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How to factory reset a PS4 or PS5

A factory reset will wipe all the data from your device, letting you pass it on to the next owner with no strings attached. In this article, we will learn how to factory reset PS4 and PS5 consoles to prep them for sale or fix performance issues.

How to factory reset a PS4 or PS5

Why should you factory reset PS4 or PS5 consoles?

There are three main reasons for factory resetting gaming devices — getting them ready for sale, fixing undiscoverable issues, and solving critical boot problems.

Selling your PS4 or PS5

The most common reason for performing a factory reset on a Playstation device is to prepare it for sale on the second-hand market. When you factory reset your PS4 or PS5, you destroy any personal data or software configurations present on the console, preventing the buyer from accessing your account or playing your games.

Fixing performance issues

You may also want to try to factory reset your PS4 or PS5 if it has been acting wonky and you can’t determine the cause. Factory resetting reverts the console back to its default factory settings, removing any configurations or system alterations that may be causing problems.

A word of caution — you should only restore the default settings on your console as a last resort. Once you commit to a factory reset, the process is irreversible and any data you’ve stored on the device is gone for good. In some cases, you may even have to reinstall system software updates from an earlier point.

Before you factory reset your console to fix performance problems, try other solutions, for example, clearing cache on your PS4 or PS5. It’s not as extreme, and it might fix your issues.

Solving boot problems

In some cases, the issue affecting your system is so severe that you can’t even get your device to start. Boot problems can strike on any console — and often, the only solution is factory resetting your Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation in safe mode to revert to a working configuration.

How to deactivate a PS4 account

If you’re planning on selling your console, a simple factory reset isn’t enough to fully sever your ties to the device — you also need to deactivate your account on the PS4. Without going through the deactivation process, you’ll likely encounter problems when trying to sign in on other devices. Here’s how to deactivate your PS4 account:

  1. On your PS4, navigate to the “Settings” menu and open it.
  2. In the following screen, select “Account management.”
  3. Choose “Activate as your primary PS4.”
  4. Select “Deactivate.” In case you’re curious, the “Activate” button is grayed out because your account is already present on the console.
  5. Select “Yes” to confirm the deactivation process.

How to factory reset PS4 consoles

Once you’ve decoupled your PS4 account from your console, the factory reset process is fairly simple. Follow these steps to delete all the data (including personal information, downloaded games, and save data) from your device:

  1. On your PS4, open the “Settings” menu.
  2. Select “Initialization.”
  3. Choose “Initialize PS4” for options on how you want to empty your system storage space.
  4. For a complete factory reset, select “Full.” This will delete everything but the operating system from your PS4.

How to factory reset a PS4 in safe mode

If you’re having trouble booting up your PS4, you can also perform an emergency factory reset from safe mode. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Completely shut down your PS4 by pressing and holding the power button on your console until you hear two beeps.
  2. Boot your PS4 in safe mode by pressing and holding the power button until you hear two beeps.
  3. In the safe mode menu, navigate to “Initialize PS4” using your controller. The controller will need to be connected with a USB cable because wireless mode won’t work in safe mode.
  4. Choose “Full” to restore your device to its factory settings.

PS5 factory reset: back up your data first

PS5 gives you the option of creating a backup of your system at any time. We strongly recommend that you back up your saved data before you go through with the factory reset — this way, you won’t have to reinstall system software updates, games, and your apps from scratch if the factory reset does not solve your problem. Here’s how to create a PS5 backup:

  1. Connect a USB flash drive (or some other USB storage device) to your PS5.
  2. In the PS5 home screen, select “Settings.”
  3. Go to “System” and select “System software.”
  4. Choose “Backup and restore,” then select “Back up your PS5.”
  5. Select the types of saved data you want to back up.
  6. Choose “Back up” to start the process. When it’s done, your PS5 will display “Backup complete” and restart.

How to factory reset PS5 consoles

Once you’ve backed up your data, performing a factory reset on your PS5 console is actually not that different from factory resetting a PS4. Follow these steps to wipe your device clean:

  1. In your console’s dashboard, navigate to the Settings menu.
  2. Open the “System” section and select “System software.”
  3. Select “Reset options” and choose what you want to do with the data on your PS5:
    • “Clear learning dictionary” will delete all terms that you have personally entered into your PS5, which are stored to help the device predict what you’re searching for. This is not a factory reset — clearing the dictionary will not affect saved game data, apps, or personal information.
    • “Restore default settings” will simply revert any changes you’ve made in the settings on the PS5. Like the option above, this is not a factory reset — the rest of your data on the device will remain intact.
    • “Reset the console” will delete everything from your PS5 and restore it to its initial state. This is the factory reset option you’re looking for.

Problems that a factory reset won’t fix

Restoring your console to factory settings isn’t a magical panacea to all gaming ills — there are some problems that factory resetting just can’t fix. Here are some common situations where a factory reset is not the solution:

  • Cheating and hacking in games. From aimbots to wallhacks, cheating is a sad part of any multiplayer. Unfortunately, other than reporting the cheater, there’s very little you can do on your end to curb this behavior. Cheaters modify their own consoles, hack game data, or infiltrate multiplayer servers to get an edge — resetting your PlayStation to factory settings won’t impact video game hacks at all.
  • DDoS attacks against you. Salty gamers may try to flood your internet protocol (IP) address with junk data to ratchet up your ping — a dirty move known as a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Because your IP address is assigned to you automatically by your network, performing a factory reset likely won’t deter a dedicated hacker. If you’re worried about DDoS attacks, use a reliable VPN for PlayStation to hide your real IP address while gaming.
  • Slow internet speed. While spotty software can cause connection issues, in most cases, the blame for your slow internet speeds lies elsewhere. Your internet service provider (ISP) may be having difficulties, or you might need to configure port forwarding on your PS4 or PS5 — whatever the issue, resetting your device to factory settings likely won’t lead to a good internet speed for gaming.
  • Browsing trouble on your console. If you’re having trouble browsing the web on your device, the problem most likely lies with your chosen browser or your DNS server. Before you nuke all the personal data on your console, try downloading another browser from the PlayStation store and changing your PlayStation DNS settings.