How to Factory Reset Your PS4 in 6 Steps, With Photos

playstation tv

How to Factory Reset Your PS4 in 6 Steps, With Photos

A factory reset is not something to be taken lightly. From your laptop to your smartphone to your television and beyond, factory resets take all of your data and settings and throw them out the window. But did you know that you can also factory reset your PS4? As a matter of fact, the process is quite simple — and it can solve a few major issues with your Sony gaming console, as well. Let’s discuss the benefits of a factory reset below. Then we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to restore your PS4 to its factory settings.

Why Factory Reset Your PS4?

PS4 gaming console playstation 4
Factory resetting your PS4 can solve a number of major issues.


When you factory reset your PS4, it’s sort of like choosing to make a fresh start. Your console will be wiped clean, all your data and settings will be erased, and your PlayStation 4 will act as if it just came out of the box brand-new from the manufacturing line. Of course, this raises an important question: Why would you do such a thing to your PS4 in the first place? While it might seem like a drastic choice, there are a few good reasons to consider doing it. Before explaining the step-by-step process, let’s go over the top three reasons to factory reset your PS4 below.

Performance Problems

If your PS4 starts getting sluggish and doesn’t perform like it used to, then a factory reset is the best thing you can do for it. Over time, your PS4 will accumulate unnecessary files and data that can slow down its performance. This is an especially prevalent issue for those who game more frequently than others. A factory reset is the fastest, most efficient way to remove this digital clutter and start your console fresh. This process can result in shorter load times, smoother gameplay, and a more responsive experience overall.

Privacy Concerns

Are you one of the lucky folks to get a PS5? Then you may be considering selling or giving away your PS4. However, be warned: You don’t want to hand over all your personal gaming data to the next owner. Instead, consider factory resetting it first. This is the best way to protect your personal information before forking the console over. The factory reset will wipe all user profiles, saved passwords, and payment information, ensuring that no one can access your data or make purchases on your behalf. This keeps your personal information safe and gives you peace of mind to boot.

Software Issues

Sometimes, it’s even more severe than slow performance specs or protecting your personal information. In some instances, your PS4 may encounter major software problems with no clear resolution in sight. These issues can range from system crashes to error messages to an outright failure to update the console. No matter the root cause of the software issue, a factory reset can address your concerns and resolve the problem by reinstalling the operating system and allowing the console to start anew.

How to Factory Reset Your PS4

Now, let’s go through the steps required to factory reset your PS4. Before we begin, make sure your console is connected to a power source and that your controller is fully charged. It’s important to reiterate that these steps are intended for the PlayStation 4 console. Your mileage may vary if you try to apply them to a PS3 or PS5 console — let alone a system older than that. To begin, follow along with the steps and photos below.

Step One: Turn On Console

PlayStation 4 being powered on.
Turn on your PS4 to start the factory reset.


First, power on your console. For consoles oriented horizontally, press the button nearest to the top of the console. For consoles oriented vertically (as the one in the photo), press the button on the right side of the console.

Step Two: Press PS Button

PS4 start screen.
Hit the PS button on your controller.


Once the console powers on and you get past the PlayStation logo, you’ll be prompted to hit the PS button on your controller. Press this button to proceed. It’s the one with the PlayStation logo in the center on the face of the controller.

Step Three: Move to Function Area

PS4 home screen.
As tempting as it may be, don’t start playing a game just yet.


Next, you’ll be greeted by your PS4’s home screen. By default, the console shows you a carousel of your apps and games. Instead of scrolling through these, move your controller up to the Function Area instead. This is where you’ll find all things related to your settings, notifications, and profile.

Step Four: Go to Settings

Function Area on a PS4 home screen.
Maneuver to the Settings icon in the Function Area.


Move all the way to the far end of the Function Area until you find the Settings icon. It’s shaped like a toolbox. By default, it’s placed in between the trophy icon and the power button icon. Once you’ve found it, hit the X button on your controller.

Step Five: Select Initialization

PS4 settings screen.
Go to the Initialization tab near the bottom of the settings screen.


To find the option to factory reset your PS4, scroll through the settings until you hit the bottom of the list. Here, you’ll see an icon shaped like the silhouette of a box. This is where you’ll access your Initialization settings.

Step Six: Restore Default Settings

Factory reset settings on PS4.
Choose to restore default settings to initiate the factory reset process.


In the Initialization settings, scroll down one space until you see the tab that reads “Restore Default Settings.” Hit X on your controller to kick off the factory reset. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish up.

With this move, your PlayStation 4 will erase all its contents and settings as if it just came off the assembly line. For this reason, it’s essential you back up any saved data or digital downloads before your factory reset. Otherwise, you may not be able to recover them.

Once the process is complete, you’ll be asked to set up your PS4 as if it were new. You can either carry on with the setup or simply unplug your console and prepare it to be sold or transferred to a new owner. Congrats! You’ve successfully factory reset your PS4.

How to Factory Reset Your PS4 in 6 Steps, With Photos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the PS4?

The PS4, or PlayStation 4, is a gaming console developed by Sony. It’s a popular entertainment system that lets you play video games, stream content, and more. Prices for a new PS4 can range from $250 to $400, depending on the model and any bundled games or accessories. Used or refurbished units may be available at lower prices.

What games can you play on the PS4?

The PS4 has a vast game library featuring popular titles like FIFA, Call of Duty, The Last of Us, and many more. The PlayStation game library caters to various gaming preferences of all types, ranging from FPS games to RPGs to racing games and beyond. You can also play games online with friends by subscribing to PlayStation Plus, Sony’s online service, which also offers free monthly game downloads.

How do you set up a PS4 once you've reset it?

Simply use an HDMI cable to connect your PS4 to your TV. Plug one end into the PS4 and the other into an available HDMI port on your TV. While some offline gaming is possible, an Internet connection is required for online multiplayer, system updates, and downloading digital games. To play a game or watch a movie, simply insert the disc into the PS4 drive. You should also log into your streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

What is the difference between the PS4 and the PS4 Pro?

The PS4 Pro offers enhanced graphics and performance for certain games, particularly on 4K TVs, resulting in improved visual quality and smoother gameplay. The PS4 is the base model of the console, limiting visual quality and storage space as a result. This guide will work for both the PS4 and PS4 Pro.

How do I prepare my PS4 for sale?

First, factory reset your PS4. Navigate to Settings, then Initialization, then Restore Default Settings. Follow the on-screen instructions and remember to back up your data if necessary to avoid data loss. Then, clean your PS4. Start by turning it off, unplugging it, and gently dusting the vents and exterior with a soft cloth or compressed air. Lastly, take some photos and list your console with the e-commerce site or resale shop of your choice.

To top