This is a basic guide describing how to connect your PSP to your PC for transfer of files. Please note that this guide is intended to be a means, and not an end. Basically, transferring any type of file to the PSP requires a USB connection with a computer. This guide is thus the precursor to our other guides -- the Video Transfer Guide, the Music Transfer Guide, the Image Transfer Guide, and the Save Game Transfer guide.

The process is very simple, and most people reading this post have probably already figured out how to do get things up and running. Nevertheless, there may be some users who don't know what cable to buy, where to go to access the PSP, and so forth. In other words, this guide offers even "uninitiated" users the chance to get their PSPs connected with their PC, and serves to provide a reference point for our other guides.

There are a total of 6 short steps to getting your PSP connected to your PC. And I say "PC" because I mean PC -- if you use a Mac and are interested in contributing a guide for Mac users, please let me know. So let's get to it.

Materials needed:


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Step 1: Verify that you have a Memory Stick Duo inserted in your PSP

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It seems obvious, but this step is certainly the most important. Connecting your PSP to your PC without having a Memory Stick Duo inserted won't get you anywhere. The Memory Stick Duo slot is located on the left side of the PSP (when viewing the LCD). There is a small notch cut into the plastic cover, and it opens in a fashion similar to a car hood. For Japanese users, the PSP Value Pack includes a 32MB Memory Stick Duo. For American users, all PSP packages at launch include 32MB Memory Stick Duo.

Step 2: If necessary, format Memory Stick Duo using PSP

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If this is your first time using the Memory Stick Duo in your PSP, you'll want to format it. It is important that you format your Memory Stick Duo using your PSP instead of your PC. Not only will using the PSP for formatting the card enable you to take advantage of greater file capacity, but it will also create the directory structure needed for proper usage of all files on the PSP's Memory Stick Duo. You will only need to format your Memory Stick Duo once; if you have already done so, doing it again could (and probably will) result in erased data.

Step 3: Connect your PSP to your PC using the USB cable

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One one end of the USB cable is a bizarre looking USB Mini connector. On the other end is a normal looking USB connector. Plug the bizarre looking end into the port on the top of the PSP, and plug the normal looking end into your PC's free USB port. Please excuse my extremely dirty computer, by the way.
Note that no USB cable is included with the PSP. You will need to purchase a USB cable before you can connect your PSP to your PC. Though your local Best Buy or Fry's may carry these cables, it is far cheaper to order them online. We recommend this cable from Newegg.com; it costs about $3.50. And a quick word about the cable: be sure you purchase a cable that supports USB 2.0. Since the PSP itself supports USB 2.0, you will see significantly faster transfer rates when using USB 2.0 in conjunction with a Memory Stick PRO Duo. When transferring large amounts of data to and from the PSP, this will make quite a difference in transfer speeds. The NewEgg cable supports USB 2.0. Also, PSP-Vault member sirchode points out this important tidbit:

Quote I just received my Mini-B USB cable from NewEgg only to realize that there is a very big difference between the 4-pin version and the 5-pin version. I hadn't read about it anywhere so I had to take a guess and now I've gotta do an RMA.



Be sure you buy the correct cable (the 5-pin version).

Step 4: Enter the PSP's "USB Mode"

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Under your PSP's "Settings Menu" is an option called "USB Connection." Highlight this option, press circle, and you'll see a screen similar to the screenshot I've posted on the right. You'll need to enter USB Mode every time you want to connect your PSP to your PC.

Step 5: Access the PSP using your PC

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Depending on what operating system you use, you may or may not be presented with the above dialog. If you are, great -- just click on "Open Folder to View Files," then "OK." If you do not see this dialog, you will have to find your PSP the old fashioned way. That is, select the proper drive from My Computer. On my machine, my PSP is listed as F:. This letter will vary depending on the number of hard drives and removable storage drives your computer has.

Step 6: Navigate the PSP's folders using your PC

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Now that you've found your PSP, you're basically done. Simply double-click on the drive in My Computer, or if you clicked the 'Open Folder to View Files" in the last step, it is already displayed. If you used your PSP to format your Memory Stick Duo in step 2, as you should have, you will see a folder called "PSP." My screenshot above shows an "MP_ROOT" folder because I have video content stored on my Memory Stick Duo; if you'd like more information on this, be sure to read our Video Transfer Guide. Again, though, if you have formatted your Memory Stick Duo, this folder will not be showing.

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That concludes the PSP to PC Basic Connection Guide. If you have any questions or comments, please post them in this thread.

Now that you know how to connect your PSP to your PC, you're ready to start transferring files to it.