The most common PS4 issues & how to fix them

The PS4 has some problems, but we’ve got the fixes.

by Tom Owen

The PS4 has a few iterations that have been released over the years, as well as multiple versions of the software. Sometimes, this can lead to some issues if a game or piece of the software introduces a glitch.

If you find yourself with issues, the Stealth guide covers the most common problems with the PS4 and possible solutions to get you back playing.

If the things covered in this guide don’t help then you can use the Sony website to diagnose and then get some help through their official channels.

You can also use Sony’s error message to search their library and follow troubleshooting guides. If you do manage to find an issue with the PS4 hardware, contact PlayStation customer support.

At this point, your console may not be under manufacturer warranty: If that’s the case, keep in mind that you may have to pay a repair fee.

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Issue: Blinking blue indicator light

The infamous ‘Blue line of death’ is how your PS4 tells you there is a problem. It’s a pulsing blue line that warns your PS4 might no longer be operational.

Normal consoles pulse blue then turn white. If the PS4 continues to pulse blue and then powers off, then it indicates that the console did not send a signal to the TV, which bricks the device and stops normal operation.

Sony believed the problem was an isolated incident and released a troubleshooting guide highlighting options of potential fixes.

While the problem was prevalent at launch, it still happens for a small portion of users and is more likely to be an issue if your console was manufactured around late-2013.

Potential solutions:

Update your TV’s software — Sometimes the issue can be on the TV side. If you have a newer television, especially with internet connectivity, it’s likely that this can be updated and sometimes fixes the issue.

Check the HDMI — Try changing the HDMI cable to see if that’s stopping the TV from getting a signal. 

Check the power supply — Press the power button on the PS4 for seven seconds, until the system beeps twice and powers off. Afterward, disconnect the power cord from the socket and check the AC IN connector and power cord for any conspicuous damage.

Check the hard drive — Make sure your PS4 is turned off, then disconnect the power cord and any other connected cables before sliding the HDD cover outward. Once removed, inspect the hard drive for any potential damage and ensure it is properly inserted in the HDD bay.

Reset the Controller — Press and hold the PS button on your controller until the system light turns orange. Then, press and hold the PS button again until the light turns white. In some situations, this can get the PS4 to boot correctly.

If none of these solutions remedy the situation then contact Sony.

Issue: Blinking red indicator light

The issue of ‘Red line of death’ isn’t as common as the blue line mentioned above. It is linked to overheating problems, often due to fan malfunctions. It can happen at any point during your play session and isn’t just about when the console turns on. 

Potential solutions:

Take a break — Press the power button on the front of your PS4 for seven seconds, or until the system beeps and powers off. Then, disconnect the power supply and allow the console to rest for an extended period of time, or until it sufficiently cools down, before powering it up again. Give it at least an hour, or two.

Give the fans space — Place your PS4 in a well-ventilated area to ensure it has enough breathing room, avoiding carpet and similar services whenever possible. Potentially placing the console vertically might be able to help. Do not cover your console with anything, and allow plenty of air.

If none of these solutions remedy the situation then contact Sony.

Issue: Damaged HDMI port and faulty HDMI cables

There have been reports of an issue with the consoles built-in HDMI port with pieces of metal blocking the ability for a connection. Alternatively, another common complaint is the HDMI cable itself not working.

This has been addressed by Sony, but if you have bought an older unit or bought through resale and now having issues take a look below.

Potential solutions: 

Check the HDMI ports — Test alternative cables to identify if this is the issue or the cable. Check the cable for any obvious breaks or issues. If another cable works, this might resolve the issue for you.

Bend back the metal — If you can see a metal obtrusion then try to bend it back into place. Be very careful not to do further damage. Even if this works you should contact Sony.

Issue: Running out of storage space

The newer models of the PS4 added extra storage as a way of getting additional purchases and so you can get around 1TB of space. For those with 500GB though it can be a nightmare especially with games getting bigger – ask anyone that has the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Even updates require space, and often more than the original game.

Potential solution:

Connect a USB external hard drive to your console — The PS4 works with any USB 3.0 hard drive. Simply plug it into one of the PS4’s USB ports, and select the Format as extended storage option.

Swap out your PlayStation 4’s internal storage — Great news is that you can change the internal memory without voiding the warranty. Any 2.5-inch hard drive with storage greater than 160GB will work.

Issue: PlayStation Network connectivity problems

One of the most common issues with a PS4, all online gaming is reliant on the manufacturer’s servers. Luckily, when this happens it is usually fixed quickly. If it is a server issue, then it’s a case of waiting for it to be fixed. But if it’s a local issue to the machine there are some things that can be done.

Potential solutions

Change DNS settings — Check if your other devices are working on your home network. If they are but the PS4 isn’t then try changing your DNS settings. Go to Network Settings and choose Custom for the type of connection you use, which is either Wi-Fi or wired. Select your network, choose the automatic IP address setting, and select “do not use” for DHCP Host Name. Two different DNS settings should appear — choose manual. Afterward, set the primary DNS as “8.8.8.8” and the secondary DNS as “8.8.4.4”. The console should then cycle through its tests, and you will be back online.

Update your router’s software — Follow the steps provided by the routers manual for updating it’s software, or contact your internet service provider.

Unplug and re-plug — The age-old solution, but it works. Disconnect all power to the PS4 and the router and disconnect the plugs. Wait for a few minutes before reconnecting and testing if that has resolved the issue.

Issue: Disc auto ejects or not at all

Some users have reported issues with the disc not ejecting, or ejecting without being prompted. This was more prevalent on early versions of the console but some of these tricks might help.

Potential solutions

Place the console vertically — The users reporting these issues often had the console horizontal and reported that having the console vertically helped the disc fit into the slot better and solved the problem.

Manually eject the disc — You can manually take a disc out by powering down the PS4 completely, disconnecting from the electricity and then sliding off the front panel.

Run through Power cycle — Switch off your console, unplug all cords, and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Let it sit for at least two minutes before reattaching all cables and powering on your system.

If none of these solutions remedy the situation then contact Sony.

Issue: Disc read errors

Disc read errors are complicated because they can be any number of things. It can be the disc itself, the hardware reading it or the data on the disc. If the issue occurs with a physical game you’ve purchased recently, the disc may be defective, and you may want to try to exchange or return it.

Possible solutions:

Run through Power cycle — Switch off your console, unplug all cords, and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Let it sit for at least two minutes before reattaching all cables and powering on your system.

Reinstall the game — Eject the game, and navigate to its on-screen icon. Press the Options button on your controller, and delete the game from your hard drive. Re-insert the disc, and start the installation process again. For digital games that are having issues running, uninstalling and reinstalling the application can also solve the issue.

Rebuild the database — Remove the disc causing issues, and power down your console by holding the power button until you hear two beeps. Then, press and hold the power button again for approximately five seconds, which should boot your console in safe mode. Now, plug your PS4 controller into your console via USB and choose the rebuild database option. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours so make sure you have time.

Install the latest updates — Check for any system or application updates and install if there are any available.

Failing all of that, you could always hard reset your PS4 if it really won’t cooperate.

Tom Owen