How to Reset Your PS4

Sometimes, you just need to go back to the beginning

PS4 and DualShock4 Controller
To restore default settings to a PS4 console, all you need is your PS4 controller.

unsplash/jeshoots

 

If you plan to sell your PS4, or if a software glitch is preventing your console from booting up, consider performing a factory reset. Below are multiple options for restoring your PS4's default settings.

What Does it Mean to Factory Reset a PS4?

Resetting your PS4 restores the hard drive to the state it was in when you first bought the console. Performing a factory reset is highly recommended before selling your PS4 since your system probably contains personal data such as your credit card information. It's also possible to remove the PS4 operating system, which may be necessary if your console is malfunctioning.

Note: A factory reset is irreversible, so back up your game data with an external hard drive. Alternatively, PlayStation Plus users can upload their data to the cloud for safe storage.

How to Factory Reset a PS4

Before you start the process to reset your PS4, the console has to be on. You must also be signed in to your PS4 account.

PS4 Settings Icon
Go to your PS4's settings to reset your console.

To reset your PS4:

  1. Navigate to the Settings option in the row of icons above the home menu, represented by an icon looks like a briefcase.
  2. In the settings menu, select Account Management > Activate as Your Primary PS4. Choose Deactivate and manually restart the console.
  3. After you sign in again, navigate back to Settings.
  4. Under the Settings menu, select Initialization. In the list that appears, there are two options for resetting the system: Restore Default Settings and Initialize PS4.
    1. Note: The former simply deletes any custom system preferences you have set up; it will not erase your game data.
  5. If you desire to wipe your hard drive of everything except the console's operating system, select Initialize PS4 > Full to begin the reset. A progress bar should appear but expect the process to take a few hours.
  6. Once finished, follow the on-screen instructions. You should then turn off your PS4 by holding down the console's power button until it beeps.
PS4 Settings
Choose "Initialize PS4" to reset your PS4 to factory settings.

If you plan on selling your PS4, you can now be confident that whoever buys it won't have access to your personal account or information. The next time someone turns on the system, they'll be prompted to set up the console just like when you first bought it.

How to Hard Reset a PS4 That Won't Boot Up

If you can't access the settings because your PS4 won't boot up, you'll have to reset your console in safe mode and reinstall the system software. You'll need a computer with internet access and a USB flash drive with at least 350 MB of free space.

  1. Plug the flash drive into your computer. Open the drive and create a folder named "PS4."
  2. Open that folder and create another folder inside of it called “UPDATE.”
  3. Download the latest PS4 software update. Save the file inside the “UPDATE” folder you created on the flash drive.
  4. Safely remove the flash drive from your computer and set it aside for now.
  5. Turn off your PS4. Make sure it's not in rest mode; you want the power to be completely off.
  6. Hold down the console's power button for several seconds until it beeps a second time. The system will then boot up in safe mode.
  7. You'll be presented with a list of options. In addition to Restore Default Settings and Initialize PS4, you'll see Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software). Choosing this option will completely wipe the console's hard drive of everything, including the PS4 operating system. If your console isn't having software issues, select Initialize PS4 > Full; otherwise, choose Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software).
  8. After the process is finished, you'll be prompted to connect a device containing the system software. Insert your flash drive from earlier into one the USB ports on the front of your PS4. The console will automatically detect the file and install the operating system.
  1. When it's finished, the console will reboot again and your PS4 should start as normal.