Factory reset your PS4 easily. Steps on how to do that.

black and blue game controller

So, you want to factory reset your PS4? Whether you’re resetting it to fix some bugs, speed it up a bit or if you just want a fresh start to bring some life into the old console. Resetting it is quite easy and the steps are here for you to do just that.

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What you need to do before you factory reset your PS4.

If you’re about to sell your console or trade in for a new one then you might want to deactivate your PS4 as the primary console to your PlayStation account.

First, you’ll need to sign into your account then head on over to ‘Account Management‘ in ‘Settings‘.

After that select ‘Activate as Your Primary PS4‘ and then select ‘Deactivate’. This way you would not have any problems whatsoever when using your other console.


Back up, back up, back up. Make sure you back up all your content. Would not want to lose all those precious gaming moments and saves now, would we?

To do that either load all your content to the Cloud or back it up onto an External Hard Drive.

Disclaimer: To use Cloud Storage you would need to have a paid PlayStation Plus Subscription.

Using the Cloud to back up before the factory reset:

With the Cloud you would get a 100GB Cloud Storage, so use it wisely.

Steps to Back up to the Cloud:

  1. Open the settings and select ‘Application Saved Data Management‘.
  2. Once there, pick ‘Auto-Upload‘ and then choose the games you would like to upload automatically.

Steps to Back up to an External Hard Drive Part 1

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Recommendation: Use a USB 3.0 Drive or better that has between 250GB and 8TB of storage space.

First check if your Drive is formatted to FAT32 or exFAT. If not, you can do this easily by:

Formatting it through your PS4 or any PC with Windows or OS X.

If you don’t need to you can skip these steps and jump straight to the steps on how to back up to an external drive down below. Just scroll a little bit more and you will come across it.

Steps to Format your External Drive using your PS4.

  1. Head to the ‘Settings’.
  2. Open ‘Devices’.
  3. Then open ‘USB Storage Devices’.
  4. Once there choose the format you would like and wait until the process is done.

Steps to Format your External Drive using Windows.

For an easy way to do this:

  • You will need to plug your drive into your PC.
  • Open the ‘File Explorer’.
  • Right-click on the drive you would like to format.
  • Select the format option.

You would most likely see something like this:

  • Don’t forget to change the volume label.
  • If you’re in a hurry make sure ‘Quick Format’ is selected. Be prepared to wait a while once you click start if the ‘Quick Format’ option is not selected.
    • Make sure you also select the proper format such as the exFAT or FAT32 format.
  • After the preparations are done click start and begin the waiting game.

And if your drive seems to be out of sight, not displaying for whatever reason then there’s a way around that too.

Drive not displaying on Windows? Ooh… that’s a bummer but it’s fixable.

To fix this you’d need to initialize your drive in ‘Disk Management‘. Let’s find out how to do just that:

  • Either rightclick on your Start menu and select ‘Disk Management’ like so:
  • Or click on the ‘This PC’ option in File Explorer then click on ‘Manage’. Once a new window opens up look for ‘Disk Management’ from there. The process should look like this:

Once there look for the drive with the unallocated space.

It’ll be the one with a black bar like this:

In my case I split my drive to show you what unallocated space looks like.

  • So, from there right-click on the drive with unallocated space and select ‘New Simple Volume’.

And a new window would open looking like this:

  • Click next.
  • Choose how much space you’d like to allocate. Of course, the ideal amount would be its maximum.
  • Assign the drive letter. Then click next.
  • Select the exFAT or FAT32 file system.
  • Then change the ‘Volume Label’ to whatever you would like. For all intents and purposes, I’ve named mine ‘PS4 Drive’.
  • Once done there click next.
  • Once you click finish you would see the drive showing up in both Disk Management and File explorer with the name and letter you gave it.

Steps to Format your External Drive using OS X

Unfortunately, I do not have access to an OS X device at this moment so I would only be able to put the steps down.

  • Open the ‘Finder Window’.
  • Then ‘Applications’.
  • After that select ‘Utilities’.
  • Last but not least open ‘Disk Utility’.
  • Once there select your External Drive.
  • Click ‘Erase’. A new window would appear in which you would have to select the exFAT file system then click ‘Erase’.
  • If it prompts you to use the ‘Time Machine’ option select ‘Don’t Use’ and that should be all.
  • Your drive would be usable at this point.

Now that’s done let’s see how you can back up your data to the drive that you went through all the trouble of formatting.

Steps to Back up to an External Hard Drive Part 2

  1. Plug your External Hard Drive that has the correct format into your PS4, if it doesn’t then follow the steps above to change it to the format your PS4 supports.
  1. Open ‘Settings’.
  1. Select ‘Application Saved Management’.
  1. Once there select ‘Saved Data in System Storage’.
  1. After that choose ‘Copy to USB Storage Device’ and choose the files you want. Select multiple files by opening the options and selecting ‘Choose Multiple‘.
  1. All that is left for you to do is to select ‘Copy’.

Well, that should be easy enough, hope it helped. On to the next steps on how to factory reset your PS4. Go on, hop to it…

How to Factory Reset your PS4.

This should be quick and easy from here on out.

  • Open up your settings then look for the ‘Initialization’ option. Select that and then select ‘Initialize PS4’.
  • From here a pop up should be asking whether you’d want a ‘Quick’ or ‘Full’ Initialization.
    • A quick initialization would wipe your drive quickly but not securely so with the proper software your data could be recovered.
    • A full initialization would completely wipe your PS4 hard drive but might take several hours in doing so. Selecting this option is ideal, however the wait is not.
  • Once you have chosen between the two, it would ask you to ‘Initialize’ then all you would need to do is select yes.
  • After selecting yes, the process would begin after your PS4 reboots.
  • Once done your PS4 would start up and you should be seeing a guide asking you to connect your controller with a USB Cable.

Factory Reset of your PS4 done!

If you have reached that point then it means you have just succeeded with the factory reset of your PS4!

If for some odd reason you are unable to initialize through the regular method shown above, there is another way to initialize through Safe Mode. I’ve made a post on how to access the PS4 Safe Mode so it would not be too much of a hassle for you to find it.

And once you have successfully booted into safe mode all you would need to do is select ‘Initialize PS4’ or select ‘Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)’. As explained in the PS4 Safe Mode post. Both options do the same thing just the latter removes and reinstalls your system software.

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