How to factory reset PS4 ready to sell

With the release of the latest generation consoles, the PS5 and Xbox X Series, the time may well have come for you to sell your PS4. Even if it’s not to upgrade to a new console, your old PS4 may just be a bit buggy or broken, or perhaps you’ve just decided it’s time to sell up. It could also help you fix a few bugs, so you may want to consider a factory reset if your PS4 is acting up too. Sometimes you’ll find that a simple soft reset of your console could fix these bugs, but sometimes you’ll have to go further and restore your PS4 to factory settings.

Regardless of your reasons, performing a factory reset on your PS4 can be useful, but just remember that you’ll be deleting all of your data when you do, so make sure you pay extra attention to the backup part of this guide. So without further ado, let’s break down how to factory reset your Playstation 4.

How to factory reset your ps4

If you’re wondering how to reset PS4 to factory settings, then it’s as simple as following these 6 steps below.

1. Sign in to your PS4 and go to settings

In the settings menu, you’ll be presented with a number of options. What you’re looking for here is Account Management. This is a step that you may miss, but it’s important, and we’ll come on to why in step two.

2. Deactivate your PS4

This step is important, especially if you’re selling your PS4, recycling it or passing it on. If you don’t do this, you’ll have issues when you sign in on another console and try to access or play your downloaded games. You’ll want to make sure you do this, as it identifies this console as the one that’s associated with your account.

In Account Management, click on ‘Activate as Your Primary PS4’. This will likely already be activated, but what you want to do is then click ‘Deactivate’. Press ‘Yes’ when prompted.

3. Back up your saved data

At this point, if not before, you’ll want to back up your data. This can be done in one of two ways:

Back up to an external device

You can back up your data to a USB storage device that’s formatted to FAT or exFAT.

  1. Attach the USB device to your Playstation
  2. Navigate to the Settings menu on your PS4
  3. Click ‘Application Saved Data Management’
  4. Here you’ll want to select ‘Saved Data in System Storage’
  5. Then choose ‘Copy to USB Storage Device’
  6. Select the files you want to back up. You can select more than one at a time by selecting ‘Options’ and then ‘Select Multiple’.
  7. Then just click ‘Copy’

This method won’t back up trophies. To do that you’ll need to use Playstation Network.

Back up your PS4 data using Playstation Plus Cloud:

This method requires a paid subscription to Playstation Plus, but gives you access to 100GB of cloud storage as well as a number of other benefits like free games.

  1. Browse to ‘Settings’
  2. Select ‘Application Saved Data Management’
  3. Then choose ‘Select Auto-Upload’
  4. Pick the games you want to automatically upload.

4. Sign back in with your user account

Once your data is backed up, and your PS4 is deactivated, you’re ready to press on and factory reset the PS4. You’ll have been signed out of your account when you deactivated your PS4, so simply sign in as usual.

5. Find the Initialization option

Go back to the Settings menu, and you’ll want to find the ‘Initialization’ option. From here you’ll be presented with three options. You want one of the bottom two, depending on your situation. These are ‘Restore Default Settings’ or ‘Initialize PS4’.

Restore Default Settings: While this may look like the right option, it will only wipe your saved settings and return your Playstation 4 to factory settings. It won’t erase all the data on your hard drive.

Initialize PS4: This will do the same as above, but also completely wipe your PS4’s hard drive. This means it’ll delete games, save data and anything else you’ve downloaded or saved to your PS4 over the years.

6. Choose Full on the Initialize screen

For the purpose of this, we are suggesting you select Initialize. Once you’ve clicked through, you’ll have two options. Either ‘Quick’ or ‘Full’. You’ll want to select ‘Full’. This will wipe everything from your PS4, so for people looking to factory reset your PS4, this is the best option for you.

This full wipe could take a couple of hours, but once it’s finished you’ll have a complete blank PS4, that’s ready for a new user. This is the best option for when you’re selling your PS4 on or recycling it.

This article has 22 comments

  1. Paula F Rehll Reply

    I tried resetting my playstation 4 and have gotten stuck on a blue screen to connect my controller using a USB. Ths system is not recognizing any of my controller’s

    • Mazuma Customer Service Reply

      Good afternoon Paula,

      It may be worth speaking with Sony regarding any functional issues with your PS4 they will be able to assist with the controller issue.

      Kind regards

    • Gareth Lloyd Reply

      Great. Ive done full factory resets before but I don’t remember doing from the initialisation option? Oh well it’s working. Already had it reset when I just bought it. Testing that everythings working for resale. Nothing on hard drive but still wants to take 2 hours

      • Jaredddee Reply

        Thanks for this and for folks like you who cut to the chase and give us the answers we are seeking in an easy to find quick way without being run thru the ringer.

      • Josh Reply

        Will games that came on my ps4 when I bought it be deleted by initializing it?

        • Mazuma Customer Service Reply

          Good morning Josh,

          The hard drive will be completely erased when initialising the device,

          Kind regards
          Mazuma

    • Jaydn Cox Reply

      I’ve had a problem like this is the past. You will just need to reset your Co troller.

      On the back of the Controller, there is a small hole which will need to be pressed. You can use a pin, paper clip or the item used to open phones microchip port.

      Hold down the button for 5-10 seconds, then connect the controller using a cable to the PS4.

  2. Shawn Reply

    How do you reset your ps4 if you have two log ins and the main login you forgot the password to and only have excess to the secondary one

  3. Jacob Reply

    Do I need to deactivate my ps4 if I do not plan to sell or get rid of it? I will still be using once I factory reset.

    • Gagan Reply

      when you do a full initialization it will also automatically deactivate all accounts

  4. Salman Reply

    Hi Mazuma, my PS 4 developed error CE-34878-0 and I have tried every available trick on google to get rid of it so much so the replacement of HDD, but same. Games keep crashing and this error pops up. Please advise what to do.

    • Mazuma Customer Service Reply

      Good morning Salman,

      Are you wanting to recycle the device through Mazuma or just need some help with this error code?

      Kind regards
      Mazuma

  5. Candace Reply

    I initialized machine but it says previous owners account can not be deleted. How do I fix this to delete his accou account

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