PS5 frozen console: How to restart PS5 if frozen and won't turn off

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If your PS5 has frozen, isn't responding and won't shutdown, you're probably thinking, "Gadzooks, my PS5 has frozen, isn't responding and won't shutdown, what can I do?"

There are a number of potential bombshells that can drop with the PS5, including the likes of the infamous white flashing light, but luckily enough we've got a few fail-safe options you can explore should you run into any of them.

Let's get straight to it, and get your PS5 back up and running.

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What's causing the issue?

Sony offers a useful diagnostic tool here that can help you identify what is causing the problem. In this instance, it's important to identify whether your console is freezing because of one specific game, or more generally.

If it's one specific game, then you'll need to consider uninstalling and reinstalling the game - or alternatively, wait for a specific patch to release. Some games are a little buggier than usual...ahem...Elden Ring...but patches do a good job of fixing these.

If it's a more general issue, then you might need to rebuild the PS5 database. We'll look at that later. First things first. How do you even restart the console and free it from its frozen state?

READ MORE: PS5 controller input lag: How to test DualSense latency

How to restart your PS5

The first thing to do is to get your PS5 switched off. To do this, press and hold the Power button on the front of the console. You'll need to keep it held down for several seconds until you hear a beep. This will force the console to shut down, and you'll lose any unsaved data. Better that you get your console working again though, right?

To restart your PS5, simply press the power button again, and it should start up normally. If the freeze was a one-off issue, this might be all you need to do. But what if it seems to happen regularly? That's where a database rebuild comes into play.

Rebuild your database

Sony themselves suggest that a database rebuild can resolve freezing. The steps you need to take are:

  • Press the power button until the PS5 system beeps twice to turn the system off. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
  • Press and hold the power button for at least seven seconds, only releasing it after you hear the second of two beeps.
  • Connect a DualSense wireless controller via a USB cable and press the [PS] button on the controller.
  • Your system should now be in Safe Mode.
  • Once you are in Safe Mode, please select option 5: “Rebuild Database”.
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Note: Rebuilding the database scans the drive and creates a new database of all content. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.

If this doesn't resolve the freezing issue, then you are looking at potentially having to reinstall the system software, which will wipe the hard drive. So make sure you back up any data you wish to keep. There is more detailed guidance on this here. But hopefully, you won't need to go that far.

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