What to do when your PS4 won't accept a disc

PlayStation 4 models
(Image credit: Android Central)

What should I do when my PS4 won't accept a disc?

Best answer: There are several things you can do when your PS4 doesn't accept a disc, but some of the most common causes are the easiest to fix. Either simply clean your disc with a microfiber cloth or attempt to restart your console from safe mode.

How will I know what's wrong with my PS4 disc?

You generally won't know exactly what the problem is until you go through a few steps toward fixing it first, which can be irritating when you're trying to play one of the best PS4 games in your collection. If your PS4 doesn't accept a disc, there could be myriad factors involved, both on the hardware and software front.

Whether it's the former or the latter plaguing you with problems, you can fix it yourself either way … to an extent. I wouldn't recommend completely gutting your PS4, but there are ways to take it apart and make minor adjustments that could prove to be the solution if cleaning your disc or restarting the console doesn't work.

Check if a disc is already in your PS4

You'd be surprised at how many people don't tend to think of this one because it's just so easy to gloss over. If your PS4 isn't accepting discs, it could be because there's one already inside, or perhaps one was inserted without your knowledge. If this is the case, eject that disc first. If it doesn't eject, you'll need to use the manual eject screw, shown in a few steps below.

Clean the disc

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you should carefully clean the disc. While at first glance a disc may seem fine if you're checking it quickly, it could still need a quick polish to get rid of some superficial scratches or dust. Try rubbing it down with a dry microfiber cloth and also check that there are no small cracks on the disc that may be hard to see. While most of these solutions are tailored specifically toward a PS4, you should clean a disc if you're having trouble running it on a PS5 through backward compatibility.

Note: Remember to always wipe your disc in straight lines from the center outward, and you shouldn't use a liquid cleaning agent as you wipe it down to avoid damage.

Restart and update from Safe Mode

  1. To begin this step, make sure your PlayStation 4 is completely powered off and not just in Rest Mode.
  2. Once off, press and hold the power button for several seconds.
  3. You'll hear an initial beep and then another beep after 7 seconds. Release the button after the second beep.
  4. Connect your DualShock 4 controller to the console using your USB charging cable.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

From here, you'll see a black screen with listed options to choose from. Either choose the first: Restart PS4, or the third: Update System Software.

Your console should boot up like normal after this.

Tighten manual eject screw

Note: This requires you to unplug every cable from your PS4.

No matter what model console you're playing on, be it the original PS4, the PS4 Slim, or a PS4 Pro, each has a manual eject screw associated with the disc drive should problems arise and your disc gets stuck. Sony thankfully has diagrams showing exactly how to tighten this screw, which conveniently also tends to solve the issue of your PS4 not accepting a disc to begin with. If you are unsure which model you have, the model number can be found near the barcode on your system's casing.

Original PS4 Model 

If you purchased your PS4 between 2013 and the middle of 2015, you likely have either a CUH-1000 Series model or CUH-1110 Series model.

1. Gently slide off the left HDD bay cover panel as seen below.

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

2. You will now see two sets of vents. From the front, follow these vents until you come across a slot that is not grouped with any other slots. This is where the screw will be. (Use a flashlight if needed).

Ejecting Screw from PS4 Manual

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

3. Once located, tighten the screw as needed.

4. Place the HDD panel back on and plug in your console.

PS4 CUH-1200 Model

From mid-2015 to around September 2016, anyone buying a PS4 likely picked up the PS4 CUH-1200 Series.

  1. Like the above steps, start by removing the HDD cover bay. Using your fingers as leverage, apply even pressure near the seam to slide the top panel away. (The panel should move about 7mm and a click will be heard).
  2. You'll now need to partially remove the HDD. You'll see a screw with the PlayStation symbols.
  3. Simply unscrew this counter-clockwise so you can move the HDD out of the way.

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

4. You should then see the manual eject screw as seen in the diagram below.

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro

And if you bought a PS4 from late 2016 until today, you'll probably either have the PS4 Slim or PS4 Pro, which are pretty easy to tell apart. These are the easiest out of the batch to tighten.

1. Flip over your console and look for the circular hole directly above the PlayStation logo.

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

2. Insert your screwdriver here and turn.

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment)


Send it to Sony or upgrade

As a last resort, this just might not be a problem you can fix. If that's the case, Sony will need to step in and take it from there. It's easy to put in a service request.

Given how rare and expensive new PS4 consoles are now because they aren't manufactured anymore, you may want to consider upgrading to a PS5. All but nine PS4 games run on the PS5 through backward compatibility, meaning if you get lucky with PS5 restocks, you can start enjoying the newest generation of consoles and the best PS5 games without worrying about your aging PS4.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.

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