Sometimes you just have to start over, even with a game console. Whether you’re trying to fix an error that you couldn’t resolve with our solutions guide, or you’re having issues with the last update beta. Up to date with PlayStation software, you’ll want to know how to get your PlayStation 4 back to pristine condition. . Here’s how to reset a PS4 to factory settings, a process that brings it back to its original state, out of the box.
How to Factory Reset PS4:
Before you begin, you should know that a factory reset will completely erase the console’s hard drive and may even remove its system software. It’s the last resort when a software glitch stops your PlayStation 4 in its tracks, especially during startup or when you want to make sure the console is clear of your data.
You should back up all the data you want to keep, such as pictures and videos, to an external device or to the cloud. To back up data using the cloud, you must have a PlayStation Plus account.
There are two ways to reset your PS4: from the console dashboard or in Safe Mode if the console is having trouble starting up. We’re going to be going both ways, with the first one being through your PlayStation 4 dashboard.
1. Log in to your PS4 and go to the settings menu
Start in the settings menu and look for the PlayStation Network / Account Management option. You will want to deactivate the machine as your primary PlayStation 4. This setting allows you to play downloaded games offline by identifying that particular PS4 as your own. Miss this step and you will run into a host of other issues when you log into your new console and try to play your games.
2. Deactivate your PlayStation
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Go to Activate your primary PS4. Your PS4 will probably already be activated. If so, the Enable option will be grayed out, and Disable will be the only choice you can select. Select Disable and select Yes on the next screen.
3. Log back in with your user account
It’s different from your PS4 account. Once logged in, access the settings menu again.
4. Look for the option “Initialization” in the settings
Here you will find the two options you are looking for: Restore Default Settings and Initialize PS4. The first option will erase your saved settings data and restore the PS4 to its factory settings, but it will not erase your hard drive.
The second option is the big one which will erase your hard drive of data including downloaded games, saved game data, and anything else you have added to the console since its purchase. This will restore your PS4 to pristine condition the way it came out of the box.
5. Choose Complete on the Initialize screen.
The big wipe is the one you are looking for. Note that this will take a long time – probably a few hours or more.
Once you’ve initialized the erase, the PS4 will give you a progress bar showing how long it will take but expect it to take even longer as the console goes through several stages. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to set up your PS4 the same way you did when you first turned it on. If you are looking to sell it, you will hand it over completely fresh and with no attached data.
How to Factory Reset PS4 In Safe Mode:
If you’re having issues with the system software or other errors that prevent you from accessing the Settings menu and resetting your PS4, you can access the same options from within the console’s Safe Mode.
1. Completely shut down your PS4
Do not set it to Idle mode. You want the power to your console to be completely removed so that you can boot into safe mode.
2. Press and hold the power button until you hear two beeps
You have to physically press the power button on the console, rather than starting it with a controller. Hold it for about eight seconds. It will beep once you tap the button for the first time and then again before booting into Safe Mode. It will be labeled and you will recognize it by its black background.
3. Choose the reset option you need
Like in the Settings menu, in Safe Mode you can choose Restore Factory Defaults 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 restore you to factory settings, but keep the system software – its operating system, in other words. The last option is Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software), which is an even more complete factory reset that will require you to reinstall the operating system of the PS4.
4. If you have no software issues, choose Initialize PS4
This will restore your hard drive and software settings to their defaults, but leave the operating system software intact. This is the same as the option above (available in the Settings menu), and you will be able to choose between Fast and Full initializations. If that’s all you need, you’re done.
How to Reinstall PS4 System Software:
This is an even larger erase than the previous full initialization, removing all software from the console. In this case, you will need to reinstall the system software from another device. If you are having software issues with the operating system, you will need to select Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software), but there is another step to take first.
1. Download the official firmware for the PS4
Head over to your PC and download the latest system software from the PlayStation website. You will also need an external hard drive with a USB connection or a USB flash drive to transfer the update to your PS4. Take an external hard drive or USB flash drive with about 1.1 GB of free memory.
2. Create a new folder on your USB device and name it PS4
In this folder, create a folder and name it “UPDATE” in all capitals. Save the firmware file to the “UPDATE” folder and you should be good to go. Make sure the file is named “PS4UPDATE.PUP” when you save it.
3. Start your PS4 in safe mode
Do it as described above by turning off your PS4 completely and then holding the power button until it beeps twice and boots up in safe mode.
4. Choose Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) on your PS4
Just follow the prompts. The console will erase all data including system software and then ask you to plug in the USB device you saved the update to in order to reinstall the system software. Once done, your PS4 will be restored to factory settings.
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