The technology is not perfect, including our gaming systems. It’s always terrible to really get into a game only to have it freeze before you reach that checkpoint. Recently, the age of the system appears to have exacerbated these problems. These frustrating experiences happen to many PlayStation 4 users and there is a relatively simple way to fix them: a full factory reset.
Here’s how to factory reset your PS4
A full factory reset for the PlayStation 4 is a pretty straightforward process. This is usually done as a last resort to ensure the system is functional. Before performing a factory reset, remember to back up all of your saved data before starting the process. Performing a factory reset on the PlayStation will erase all of your data from your system. If you don’t back up your save data, you’ll have to start your games over. PS Plus users are fortunate enough to be able to upload their save games to the cloud, so backing up saved games shouldn’t be a problem for them. However, you can also use a flash drive to copy game saves if you are not a PS Plus member.
Below are step-by-step instructions on how to do a factory reset on your PS4, whether you’re rocking an Original Model, Slim, or Pro.
Before we start, you should know that a factory reset will completely erase the console’s hard drive and can even remove the system software. It’s the last resort if a software glitch brings your PlayStation 4 to a standstill, especially when booting up or when you want to make sure that the console no longer contains your data.
You should back up any data you want to keep, such as pictures, scores, and videos, on an external device or in the cloud. To back up data via the cloud, you need a PlayStation Plus account that gives you 100 GB of storage.
There are two ways to reset your PS4 – from the console dashboard or from Safe Mode if the console is having trouble starting. We’ll go through both ways, the first one through your PlayStation 4 dashboard.
Step 1: Start from the Settings menu and find the option for Account Management. You should disable the computer as your primary PlayStation 4. This setting allows you to play downloaded games offline by identifying that particular PS4 as yours. If you miss this step, you will run into a myriad of other problems when logging into your new console and trying to play your games.
Step 2: Go to Activate as your primary PS4. Your PS4 will likely already be activated. If that’s the case, activate Option is grayed out, and Deactivate will be the only option you can choose. Choose Deactivate and choose Yes sir on the following screen.
Step 3: Sign back into your account and go back to Settings for the final steps.
Step 4: Scroll all the way down in the Settings menu. Click on initialization and you will be presented with a few more options. For the purposes of this guide, all you need to worry about is the two options below – we’ll skip the Clear Learning Dictionary. Underneath you can see restore default settings, which will erase your saved settings data and reset the PS4 to its factory settings, but will not erase your hard drive.
The other possibility, Initialize PS4, is the big one that wipes your hard drive of data, including downloaded games, saved game data, and anything else you’ve added to the console since purchase. This will restore your PS4 to the pristine condition it was in when it was unpacked.
Step 5: The full wipe is what you are looking for. Note that it will take a long time – probably a couple of hours or more.
Once you’ve initialized the erase, the PS4 will show you a progress bar showing how long it is taking, but expect it to take even longer as the console goes through several steps. When it’s done, you can set up your PS4 just like you did when you first turned it on. If you want to sell it, submit it completely fresh and with no data attached.
Perform a factory reset from Safe Mode
If you’re having system software issues or other errors preventing you from going to the Settings menu and reinitializing your PS4, you can access the same options through the console’s safe mode.
Step 1: Turn off your PS4 completely. Don’t put it up Sleep mode. You want the console to be completely turned off so that you can boot into safe mode.
Step 2: Press and hold the power button until you hear two beeps. You have to physically press the power button on the console instead of starting it with a controller. Hold it for about eight seconds. It will beep once the first time you touch the button and then again before you boot into Safe Mode. It is labeled and you can recognize it by its black background.
Step 3: There are three different approaches to resetting your PS4 from the Safe Mode menu. Like in settings Menu, in safe mode you can choose restore default settings to reset everything in the PS4 to its original software settings, but keep your data.
You can also choose Initialize PS4. This will erase your hard drive and reset you to factory settings, but it will keep the system software – in other words, the operating system.
The last option is Initialize PS4 (reinstall system software)which is an even more extensive factory reset that involves reinstalling the PS4’s operating system.
Step 4: If you are not having any software issues, select Initialize PS4. This will reset your hard drive and software settings to the factory defaults, but the operating system software will remain intact. It’s the same as the option above (available in the settings Menu) and you can choose between Fast and Fully Initializations. If that’s all you need, you’re done.
How to reinstall the system software on PS4
Reinstalling the system software is a more difficult reset than a full initialization and will completely erase all software from the console. You will need to have another device handy to reinstall the system software after doing this reset. If you have software problems with the operating system, you need to initialize it. choose PS4 (reinstall system software)but first there is one more step in the process to be done.
Step 1: On your PC, check the PlayStation website for the latest system software (version 8.03) and download it to your computer. To get the update onto your PS4, you’ll use a flash drive or an external hard drive that can be connected to a USB port. Get an external hard drive or USB stick with about 1.1 GB of free space.
Step 2: Create a new folder on your USB device and name it PS4. Create a folder in this folder and name it “UPDATE” in capital letters. Place the firmware file in this “UPDATE” folder so that you can access it quickly during the transfer. Make sure that the file is named “PS4UPDATE.PUP” when you save it.
Step 3: Start your PS4 in Safe Mode. Follow the instructions above to turn off your PS4. Press and hold the power button until you hear two beeps, which will allow it to start in Safe Mode.
Step 4: Select Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) on your PS4. From there, follow all of the instructions from your PS4. As you go through it, the console will erase everything, including the system software. The next prompts will guide you through connecting the USB with the saved update and reinstalling the system software. After installing the updated files, your PS4 will be reset to factory settings.