How to Boot Up a PS4 in Safe Mode

Updated Jan. 16, 2022, by Steve Larner

How to Boot Up a PS4 in Safe Mode

Even with the release of the PS5, the PS4 remains wildly popular. Every day, users log in to play their favorite games, stream movies, and more. Regardless, things can still go wrong. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes, your PS4 crashes or becomes stuck, and when it does, you’ll need to boot your PS4 in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode often gets used as a diagnostic tool to solve software problems or work through issues without interference from third-party software.

Starting your PS4 via Safe Mode should be seen as a last resort. If you cannot turn on your console the usual way, Safe Mode may be the only solution. Here’s how to boot your PS4 in Safe Mode.

Note: Before booting in Safe Mode, ensure that your USB ports all work. Once you boot your PS4, you need to reconnect your controller. So, if the USB ports aren’t working, you’ll need to have a physical repair done before connecting your controller again.

Booting up Safe Mode

  1. Turn the PS4 off completely. Press the power button as usual, and it should blink a few times before your console powers down.

  2. Press and hold the Power Button to turn it back on. You should hear a beep when pressed and another one seven seconds later. Once you hear both, release the power button.
  3. Your PS4 should boot up in Safe Mode. Plug your controller into the PS4 as instructed and click the PS4 button. To control your PS4 from here, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve got a DualShock controller connected to your console via USB.

Simply turn off your PS4 and turn it back on to exit Safe Mode. Your PlayStation should reboot normally.

How PS4 Safe Mode Works

Once your PS4 has booted in Safe Mode, you’ll see a few options:

  • Restart makes your PS4 boot normally (if possible),
  • Change Resolution forces your PS4 to boot up in 480p next time around.
  • Update System Software updates your firmware via a USB drive, the internet, or a disc.
  • Restore Default puts your PS4 back to its factory settings yet keeps your data.
  • Rebuild Database scans the drive and essentially re-indexes its contents.
  • Initialize PS4 wipes ALL of your data from the console and essentially rolls it back to the day you took it out of the box.

Safe Mode is beneficial if your device has an issue during an update. Rebooting your PS4 in Safe Mode should allow you to proceed, but it doesn’t always work that way.

What to do When Your PS4 is Stuck in a Safe Mode Boot Loop

Several users have reported that their PlayStation 4 is looping in Safe Mode. This scenario means it will not boot up in the normal mode. If this problem occurs for you, there are a couple of steps to try.

Connect a PS4 USB Charging Cable

When your PS4 doesn’t exit Safe Mode, whether you reboot or not, the first thing to try is to connect your PS4 controller to the game console using a charging cable. After the controller is securely attached, select the option that exits Safe Mode.


Sometimes, the USB cable fails to properly connect to the console, primarily due to inferior parts or wear and tear. The connection can appear successful when in reality, it is not. Try using a different PS4 controller cable to see if Safe Mode can exit successfully.

Power Down Your PS4 for Twenty Minutes

A PS4 Safe Mode boot loop can be frustrating, no matter who you are. When a direct connection to the console does not solve the problem, power the PlayStation down for 20 minutes. Sometimes, the console just needs a good rest to reset everything and cool off.

Next, reboot your console in Safe Mode just as you usually would. Check for any updates. These updates may contain fixes to common problems, new features, and better performance. An update is all the Playstation 4 needs to solve common issues in many situations.

Perform a Factory Reset

Lastly, there’s an option to reset your PS4 completely. If it’s stuck in the Safe Mode boot loop, you can perform a PS4 factory reset.

This option deletes everything from your console, including your games, progress, and profile. Upon restarting the device, sign in using your PlayStation credentials. You should be able to re-download all of your content back to your PS4 from the store.

Download the Latest PS4 Update to USB

In some cases, a boot loop may occur if the update process fails or is incomplete. Download the latest PS4 update and try installing it via USB. If it proves unsuccessful, give the reinstallation file option a try. This file installs the system software that may be corrupt while also applying the latest update. If you try the second option, note that it refreshes your PS4 system to factory defaults, and all data gets deleted.

Playstation 4 Safe Mode FAQs

I can’t get my PS4 to boot in Safe Mode. Is there anything else I can do?

It’s always a good idea to check that all cables are correctly connected. If you’ve done that, but you still can’t boot your PS4 in Safe Mode, you can visit the PlayStation Fix and Replace website for further troubleshooting steps and additional help.

The issue you’re having may be specific to your device alone. If that is the case, you’ll find more personalized help using the PlayStation website.

My controller won’t connect using Safe Mode. What’s the deal?

Many users have expressed issues with Safe Mode and the controllers. Of course, you need to plug your controller into one of the USB ports on the console after booting in Safe Mode, as stated above. Essentially, this pairing process happens because the USB connection sends information from the controller to the console, telling it to work.

Assuming your controller charges (if not, try another USB port or have your console checked for faulty hardware), it’s likely that the cable you’re using is the cause. For example, if you still have the USB cable that came with your console, use that one. But, if you’re using a third-party one, try a different one. You may have to try several cables, but you need a data transfer cable and not just a charging cable.

It can be a little challenging to tell which cable is a data transfer cable, but comparing two side-by-side, the sheathing on a transfer cable is generally thicker than that of a standard charging cable.

How do I get my PS4 out of Safe Mode?

Once you have finished troubleshooting or repairing your console, you can quickly exit Safe Mode by restarting your console. If, for some reason, it reboots in Safe Mode again, see the instructions above for Safe Mode boot loop issues.

21 thoughts on “How to Boot Up a PS4 in Safe Mode”

Amanda says:
PS4 froze during update stuck on error screen. It went straight to update was restarting console automatically but got turned on B4 restarting… Now it’s stuck.
Steve Larner says:
You’ll have to boot it to USB with the update on it.
Annoyed Person says:
Articles like this really annoy me. All I want to know is “how do I boot into safe mode”. This is what the article should look like.

You hold down the power button till it beeps.

Instead I have to scroll through a book. Jesus.

Latunde says:
My usb cable wont connect please can you tell me the exact cable to buy or is my usb port the issue cuz i have tried all the cable i have and that of mu friends and family too
Steve Larner says:
It could be the controller’s USB input that has a problem.
Isabella P says:
My ps4 won’t start up. It always tells me to press the ps4 controller button and then when I do, it says can’t startup p4. Then it says something about usb update or like reinstalling software . At first it was a hdmi issue and I got a new one and now this is happening . Maybe when I get a new charger cable or transfer cable ? It happened so randomly . Not sure what to do
Steve Larner says:
It sounds like you need to add the latest update using a USB stick, then boot your console and follow the instructions as prompted. Your drive is probably corrupt (not necessarily damaged) and the PS4 can’t boot. You fixed the HDMI but now you can see where your console stands at this point—needs a reinstall, which is what the update will do while also adding the latest firmware.
Angry says:
Hmmm these issues really starting to randomly pile on suddenly after sony releases its newest console. I will never buy another sony product or any product its affiliated with ever again.
Donners says:
I can’t get My PS4 into safe mode… Hold the power it beeps then after a few seconds beeps again but just shuts down, any ideas? Thanks in advance
Steve Larner says:
For most comments below: Generally, repeat bootups in Safe Mode are caused by not successfully completing all bootup processes, whether it is a hardware failure or software failure. Whenever it hits a bump in the process, it shifts to Safe mode by default.

  1. Try a different USB cable.
  2. Clean out dust and debris using a crevice tool or professionally disassemble and perform a complete cleanup.
  3. Confirm that the power cable maintains power to the unit (perhaps by checking the LED illumination. Age and wear can cause issues.
  4. Try a different HDMI cable.
  5. Update (probably manually using a USB stick.
  6. Rebuild the database from the Safe Mode menu.
  7. Temporarily try a different drive.
Lmalcs says:
Just dealt with this. Did usb update and still was getting stuck in safe mode. Did the update via LAN and did the same thing. Eventually did #6 and my son downloaded his games from his PS4 account.
Steve Larner says:
Perhaps something was causing the system to go to safe mode during boot rather than you prompting to boot in safe mode. Otherwise, it would have booted just fine back into normal mode.
Speed says:
I went outside for an hour and came back to a safe mode loop… I sure love my family :]
steven bailey says:
keeps going into safe mode nothing is working.I am sick of reinstalling system soft ware.
Steve Larner says:
It is probably a failing hard drive.
Jacob says:
I want to boot
Ndamo Gabriel says:
Didn’t help
Linda Lopez says:
I cant get my ps4 out of safe mode ive tried updating ive tried rebuild ive trying almost everything except number 6 n 7 i don’t wanna lose my games n the money i spent on my games especially nba 2k21 n 2k20. N gta 5
Mustafa Tausif says:
I’ve tried every single thing as directed but nothing seems to work out for me and I’ll be taking my ps4 to the place from where I bought it and hopefully they might just know how to resolve the problem
Steve Larner says:
Try a different hard drive first.
Alan says:
Done everything you said and had to initialize the console it came back on but when I would play a game and turned it off it would go back to safe mode when I turn it back on this is after happening about 7 times and I give up trying to sort it out thanks for your help with the advice you gave.
Steve Larner says:
Try a different drive on the system, install a game, and test it once more. If the same thing DOES NOT happen, then it is probably a failing drive. If it does happen on the new drive, then it is probably a hardware issue.
Andy Gibb says:
Tried everything but keeps saying I need an external USB to update whilst in safe mode. Can’t even get to safe mode menus
Steve Larner says:
Perhaps it is not getting a reliable internet connection, which usually produces the USB update notice. Additionally, the system has cached the need for an update, so it won’t give you anything until it succeeds.
Brent Petty says:
I booted up in safe mode. I tried resetting the ps4. Something is either corrupt or i am not doing something right. But for close to a month i have not just had smooth play. I can’t get to talk to anyone. The chat wasn’t very helpful. But thats okay. They have come out with the ps5. So i will probably be going to xbox. I have been with ps since ps1 stil have games for it. But i am not going to continue buying ps+ or ps now or games period for a system that i can’t play cause i cant get any help fixing it.
Steve Larner says:
The problem is that too many things cause problems in the PS4 systems, leading to the Safe Mode action.
Micheal lynch says:
It didn’t help
Sabore Williams says:
How to boot

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