Are you considering trading in your PS4? Perhaps you’re finally ready to upgrade to the PS5 or take advantage of great deals on the PS4 Pro. Before you do, it’s important to wipe your console of all data while ensuring your saved games remain safe. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Step 1: Verify Your PSN Account and Prepare
First, turn on your PS4 and double-check that you’re signed into the correct account. Confirm that you’re connected to Wi-Fi and everything is functioning properly. Although this is usually not a concern for frequent PS4 users, it never hurts to check. If you have any pending updates, make sure to apply them now.
Next, navigate to the Trophies section in the PS4 menu. Press the Options button and access settings. From here, choose “Sync with PlayStation Network.” This ensures that your trophy data is safely stored and won’t be lost when migrating to a new console.
If you’re planning to upgrade to the PS5 and already have the console, boot it up and sign into your PSN account. Complete the basic setup and connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your PS4. Now you’re all set.
Step 2: Transfer Your PS4 Data
With a PS5
Before wiping your PS4, make sure to save all important data, including preferences and downloads. If you already have a PS5, this step is easy to accomplish:
- On your PS5 menu, go to Settings, then System, and select System Software.
- Choose Data Transfer and select Continue.
- Your PS5 will search for any available PS4s on your Wi-Fi network and display a list.
- Select your console from the list.
- Your PS5 will prompt you to press and hold the power button on your PS4 until it beeps. Then it will inspect the connection and provide a list of data categories for you to choose from.
- Make your selections (at least transfer saved game data), confirm, and start the transfer. Your PS5 will handle the rest!
If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, using a LAN cable will work just as well.
Without a PS5
If you’re still waiting for your PS5 to arrive or if you’re trading in your PS4, you’ll need to take an intermediary step and transfer your data to an external hard drive for safekeeping. Follow these instructions:
- Connect an empty external storage drive to your PS4 via USB.
- In the PS4 menu, select Settings, then System, and choose Back Up and Restore.
- Select “Back up” to begin the process.
- Choose the data categories you want to back up and confirm.
- Wait for the backup to complete. You’ll be prompted to name your backup and finish the process.
Important note: Ensure that your external hard drive has at least twice the storage capacity of your PS4’s hard drive (500GB). It should also be formatted with FAT32 or exFAT for optimal performance. If you’re unsure about the formatting, you can format your drive by going to the Devices menu, selecting USB Storage Devices, and choosing your hard drive. Look for the option to “Format as Extended Storage.”
Step 3: Perform a Factory Reset to Wipe Your Data
While most trade-in spots will wipe your PS4 as part of their procedure, it’s best to erase your personal data at home for privacy reasons. You can easily initiate a factory reset:
- Go to the Settings menu on your PS4.
- Select Initialization.
- Choose “Initialize PS4,” which is Sony’s version of a factory reset.
- The PS4 will ask what type of wipe you want. Select “Full.”
- Your PS4 will permanently delete all data and return to its out-of-the-box factory settings. This process may take some time, so make sure you’re prepared.
Step 4: Trade In Your PS4 Confidently
With your PS4 properly wiped clean, you’re now ready to trade it in. While Sony doesn’t offer a trade-in option, various stores like Amazon, GameStop, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target do. Take the time to compare prices and choose the option that suits you best.
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By following these steps, you can confidently prepare your PS4 for trade-in. Safely transferring your data and performing a factory reset will ensure your personal information remains secure. Now you can embark on your PS5 journey or take advantage of a new console. Happy gaming!