PS4 is Slow? – The Internal Hard Drive is the Main Culprit

Has your PS4 eventually become annoyingly slow that you no longer tolerate it? The operating system is taking ages to boot up, games and applications are much slower to load than before, and online gaming is just a nightmare to you due to the sluggish performance of your game console.

If you’re suffering from slowness with your PS4, the first thing to suspect and inspect is the primary storage device featured by a mechanical hard drive, as it’s the main culprit (and almost the only) in such situations.

Why Does PS4 Become Slow?

There are several reasons that make PS4 slow in performance—one reason is very common, and the rest are rare, and we will lay out almost all possible reason that makes PS4 run slow.

  • PS4 hard drive is declining. This is the biggest reason ever for the slowness of PS4 performance. The hard drive is no longer functioning as fast as it used to be once bought, due to several factors related to how it’s designed and the storage technologies it implements. (Read more on PS4 HDD Specs). Therefore, the hard drive itself might be undergoing performance degradation or it’s about to fail.
  • Probably there’s no hardware issue with your PS4, but you just play heavyweight games. Modern, top-notch PS4 games are coming now in huge file size and require stronger hardware to seamlessly run them. If your hard drive is an outdated drive, it will take a long time (up to 70-90 sec. in some games) to load.
  • There may be a hardware defect. This rarely happens, but it’s still possible that the CPU or memory chips are undergoing some kinds of defect.
  • Application or game conflict. This is also rare, but it doesn’t affect the whole system. It only affects the two conflicting elements.
  • Running games/apps from a defected external storage device. This is another common reason that’s similar to the first one, except that you need, additionally, to check the USB cable connecting to PS4, as it might not functioning well enough.
  • PS4 is overheating. It happens sometimes that you play heavyweight games for many continuous hours and PS4 becomes overheating. If this is your habit to play for a long time at once, you’ll need a cooling fan for PS4 in order to dissipate the alleviate the temperature.
  • PS4 database needs rebuilding. The Rebuild Database option does a defrag of the PS4, which can solve a whole host of issues on the PS4 and free up some much needed space, speed up your console and fix issues. The Rebuild scans the drive and creates a new database of all content, thus cleaning the disc drive. So if you are experiencing an issue with your Playstation 4’s memory or a Software update the you can simply run the Rebuild Database.

That’s it. These are almost all the reasons that cause PS4 to be slow. It’s seldom to find an additional reason unless you have an exceptional case.

Fixing Slow PS4

Here, in this article, we’ll discuss how to work around the problems caused by the slow hard drive of PS4, as it’s the most common reason, and it’s also fundamentally related to our website’s purpose.

Rebuild PS4 database

When rebuilding your Sony PlayStation 4 database you’re essentially organizing your database of content, and maintaining your PS4 to ensure it performs at its best. If you are a heavy user of the PS4, you have to rebuild your database every month.

You may want to rebuild the PS4 database if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:

  • PS4 not reading a disc
  • Other PS4 disc drive issues
  • Slow game loading times
  • Game stuttering issues, particularly during cut scenes
  • Navigation slow down through menus
  • Issues with accessing DLC

Now, follow the steps illustrated in the video below in order to perform a database rebuild successfully:

It’s important to note that:

  • Rebuild Database PS4 will not delete any of your data
  • Some users have been prompted to download recent game updates following a rebuild
  • DO NOT accidentally press Initialize PS4 (this will wipe all your data)
  • Some users have reported a huge difference in the quality of performance of Sony’s console after a rebuild

Reset PS4 to factory settings

The first thing you have to try to work around the slow performance of PS4 is to try to reset PS4 to its original factory settings. That’s because, sometimes, when the hard drive is filled with tons of games and applications, a conflict might occur that negatively impact PS4 performance, and probably your problem is only that.

Watch this short video to learn how to reset PS4 properly:

Make sure to take a backup copy of your hard drive before carrying out this process, as all your data will be eliminated.

Format PS4 hard drive

format PS4 hard driveMechanical hard drives’ performance degrades by long time of usage. Formatting it helps, in many situations, to restore its original performance.

You need first to remove the internal hard drive of PS4 from its cage by unscrewing it and pulling it out. Then connect it to any computer, either via USB connection or directly via SATA connection. Afterwards, just perform a FULL format operation on the drive and wait until it’s done.

Note that you can pick any file system you want for the format, as PS4 will reformat your drive automatically to FAT32 when you put it back to its place.

Remember that you’ll need to backup your PS4 hard drive before carrying out this process.

Replace PS4 HDD with a better drive

removing PS4 hard drivePS4 games 4 years ago are not anymore like games of today. They were lightweight, flexible and load very quickly. But now the situation has changed with the massive game design development.

Nowadays, AAA-grade games are coming with huge file size (up to more than 80gb in some popular games) that contain heavy media and software files that need a fast hard drive to load.

Although the stock hard drive of PS4 can successfully run these games, it will take too long for this to happen! (Sometimes a game needs more than 70 minutes to load from PS4 stock hard drive).

The solution for this situation is simple: Upgrade PS4 hard drive with a stronger and faster drive that implements the latest storage technologies that offer much better speed and reliability.


There’s no need to panic when your PS4 becomes slow. Just find out the main reason for this slowness and work around it, as long as it’s not related to a piece of hardware other than the internal hard drive. Otherwise, it’s a serious problem.

The good news is that Sony has made replacing PS4 hard drive too easy, as Sony knew very well, when it first launched PS4 in Nov. 2013, that this hard drive wouldn’t cope with the storage and performance requirements of games of today.

In all cases, upgrading the internal hard drive is good. You’ll gain a much better speed and a larger storage capacity, and that’s what we always advise PS4 fanboys to do.

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