Technology is full of bugs, including those plaguing Sony’s long-running PlayStation 4 console. You know the problem: you’re in the middle of playing a game on your PlayStation 4, only to have the screen freeze or lock upon you.
These frustrating experiences tend to happen when your hardware is old and probably due for a good cleaning out and updating a few files. This sounds like it would be too much work, but sometimes all it takes is one button push to get your PlayStation back up and running smoothly again – a factory reset!
How to factory reset your PS4
Below is a step-by-step guide on properly resetting your PS4, whether you’re using an original or new PS4 model.
Instead of implementing a factory reset for one occurrence, utilize this piece to understand the procedure better so that factory resets become the default in special situations when booting up is impossible. You need something similar due to software/hardware glitches.
Because you’re trying to back up your data, you may want to consider storing it on a cloud account. You must sign up for PlayStation Plus, allowing 100GB (gigabytes) of cloud storage space.
If a reset is necessary, there are two ways to act on your console: via the dashboard or through safe mode if your PS4 won’t successfully boot.
To begin in safe mode, hold down the power button until the system turns off completely and don’t release it until then while also pressing and holding down the button marked “power.”
1st Step: The first step is to sign in to your PlayStation Network account. On the left-hand side of the screen, choose the “Settings” icon.
You’ll want to scroll down and find the Account Management option, then look for an option that says Disable Primary PS4. That setting allows you to play downloaded games offline by identifying this particular PS4 as yours.
It’s really important not to skip this step because if you do, your games won’t be playable when you sign on with your new console and try to play them!
2nd Step: Go to Activate as Your Primary PS4. Your PS4 will already most likely be activated. If that’s the case, the Activate option will be grayed out, and Deactivate will be the only option you can select. Select Deactivate and follow any instructions when prompted on your screen.
3rd Step: Sign back into your account and head to your profile settings.
4th Step: Scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu inside your PS4. Then click on Initialization and look for Restring Learning Dictionary and Network.
We want to read your saved setting data, so we will want you to click on Restore Default Settings. This will erase all the saved settings that include strings from other languages or learning dictionaries, but it will not harm the files on your virtual hard drive we promise!
5th Step: The factory reset is the one that you need. Remember that it will take quite a while – probably the entire afternoon.
How to reinstall system software on PS4
Resetting the system software is a high-level process and will completely erase all software off the console. After completing this reset, you will need to have another device handy to reinstall system software.
1st Step: Download the latest version of the system software for your PlayStation 4 – version 8.03 – which you can find on the website at playstation.com.
You will also need an external hard drive or a USB flash drive with about 1.1GB of free space to store the update file when it’s downloaded to your computer.
2nd Step: Download the update file onto a USB stick. If you’re using a PC, right-click on the file and choose “Extract all…”, then follow the prompts to copy it to the “update” folder created on your USB device in step 1; if you’re using a Mac, drag & drop the file from your computer into your “update” folder.
To start planning this project, ensure you’ve got the software development kit (SDK) installed on your machine. Then run these commands to upload firmware to your PS4.
3rd Step: Power on or restart your PlayStation 4 console by pressing and holding the power button for several seconds until you hear the second beep. You may need to repeat this step a few times. Then press and hold the power button again until you see “safe mode.”
4th Step: To reinstall the system software, go to Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) on your PS4. Follow all of your prompts as you look over them on screen.
As you move along there will come a moment when the PS4 will prompt you to disconnect any USB devices connected to it temporarily. We suggest unplugging everything except for your controller and then proceeding.
The next prompts will ask you to connect a USB memory stick with the downloadable update file already safely onboard it (go ahead and plug it in at this point!).
After that, your console will reboot itself.
So wait until it’s done reinstalling files and follow its last set of instructions which is cut-and-dried, fire-up ready kind of stuff.
Your PS4 will have been reset completely to factory settings by now, and it may take about a minute or so for the system start-up sequence before your device is fully operational again.