatively new to the game, it still competes favorably with notable brands for a spot beside a lot of Xbox drives.Crucial MX300 – Check Price
HGST Touro S – 1TB
The competitive edge that Touro S holds in the market centers on the fact that it’s RPM figures outstrips 5400RMP, the average RMP for products in the market, by 33%, boasting faster data transfer speed regardless of the influences of variant conditions. HGST’s official figures show an only 23% increment, but that only reflects a conservative approach to the calculations.
The HGST Touro S 1TB drive is made by Western Digital which owns the company. Surprised, right? You should be. Read our Western Digital article to understand what went down.
When compared to the regular 2.5 inch external hard drives out there in the market, Touro comes off as a sleek, super-portable drive. The finish on its form factor is not overly-impressive though. But straight off the bat, you’ll be convinced without a shadow of a doubt, of how easy it is to install and manage the HGST Touro on your game console.
Another proprietary feature of the Tuoro S is the inbuilt backup and cloud backup software. The cloud backup software, known as Touro Cloud Backup, gives your access to 3GB cloud storage space. You can expand this storage allocation by paying a fee. The two-year warranty looks diminutive when compared to the 10-year warranty of the Samsung pro 850, but the product can still turn out to be the best external hard drive for your Xbox One for personal reasons.
Unfortunately, since you would be using the drive on your Xbox, you won’t be able to enjoy some of its wonderful features.
Here are the pros and cons of the HGST Touro S 1TB
- Stylish finishing
- Performs as expected, although not to taste
- Can be easily synchronized with the Xbox One game console
- Lightweight and very portable
- A tad more expensive than other drives with the same specifications
Western Digital showed they are still in charge after releasing the HGST Touro S 1TB drive into the market. It may not be everything you’ve dreamt of, but it certainly can keep your games intact for your Xbox.HGST Touro S – Check Price
Your personal preferences are the key determinants of which Xbox One external hard drive suits you best. But given the appreciable number of brands and products, finding the product most suitable for you can turn out a tricky feat.
How To’s + Faq About Xbox One External Hard Drives
One of the best ways of doing things in the absence of a teacher is to read/watch a how-to tutorial. This tutorial section of this article will teach you the following:
- How to Install Your choice Xbox One External Hard Drive
- How to Synchronize Your Drive
- How to set up external storage
- How to manage Xbox One external drives
- How to reformat an Xbox USB Hard Drive for PC
How To Install Your choice Xbox One External Hard Drive
You might be thinking that given the various factors that you need consider before purchasing an external, installing one on your console entails figuring out a lot of technical stuff and putting them into practice. Tinkering with the internal hard drive of your console might turn out a knotty challenge, but installing an external hard disk doesn’t. Changing the internal hard disk entails taking off the side panel and the plastic case covering the main body, messing around with a bunch of wires, before finally extracting and replacing the hard drive found in the enclosure.
But Microsoft has put measures in place to ensure that the need for extra storage space does not necessitate the grueling process of involved in altering the internal drive, and what a nifty job they’ve done in that regard.
To install the external hard drive to your console, simply attach the drive to the available USB 3.0 port on your console. Although you don’t need to turn off the console while doing this, doing so allows for much better safety play.
With the drive inserted via the USB port, and the console up and running, a prompt pops up on your screen asking if you want to install the external device. On selecting yes, you’ll be required to choose a name for the drive. You’ll also get to choose whether you want games to be installed there by default.
As a matter of fact, all this all boils down to simply plugging the drive, selecting a few personalization options, and allowing the auto formatting process to kick in, and you’ve got a hard drive ready for synchronization.
Here’s a video tutorial showing the process step by step:
How To Synchronize Your Drive
Just like installing and formatting the drive, installing and copying games require only just petty technical knowledge. To get things rolling:
- Open the “My games and apps” menu on the console
- Next, choose one of the two options for sorting situated right above the games list. The first option allows for alphabetical sorting of games, sorted by order of recent use, and size. The second concerns sorting out items according to storage locations: internal external or all
In order not to get your wires crossed, you might want to place everything in one storage location for starters. Nonetheless, meting out games into the different storage locations is as simple as ticking the boxes beside each listed title, pressing the Menu button and selecting manage game, then selecting the Internal or External as the desired location to relocate them to. A few seconds afterward, a mass transfer ensues.
For the sake of convenience, it’s best to set the sorting option to “All” or the storage location that has the most games, after the mass transfer. This setting gives you access to the main storage location by default any time you turn on your console.
How to set up external storage
When you connect the new drive you’ve just bought into your Xbox One, the system will prompt you to format it. If you have any files on that drive, ensure you move it to another storage location. You can check out these huge desktop drives with 8TB storage capacities.
If you connect more than two Xbox One external hard drives at a time, the console will recognize only two.
To set up your external storage, follow the steps below:
- Open the guide > navigate to System > then select Settings > next select System > finally select Storage
- You’ll be prompted to choose your external drive. Simply select it and then select the Format for games and apps option
That’s all. This process comes in handy when you get your drive new. As a new drive, the Xbox One sees it as a media drive (for videos and files). Formatting it for games will allow you to store your favorite games on it. Without doing this, you won’t be able to answer the Call of Duty on the Xbox.
It’s a pretty straightforward process. Here’s a video that shows you step by step guide on how to set up your external storage:
How to manage Xbox One external drives
If you want to manage your Xbox One external drive, simply do the following.
- Open the guide and navigate to Systems > next select Settings > choose Systems > then select Storage
You’ll find options for managing your Xbox One’s external drive here.
How to play media on your Xbox One external drive?
If you intend to use your Xbox One drive for playing media, you only need to install the Media Player app. You can find the app on the Xbox One online store.
How to reformat an Xbox USB Hard Drive for PC
IF you ever get tired of using a drive on your Xbox One, here’s what you should do to make the drive compatible with your PC or your PS4.
Watch the video below:
FAQs about Xbox One External Hard Drives
How do I estimate the capacity that I really need?
The best bet is the biggest you can afford. As long as you’re a passionate gamer, there’s always a good chance that you’ll run out of storage space at a point in time. But also given the fact that, as earlier stated, the hard drive used for your Xbox cannot be used for any other device, you might also want to avoid having an enormous amount of space lying around unused for a long time.
The winning formula here is figuring out the number of games that you’d likely want to play in the nearest future, and multiplying that number by 50GB. While some games might take up more and some take less. 50GB per game is a perfect average.
You should check the amount of storage space left on the drive to determine the storage capacity of the drive you need. To check free space on your drive, do the following:
- From the Home menu, navigate to and select My games and apps. Take a look at the left side of the screen. There, you’ll see a meter which shows you the amount of storage space you have left and the total space
How About Using Flash Drives For My Xbox One?
Flash drives do run on Xbox consoles, but they can only be used for opening media files. With flash drives, you can play music, watch videos and view photos on your console. But you can also do all that with the external hard drive.
What if I upgrade the internal hard drive on my console instead?
There are a number of advantages that an internal hard drive expansion holds over installing an external. However, the general benefits of an external hard drive outstrip all such advantages. For starters, by installing an external hard drive, you get to preserve the warranty on the console. Also, in terms of speed, the USB 3.0 connection is superior to the SATA II connection on the internal drive. Above all, the ease of installing the external drive makes tampering with the internal drive look like a herculean task.
How do I troubleshoot a failed auto format/how do I format my hard drive manually on my console?
On your home screen, navigate leftwards to open the guide, then select settings at the bottom of the options menu. Next, choose “all settings”, then choose systems on the next page. The proceeding menu shows the “Storage” option, select it, then select the storage you want to work on. Choose the “Format for games and apps” option afterward, and the format action kicks in.
Can I convert an internal drive from another device to an external drive for my Xbox One?
It’s a great idea. This is one of the most cost-effective, low budget solutions. The only cost to it is a few bucks for a USB 3.0 hard disk docking station. You can also buy a very cheap internal hard drive if you don’t have one lying around.
The only set back in this set up is that an intermediate device, such as the docking station, plugged in between the hard drive and the console puts a drag on the rate of data transfer. Notwithstanding though, this alternative is a prudent, tech-savvy way of obtaining an external drive for your Xbox.
How can I detect my external storage manually during troubleshooting?
When you first connect an external storage device with your Xbox One, the console should detect the device and walk you through the process of setting it up.
If this doesn’t happen, or if you want to confirm later that your console detects the storage device, here’s how:
- Press the Xbox button to open the guide > then select Settings
- Next, select All settings > select System > Now select Storage > then select Manage storage
If you see your storage device listed, your console has detected it.
What do I do if my Xbox doesn’t detect an external storage drive?
Make sure you’ve installed any recent updates to Xbox One.
It’s possible that there were recent updates to Xbox One and that you need to manually update your system for it to detect your external storage. Here’s how to solve the issue.
- Press the Xbox button to open the guide, then select Settings > All Settings > and then select System
Take a look at the Console info & updates. If it says anything like Update available, there’s an update you need to install before the drive will be detected. Please install the update immediately and reconnect the drive.
After installing the update, go back to Settings > select System > then Storage. Check to see if your device appears on the list.
Will a USB 2.0 external hard drive work on Xbox One?
The answer is clear. NO! Just like in the case of the PS4, the external hard drive you intend to use with your Xbox One must be USB 3.0 compatible. It is important to note that the Xbox One accepts a USB hub connection, unlike the PS4.
Can I replace the internal drive on my Xbox One?
Don’t think of it. The process is risky unlike that of PS4 which is relatively easy. Doing so will void the warranty of the console and you’ll be liable for your loss. In lieu of replacing the internal drive, go for the external drive.
Do games load faster on external drives?
Yes. You’ll notice a significant change in the loading speed of games if you are using an external drive with your Xbox One.
There’s a saying that “to whom much is given, much is expected”. An encyclopedia of information has just been shared with you about Xbox One external hard drives. It’s your turn to share the word with someone else. Remember to make a wise choice.