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How to Factory Reset Your PS5 or PS4

Follow these simple steps to save you from exposing your personal information when selling or giving away a PlayStation.

Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an Associate Writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, NC. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading!
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
2 min read
playstation 5 and dualshock 5 controller
Dan Ackerman/CNET

In every great video game console's life, there comes a time when it has overstayed its welcome and needs to be swapped out in favor of a different model. When this happens, you have two options for getting rid of your old console: selling it or giving it away. (If you're looking to sell a device for some extra money, there are many options, but Decluttr is a good place to start.)

Regardless of which option you choose for getting rid of the old console, there is one important thing you need to do -- reset the system and wipe your personal data. 

The PS5 isn't that new anymore, so you may be reselling or giving it to someone, so we're including those instructions as well. 

Factory resetting is an incredibly important step that you should take whenever you're selling or giving away a piece of technology. Your old PlayStation is no exception. While you might not be storing the same kind of information on your PS4 or PS5 that you would on other devices, taking this one simple step can save you a great deal of stress by taking care of any leftover information and putting the console back in a fresh-from-the-box state.

Resetting the PlayStation 5

You have a few options when it comes to factory resetting your PS5. To access these options, navigate to the Home Screen and then select Settings > System > System Software > Reset Options

After selecting Reset Options you will be presented with three options: Clear Learning Dictionary, Restore Default Settings and Reset Your Console. 

  • Clear Learning Dictionary will clear the history of all the terms that you have typed on your PS5. 
  • Restore Default Settings will restore all of the settings on your PS5 to their default setting, but leave your data intact. 
  • Reset Your Console will restore all of the settings to their default options and erase all of the data that has been saved to your PS5. 

If you are looking to factory reset your console before selling it or giving it away, select Reset Your Console to fully wipe all of your data from the device and factory reset the console. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Resetting the PlayStation 4

The process for factory resetting your console is a bit different for the PS4. First, you will need to navigate to Settings > Initialization. Much like the process for factory resetting the Playstation 5, you will be presented with three options after selecting Initialization: Clear Learning Dictionary, Restore Default Settings and Initialize PS4

Clear Learning Dictionary and Restore Default Settings operate the same as they do on the PS5. Initialize PS4 operates in the same way as the Reset Your Console option does on the PS5. 

If you are looking to factory reset your PS4 before giving it away or selling it, selecting Initialize PS4 will do the trick.