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

Have you noticed your trusty PlayStation 4 is starting to slow down? Games and apps crashing unexpectedly? Or maybe you just want a fresh start before selling it or giving it away.

Whatever the reason, factory resetting your PS4 can breathe new life into your console—and it‘s easier than you think.

Resetting your PS4 completely wipes its storage, deleting all your games, saved data, settings and personal info. It restores your console to original factory conditions, just like when you first unboxed it.

This clears out the digital clutter bogging down your system and ensures your private details won‘t fall into the wrong hands.

Follow this detailed, step-by-step guide to factory reset your PS4 in under 15 minutes. I‘ll walk you through the entire process with clear instructions and photos illustrating each step.

We‘ll also cover:

  • Big reasons to reset your PS4
  • Extra tips and warnings before starting
  • What to do after the reset completes
  • Answers to common questions about factory resets

With a little time and patience, these simple steps will get your PS4 running like new again!

Why Should You Reset Your PS4?

Before we dig in, let‘s go over the top 3 reasons for factory resetting your console:

1. Restore Slow PS4 Performance

Over several years of active gaming, your PS4 accumulates lots of leftover data that can bog down its performance. Resetting your console completely wipes its entire storage in one swoop.

This clears out the digital clutter and gives your PS4 a fresh start, just like Day 1 out of the box. The results are a faster, smoother experience with:

  • Shorter load times jumping into games
  • Less lag and stuttering during gameplay
  • Faster response when browsing system menus
  • Improved download speeds for games and system updates

Factory resetting is the ultimate spring cleaning when your PS4 is lagging!

2. Protect Personal Data Before Selling

Upgrading your PS4? Resetting it protects your privacy before handing it over. The factory reset erases:

  • All user accounts and avatars
  • Saved login credentials
  • Credit card and billing info
  • Your gaming achievements and trophies
  • Hundreds of hours of saved progress

This prevents the new owner from accessing your personal info or resuming your games. It also lets them start fresh themselves.

3. Fix Software Bugs or Failed Updates

Sometimes system software issues can completely brick your PS4. You may encounter:

  • Repeated error codes or crashes
  • Games/apps failing to load
  • An inability to install new system updates

Factory resetting reinstalls the PS4 system software, often resolving software bugs and failed updates. It‘s the last resort when all else fails to get your console working again!

Now let‘s get into the step-by-step guide…

Step 1: Turn On Your PS4

Always start by powering on your PS4 console. The location of the power button depends on how your console is positioned:

  • Horizontal – The button is on the front left side.
  • Vertical – The button is on the right side.

Press the button once to switch on the system. The PlayStation logo will appear on-screen when it boots up.

PS4 turned on in horizontal position

Make sure your PS4 is powered on before factory resetting.

Tip: Make sure your PS4 is plugged into a power source so it doesn‘t lose power mid-reset!

Step 2: Sync Your Controller

Once powered on, you‘ll be prompted to press the PS button on your wireless controller to sync it with the console.

The PS button is the button with the classic PlayStation logo emblazoned in the center. It‘s located between the directional buttons on the front of the controller.

Press and hold the PS button for 1-2 seconds to sync the controller. This ensures you can navigate through the factory reset process.

Press PS button on DualShock controller

Press and hold the PS button to sync your controller.

Warning: Fully charge your controller before starting so it doesn‘t power off mid-reset!

Step 3: Navigate to the Function Area

Once the PS4 dashboard loads, you‘ll see tiles showing your installed games, apps, and other content.

Instead of selecting anything, point your controller upward to scroll to the Function Area at the very top of the screen.

The Function Area lets you access system settings, notifications, profiles, and other utilities. It‘s essential for the factory reset process.

PS4 Function Area

Scroll up to the Function Area at the top of the home screen.

Step 4: Open Settings

Within the Function Area, use your controller to scroll all the way to the right. Highlight and select the Settings icon shaped like a toolbox.

Choose Settings by pressing the X button on your PS4 controller. This will open the full Settings menu.

Select Settings on PS4

Select the Settings icon from the Function Area.

Step 5: Navigate to Initialization

Once in Settings, scroll down using the controller joystick until you reach the bottom of the list.

Select the option called Initialization. This contains all settings related to resetting your PS4.

Initialization in PS4 Settings

Scroll down and select the Initialization option.

Step 6: Choose Initialize PS4

Under Initialization, use your controller to select Initialize PS4.

You‘ll see two initialization options:

  • Reset Settings – Resets settings only but keeps your data.
  • Initialize PS4 – Factory resets everything and deletes all data.

Select Initialize PS4 to wipe your console completely. Follow the on-screen prompts to confirm your choice and begin the factory reset.

Initialize PS4 option

Choosing Initialize PS4 will factory reset your console.

The PS4 will now erase everything and reset back to factory default settings. This process takes 5-10 minutes as the system is wiped clean.

When it finishes, you can set up your PS4 as new or simply unplug it and pack it away. Congrats, you just factory reset your console!

Factory Reset vs. Reset Settings

To avoid confusion, here‘s the difference between a full factory reset and simple settings reset:

Initialize PS4 Reset Settings
Erases all user data Keeps all user data
Deletes downloaded games/apps Doesn‘t affect games or apps
Wipes all saved progress No impact on game progress
Removes account profiles Leaves accounts intact
Fixes major software issues For minor settings issues only
Totally resets console Resets preferences and settings

What to Do After the Factory Reset

With your PS4 returned to factory settings, here‘s what to do next:

  • Reinstall any games, apps, and addons you wish to use again. Your purchase history remains intact.
  • If selling the console, perform a final wipe down to remove dust, fingerprints, and grime before boxing it up.
  • For extra security, you can optionally change the parental control PIN before selling.
  • If gifting your PS4, consider resetting the parental controls to default to make setup easier on the recipient.
  • Relax and enjoy your PS4‘s fresh start! Loading times will be blazing fast with all the old clutter removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions on resetting your PS4:

Does a Factory Reset Also Delete PT?

Yes, initializing your PS4 will also erase PT if you have it installed. PT is the playable teaser for the canceled Silent Hills game.

The good news is that PT is tied to your PlayStation Network account. If your account owned it originally, you can redownload PT after the reset.

Can You Recover Data After a Factory Reset?

Unfortunately, a factory reset permanently erases everything on your PS4. Your games, save files, settings, and other data are wiped from the system storage.

So be sure to backup anything important before resetting your console!

Do I Need to Reinstall Games After Resetting?

Yes, all of your installed games, DLC add-ons, and apps will be deleted during a factory reset.

Your PSN account purchase history remains intact though. So you can redownload any games, apps, or addons you previously bought after the reset.

Does a Reset Unban a Suspended PSN Account?

No, factory resetting your PS4 does not remove or undo a banned PSN account.

If your account is suspended or banned by Sony, it will stay in that state even after resetting your console. A factory reset cannot bypass or undo an account suspension.

How Long Does a PS4 Factory Reset Take?

The initialization and resetting process takes around 5-10 minutes in most cases. The PS4 spends most of this time reinstalling the base system software.

Be patient and let the console complete the full process. Avoid interrupting it by powering down or unplugging mid-reset.

Does Resetting Delete Screenshots?

Yes, all of your gameplay screenshots and video clips captured on the PS4 will be permanently deleted during a factory reset.

So if you have any special captures you want to keep, make sure to back them up to an external USB drive before resetting your console.

Give Your PS4 a Fresh Start!

Is your PS4 getting long in the tooth? Factory resetting it restores the console to day one performance. This speed guide walks you through the process with step-by-step instructions illustrated with photos.

In just a few minutes, you can wipe your PS4 and start totally fresh. Just be absolutely sure to backup your save files beforehand!

Did you find this PS4 factory reset guide useful? Share it online to help spread the word to fellow gamers.

Happy gaming and enjoy your PS4‘s new lightning fast speeds after resetting! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments.