How to Factory Reset PS4

Introduction

Maybe you upgraded to a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X or S. Or, maybe you just don’t play your PS4 anymore and you want to sell it or give it to someone else. No matter the reason, before you get rid of your device, it’s important to completely erase your PS4 and do a full factory reset. This ensures that whoever ends up with the device can’t use special tools to recover any of your personal information or content that was previously on the console without your permission. And while this process does deactivate this device as your primary PS4, you can click here to check out my video that will show you how to either deactivate your PlayStation Network PSN account on the console before you erase it as a safe guard, or how to deactivate your PSN account remotely, even after you’ve gotten rid of your device.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

YouTube player
Shop Valentine's Day Deals on Amazon and save up to 50%!

What You Should Do Before You Factory Reset Your PS4?

Before factory resetting a PlayStation 4, it’s essential to take certain steps to ensure that all important data is backed up and that the process is carried out smoothly.

Firstly, make sure to back up all your saved data and game settings to an external hard drive or the cloud. This will prevent the loss of any critical data that you may want to keep. You should also ensure that you have the login credentials for your PlayStation Network account.

Next, make sure that you have any physical copies of games or apps that you want to keep. Once the reset is complete, you will need to re-download all digital content that was previously installed.

It’s also important to disable any automatic updates on your PS4 before performing the reset. This will prevent any system updates from occurring during the factory reset process, which can lead to errors and other issues.

Finally, it’s a good idea to disconnect any external devices, such as hard drives or controllers, from the PlayStation 4 before performing the reset. This will prevent any conflicts or errors that may occur during the reset process.

By taking these steps before factory resetting your PS4, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all important data is backed up and saved.

Steps to Factory Reset PS4

  1. Navigate to your PlayStation 4 home screen, and then navigate up to view the menu bar.
  2. Choose “Settings” in that menu bar. The Settings screen opens.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of this menu, and then choose “Initialization” in this menu.
  1. Choose “Initialize PS4.” The Initialize PS4 screen is shown. You’ll be given options to do either a quick or full initialization. A quick initialization will wipe your PS4 faster, but there will still be the chance that someone using special recovery tools can still pull your personal data off the device. A full initialization takes several hours, but it erases your PS4 data in such a way that it can’t be recovered.
  1. To ensure we completely delete our PS4 data so that no one else can recover it, we’ll choose “Full.” A message is displayed warning you that all users and data will be deleted, and that this PS4 will be deactivated for any users who have it activated as their primary PS4.
  1. Choose “Initialize.” Another screen is shown warning you that all users and data will be deleted from this PS4, and that the operation takes several hours.
  1. Click “Yes” to continue.
  1. A screen will be shown letting you know that your PS4 is initializing, showing you the progress, and letting you know how much time is left. After the initialization is complete, your PlayStation 4 will power itself down. The PS4 will be completely erased and restored to its default factory settings, so that when you turn the device on it will be in the same state it was when it was first removed brand new from the box.

Reasons to Factory Reset Your PS4

1. Troubleshooting

PS4 users may experience technical issues, such as freezing or slow performance. In such cases, a factory reset can be a quick solution. By wiping all data, including corrupted files, you return your PS4 to its original state, restoring normal functioning. Try this method if you have exhausted other troubleshooting options.

2. System Performance

Over time, your PS4 can become cluttered, leading to slow performance. If this is the case, a factory reset may be the answer. Clearing all data from the system, including games and apps, can significantly boost performance. Consider this solution if your PS4 is struggling to keep up with your demands.

3. Sell or Give Away

If you’re handing down your PS4, you must erase all personal information, settings and saved data. A factory reset ensures that no one will have access to your data after the transfer. This is a crucial step in the selling or giving away process.

4. Password Recovery

If you forget your PS4 password, a factory reset is the only solution. This will erase all your data and restore the system to its original state. Be sure to have a backup of your saved data before attempting this method.

5. Prepare for System Update

Before installing a major system update, it’s important to prepare your PS4. A factory reset can ensure that the update installs correctly and runs smoothly. This is a recommended step, especially if you have never performed a system update before.

6. Start Fresh

Sometimes, you may just want to start fresh with your PS4. A factory reset provides an opportunity to erase all data, including saved games, settings, and apps, allowing you to start over with a clean slate. This is an excellent solution for those looking to reset their gaming experience.

Shop Amazon's Deal of the Day and save up to 50%!

All Tutorial Categories

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links I may receive a small commission. This helps support my content, and enables me to continue creating content like this. Thank you for the support!