What does Initialize PS4 do ? Everything You Need to Know

What does initialize ps4 do ?No, I’m not talking about my boxer dog (though she is the size of a horse!), I’m talking about my PlayStation 4 Pro. After finally beating the odds and getting a PlayStation 5, I thought it was time for my faithful PS4 Pro to entertain a new family with thrilling gaming adventures.

However, selling a console, that is probably stuffed full of personal data, is always a worry. After all, nobody wants their credit card details handed out to a cyber-criminal.

So, after doing a little research, I found out that it was vital that I initialize my PS4 before selling it.

But there was one problem: I didn’t have a clue what this initialization did to my PS4 Pro or how to do it.

So, I started rooting around for answers. This is what I found:

What does Initialize PS4 do to your PS4 Console? Initialising a PS4 restores all the system’s settings back to their default values. Initialization also deletes all data saved to the system’s internal hard storage. That includes the deletion of all users, games, game saves, apps, images, videos, and other personal data such as credit card numbers. Data is not deleted from USB drives connected to a PS4.

Ok, now you know that initializing your PS4 essentially wipes your PS4 completely clean. Basically, sending it all the way back to its original factory settings and readying it to be sold on to somebody else.

However, there is so much more to know about initializing the Playstation 4.

For example, I’ll talk about:

  • What happens when you initialize your PS4.
  • Should you do a quick or full initialization and what’s the difference?
  • What happens if you cancel your PS4 initialization?
  • Should you initialize your PS4 before selling/disposing of it?
  • How to initialize your PS4?
  • Is there a difference between initialize and factory reset?
  • Will you lose everything on your PS4 if you initialize?
  • What should you do after initializing?
  • Can you recover data after initializing a PS4?

what does initialize ps4 do

What happens when I initialize my PS4?

The first, and most obvious question that quivers on both our mouths is probably what actually happens when you initialize a PS4?

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Now, when I think of initialization, I conjure images of James Bond villains initializing a rocket launch to destroy the world.

Fortunately, initialization on the PS4 isn’t anywhere near as dramatic or destructive.

Basically, PS4 initialization removes all the data from your PS4. That includes game data, game saves, media, passwords, everything basically.

Usually, throughout the world of electronics, this initialization process is called factory resetting. Trust Sony to make it sound frightening and complicated!

Is data deleted off of external USB storage devices, when you initialize a PS4?

No, data is not deleted from connected external USB storage devices when you initialize a PS4.

You will, instead, have to format your external hard drive manually to remove all PS4 related data.

However, sensitive data, such as payment methods, are not stored on external devices.

Only game data, game saves, images, apps, and videos can be stored on external storage devices.

Should I do a quick or full initialize on my PS4?

When it comes to time initializing your PS4 you’ll have two options. They are:

  • Quick Initialization
  • Full Initialization

It’s always nice to have options, isn’t it? But what is the difference between the two of them?

Quick Initialization

Quick initialization removes all data on your PS4 just like the full initialization, except there is one key difference:

Quick initialization doesn’t remove the data securely. When a PS4 is quickly initialized instead of all the data actually being physically deleted, the PS4 just tells itself that it’s ok to write over that data in the future.

So, all your data is actually still on the hard drive, it’s just that the PS4’s OS doesn’t recognize it as being valid data anymore.

The problem with this method is that all of your data can be recovered by unscrupulous data miners. In other words, thieves.

Quick Initialization is perfect if you just want to return your PS4 back to its original factory settings and intend to keep the PS4 for yourself.

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Full Initialization

Full initialization actually rewrites the entire PS4 hard drive with random 1s and 0s. This way the original data is actually completely destroyed and unrecoverable.

I’d recommend this method if your goal is to sell your PS4, give it away, or dump it.

Keep in mind, however, that the full initialization process can take several hours to complete.

What is Initializing PS4?

Initializing PS4 is the reset option that wipes out all system storage data and restores the system settings to the default original values. All apps, games & saved data, pictures, videos, and credit card credentials in internal PS4 storage will be deleted. But USB storage data will be safe.

In today’s world, we heavily rely on electronic gadgets. And as technology develops daily, we tend to upgrade our devices frequently.

Any electronic device, whether a smartphone, computer, router, or console, performs sluggishly after a long run. Resetting the device most of the time makes the device like day one and improves overall performance.

But you may lose important data and files if you perform the reset action without knowing what that will do to the device. And in the worst-case scenario, you won’t be able to get the data back.

So whether you want to send out your PS4 and buy a PS5 digital or disc edition, you should clean your personal data from the PS4 console to prevent data hacking before selling it out. Performing Initializing PS4 option will do that job.

What Will Happen When You Initialize PS4?

Generally, initializing means starting something. But, Initializing PS4 in Safe Mode is basically a destructive process that ends with removing all PS4 game files, saving data, images, videos, passwords, etc.

It would be much easier for users if Sony used Reset PS4 instead of Initialize PS4. However, they understood their mistake & fixed it in their PS5. But newbie users on PS4 will find it complicated at first glance.

So when you have decided to sell your console or regain performance by factory resetting the PS4, you will have to boot the PS4 in Safe Mode.

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When you choose the 6th option, Initialize PS4, this is the quick reset and a faster operation to erase all data. Hence it has a chance to recover the data in the future & is not a secure process if you intend to sell the console.

In that case, you must choose the 7th one, Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software), to perform an in-depth full clean. If you are stuck in safe mode, performing this option can eliminate the issue, but the process will delete all data.

But what about an external USB that is connected to the PS4? Will initializing a PS4 also format the USB storage?

Fortunately, no data will be cleared from a USB storage device when connected to the console during initializing PS4. So you can update the system software or recover data from the PS4 USB storage. You can store apps, images, game data, game saves, and videos on external storage.

what does initialize ps4 do

What is Quick and Full Initialization on PS4?

The Quick initialization formats all the PS4 data quickly from the internal storage. But this process is not secure if you intend to sell it. The Full initialization takes hours to destroy the data entirely. This option ensures the security of sensitive data, so you must do this if you sell the PS4.

After learning what the initialized PS4 is & what it does, when you perform the reset option from the settings menu, you will find two options, Quick & Full.

Quick initialization is best to use when you are facing various errors & like to make the PS4 like day one. Though all the data gets removed, it actually sits on the hard drive, but PS4 marks it as invalid. A tech nerd can recover the data in the future.

On the contrary, Full initialization wipes out all data & rewrites the storage with 1 & 0. This process makes the data unrecoverable—the best option when you have to sell the PS4 and upgrade to PS5.

The key difference is that the quick option doesn’t securely erase the data. So it is possible to recover the data. On the other hand, Full initialization rewrites PS4 HDD with random 1 and 0 that completely destroy every data. So, it becomes impossible to get the deleted data back.

Above is information what does initialize ps4 do.   Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of what does initialize ps4 do .Thank you for reading our post.

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