A popular upgrade to any laptop or desktop Windows PC is to install an SSD alongside or in place of an existing, magnetic hard drive (HDD). If you're doing this and finding yourself suddenly with a spare 2.5- or 3.5-inch HDD, don't throw it away. With a little extra expenditure you can use it to bump the storage on your Xbox One.

Even with the recent hardware revisions bringing a 1TB storage option, it's still way too easy to fill up your console. Doesn't take too many games at 45GB to soon eat away at it. So instead of buying another drive, spend a little less and re-purpose an old one.

What you need

Xbox One external storage

A drive

For the purposes of this it doesn't matter if you're using a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive. The former you'll more likely find on a laptop, the latter on a desktop. You can also use an SSD if you're replacing one of those for any reason.

An enclosure

There are a couple of different things you can do, but one common thread is that you need an enclosure for the formerly internal drive. This will act not only as protection, but also as the interface between the console and the drive.

If you're using a 3.5-inch drive then you'll be looking for a powered enclosure, and as is the nature of the drive it'll be reasonably large. But not necessarily expensive. I picked one up from a UK electronics retailer for £12. Essentially it's just a box with a small circuit board, power supply and USB output. Be sure to check that it's a USB 3.0 output, though. Check out the links below for a few options.

If you're looking at using a 2.5-inch drive there are a few more options on what to use. You can pick up a USB 3.0 enclosure which most likely won't require any external power and will look almost identical to an off the shelf external hard drive. This is a great choice if you intend to move the drive around. Check the links below for some suggestions.

With a 2.5-inch drive you also have the option of a couple of enclosures that fit directly to the console. You get a shroud that plugs into the side USB port, houses the drive and also adds a couple of forward facing USB ports. A nice option for a static drive that will look a little more pleasing to the eye than just a block attached with a cable. We've seen a couple of different ones which are linked below.

What's supported

And a note also on drives that are supported. As with any external drive you choose will need a USB 3.0 connection and you'll need something 256GB in size or bigger.

Whichever option you go for, the rest of the process is the same.

Formatting and using the drive

Xbox One external storage

The Xbox One should detect and ask you to format the drive when you first connect it. It's not necessary as such to format the drive on your PC as well, but it won't hurt if you did it anyway. Once the process is complete you'll be up and running and ready to start putting games on it.

For a complete guide on how to set up external storage with the Xbox One check out the link below.

How to choose and use an external hard drive for your Xbox One

That's really all there is to it. For a much lower outlay you can recycle a part you may have just disposed of and make it live on and enhance your Xbox gaming experience!