Why clear the cache on your PlayStation device?
All game consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and 5, have a cache – a type of memory designed to store temporary files. The cache stores images, icons, and other small data files, allowing the device to load them faster and improving its overall performance.
The cache memory helps your PS and installed games turn on quickly and run smoothly. But if the cache gets too full or the files get corrupted, it can have the opposite effect. Cached files will load slowly, and you might experience infuriating game lags and glitches.
If your games aren’t running as smoothly as you’d like, you feel like your PlayStation device could turn on faster, or you have problems logging in to online games, it could be a sign that it’s time to clear the cache. Doing so can improve your console’s performance, free up some storage space for future temporary data, and even resolve some of the bugs and glitches that occur due to a full cache.
Don’t worry – clearing the cache is safe for your device. You’re not doing a factory reset of your PlayStation console, which would completely wipe its memory. Game consoles occasionally clear their cache automatically, but sometimes they need assistance.
Your games and accounts will be fine unless you clear the game data, in which case you’ll lose your in-game progress. Game data includes the game cache but also other files you may need to back up before doing a cleanup. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to PS game data as the game cache because that’s what we focus on today. Note, however, that it also includes other important files.
How to clear the cache on PS4
There are two main types of cache on PlayStation devices: the system cache and game data.
- The system cache stores temporary files and data that the device needs to access frequently.
- The game data is specific to a particular game. It stores small, supplementary files and helps games load and run faster.
If you experience performance problems and wonder how to make your PS4 run faster, you can try clearing the system, game data, or both. Clearing the system cache can help with some problems, such as slow load times, while removing the game cache can solve some game-specific issues, such as corrupt saved game data.
Clearing the system cache on a PS4
To clear the system cache on your PlayStation 4:
- Completely turn off the game console without entering “Rest Mode.” Press the PS button on the controller to go to the Home screen, then select “Power” > “Turn off PS4” or press and hold the power button on the console.
- Wait until the indicator light stops flashing.
- Unplug the power cord from the back of the console when the indicator light goes black.
- Wait at least half a minute.
- Plug the power cord back into the device and turn it on.
Clearing the game cache on a PS4
Note: PlayStation 4 lets you delete game data that includes the game cache. Deleting game data would result in losing your in-game progress. So you can either create a backup of your progress-related files or accept the fact that you’ll have to start the game all over again.
To clear the game cache on your PlayStation 4:
- Open the “Settings” menu (located at the top of the dashboard).
- Select “Manage saved application data” > “Saved data in system storage.”
- Optional step: Select “Upload to online storage” or “Copy to USB storage device” to back up your game data.
- Select “Delete.”
- Select the game whose cache you want to clear.
- Mark the saved data files that you want to delete.
- Select “Delete” and “OK.”
How to clear the cache on a PS5
Clearing the cache on a PlayStation 5 isn’t much different from the PS4. You can remove the system cache, the game cache and data, or both, depending on the problems you’re experiencing.
Clearing the system cache on a PS5
To clear the system cache on your PlayStation 5:
- Turn off the PS5 without entering “Rest Mode:” Press the PS button on your controller, then select “Power” > “Turn off PS5” or press and hold the power button on the device until you hear two beeps.
- Wait until the indicator lights on the console stop flashing.
- Press and hold the power button on the console to turn it on again. Wait until you hear two beeps.
- The device will enter “Safe Mode.” Connect your PS5 controller to the console using the USB cable. Connecting the controller is necessary to use the “Safe Mode” menu.
- Press the PS button on the controller. Select “Clear cache and rebuild database” > “Clear system software cache.”
- Select “OK.”
Clearing the game cache on a PS5
Note: Game data saved on a PlayStation contains game cache and other files, such as saved progress. Clearing it will cause you to lose your in-game progress unless you back up your files to cloud storage or an external device.
To clear the game cache on your PlayStation 5:
- Select “Settings” at the top of the Home screen.
- Select “Saved data and game/app settings” > “Save data (PS5)” or “Saved data (PS4)” (games meant for PS4 are located under the second option).
- Select “Console storage.”
- Optional step: Select “Upload to cloud storage” or “Copy to USB drive” to back up your game data.
- Select “Delete.”
- Scroll down and mark the game whose cache you want to delete.
- Select “Delete” and “OK.”
Clearing the cache won’t improve internet speed for gaming or reduce lag caused by a slow connection, but it can help with glitches or slow loading and boost the console’s overall performance.
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