PS5 "Queued for Copy" - meaning and solutions

PS5 Queued For Copy: Why Does Copying Take So Long On PS5?

PS5 Queued For Copy: Why Does Copying Take So Long On PS5?

The PS5 "Queued for Copy" message seems like an anachronism—a relic of a bygone era, an older generation of consoles. And yet, somehow, despite the PS5 being the fastest, most powerful console Sony has ever produced, it still takes its sweet time when copying. But why?

That's the question we'll grapple with today, like an octopus fighting a Moray eel. So take a deep breath as we dive into the choppy waters of PS5 copying queries.

Whether you own a standard PS5, the sleek PS5 Slim or the advanced PS5 Pro, you'll find everything you need to know about the "Queued for Copy" message and what causes it.

How to fix the PS5 "Queued for Copy" message

In certain cases, players are finding that they see a "Queued for Copy" message, but then the progress bar seems to get stuck at 0%. This happens most commonly when players try to copy games from an external hard drive to the PS5's internal SSD. It has also been known to happen when installing a game from a disk.

But in good news, it's a relatively simple problem to overcome should you find yourself in this position. Here's what you need to do.

  • Start by simply waiting. Sometimes, giving it a few minutes will be all you need to do.
  • Disconnect from the internet, then restart the console.
  • If you've kept your console on Rest Mode for an extended period, doing a full system restart may be a good idea.

Generally, this is a glitch that is pretty straightforward to resolve. But why is copying still a thing? And why does it take so darned long?

What does "Queued for Copy" mean on PS5?

The "Queued for Copy" status you might see on your PS5 typically appears when you are trying to install or update a game or application. This status indicates that the task (installation or update) is waiting in line to start because another task is currently being processed.

Here's a breakdown of what happens and why:

  • Multiple Tasks: The PS5, like many modern consoles, can perform multiple operations involving downloading, installing, or updating games and apps. However, certain tasks, especially those involving writing data to the console's storage (such as copying or installing files), cannot be performed simultaneously to prevent data corruption or performance issues. Therefore, if one task is already underway, additional tasks will be queued.
  • Priority Queue: The PS5 manages these tasks based on a priority system. For example, if you're actively installing a game and then start another download or installation, the new task may either start immediately after the current one finishes or wait in the queue if more tasks are ahead of it.
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  • Copying Process: Specifically, "Queued for Copy" is often seen after a game download completes. PS5 downloads the game files to a temporary storage space first. Once downloading is complete, it needs to copy or move these files to the appropriate location on the console's internal storage for the game to run. If another copying or installation process is already in progress, the new task will wait in the queue.
  • Managing Queue: If you see a task is "Queued for Copy," and you prefer to prioritize it over others, you might have the option to manually manage the queue. This could involve pausing other ongoing tasks or changing their order, depending on the system's current load and your preferences.

Understanding and managing the queue can help ensure that your most anticipated updates or new games are ready to play as soon as possible.

Why does copying take so long on PS5?

ps5 queued for copy
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Credit: Sony

Let's start with a quick history lesson. Anyone with a PS4 will be familiar with the PS5 queued for copy message. For those gamers, downloading a patch or an update might take seconds, but then. But then. Once it is downloaded, it enters the "copying" phase. And this can take much, much longer.

But why? Well, the PS4 had a specific mechanic whereby it would copy the whole game while adding new data. This was designed to minimise the risks of file corruption. But the upshot is that the larger the game, the longer everything will take to be copied. And essentially, the same mechanism seems to have been applied to the PS5.

The PS5 has a much faster SSD drive than the PS4, so in theory, at least, copying should be much faster than it was on the PS4. But anecdotally, people are not finding that to be the case. So is there anything you can do to speed things up?

At the time of writing, no, not really. Potentially, you can check to see if the PS5 is busy dealing with another download or installation. If it is, you can try stopping that to essentially shorten the queue. But don't expect this to have a transformative effect.

PS4 users did sometimes find that copying would happen more quickly when their console was in Rest Mode. So you may want to give this a try, to see if it speeds things up for you on PS5.

Realistically, you just need to be patient. And hope that at some stage in the future, Sony make an update available that addresses this issue. But given that this has been around since at least the days of PS4, we wouldn't hold out too much hope.

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