How to fix PS4 problems by rebuilding the PS4 database.
If you’re having issues with your PS4, such as slow performance, “data corruption” errors, or problems downloading or updating games, your console’s database could be the problem. Fortunately, rebuilding the PS4 database will fix most of these issues.
What does “Rebuild PS4 Database” mean?
When your Sony PlayStation 4 downloads data, whether it’s a new game or an update to an existing title, the console must examine the downloaded data to find what it needs. A few major updates and game downloads can cause your console to slow down as it has to sift through a large amount of data. However, much of this data is not relevant to the current operation.
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.
This is not the same as defragmenting a hard drive, that process would take much longer. Defragmentation moves data, whereas database rebuild 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.
Rebuilding your database can take a while, or even a few hours, depending on the amount of new data that needs to be examined. In our experience, the process takes a few minutes, tops, on a 1TB PS4 Pro. It’s also worth noting that major PS4 updates also require a database rebuild. It also happens whenever you turn on your console after not turning it off properly.
Occasionally, the process of rebuilding your database may result in the removal of games or other applications if the console believes they have been corrupted. This shouldn’t affect your save data, but remember, you can always back up to the cloud with PlayStation Plus or to a USB stick locally.
When should you rebuild your database?
Rebuilding your 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 resolve existing issues, but doing so will also help prevent future console slowdowns.
However, there are some times when you may want to force a database rebuild to resolve issues with your PS4.
If your console is taking longer than usual to boot up or resume from a suspended state, or if you notice a slowdown while using the PS4 menus, a rebuild could help speed things up. This often happens after large game updates have been downloaded, so you may want to rebuild the database the next time Modern Warfare releases a 100 GB patch.
Database issues can also negatively affect game performance. If you notice frame rate drops and stutters, especially in areas where you’ve never noticed them before, a database rebuild might be a good idea.
Here to help! Did you try to rebuild the database in safe mode? steps here If that doesn’t work, try option #6 Initialize PS4. Find steps to back up your data here Keep us posted.
– Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation)
Persistent “data corruption” errors can also be fixed with a database rebuild. They usually appear when trying to download a game from your library. The download restart usually works for a short time before you see the error message again. We have noticed that the problem goes away completely after a quick rebuild of the database.
Some have also noted that rebuilding their PS4 database resolved an issue where the console constantly failed to read optical media and was missing downloadable content (DLC).
If you frequently install new games and apps, you’ll get more benefit from regular database rebuilds than someone who plays the same games and rarely installs anything.
Are there drawbacks?
There are not many drawbacks to rebuilding the database. Some things may be missing if the data is corrupted, but this is rare. Your most recently played games list will be removed, so you’ll have to browse your Library to find things instead of scrolling a few tiles to the right.
A rebuild will also remove all notifications from your system. However, it can be a good thing to wipe the slate because unless you remove them manually, the console seems to hang on to them forever.
Lastly, if you have a particularly large game collection and are using an external drive, you might be waiting a while for the process to complete. However, we haven’t noticed significant wait times on either a regular PS4 with expanded storage or a fully loaded PS4 Pro.
How to rebuild your database in safe mode
You will need to start your PS4 console in safe mode to rebuild your database. To do this, wake your console from sleep mode as you normally would. Next, press and hold the PS button on your controller, and then select Power > Power Off PS4.
With the console completely powered off, connect your controller to the PS4 with a USB cable. This is necessary because Bluetooth will not work in safe mode. Now press and hold the power button on the front of the console until you hear two beeps to boot into safe mode.
After the second beep, release the button and wait for the “Safe Mode” menu to appear. When it does, select “5. Rebuild the database.” Accept the warning that the process may take a few hours, and then select “OK” to begin the rebuild.
Your console will reboot and display the PlayStation logo for a while. You should then see a progress bar showing that the database is rebuilding.
When the process is complete, your console will reboot.
What else does safe mode do?
There are other troubleshooting options in the “Safe Mode” menu. The first is “Reboot System,” which exits Safe Mode and restarts the PS4 normally.
Below is an option to change the screen resolution to 480p. This is useful if your console is connected to a display that doesn’t support the existing resolution and you need to revert the settings.
The next option is “Update System Software”, which checks for the latest version and then tries to update. You can try this option if you are having trouble updating your system software when your system boots normally.
The “Restore Default Settings” option reverts all system settings back to their factory defaults. This will not affect your games or save data. However, it will change things like your energy saving preferences and DNS servers to their default values.
Finally, there are the options “Initialize PS4” and “Initialize PS4 (reinstall system software)”. These will factory reset your console to like-new condition. The second option also reinstalls the current version of Sony’s operating system. Both will delete all your games, media, and save files.
You should only use these final options if you’re having serious problems with your PS4 (and you’ve tried everything else), or if you’re selling or giving away your console. These options will remove all of your personal information.
Will next-gen consoles require similar maintenance?
Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their next-generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles in late 2020. The biggest differences will be faster solid-state drives (SSDs) and high-bandwidth data channels.
These new features will allow consoles to access data faster than ever before. This also means that a database rebuild procedure on a PS5 should take less time thanks to the improved performance of an SSD.
If you want to speed up your PS4, you can add an SSD. However, don’t expect the same next-gen performance that we’re likely to see on the PS5.