The Importance of Rebuilding PS4 Database
It’s no secret to savvy PS4 users that most of errors and problems that occur in the PS4 system can be fixed simply by rebuilding the PS4 database. You can confirm that yourself. Check for instance our suggested solutions for slow PS4, PS4 corrupted data, PS4 slow copying update file, and most of the common error codes, we always advise to rebuild the database before taking any more serious action. That shows the importance of rebuilding the PS4 database in fixing many issues within the PS4 system.
What’s the PS4 Database?
The PS4 database is an organized collection of structured information, or data stored electronically in the PS4 system. Data within the PS4 database is modeled in rows and columns in a series of tables to make processing and data querying efficient. The data can then be easily accessed, managed, modified, updated, controlled, and organized.
Why PS4 Database Gets Corrupted
There are generally three common causes of database failure. Let’s look at each one of them:
1. File Corruption
If one or more files in the PS4 database are damaged, they can cause the PS4 database to fail at the file level, causing corruption. Files can be corrupted due to several reasons. Primary files, which can corrupt the entire PS4 database, may be corrupted due to changes in the PSN Server account, accidental data deletion, and file header corruption, among others.
In the case of Secondary File corruption, PS4 database becomes inaccessible. As a result, you might get different error messages clearly indicating that the PS4 database is corrupted.
2. File System Damage
If the PS4 system is shut down incorrectly, or if it experiences a power surge, or something happens that interrupts the process while data is being written to the files, the files of the operating system can be damaged or corrupted.
3. Software and Hardware Failure
Hardware failures may include memory errors, disk crashes, bad disk sectors, and disk full of errors among others. Hardware failures can also be attributed to design errors, inadequate or poor quality control during fabrication, overloading (use of under-capacity components) and wear out of mechanical parts. On the other hand, software failures may include failures related to software such as operating system, application programs and so on.
No matter how reliable your PS4 system seems, it cannot assure a failure-free transaction every time. To prevent any type of PS4 database failure, you have to rebuild it from time to time—at least once every 6 months.
Additionally, having a reliable storage device helps immensely prevent the instability of PS4 system including the errors that occur to the PS4 database. For that reason, upgrading the PS4 internal hard drive to a better drive is a good step to make here.
Understanding “Rebuild the PS4 Database”
When your Sony PlayStation 4 downloads data, whether it’s a new game or an update to an existing title, the console must sift through the downloaded data to find what it needs. A few big updates and game downloads can cause your console to slow down, as it has to sift through a lot of data. Much of this data isn’t relevant to the current operation, though.
Rebuilding your PS4’s database tells the system where the relevant downloaded data resides on the drive. Once this process is complete, it’s easier for your console to find the data it needs for a particular game or service. This can lead to faster boot times and a more responsive console.
Despite the similarity, this isn’t totally the same as defragmenting a hard drive—that process would take much longer. Defragmenting moves data around, whereas rebuilding the database only affects the database. After the database is rebuilt, the console notes where the relevant data is on the drive, and then updates its location within the database.
Sony warns that rebuilding your database can take a while—or even a few hours, depending on how much new data there is to sift through. In our experience, the process takes a few minutes, at most, on a 1tb PS4 Pro.
It’s also worth noting that major PS4 updates also require a database rebuild. It also happens whenever you switch on your console after not shutting it down properly.
Occasionally, the process of rebuilding your database can result in games or other applications being deleted if the console thinks they’ve been corrupted. This shouldn’t affect save data, but remember, you can always back up to the cloud with PlayStation Plus or to a USB device locally.
Right Time to Rebuild PS4 Database
Rebuilding the PS4 database is a safe process and you can do it as often as you like. It’s a relatively low-risk operation that doesn’t necessarily affect the data on your drive. You can rebuild the database to solve existing issues, but doing so will also help prevent future console slowdowns.
Occasions That Require PS4 Database Rebuild
There are a few occasions when you might want to force a database rebuild to resolve issues with your PS4, however.
Slow Operating Console
If your console takes longer than usual to boot or resume from a suspended state, or if you notice a slowdown while using the PS4 menus, a rebuild might help speed things up. This often happens after large game updates have downloaded, so you might want to rebuild the database next time Modern Warfare drops a 100 GB patch.
Bad Game Performance
PS4 database problems can also negatively affect game performance. If you’re noticing frame-rate drops and stuttering, particularly in areas where you’ve never noticed them before, a PS4 database rebuild might be a good idea.
Persistent “data corrupted” errors can also be solved with a database rebuild. These often appear while trying to download a game from your library. Restarting the download usually works for a brief period before you see the error message again. We’ve noted that the issue disappears entirely after a quick database rebuild.
Some have also noted that rebuilding their PS4 database solved an issue in which the console would consistently fail to read optical media and with missing downloadable content (DLC).
If you frequently install new games and applications, you’ll get more benefits from regular database rebuilds than someone who plays the same games and rarely installs anything.
PS4 Database Rebuild Disadvantages
There aren’t many disadvantages of rebuilding the database, but you have to be aware of them though.
- You might find some things are missing if the data was corrupted, but this is rare. Your list of most-recently played games will be deleted, so you’ll have to browse through your Library to find things rather than scrolling a few tiles to the right.
- A rebuild will also remove all notifications on your system. However, it can be nice to wipe the slate clean because, unless you manually remove these, it seems like the console holds on to them forever.
- Lastly, if you have a particularly large collection of games and use an external drive, you could be waiting a while for the process to complete. However, we haven’t noticed any significant wait times on either a regular PS4 with expanded storage, or a PS4 Pro loaded to capacity.
How to Rebuild PS4 Database
Rebuilding the PS4 database is way too easy, and it can be done in three steps only. We have illustrated the whole operation in detail here.
Rebuilding your PS4’s database may take minutes or hours depending on how full your console is and how often you install and delete games. Rebuilding actually reorganizes your hard drive to make it easier and quicker for the system to access your files. A properly organized database can load data faster, decreasing the chances of having your game freeze or experiencing frame rate drops.
Database rebuilding is a fairly simple task that should be done every few months — doing it once a quarter is best. The more frequently you do it, the less time the process should take.
Eventually, PS4 database rebuilding sounds like cleaning — and cleaning sounds like getting rid of things — but the process shouldn’t actually delete any data unless a file is corrupted. Corrupted files will be deleted, but you probably weren’t going to be able to use them even if they were still there. You can always back up your system to an external hard drive or USB storage device before you perform a PS4 database rebuild if you’re worried. You’ll also be protected if you have auto-upload enabled on your PS4, which keeps up to 100GB of your gaming data safe in online storage.