How to Boot a PS4 into Safe Mode

Even with the release of the new console, the PS4 remains very popular. Everyday users connect to play their favorite games, stream movies and more. Either way, things can still go wrong. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes your PS4 freezes or freezes, and when that happens, you'll need to start your PS4 in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode is often used as a diagnostic tool to diagnose software problems or troubleshoot issues without interference from third-party software.

Booting your PS4 through Safe Mode should be considered a last resort. If you can't turn on your console the normal way, safe mode may be the only solution. For those with a Mac or iPhone, the console is like holding down the power button and hoping for the best. Here's how to boot your PS4 into Safe Mode.

How to Boot a PS4 into Safe Mode

Notes: Before booting into safe mode, make sure your USB ports are all working. Once you've started your PS4, you'll need to reconnect your controller. Therefore, if the USB ports are not working, you will need to perform a physical repair before reconnecting your controller.

  1. Turn off the PS4 completely. Press the power button as usual and it should flash a few times before your console turns off.
  2. Press and hold the power button. You should hear a beep when you press it and another seven seconds later. Once you hear both, release the power button.
  3. Your PS4 should have booted into Safe Mode. Plug your controller into the PS4 and click the PS4 button. To control your PS4 from here, you'll need to make sure you have a DualShock controller connected to your console via USB.

To exit safe mode, simply turn off your PS4 and turn it back on. Your PlayStation should restart normally.

How PS4 Safe Mode Works

Once your PS4 has booted into Safe Mode, you will see a few options. Selection 'Restart' will cause your PS4 to boot normally (if possible) while 'Change resolution' will force your PS4 to boot to 480p next time. If you want to update your firmware via USB stick, internet or disk, select 'Update system software.'

'Restore Defaults' settings will reset your PS4 to its factory settings, but keep your data, while 'Rebuild database' will crawl the drive and essentially re-index its contents. 'Initialize PS4' is by far the most drastic action, as it will erase ALL of your data from the console and essentially bring it back to the day you took it out of the box.

Safe mode is especially useful if your device has a problem during an update. Restarting your PS4 in Safe Mode should get you going, but it doesn't always work that way.

PS4 stuck in a boot loop in safe mode

Several users have reported that their PlayStation 4 is running in safe mode. This scenario means that it will not start in normal mode. If this problem occurs for you, there are a few steps to try.

1. Connect a PS4 USB charging cable

The first thing to try when your PS4 won't exit safe mode whether you restart it or not is to connect your PS4 controller to the game console using a charging cable. Once the controller is securely connected, select the option to exit safe mode.

Sometimes the USB cable fails to make a proper connection to the console, mostly due to substandard parts or wear and tear. The connection may appear to be successful when in reality it is not. Try using another PS4 controller cable to see if safe mode can exit successfully.

2. Turn off your PS4 for twenty minutes

A PS4 safe mode bootloop issue can be frustrating no matter who you are. When connecting directly to the console does not resolve the issue, turn off the PlayStation for 20 minutes. Sometimes the console just needs a good rest to reset everything and refresh.

Next, restart your console in safe mode as you normally would. Check for updates. These updates may contain fixes to common issues, new features, and improved performance. In many situations, an update is enough for the Playstation 4 to fix common problems.

3. Perform a factory reset

Finally, there is an option to completely reset your PS4. If it's stuck in the safe mode boot loop, you can do a factory reset. This article tells you exactly how to do that.

This option will delete everything, your games, your progress and your profile from your console. When the device restarts, sign in using your PlayStation credentials. You should be able to redownload all of your content to your PS4 from the store.

4. Download the latest PS4 update to USB

In some cases, a boot loop may occur if the update process failed or was incomplete. Download the latest PS4 update, and try installing it via USB. If this proves unsuccessful, try the reinstallation file option. This file installs system software which may be corrupted and then it applies the latest update. If you try the second option, note that it refreshes your PS4 system to factory settings and all data is deleted.

Playstation 4 Safe Mode FAQ

I can't start my PS4 in safe mode. Is there anything else I can do?

It's always a good idea to check that all cables are properly connected. If you've done this but still can't start your PS4 in Safe Mode, you can visit the PlayStation Fix and Replace website for further troubleshooting steps and additional help.

The problem you are having may be specific to your device alone. If so, you can find more personalized help using the PlayStation website.

My controller won't connect in safe mode. What's the problem?

Many users have expressed issues with Safe Mode and their controllers. Of course, you need to plug your controller into one of the console's USB ports after booting into safe mode as shown above. Essentially, this pairing process happens because the USB cable sends information from the controller to the console, telling it to work.

Assuming your controller is charging (if not, try a different USB port or have your console checked for faulty hardware), this is likely the cable you're using. For example, if you still have the USB cable that came with your console, use that. But, if you are using a third-party cable, try a different one. You may have to try several cables, but you need a data transfer cable and not just a charging cable.

It can be a little tricky to know which cable is a data transfer cable, but when comparing two cables side by side, the sheath of a transfer cable is generally thicker than that of a standard charging cable.

How do I get my PS4 out of safe mode?

Once you are done with your troubleshooting or repair, you can easily exit safe mode by restarting your console. If for some reason it restarts in safe mode, see the instructions above for safe mode boot loop issues.

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