You've been playing Spider-Man® for hours and just as you're about to save the game's progress, your PlayStation® 4 freezes. Now what?
At Asurion, our experts help customers solve gaming console issues like this every day, from overheating PlayStations to Xboxes that won't turn on. Because when tech breaks, we fix it. If your PlayStation crashed at the worst time, don't throw your DualShock® controller at the wall—it's still working! Instead, check out these tips from our experts to find out how to reboot a PS4™ and get back in the game.
What to do if your PS4 crashes or freezes up
It's frustrating to watch your PlayStation stop working, but there are a couple ways to fix it. You can try restarting your console, or you can run a complete factory reset—this option will wipe all the data from your system's hard drive, so it should be a last resort.
Before we show you how to reset a PS4, be sure to back up everything on your machine—saved games, images, videos, and trophies. If you don't have a PlayStation Plus account or aren't able to access it to upload your save data to the cloud, here's how to back up your information on an external hard drive or flash drive.
How to back up your PS4 data
- Select the Trophies icon, then press Options > Sync Trophies with the PlayStation Network. This will save your game trophies (they're not copied in backup data). Repeat this step for every game you want to keep trophies from.
- Connect a FAT32- or exFAT-formatted external storage device, like a hard drive or USB flash drive (it must have double the storage space of your PS4 hard drive).
- Go to Settings > System > Back Up and Restore.
- Select Back Up, then choose which data you want to save. Not backing up your files will mean starting your games from scratch.
- A progress bar will appear on the screen until your backup is complete. You can name the backup when it's finished.
- Select Back Up, then press Enter.
- Remove your external device from the PS4.
How to restart a PS4
Sometimes, a simple restart is all you need to fix an issue with your PlayStation 4. Unlike a factory reset, a reboot will not erase all of your stored data, but it's still a good idea to make sure your saved data is backed up first.
To reboot your PS4:
- Press and hold the PS button on your controller, then select Power.
- You can choose to Turn Off PS4 or Restart PS4, but don't select Enter Rest Mode. This option does not fully turn off the device.
After restarting your PlayStation, try playing a game. If your system continues to crash or freeze, it may be best to move forward with a reset to factory settings.
How to factory reset a PS4
Whether you have the original console, a Slim model, or a Pro, here's how to factory reset your PS4 from the dashboard screen.
- Turn off your system and unplug any cables. If the PS4 is warm, it may be overheating. Allow it to cool down in a ventilated place for a few minutes, then reconnect the cable and turn it back on.
- Sign in to your PS4 and open Settings. In the Settings menu, look for Account Management, then press Enter.
- Select Activate as Your Primary PS4, and if your PlayStation is already activated, select Deactivate > Yes. This will help you avoid issues when you restore your PlayStation 4 data after the reset.
- Sign back in to your PlayStation account, then open Settings > Initialization. You'll see three options: Clear Learning Dictionary, Restore Default Settings (this is how to reset a PS4 to factory settings without wiping the hard drive), and Initialize PS4.
- Select Initialize PS4 > Full to clear your console's hard drive of all save data, downloaded games, and anything else you added on the device. The process will take a few hours to complete.
How to factory reset a PS4 from Safe Mode
If you're unable to get to your PlayStation's dashboard or are having software or system errors with your machine, you can also try factory resetting your PS4 from Safe Mode. It's simple:
- Turn your system completely off and unplug any cables. Don't set it to Rest Mode.
- Push the power button on your PS4 and hold it down until you hear two beeps—it should take about 8 seconds). You'll see a black screen when the system boots up in Safe Mode.
- Look at the options on the screen. You can either choose Restore Default Settings, Initialize PS4, or Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) to factory reset your console. The latter option will erase the operating system and require you to reinstall the system's software later.
Asurion Experts recommend selecting Initialize PS4 > Full if you're not having software issues with your PlayStation. This will leave your operating system intact but clear your hard drive completely and reset your device to its factory settings.
How to reinstall system software on a PS4
If nothing else has worked and you want to completely start fresh, you can reinstall your PlayStation 4's software. You'll need an external hard drive or USB flash drive with at least double the storage space of your console. You'll also need access to a computer or laptop. If you still want to try this method, here's how to hard reset a PS4:
- Use your Windows™ PC, MacBook®, or other laptop computer to search and download the latest system software (firmware) from PlayStation.com.
- Once the download is complete, connect the external hard drive or flash drive to your laptop, then create a folder on the drive named “PS4” and a subfolder named “UPDATE” in all caps.
- Move the PlayStation 4 firmware into the UPDATE folder. Make sure it's labeled, “PS4UPDATE.PUP” when you save it.
- On your PS4, press the power button and hold it until you hear two beeps—it should take about 8 seconds. Wait until it starts in Safe Mode.
- Scroll to Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) then press Enter. Follow the onscreen instructions to connect the external device to your PS4 and reinstall the operating system on your console.
Once you install the files on your PS4, it will be reset to its factory settings.