PSLS Help Desk – PS4 Safe Mode Options

August 18, 2016 Written by Chandler Wood

PS4 Safe Mode

Last week we clued you in to a hidden feature than can help clean up your PS4’s drive by rebuilding the database. This feature is buried inside the PS4’s Safe Mode. In this week’s PlayStation LifeStyle Help Desk, we’re diving a little bit deeper into the rest of Safe Mode to show you all of the options it has to offer, and how it can help maintain and troubleshoot your PS4. 

Before we talk about what Safe Mode can do for you, let’s talk about what Safe Mode is and recap how to get into Safe Mode.

What Is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode starts the PS4 with only the most bas ic functions active. This allows users to troubleshoot problems, and there are a series of menu options that can help to correct problems the PS4 may be having. 

How to Start the PS4 in Safe Mode

Power the PS4 off (not rest mode). Hold down the power button until you hear two beeps. You should hear an initial beep, and another one seven seconds later. You will need to connect your DualShock 4 with a USB cable and press the PS button to access the menu. You are now in PS4 Safe Mode.

Safe Mode Options

Restart System: Closes Safe Mode and restarts the PS4.

Use this when you are done with Safe Mode and you want to use the PS4 normally.

Change Resolution: Changes the screen resolution to 480p upon restart.

Sometimes there will be issues on the HDMI connection between the TV and PS4. This is often caused by mismatched resolutions, or selecting a resolution that is higher than your TV is capable of (like selecting 1080p on an inexpensive 720p tv or monitor). Using this setting defaults the screen resolution to 480p which can be displayed on lower resolution monitors can you can select the proper resolution once the PS4 is restarted.

Update System Software: Allows you to manually update the system software through the internet, USB, or disc (some games come with the latest firmware on the physical disc).

Some issues with the PS4 are created by not having the latest firmware update, which can fix many bugs and issues. Checking your firmware version is one of the first things you want to do in troubleshooting. If it’s not possible to update on the PS4 normally, going through Safe Mode is the best option. If you can’t get online with your PS4, it is possible to download the file from Sony and install it from a USB.

Restore Default Settings: Sets your PS4 back to factory default settings.

This is not a complete factory reset that wipes your data. This will only reset the settings on your PS4, such as date, time, video output, etc. This is a good option to use if there is something off about console functionality and you want to set all of the settings back to factory defaults in order to troubleshoot potential issues.

Rebuild Database: Scans the PS4’s drive and rebuilds the database for all of the files and data.

We went in depth on rebuilding the database in last week’s Help Desk. This option can speed up processing and allow your PS4 to run a little bit faster, similar to a simple version of a computer defragmentation.

Initialize PS4: Resets the PS4 to factory defaults, including erasing all user data on the system, but keeps the current software version intact.

WARNING: This will delete all of your save data, game data, and captured images and video. Make sure to back up your system before selecting this option or you will lose all of your data permanently. 

Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software): Same as Initialize PS4, but does not keep the latest firmware.

WARNING: This will delete all of your save data, game data, and captured images and video. Make sure to back up your system before selecting this option or you will lose all of your data permanently. 

Things to Note

  • Safe Mode is not a place to play around in. Make sure to use Safe Mode responsibly as an option for troubleshooting problems that your PS4 is having.
  • Options within Safe Mode can erase everything on your PS4. Before toying around with Safe Mode, make a backup of all data on your PS4 to ensure you don’t lose it all should something go wrong, or if you end up needing to initialize the system.

Have you ever used Safe Mode to troubleshoot issues on your PS4? What do you want to see in the next Help Desk? Let us know via the comments or email us!

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