How to Delete & Install Game Data on a PS3 Hard Drive
By Aaron Parson
Updated September 22, 2017
Most PS3 games automatically install a small portion of the game's data the first time you launch the game, so you can just pop in a disc and play. Once you finish or get bored with a game, make room on your hard drive for your next adventure by deleting the old installation data from the system menu. Uninstalling a game won't erase your save files, so you can reinstall the game later and pick up where you left off.
Installing Game Data
Most of the time, starting a game automatically installs its data. Some games only install a few files, while others copy several gigabytes -- check the back of a game's box to see how much space it needs. A few games use alternate installation methods. For example, "Metal Gear Solid 4" usually installs data for each of the game's acts as you reach it, but an option on the main menu allows you to install the entire game at once.
Deleting Game Data
To delete a PS3 game's installation data, go to the Game column on the home screen and choose "Game Data Utility." Select a game, press "Triangle," choose "Delete" and then pick "Yes." Deleting game data does not affect saved games. If you want to erase your saves as well, open "Saved Data Utility" from the Game column and perform the same steps.
Installing and Deleting Downloads
Downloaded games install a bit differently. To install a downloaded game, select its installer from the main menu and press "X." To erase the game, highlight it in the "PlayStation 3" folder on the Games menu, press "Triangle" and choose "Delete." You can download and install the game again later without paying a second time.
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.