Why & How to Restart the PS4

Facing an issue on your PS4? First advice from tech support would be — “Did you try rebooting it?” This solution is engraved in our minds so deep down that it has become an instant reflex. Even a non-tech-savvy person would suggest you restart the PS4. Even though most of them do not actually know what exactly happens but somehow it fixes the problem. Let us try to find out why does restarting the PS4 resolve many performance issues in PS4. Also you’ll learn how to restart the PS4 the right way in an easy step-by-step guide.

PS4 is restarting

How does Restarting PS4 Fix Everything Wonderfully?

One big reason a restart will fix so many PS4 problems is that it will clear your Random Access Memory (RAM). While you are working on the PS4, you open and close many games/apps. There were many logs and temporary caches created in the background process which you do not know about. You do not realize that the footprints are left behind by the background processes. These leftovers hog the system resources and most of it is stored in RAM.

When the RAM cannot take any more, it leads to a memory leak which causes slowdowns and various kind of errors. Each and every application stops when you restart the PS4; power cuts off and RAM gets cleared. This gives the PS4 system a clean slate and fresh start.

Restart deals with Low level Issues

Let us take an example of common but a grave issue on PS4 systems – the blinking Blue Light of Death. Hardware malfunction usually causes this issue. There comes a point where PS4 system does not know how to resolve a problem with a hardware driver so it just halts. The sudden closure of process leads to Blue Light on PS4 system. At this point, there is no moving back. The only option you get is to restart. The PS4 itself is suggesting to restart this time so that it can start the process again with a hope that it will encounter the same problem again.

PS4 system would restart to fix corrupted database

The PS4 system software has been getting better with resolving the issues on its own in newer versions. There are instances when a complete restart of the PS4 is not required but only the specific process.

A common example could be a graphical issue. On earlier version of PS4 system software, the PS4 might crash in case of graphics driver stop working. However, in later versions, you may notice losing of fancy graphics and animations for a second and getting back everything to normal. What actually happened behind the scenes is restarting of the graphics process. With the restart, the code was executed from square one and it would probably work fine this time.

Restart is not limited to PS4 system

The wonder of restart is applicable to all computers and most of the electronic devices like android phone, WiFi router or even the applications running on the PS4. Most of the instruction manual will suggest rebooting or resetting the device to bring it to normal. Apps/games, when kept open for a long time may start acting up. Closing and opening the application again resolves the issue.

restart PS4 application

Examples of PS4 Restarting Fixing Problems

While certain problems require a complete restart because the PS4 operating system or a hardware driver has stopped working, not every problem does. Some problems may be fixable without a restart, though a restart may be the easiest option.

PS4 is Slow

Let’s say PS4 system is running very slowly. It’s possible that a misbehaving application is using 99% CPU and draining the PS4’s resources. If an average user encountered this same problem, they could simply reboot their PS4 to fix it.

Browser or another application is Running Out of Memory

PS4 not enough memory
In the past, the PlayStation internet browser has been the poster child for memory leaks. Over time, the PS4 internet browser would often consume more and more memory, getting larger and larger and slowing down. Closing the PS4 internet browser will cause it to relinquish all of its memory. When it starts again, it will start from a clean state without any leaked memory. This doesn’t just apply to the PS4 internet browser, but applies to any application/game with memory leaks.

Internet or Wi-Fi Network Problems

If you have a problem with your Wi-Fi or Internet connection on the PS4, the software on your router or modem may have encountered a problem. Resetting the router — just by unplugging it from its power socket and then plugging it back in — is a common solution for connection problems.

In all cases, restarting the PS4 wipes away the current state of the PS4 system software. Any code that’s stuck in a misbehaving state will be swept away, too. When you restart, the PS4 or device will bring the system up from scratch, restarting all the applications from square one so it will work just as well as it was working before.

Frequent Restart is a Problem

Though I have mentioned several times that PS4 Restart is a solution to fix most of the problems, but there could be a major problem underneath. If your PS4 requires frequent restarts for normal working, it is not a solution anymore. You must investigate the real cause instead of temporarily fixing it every-time by restarting.

To elaborate, the PS4 might need changing of the hard drive which has bad sectors on it or the RAM is malfunctioning. Sometimes, games or system applications also cause the problem which you have to investigate.

How to Restart the PS4

Restarting the PS4 is a very simple process that only requires a few steps to take. Below are the steps that you have to follow to successfully restart the PS4:

Using the PS4 button on the DualShock4 controller

  1. Hold the PS4 button on the controller for a couple of seconds until this screen shows up:
    restart the PS4 option
  2. Simply, pick the third option “Restart PS4” and you’re done.

Using the Power option in the PS4 Quick Menu

This is an alternative method to the above, you can access the “Power” screen from the PS4 Quick Menu.

Restart the PS4 via Quick Menu

Restarting the PS4 when it’s frozen

Note that in case of a freezing PS4, these two methods are of no use. You only have to turn off the PS4 then turn it on again. This is possible by holding the PS4 power button for a few seconds until you hear the beep, then the PS4 system will turn off.

PS4 power button


To Conclude, Restarting the PS4 wipes of the current state of the system software which has become problematic and gives it a chance to start afresh with a hope of not encountering the same problem again.

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