PSLS Help Desk – Appearing Offline While Gaming Online on PS4

In this week’s simple PlayStation LifeStyle Help Desk, we’re showing you how to appear offline on your PS4, even when you are watching Netflix, playing games online, or doing anything else internet connected. Sometimes you just don’t want everyone on your friends list to know that you’re taking a break from Overwatch to binge another season of Gilmore Girls, or that you’ve been sucked back into Destiny despite hundreds of hours already in the game and plenty of other things to play.

It’s easier than you might think, but still surprising how many people don’t know this one simple trick that the PS4 allows users to do. 

How to Appear Offline on PS4

The first, and easiest way, to appear offline, is to actually be offline. Disconnect your internet, sign out of PSN, hell, don’t even turn on your console! Your friends won’t know you’re online… because you aren’t! 

Oh, not exactly the hint you were looking for? Alright. 

How To Appear Offline on PS4… While Still Actually Doing Things Online

Main Login Screen: If you are at the main login screen choosing which profile to log in as, press the Options button (instead of X to login). Two options will appear in a menu to the right. Select Login with Appear Offline and you will  sign in to the PlayStation Network for yourself but will still appear as offline to friends. 

PS4 Home Screen: At the PS4 home screen, go to Profile > Online Status and you can toggle between appearing online and offline without actually affecting your PlayStation Network login status.

In Game: If you suddenly have a hankering to appear offline mid game, you can either go to the home screen and use the option listed above, or you  can hold down the PS Button and select the Online Status option. From here, you can toggle between appearing online and offline, again without actually affecting your PlayStation Network login status.

Appearing offline does not impact your ability to watch Netflix, download games, or even play games online. It simply does not notify your friends that you’re online. Better yet, your status won’t change if you put the PS4 into sleep mode or sign out of the PSN and sign back in. The default is always set to whatever it was last, so if you want to go back to appearing online, you will need to manually enable appearing online via the same methods above. 

Sony indicates that appearing offline overrides any ability your friends may have to see you online: 

If you don’t want your friends to see that you’re online, you can choose to appear offline even if you’re signed-in to PlayStation Network. Your friends will see your status as offline and will not be notified when you sign-in to PlayStation Network, even if they have asked to be told that you’re online using [When Friends Go Online].

Things to Note

  • Individual games’ settings may give away that you are online while within that game (such as Destiny’s in game roster), though you still won’t show online on the PS4’s list. 
  • This method online applies to the PS4. If you login on another PlayStation Network enabled device such as a PS3 or Vita, you will show as online. 

Did you already know about appearing offline on PS4, or was this a helpful little tip for your gaming habit?

What do you want to see in the next Help Desk? Let us know via the comments or email us!

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