PSLS Help Desk – Backup and Restore PS4

Welcome to PlayStation LifeStyle’s first-ever “PSLS Help Desk,” our recurring column where we discuss and help gamers with game and tech topics.

While most of you see PSLS as the best (ahem) PlayStation site in the world, there are a lot of readers and people who see the site and our tips hotline as some sort of catch-all when it comes to asking for help. We get requests and emails asking us to tweak games, “fix” something on a game or hell, fix PSN and so much more. Well, now, people actually have a place where they can ask all that and then some. Mind, we might not know the answer to everything, but you can bet that we’ll do our best to answer as correctly as possible. Think of PSLS Help Desk as a more robust and wittier “Ask PlayStation.” 

In this first entry, we talk about backup and restoring games on the PlayStation 4. According to Sony, here’s the official steps:

Back Up and Restore

It’s important that you regularly back up data saved on your PS4™ system to a USB storage device. This feature is useful when replacing the hard disk, transferring ownership or replacing your PS4™ system.

Connect the USB storage device you want to use for the backup, and then select (Settings) > [System] > [Back Up and Restore].


  • Do not turn off your PS4™ system while backing up or restoring data. Doing so might damage your system.
  • When restoring data, all current settings and information saved on your PS4™ system will be deleted. This cannot be undone, even if you cancel the restore operation. Make sure you do not delete any important data by mistake. Deleted data cannot be restored.

Back Up PS4

Use this function to copy the data saved on your PS4™ system onto a USB storage device. The name of the backup data file is automatically set with the date and the order it was saved. You can add notes in [Description].

  • FAT or exFAT formatted USB storage devices are supported.
  • Be sure to fully insert the USB storage device into the USB port. In some cases, the device might not be compatible due to shape or design.
  • Trophies are not included in the backup data. To save the trophies you’ve earned to PlayStation™Network servers, select (Trophies) from the function screen, press the OPTIONS button, and then select [Sync with PlayStation™Network].
  • All user data is included in the backup data.
  • Users who have never signed in to PlayStation™Network can restore saved data to only the original PS4™ system that was backed up. To restore saved data to another PS4™ system, you must sign in to PlayStation™Network before backing up data.
  • Saved data can be copied for each individual user. See “Saved Data in System Storage” for details.

Restore PS4

Use this function to restore backup data from a USB storage device to a formatted PS4™ system.

The system software on the PS4™ system to be restored must be the same version as that on the PS4™ system from which the data was backed up. Otherwise make sure the system to be restored has the latest system software.

Delete Backup Data

Use this function to delete backup data saved on a USB storage device.

And here are a few tips straight from us here on PlayStation LifeStyle:

PMC: Make sure you’re using a USB 3.0 hard drive so backing data up is much, much faster 

Louis Edwards: If you’re backing up your PS4 data, and your PS4 HDD has a ton of content, allocate a few hours for the whole process to be finished. Good thing to do is, start it before going to bed and it should be done by the time you wake up (yes, it will take hours).

Chandler Wood: Be selective about what you want. Have a game you’ll never play again? Don’t waste time backing it up, especially if you can just download it later.

In fact, it may be easier to only back up saves then reinstall/download games and patches as you play those games again.

But make absolutely sure those saves are backed up somewhere (either hard drive or PS+ cloud). While you can download and reinstall games, once saves are gone they are lost forever.

While backup and restoring data on the PS4 might seem simple enough for a lot of people, you’d be surprised at how many emails we get from readers asking about it.

Got a tech or game question that you want help from the PSLS staff? Ask away in the comments and we’ll do the best we can to answer ’em. Heck, we might pick the best questions and answers in the comments and feature it as the next PSLS Help Desk entry. 

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