How to erase all data from PS4

Many years ago, video game consoles did not store information. The device recorded really basic data, and our games were saved on memory cards. All this was changing, and today, a console stores almost as much personal data as a mobile phone. So if you want sell or give away your PlayStation 4, you should spend a little time deleting your information to avoid any surprises. Throughout this post we will review what kind of information someone who has access to your old console can get and what you must do to be able to sell it safely.

Do you want to sell your PS4 or PS4 Pro? Clean the data before putting it on Wallapop

At this point, you may have finally managed to buy a PlayStation 5. If this is the case, it may also have occurred to you that it is not a bad idea to sell your previous generation console. In the end, the PlayStation 5 is fully backwards compatibleso you will be able to play all the PS4 titles you have without any problem.

If you have thought about taking your old console to a second-hand store, or you are going to put it on platforms like Wallapop, it is really important delete all your information her. There are many cases of people who buy a console and when they receive it at home, they discover that they have access to all the data of the previous owner.

What important data can a PlayStation 4 have?

These are the data that a PS4 can have inside:

  • save data: with this we refer to the information that we are generating in our video game games. It is not usually sensitive information, but it is convenient to remove it from our machine before putting it up for sale.
  • sessions: any service that requires a username and password. If you play Fortnite, for example, it is normal for you to access the video game automatically. If you don’t delete this session from your account, the next owner will have access to your account. The same goes for any other game on this system or even your PlayStation Network account.
  • Integrations: The PlayStation also allows users to connect certain accounts to some social networks. Imagine that someone had access to your Twitter account, Discord or any other platform simply because they bought you a PS4.
  • payment details: closely related to the previous case. If we have put a credit card in one of our accounts, someone could make a payment without our permission. This can be really dangerous, and more than enough reason to clean the PlayStation before putting it up for sale. If your PlayStation Network account is logged into the console, anyone who has access to it could make purchases, impersonate our identity and even carry out some type of penalized practice, thus our account could be banned from Sony’s servers.

How to hard reset a PS4?

initialize ps4.jpg

In the previous block we have already told you about the dangers of selling a console with our personal information. Currently, selling or giving away a console is like doing the same operation with a personal computer or a mobile phone.

On computers, we usually do a format before putting the machine up for sale. There are people who even change the hard drive for a new one to prevent people with bad intentions from accessing sensitive information. However, video game consoles usually have a system more similar to what we see in mobile phones. The PlayStation 4 has a tool that allows you to erase all the information this. This way, the next owner of the device can take it out of the box, turn it on and configure it as if it were a brand new machine.

In the case of the PS4, what we must do is go to the menu of Settings of our console, inside the entry «initialization» and locate the «Initialize PS4», which will be the one that allows us to do this formatting operation.

Once inside this option we will be able to choose between two types of initialization:

Quick Initialization

hacked ps4 versions

It will allow us to erase our data and reset the console to a factory state. But beware, this process does not completely erase the data.

If you have some computer knowledge, we will simply tell you that this type of configuration works exactly the same as a quick format. The controller will ignore the information written to the disk and only new data will be taken into account.

In most cases, this type of formatting will be enough if we are going to leave our console to a person we know. A family member, a lifelong friend to whom we are going to leave the console at a good price… but it is not the ideal method if you are going to leave your console in the hands of a complete stranger. The downside of this process is that, with the right tools, information we think we’ve deleted can be recovered. If your PlayStation 4 is for sale and its next owner is not someone you trust, we recommend that you carry out the second method that we are going to explain to you.

Full Initialization

This process is very plus slow. In fact, it can be completed in many hours. However, it is completely safe delete every byte of data from the PS4 hard drive, making sure that no information from it can be recovered. By doing this, not even with specialized tools will they be able to extract any type of important data from the console.

This process cannot be reversedso before we do that we need to make sure that we don’t have anything left on the console that we want to save (such as screenshots or browser bookmarks) and that information such as game saves are properly synced with the cloud.

Once our PS4 is fully initialized, we can sell it without any fear. If you are going to carry out the second method and you think that the slowness of the process can make you desperate, do these steps at night and put your PS4 away from where you sleep – so that the sound of the fan does not bother you.

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