Many have said it since the beginning of this new generation that when you buy an Xbox One console, 500 GB of storage will not be enough. It’s even gotten to the point where a 1TB Xbox One hard drive isn’t going to work out very long. With so many games out and releasing soon, you’re definitely going to need an external hard drive for Xbox One.
Microsoft is very committed to bringing Xbox One gamers all types of experiences and games. An Xbox One external hard drive is quickly becoming a must for every owner. That is unless you want to keep deleting and re-downloading your games over and over again.
There’s also the fact that backwards compatibility for the Xbox One is another thing that will eat up your storage space over time.
Considering the massive library of high-quality titles the Xbox 360 holds, your Xbox One storage will easily begin to dwindle as games continue to be added to the backwards compatibility list.
And remember, Microsoft is always looking to see what games we want to be backwards compatible via a poll where you can vote for games.
Now, on to our list of the best external hard drives for Xbox One in 2016!
A 500GB Xbox One hard drive just isn’t enough
One of the great things about owning an Xbox One is that some of the Xbox Live Arcade games will carry over, which is perhaps another one of the reasons you should be considering an Xbox One external hard drive.
Whether we like it or not, games are pretty hefty in terms of file size, which means that the stock 500GB hard drive your console came with is probably running out of space. Downloadable content, apps, installed games, digital titles—all these and more take up precious Xbox One hard drive storage space.
The good news is, not only can you now use an external hard drive for Xbox One; several reports have shown that they provide a performance boost as well. If you’re in the market to add more storage for your Xbox One to prepare for the oncoming wave of fantastic titles, you can’t go wrong with our list of the best external hard drives for Xbox One below.
We’re confident that these Xbox One external hard drives are currently the best choices for improving your Xbox One gaming experience and making hard drive space worries a thing of the past.
A few things to consider when buying an external hard drive for Xbox One
While you take a look at our selected Xbox One external hard drives, there are a few things to consider if you find yourself looking at other devices.
First off, your external storage device must hold at least 256GB or more; any less, and it can only be used to store media, not games and apps. This is why you’ll mostly find 500GB external hard drives on this list—along with our belief that you may as well double your space while you’re at it.
The second thing you should know is that the Xbox One has USB 3.0 ports. Since they are capable of delivering an incredible max bandwidth of around 300 MB per second—more than double of what a typical 5400 RPM HDD can offer—using an external hard drive with USB 3.0 support is HIGHLY recommended. The faster loading times and better texture streaming will no doubt make your gaming experience even more enjoyable.
The third and last thing we’d like to point out is that console generations typically last between six to eight years. If you plan on having your Xbox One for many years to come, investing in at least a 1TB or even a 2TB hard drive wouldn’t be a bad idea. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of space again as more fantastic (and large) titles release.
Best External Xbox One Hard Drive – Top Pick
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 4TB Green
Are you in the market for an Xbox One external hard drive that not only boasts a reasonable price but also looks amazing attached to your console? Seagate has you covered with their Game Drive for Xbox One. It is fairly new on the market but so far has very great customer reviews on Amazon and other sites.
The great thing about the Seagate Game Drive is that it is specifically built for Microsoft’s console, making it the best external drive for Xbox One in terms of compatibility. This means that it is simple just plug it in, let the Xbox One walk you through the setup, and you’re ready to use it. It’s really fast and simple to get going with the Game Drive.
This sleek device was designed to be the perfect solution for either an Xbox One or Xbox 360 gamer looking to expand their storage space. You’re getting 4TB of space, which equates to about 100 full retail Xbox One games if you don’t add small indie titles, music, and other media into the mix.
It’s not only slim enough to fit in your pocket but also works simply by plugging it in– no power cord needed. This means you can easily take your library of games with you and start playing right away on another console. Attractive, easy to set up, very portable, and reasonably priced, you’d be hard pressed to find an external hard drive for your Xbox One as good as this one.
See also: Our in-depth article on the new 2TB Seagate Game Drive for Xbox and how it compares to other external hard drives for Xbox One.
- Blazing fast USB 3.0 speeds
- No software needed, just plug in and play
- Also works with Xbox 360 via USB 2.0 port
- Ability to name your Game Drive
- 4TB of storage
- Very compact design
- 1 Year limited warranty
Most popular External Hard Drive for Xbox One (Runner-up)
WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0
It’s not a coincidence that one of the best external drives for Xbox One also happens to be a top seller on Amazon. The fact is, Western Digital knows what it’s doing when making affordable yet high-quality products.
All six available sizes (500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB) boast USB 3.0, with the 1TB available for quite a bargain. And for not too much more, you can get a My Passport Ultra with a whopping 2TB of space.
To make this deal even sweeter, Western Digital offers a 3-year limited warranty on every device. They are also password protected, offer hardware encryption, and support cloud backup. The My Passport Ultra comes in four colors: Black, Blue, White, and Berry.
- Lightning fast USB 3.0
- Supports automatic and cloud backup
- Password protection + hardware encryption
- Compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 10
- Six available sizes: 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB
- Four colors to choose: Black, Blue, White, Berry
- Top seller in External Hard Drives
The following list of external hard drives for Xbox One are a variety of other great options if you don’t want to buy the Top Pick or Runner-up. We believe in giving you plenty of options for the type of storage you want for your Xbox One. So here they are.
Affordable 3TB External Hard Drive for Xbox One
Toshiba Canvio Basics 3TB Portable Hard Drive
If you want several affordable options, there’s no better series to look at than Toshiba’s Canvio Basics line of external hard drives. We say this because there are five available sizes to choose from: 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB.
There’s also a bundle that includes one 1TB hard drive along with a NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi Router that saves you money. Seeing as this same router sells alone for quite a bit on Amazon, you’d be saving yourself a decent amount of cash as opposed to buying the two items separately.
Although we feel the 2TB is the best option for its price, you’re good to go with any version, since they all support USB 3.0 technology. The hard drive is also very easy to set up, requiring no software to install if you ever use it on your computer, and it comes at a very compact size.
Able to fit in the palm of your hand, these are about as portable you can get with an external hard drive today. Believe it or not, the small size is a dealmaker for a lot of Xbox One gamers, whose gaming space is already filled with other gadgets and devices.
An internal shock sensor along with ramp-loading technology serve to protect your drive from memory loss due to damage, while Toshiba’s 1-year limited warranty offers peace of mind if you ever misplace your device or find it not functioning properly down the road.
- Powerful USB 3.0 technology
- No software necessary for PC
- Internal Shock Sensor and Ramp Loading Technology
- Incredibly compact design + no AC adapter required
- Four available sizes: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB
- Toshiba 1-year limited warranty
- Among the top-selling + best rated external hard drives on Amazon
Best 8TB Xbox One External Hard Drive
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive – USB 3.0
If you are looking for a massive amount of storage and can afford it, then you need to go with the WD 8TB My Book external hard drive for Xbox One! You’ll probably never need to worry about storage space the rest of this console generation.
However, if you can’t afford it but want a lot of Xbox One storage space then how would you like to pay around $30 per TB for 4TB? If you think that sounds expensive, it isn’t. It’s actually an amazing deal, available only by picking up the 4TB version of Western Digital’s My Book external hard drive.
Although there are Five sizes available (2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB), we urge you to muse over the 4TB version since it is not only affordable for its size, but will certainly eliminate your storage woes once and for all.
In terms of performance boosts, the My Book has you covered. Each version supports USB 3.0 connectivity that will reduce installing and loading times on your Xbox One. In fact, tests done by various game sites showed that installing The Witcher 3 and other titles was faster on these devices than the stock hard drive.
Other bonuses include WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software, which lets you back up the entire disk drive on your PC or selected partitions. Each one also works great with Windows 8, comes with password protection via hardware encryption, and offers cloud backup if you have a Dropbox account. Note that an AC adapter plug-in near your Xbox One will be needed.
- Super fast USB 3.0
- WD “SmartWare Pro” automatic backup software
- Compatible with Windows 8
- Offers password protection with hardware encryption
- Both local and cloud backup
- Backward compatibility with USB 2.0 devices
- Five available sizes: 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB
- Among the top-selling + best rated external hard drives on Amazon
Another great 8TB External Hard Drive for Xbox One
Seagate STEB8000100 Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0
For those who may want a substantial storage upgrade, Seagate has introduced a variety of external hard drives you can buy for Xbox One that boast plenty of capacity without putting a severe dent in your wallet. The five available sizes are 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB and 8TB. We recommend the 8TB Seagate Expansion, since it means you’re paying the lower price for each TB of storage.
No matter which one you choose, they all promise to enhance your Xbox One gaming experience via USB 3.0 support for quicker installing and loading times. In case you want to use it on any older devices, Seagate’s Expansion hard drives are backwards compatible and will work just fine with USB 2.0 ports. If you ever plan on using it for your PC, there is software to install since they are automatically recognized by Windows operating systems.
Worth mentioning, although not important to some people, is that these hard drives come with an attractive design and look quite sleek next to an Xbox One console. That being said, they do require both a power plug outlet and more space than most external hard drives to function. Of course, those are minor drawbacks when you chew on all the benefits each Expansion device delivers.
- Compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices
- Plug in to use with no installation required for computer use
- Large but sleek, attractive design
- Five available sizes: 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB, and 8TB
- Currently #1 New Release in External Hard Drives on Amazon
A very affordable 1TB Xbox One Hard Drive
HGST Touro S 1TB 7200RPM High-Performance Portable Drive, Platinum
Convinced that you only need between 500GB and 1TB of storage for your Xbox One? If so, HGST has the perfect pair of external hard drives for you to spend your hard-earned cash on. The choice is between the 500GB version “see current price” or the 1TB version “see current price“—since you’re getting double the capacity for not much more, we highly recommend the 1TB.
As with all the products on this list, you’re of course getting USB 3.0. However, these also possess 7200 RPM hard drives that can potentially transfer data up to 23% faster than a 5400 RPM drive. The stylish aluminum enclosures are also a big plus, especially when you have the choice of Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Ruby.
HGST also made sure to pack each Touro S line with plenty of neat features, such as two levels of protection with 3GB of free cloud backup along with preloaded local backup software. If you plan on one day using it for your computer, you may consider paying $69.99 per year for the paid account that offers 250GB of cloud storage. This cloud account even supports iOS mobile digital device apps.
- Supports USB 3.0
- Compact yet stylish aluminum enclosures
- Powerful 72000 RPM hard drives
- Two levels of protection
- Local backup software + 3GB of free cloud backup
- 250GB of cloud storage with paid account ($69.99/yr)
- Four colors: Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Ruby
Xbox One external hard drive setup
Video – How to use an external hard drive with Xbox One.