How To Factory Reset A PS4 Without Losing Your Data – (Like A Pro)

| Last Updated On: November 6, 2020

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Whether you have decided to sell your PlayStation 4 for good or you are just facing some glitches in the console, the best option is to factory reset your PS4. But, the big question is, “how to factory reset a PS4?” We know it is a bit of a tricky process, but hang in there we have got a detailed guide for you!


What Happens When You Factory Reset A PS4?


This is the most frequently asked question: what will happen when I’ll factory reset my PS4? The simple answer to this is that it is similar to the factory resetting your Phone.

Factory Reset means that it will remove all your data, including games and media applications from PlayStation console, and also leaves your settings to factory default, just like you have pulled out a new PS4 out of the box.


Save Data In USB First (Recommended)

As discussed above, Factory resetting your PlayStation 4 will remove every data from your PS4, including the games installed. But don’t you worry, there is a way to keep a backup so that you don’t have to start every game from the beginning.

If you are a PlayStation Plus Subscriber, your data might be backuped already through auto-upload to sony servers. However, if it is not set to auto-save, it will take only a few minutes to do so, and thus it will save you from playing all the games from scratch.

If you are not willing to pay for PlayStation Plus and still want to keep a backup, the most recommended option is to use a USB to save your data. To save your data on USB, follow these steps:

  1. First of all, format your USB drive to a FAT32 or exFAT protocol. Please note that the PS4 doesn’t work well with the Windows preferred NTFS. To format the USB, right-click the USB drive on your computer and select Format.
  2. Now, turn on your Playstation4 and go to “Application Saved Data Management”. You can find this in your settings. It is where you’ll be able to find all your saved data, including games and other media applications.Ps4 settings dashboard
  3. This step is optional and strictly for PS Plus subscribers. You can turn on your auto-upload manually if it is not turned on already. Simply click auto-upload and then follow the on-screen instructions.PS4 app saved data management screen
  4. On the “Application Saved Data Management” screen, click Saved Data in System Storage. It will give you two choices, either upload to a USB drive or to online storage. The process to upload is identical, choose the appropriate option which suits you the best.PS4 saved data in system storage
  5. Now, select the files you want to save. Click each file or go-to options for selecting multiple files. This will allow you to select all your game libraries in just one click. It is recommended to select all the offline games only and leave the online games as they need a refresh once in a while, and they are already stored in remote servers anyway.showing how to copy your ps4 data into usb stick
  6. Once you are done selecting all the files you want to save, click the copy button located on the bottom right of the screen. That’s all you need to do to save the data in the USB drive or cloud. The retrieval is pretty straightforward too, Go to the “Application Saved Data Management” and then again choose between the USB option or cloud option and do the same process to copy them back in your PS4.

How To Factory Reset PS4


If you are planning on selling your PS4 or just something is bugging in your PS4, which has led you to factory reset your console, trust us, it’s a wise decision. To factory reset your PS4, it only takes two main steps, firstly to deactivate your PSN account and then completely to wipe off the PS4, which is equivalent to the new PS4 like pulling it off from the box.

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Step 1: First Deactivate Your PSN Account


First things first, deactivate your PSN Account. Don’t freak out deactivating the PSN account doesn’t mean completely disabling or deleting it completely. It will just remove any sort of relation associated with your PSN account and the PS4 it is logged in on. It is kind of similar to turning off Find my iPhone from your iPhone and logging off the iCloud before selling the iPhone.

To Deactivate Your PSN Account, follow the steps given below:

  1. Turn on your PS4 if you haven’t already
  2. Then, once you are on the main screen, press the “up” button on your controller to go to the notifications screen
  3. Now, keep moving right by pressing the “right” button on your controller until you reach the settings option and then select itPs4 home screen
  4. Once the settings screen opens, scroll down and click “Account Management”ps4 settings dashboard showing account management option
  5. Then, click on the option “Activate as Your Primary PS4”how to activate your ps4 as primary
  6. Now, on the next screen, you’ll see two options “Activate” and “Deactivate.” You might notice that the “Deactivate” option is grayed out, that means that your account is already deactivated. However, to be completely sure, it is recommended to activate the account and then Deactivate it. Therefore, select the “Activate” option on the screen.how to activate your ps4 as primary step 2
  7. Once your account is activated, click OK
  8. Now, go to the “Activate as Your Primary PS4” option again
  9. Now the Deactivate option won’t be grayed out. Select the “Deactivate” option
  10. This will take you to a prompt, click “Yes” to confirm the action
  11. Click OK when the account is deactivated
  12. Now, the PS4 will restart. Click the PS button on the controller to go to the main screen
  13. Click on your user account (note that the user account and PSN account are both different)
  14. This will take you to the main screen, and hence your PSN account is successfully deactivated.

Step 2: Wipe Your PlayStation 4


Now that the first part is done i.e., Deactivation of the account, it is time for completely wiping off your Playstation. This means resetting your console to its factory condition. Keep in mind that this action will delete everything on your PS4, so if you want to save some data, it is recommended to make a backup on cloud or USB (as discussed previously).

To factory reset your PS4, follow the steps given below:

  1. Firstly, when you are on the main menu, press the “up” button to go to notifications
  2. Then keep pressing the “right” button, and then select the settings when you get there
  3. Now, locate the “Initialization” option (Yes, it is a surprise that the reset option is not System or Backup and Restore). Click it.how to reset your ps4 step 1
  4. Then again select “Initialize PS4”.how to reset your ps4 step 2
  5. Now, you’ll be given two options: “Quick” and “Full”. The Quick option isn’t actually a full reset; it only signs you out of your account along with deleting all the saved and user data. However, on the other hand, the Full option wipes all the data securely and prevents others from recovering it. Even Though the full option takes time, it is the most recommended one if you are willing to sell your PS4 or reset to remove any software bugs. Anyways, select the appropriate option.how to reset your ps4 step 3
  6. Then click the “Initialize” button.how to reset your ps4 step 4
  7. Click “Yes” to confirm the action that is prompted and to start the reset
  8. Now, your PS4 will reboot, and once it reboots, the reset routine will start. Be patient, as this might take a couple of hours.
  9. Once the reset is complete, the setup guide will be displayed on the screen about connecting the controller to the console via USB cable
  10. Now, turn off the PS4 through the power button on the console until it beeps.

The PS4 is now reset. Now, if you want to sell it, pack it up, and it’s ready for selling. Or, if you reset for the software glitches, you can now restart the console and log in with your credentials again.


How To Factory Reset Your PlayStation 4 In Safe Mode?


Sometimes, you might face some trouble with the system software or some other kind of error when going to the settings menu or initializing your PS4. In such a case, you can also factory reset the PlayStation 4 console in safe mode.

To factory reset your PS4, follow the steps given below:

  1. Firstly, turn off your PS4 console completely. Make sure you are not putting it into rest mode; you need power completely out off for your console
  2. Now, to boot your console in safe mode press the power button on the console till you hear the two beeps. Do not power your console with the controller, hold the power button on the console for about 8 seconds. You’ll see your PS4 booting in the safe mode as the background will go black.
    how to reset ps4 in safe mode
    Image Credits: PlayStation Support Youtube
  3. Now, choose the reset option. There are multiple options in Safe mode, such as Restore Default Settings that will restore your PS4’s settings to default without erasing any data. You can also opt for Initialize PS4; this will wipe off your hard drive (erase all data) as well as restore the default setting. And, there is another option Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software), this means erasing the PS4’s operating system and will require you to reinstall it.
  4. If you are not having any major software issues, it is recommended to go for simple Initialize PS4, this will erase all the data but keep your operating system intact. It is the same option as we discussed in the section above, which will take you to two options “Quick” or “Full”. Choose accordingly (Full recommended).

How To Reinstall System Software For PlayStation 4 After Resetting


If you opted for the option “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” from the previous section, this means you have chosen for a fuller sort of wipe. That includes removing all the software from your console. Now, you need to reinstall the software back to the PS4, and this can be done through another device. Here is how to do that:

  1. You’ll need a PC for reinstalling the system software. Go to the official website of Sony PlayStation 4 and download the latest system software from there.
  2. Now, you’ll need an external device such as a USB drive with 1.1GB free space. Grab that.
  3. Make a folder inside that USB named UPDATE (in all caps). Now, save the previously downloaded system software file in this folder. Make sure that the file is saved as “PS4UPDATE.PUP”.
  4. Now, boot your PS4 console in safe mode as described above by holding the power button on the console until you hear two beeps.
  5. Now choose the “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” option and follow the on-screen directions. This will remove all the data and system software from the console if it is not done already. Then, it will prompt you to connect the USB drive with the updated firmware to reinstall the system software. When it is completed, your console will be back to factory settings.

Final Verdict:

Here marks the end of the detailed article for how to factory reset a Playstation 4 console. We are sure that you made it till the end and successfully reset your PS4.

In a nutshell, there are three options to choose from when it comes to resetting the PlayStation 4. The first is to just reset the settings to the default without doing anything to the saved data (Quick Reset).

The second is to reset the settings to the default as well as removing all the saved data on your console as well (Full Reset). And the third one is to remove all the system software from the PlayStation 4, more of a bigger wipe that requires reinstalling the System Software again.

If you aren’t facing any major problems with the PlayStation, the recommended option is to go for the Full Factory Reset, as it sorts many problems out.

However, for the major software issues, you can always go for the reinstallation of system software. It completely depends on your preference.

If this guide doesn’t solve any of your questions, you can contact the PlayStation or Sony customer support for more detailed answers.

 
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