13 Fixes For PS4 Running Slow and Freezing

PS4 running slow and freezing. Close up of PS4.

PS4 freezing is never a good sign, but can it be solved? Yes, you can solve it in most cases without sending it to Sony which will take weeks. If your PS4 is slow during gameplay, in normal use, when you install a game, when you play an online game, or in any other situation, this guide will help you troubleshoot this problem.

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Causes of PS4 Running Slow and Freezing

  • Accumulated dust on the console
  • Not enough space in hard drive
  • PS4 overheating due to poor ventilation
  • Slow internet connection
  • Corrupted PS4 database
  • Faulty hard disk
  • Outdated PS4 software

Solutions for PS4 That Is Lagging and Freezing

  1. Turn Off Your PS4 and Restart
  2. Charge Your Controllers
  3. Clean Your PS4 Gaming Console
  4. Give PS4 More Space for Ventilation
  5. Free up Space on the Hard Drive by Deleting Some Games or Applications
  6. Rebuild Database on Your PS4
  7. Check Your Internet Connection and Speed
  8. Update Your PlayStation 4 System Software/Firmware
  9. Initialize PS4 
  10. Check Your Hard Drive
  11. Format Your PS4 HDD
  12. Get a New Hard Drive with More Storage or Upgrade to SSD
  13. Connect with the PlayStation Customer Support

Solution 1: Turn Off Your PS4 and Restart

A restart is a pretty simple thing, but it can solve many issues. If you call customer support, their first question would also be ‘did you restart and check?’ A reboot is even more important if you usually use the Rest Mode on your PlayStation 4. It’s similar to the Sleep Mode in computers. The system remains on while using minimum resources. So, a complete restart may be helpful.

  1. Press and hold the PS button on your controller.
  2. The screen will show Power options. Select ‘Turn off PS4’.
  3. When the power light is off on your PS4, remove the power cables from the console and the power outlet.
  4. Keep it like this for 10 minutes. 
  5. Reconnect the power cords.
  6. Turn the console on by pressing the PS button on your controller.

Solution 2: Charge Your Game Console Controllers

A controller for PS4 gaming console

Another simple reason for PS4 lagging offline and online could be the low charge in the controller. Connect it to the console with its USB cable and check again.

Solution 3: Clean Your PS4 Gaming Console

Not cleaning your PS4 is similar to giving it a slow death. With dust accumulation on the consoles’ internal components, you will experience performance issues, more overheating problems, and possibly, the PS4 running slow and freezing issue.

  1. Unplug your console from both ends and clean the outer casing with a microfiber cloth.
  2. Use a compressed air can (with a straw, if possible) to clean out all the ports. While using the can, keep it at least 6-8 inches away from the console to prevent moisture from getting into the console.
  3. Now, remove the outer casing and clean it.
  4. Place a finger gently on the fan and use compressed air to clean dust from it.
  5. Now, get to the black plastic cover, unscrew and lift it. You will see the internet components of the PS4. Keep a piece of cotton or cloth between the fans and apply compressed air to clean the interior parts of your console.
  6. After cleaning, keep it open like this for an hour.
  7. Reassemble your console.
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Solution 4: Give PS4 More Space for Ventilation

Like any computer, PS4 has fans and vents to keep the system cool and work without heating issues. However, if your PS4 is placed in very close proximity to a wall, in a corner, or below the table, then it won’t have enough room for proper ventilation. As a result, the console will overheat.

Now, overheating brings several problems with it such as damage to the components, Wi-Fi connectivity issues, GPU thermal paste drying out, and PS4 glitching and freezing during gameplay and in normal use. 

The effects of overheating are huge, but its solution is pretty easy. Keep the console clean and avoid placing it near other objects or walls. Make sure that nothing is blocking the vents that are present at the back and sides of the console.

Solution 5: Free up Space on the Hard Drive by Deleting Some Games or Applications

Even when games are installed on your PS4, they need some space on your hard drive to save temporary files and cache to give you a smooth gaming experience. And that’s not it.

The operating system of the PS4 itself needs some hard drive space for proper functioning. And when your PS4’s hard drive is 95% full or more, it will lag and might show errors. 

When you keep seeing the error message ‘There is not enough space in system storage’, you should free up space on the existing hard disk or get a new one with more storage capacity.

If you didn’t install any games lately but are still seeing the full storage error message it’s because the installed games update online. When they do, they download large files.

Usually, the storage space taken up by a game increases after the update. The same goes for the PS4 software updates. Other than that, saved games, images, videos, and temporary files take up storage that keeps increasing as you use your console.

Deleting Games on PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro

To see which game or program is taking up more space and delete some games, follow these steps:

  1. Go to PS4 Settings.
  2. Choose ‘System Storage Management’.
  3. You’ll find the apps and games with how much space they are using. To delete a game, select ‘Applications’.
  4. Press the ‘Options’ button on your controller and choose ‘Delete’.
  5. Checkmark the games or apps you want to delete and press ‘Delete’.

Deleting Saved Data on PlayStation 4

Mostly, you don’t need to delete your saved game data as it doesn’t use up much space (phew!). But if you experience the PS4 loading slow and freezing issue on a specific game, chances are that the game or its saved data is corrupted. Firstly, double-check by playing other games that the issue is with a specific game. When confirmed, delete the game and its saved data.

Before deleting the saved data, you can back it up on a USB (or online if you have PlayStation Plus).

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select ‘Application Saved Data Management’.
  3. Choose ‘Saved Data in System Storage’.
  4. Press ‘Copy to USB Storage Device’.
  5. Now, delete the game data.
  6. Go to your PS4 Settings.
  7. Select ‘Application Saved Data Management’.
  8. Choose ‘Saved Data in System Storage’.
  9. Press ‘Delete’.
  10. Select the game data you want to delete.
  11. It will show you the saved files of that game. Delete them.

Solution 6: Rebuild Database on Your PS4

PS4’s Rebuild Database option makes it faster as this tells the system where a type of data is stored. With this information, the console can access it quickly. Moreover, it deletes corrupted data without affecting any games or saved files. Rebuilding the database is necessary in case you find your PS4 stuttering and lagging.

Furthermore, Rebuild Database is recommended to be performed every 3 months or earlier if you’ve downloaded a large update patch.

How much time does it take? You might ask it because you want the lagging issue fixed quickly, right? Database rebuilding of PS4 depends on your hard drive storage size and how much data is saved on it. It can take from 5 minutes to a few hours.

Follow these steps to rebuild your PS4 database:

  1. If your PlayStation is in Rest Mode, wake it and press the PS button on your controller. Select ‘Power’ and ‘Turn Off PS4’.
  2. Now connect your PS4 controller to the console with a USB cable because you can’t use the wireless function while in Safe Mode.
  3. Press and hold the power button of your PS4. Release when you hear two beeps. This indicates that it will boot in Safe Mode.
  4. On the Safe Mode menu, select ‘Rebuild Database’. It will show a warning that this might take a few hours. Select ‘OK’.
  5. Leave it on while the database rebuilds.
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Solution 7: Check Your Internet Connection and Speed

In many cases, users have reported that their PS4 or PS4 pro runs well during offline gaming, but starts to act up while gaming online. If this sounds familiar to you and you want to know how to fix PS4 lag online, note that this could be due to an internet connection issue.

Use a Wired Connection

An internet connection through an ethernet cable is better than a wireless connection via Wi-Fi. Wired internet speed is more stable which you desperately need to avoid PS4 lag during gameplay. Use an ethernet cable to connect it to your router and your console.

Get a Wi-Fi Signal Booster or Place the Console Near the Router

If your router’s signal is weak or your home is big, the cheapest thing is to move your console near the router and try again. If you can’t do this, invest in a Wi-Fi signal booster.

Restart the Router

Turn off and on the router to fix temporary issues with connection strength and speed.

Disconnect Unnecessary Devices from the Wi-Fi

We normally don’t disconnect our internet devices and some of them might use more internet unexpectedly. So, disconnect them. Moreover, stop downloading or streaming on your connected computers or smartphones.

Solution 8: Update Your PlayStation 4 System Software/Firmware

All the consoles that haven’t been updated for a while are at risk of problems like ‘good internet but still lag PS4’. However, if you were updating your PS4 software and it was interrupted by an internet problem or a hardware failure, it may also result in slow PS4 performance and freezing. 

Before starting the update, close all the games and applications.

Automatic PS4 System Software Update

  1. Make sure your PS4 is connected to the internet, then go to Settings.
  2. Select ‘System Software Update’.
  3. If there are any available updates, you will see the option of ‘Update’. Select it if available.
  4. Download the update package.
  5. Once downloaded, go to ‘Notifications’ and then ‘Downloads’ and install the software update.
  6. Turn off and then turn the console on to check if this solved the PS4 lag.

Manual System Software Update for PS4

In case you can’t update your PS4 with the above method, try a manual update.

  1. From a computer, go to the PS4 System Updates page.
  2. Download the file.
  3. Create folders on the USB in this order. PS4 > UPDATE > keep the updated file in this folder.
A folder opened on Windows 10
  1. Completely turn off your PS4 console.
  2. Press and hold the button until you hear two beeps. The console will start in Safe Mode.
  3. Select ‘Update System Software’ and follow the instructions to update from USB.

Solution 9: Initialize PS4 (Reset by Performing System Software Installation Again)

If the PS4 freezing issue still didn’t go away after the software update, you can perform a complete reset of your PS4 – this is what the ‘Initialize PS4’ option does. When initialization is complete, all of your settings, games, applications, themes, and everything else will be deleted. Before the reset, you can back up your game data on your USB.

Insert a USB and go to Settings > System > Backup and Restore > Back up PS4. Save the data you don’t want to lose. After this, initialize your PS4.

  1. Go to your PS4 Settings.
  2. Choose ‘Initialization’.
  3. Select ‘Initialize PS4’.
  4. Choose ‘Full’.

After initialization, restore your data, install the games, and updates.

Solution 10: Check Your Hard Drive

A hard drive on a laptop

PS4 freezes and slows down with hard drive problems. Inspect it by completely turning off your console, removing the power cables, and then taking out the hard drive.

Check for any physical damage or smell. Place it again on the console correctly. Moreover, if you hear unusual noises from the hard drive when the PS4 is on, it may have a bad sector. Format the hard drive to fix the bad sector.

Solution 11: Format Your PS4 HDD Using a Computer

A bad sector in the hard drive can cause PlayStation freezing and lagging problems big time. Due to a bad sector in your HDD, the data becomes corrupted or inaccessible. When the PS4 tries to access it, it can’t, and freezes or slows down. 

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Even without a bad sector, countless temporary files and cache on your hard drive reduce the speed of your console. A full format is helpful to bring back the speedy PS4 experience you love.

Before formatting your PS4 hard disk, backup your data by inserting a USB and going to Settings > System > Back up PS4. Then proceed with the below steps:

  1. Take out the hard drive from the console.
  2. Use a hard drive case for connecting the hard drive with your computer using a USB cable that comes with the hard drive case.
  3. Go to Start on Windows and type ‘Disk Management’. Click ‘Create and format hard disk partitions’.
image 108
  1. Right-click the hard drive marked as ‘Unknown’ and select ‘Initialize Disk’.
  2. Now, checkmark the disk to initialize and select between MBR and GPT. MBR is for hard drives less than 2 TB and GPT is for hard drives of 2TB+ sizes. Click ‘OK’.
  3. Right-click the drive marked as ‘Unallocated’ and choose ‘New Simple Volume’.
drive marked as 'Unallocated'
  1. Click ‘Next’ thrice.
  2. Select ‘FAT32’, uncheck ‘perform a quick format’, and click ‘Next’.
Select 'FAT32'
  1. Click ‘Finish’.

Solution 12: Get a New Hard Drive with More Storage or Upgrade to SSD

If you don’t want to delete your games for storage but also want to fix your PS4 lagging issue, buy a new internal hard drive to replace the existing one. You might also want to have another hard drive if your current PS4 hard disk is faulty. Find either an internal or external hard disk.

Your PS4 runs on HDD hard drives. However, those who are looking for more speed can explore SSD drives. They have at least double the read/write speed as compared to HDDs. On the other hand, SSD hard disks are more expensive.

Backup Data from Your PS4 Hard Drive

Once you got a new internal hard drive, backup the data from your existing PS4 HDD. Choose the games and apps you want to backup and use a USB or external hard drive for backup.

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ from the home screen.
  2. Select ‘System’.
  3. Press ‘Backup and Restore’.
  4. Choose ‘Back up PS4’.

Download PS4 Software

  1. Access a computer, type on Google ‘PS4 latest software’, and go to the link of the PlayStation website.
  2. Select the PS4 software version and download it.
  3. Insert your USB or external HDD and create a folder ‘PS4’.
  4. Inside it, create the ‘UPDATE’ folder.
  5. Paste the update file inside the folder.

Now replace the hard drive.

Set Up the New Hard Disk

  1. Turn on the PS4. It will boot in Safe Mode.
  2. Connect a controller via USB.
  3. Insert the USB drive where you installed the PS4 OS and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. After the update, the system will restart.
  5. Now connect your storage drive that has the stored data of the previous HDD.
  6. Go to Settings > System > Backup and Restore > Restore PS4.
  7. It will ask for the file, select the file from the storage drive you have inserted.

Solution 13: Connect with the PlayStation Customer Support

If you have applied the above solutions and your PS4 refuses to stop lagging, there may be a hardware issue. Contact PlayStation support for repairs.

Conclusion

The PS4 glitching and slowing down problem usually means that the hard disk is full or faulty. You can free up hard disk space or format it. Moreover, try rebuilding the PS4 database, updating the PS4 software, and resetting it.

FAQs

Why Is My PS4 Freezing So Much?

There are many reasons for PS4 freezing such as:
Corrupted PS4 database
– PS4 software glitches (update required)
– Bad sector in hard drive
– Not enough space in HDD
– Poor internet connection

How Do I Fix My PS4 From Freezing And Lagging?

Firstly, try freeing up space on your hard drive. Then, check your internet connection and ensure it’s working fine. After this, rebuild your PS4 database and check for overheating.

How to stop lagging on PS4?

To stop PS4 lagging, update your PS4 software. Go to Settings > System Software Update > Update. Moreover, restart your router and free your hard disk space. In some cases, reset your console (initialize PS4).

Does overheating PS4 cause lag?

Yes, an overheating PS4 causes freezing and lagging because overheating dries out the thermal paste on the GPU which impacts the performance of your PS4. Open your console and clean it to prevent overheating.