How to . . . transfer your game data to a new console

Picked up a new games console over Christmas?

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


A few years ago, if you had a Playstation, the most you could look forward to was a slimmer version, and ditto with the Xbox, until Sony and Microsoft decided to push out the next generation of consoles. But now you have more powerful - and more expensive - versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that bring extras such as 4K gaming and HDR support. Basically, your games look better, provided you have a compatible TV.

The good news is that the latest versions of the consoles that have hit the market in the last year - the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X - are still compatible with all the games you bought for the original PS4 and Xbox One. And you can move all your data from the old console to the new one.

PS4 to PS4 Pro

When you are setting up your new PS$ Pro, you’ll be asked if you want to transfer data from your old console. To do this, you’ll need a LAN cable - not included in the box, but most households have one lying around - and access to a broadband network.

Make sure both consoles are switched on. Check both systems are running the latest version of the software; if not, go to Settings>Systems Software Update and run the update from there.

Connect your new console to your TV and sign in with your PSN ID. The old console merely needs to be switched on.

Once you sign in, you should see a screen that gives you the option to transfer data from your old console. Press the power button on your old console until you hear a beep. Connect both consoles by plugging the LAN cable into the port on the rear of each machine. Click Next.

Select the data you want to move, whether it is application data, saves, themes or captures, and click Next. You’ll be prompted to activate your new PS4 Pro.

Nothing will be erased from your old console, so if disaster strikes, you have the original source to recover your data. What won’t come over in the transfer is password data, unsynched trophy data and any user data that isn’t linked to a PSN ID.

Xbox One to Xbox One X

If you’ve upgraded to the Xbox One X, you have a few different options to move your data.

First, there’s USB storage. Back up your settings. Connect a USB 3.0 storage device to your old console; it must be bigger than 256GB and formatted for Xbox One. Got To Settings>System>Backup and transfer. Back up my settings. Follow the on screen prompts and select your preferred storage method. Then connect your USB storage to your new console, before powering on the new Xbox One. Start up the new Xbox and follow the onscreen prompts.

If you have external storage connected to the console with enough space available - my home set up has a 2TB solid state drive attached - you can move all your games at once. Open the guide by pressing the Xbox button, go to Settings>System>Storage. Select where you want to copy data from, select Transfer, and choose what you want to move. Then select Copy or Move Selected

You can also use your home network to copy games and apps from one console to another. On your original console, go to Settings >Network >Network transfer. Check the box to allow network transfer. Turn on the new console, and go to Settings>Network>Network Transfer and find the host Xbox. Select your old console, choose the games you want to copy, and choose Copy Selected.

When you are connected to Xbox Live, you can also save game data to the cloud, so you can pick up where you left off. As long as you are signed in to Xbox Live - the basic level, fee free, will do - your data will automatically update. To access it, all you have to do is sign in on the console with your Xbox Live ID.