Getting Into Safe Mode and Why It’s Necessary For Your PS4

by Lisa Hayden
male Hands With PS4 Controller

Any Windows user knows the frustration of going into Safe Mode. The PS4 also has a Safe Mode, but it’s a little different than what you might expect if you’re coming at it from a Windows OS point of view.

This is an important tool that can help you solve a variety of issues related to your console, and getting into Safe Mode is the only way to accomplish several of the steps listed previously in this blog regarding software updates.

What Is Safe Mode? 

So, what’s Safe Mode? Actually, it’s pretty much what you think. It’s a special startup mode with limited functionality designed to help you troubleshoot system problems. The menu contains a couple of items found on the standard system menu, but most of them can only be accessed from this special startup option. 

Getting into Safe Mode Getting into Safe Mode isn’t that difficult, but you’ll need to take some specific steps to do so.

Here’s what you need to do: Turn off the PS4.

  • Hold the power button for seven seconds, until you hear those familiar beeps. Turn the PS4 back on, but do it this way: Hold down the power button 
  • Listen for two beeps — one at the first press of the power button, and a second after about seven seconds Use your PS4 controller, but make sure it’s connected via a USB cable. Press the PS button on your controller.
  • You’ll boot into Safe Mode next. Once you’re in Safe Mode, you’ll have access to several different menu options.
  • Each of these gives you access to important steps, tools and capabilities. However, if you’re experiencing hardware problems rather than software problems, Safe Mode will only be marginally useful (other than reformatting your HD and the like, of course). 

Restart System — Choose this if you don’t need to use any of the options in Safe Mode and want to restart the system under normal conditions.

Change Resolution — This lets you change your screen resolution on reboot.

Update System Software — This is an important feature and allows you to download and install updated firmware and other software updates and patches.

Restore Default Settings — If you’ve goofed something up in the settings, this takes you back to factory defaults (not software updates).

Rebuild Database — This option looks a little daunting, but it only scans your drive and builds a new database. It can be time consuming though, depending on the amount of information on the hard drive.

Initialize PS4 — This is one of the biggies. It removes all your data and settings, and returns the system to a near factory condition. It does not delete firmware updates, though.

Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) — This is the option you need to choose if you’re reinstalling the OS on the console or installing a new hard drive. You’ll definitely need a USB device connected for storage to use this. These options may or may not be helpful for your specific situation.

If they don’t help and your console is still under warranty, take advantage of that fact and get Sony to repair or replace the PS4 on their dime. If you’re out of warranty, follow the troubleshooting and repair steps in the previous posts to refurbish your system and get it back up and running. 

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