When was the last time you did a database rebuild on your PS4? If you don't know what that is or can't remember when you last did it, chances are it's been too long. Luckily the process is simple and safe, and while it will take longer if you haven't done it before (or ever), there's no harm in improving your console maintenance right now. Following these steps will remove corrupted data and reorganize your files, enhancing your system's performance and ensuring you can keep playing the best PS4 games for as long as possible.
How to rebuild your PS4's database
- Power off your PS4 and do not use rest mode.
Hold the power button down until you hear two quick beeps. This will alert you that you have entered Safe Mode.
- Connect your DualShock 4 controller to the USB-A slot in the front of the PS4.
Scroll down in the menu until you reach option 5, Rebuild Database.
- Press the X button to start the rebuild.
A PS4 database rebuild may take minutes or hours, depending on how full your console is and how often you install and delete games. Rebuilding 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 relatively simple task that you should do every few months, but it is best to do it once a quarter. The more frequently you do it, the less time the process should take, at least in theory.
Is it dangerous to rebuild your PS4's database?
Database rebuilding sounds like cleaning — and cleaning sounds like getting rid of things — but the process shouldn't delete any data unless a file is corrupted. Corrupted files will be deleted, but you certainly weren't going to be able to use them even if they were still there. Outside of corrupted files, database rebuilding is not only perfectly safe, but it's also highly recommended. As your PS4 gets older and older, the chances that junk files need to be cleaned to improve performance increase dramatically.
Sony's newest console, the PS5, may near 14 million consoles sold, but stock remains hard to find, so if you're staying with the PS4 for now, you need to take care of it to the best of your ability. Fortunately, you'll still be getting new games from Sony over the next year or so, with titles like Horizon Forbidden West coming to PS4 and PS5.
You can always back up your system to an external hard drive or USB storage device before you perform a 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.
James Bricknell and Samantha Nelson contributed to this article.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.