From time to time, PlayStation 4 users face issues with the console freezing or lagging. There are a couple of symptoms which accompany the freezing and lagging problem. Some of these include the console freezing (and eventually shutting down) during gameplay or normal use. Others include the console freezing during installation, the game lagging when playing online games, and freezing associated with specific games or discs.
There isn’t an exact cause of this problem but rather a number of them. Some causes of the freezing/lagging problem include:
- Faulty or full hard disk drives
- Firmware bugs and issues
- Slow internet connection
- Clogged cache
- Poor ventilation
- Cluttered database
In this article, I will provide instructions on how to solve the freeze/lag issue using different approaches. It’s up to you to find what could be the cause of your problem and apply the right fix.
Method 1: Checking the Hard Drive
A faulty hard drive can cause the system to slow down considerably. It’s advisable to check the hard drive out for faults. It’s likely that the hard disk has problems if you hear unusual noises or notice an unusual behavior in the hard disk bay. At this point, it’s advisable to change the drive as described in the steps below. Since this process consists of taking apart the device, you need to be extra cautious.
- Turn off the PS4 completely by pressing the power button for at least 7 seconds until you hear two beeps, which indicate that it has been completely turned off.
- Disconnect the power cable and any other cables attached to the console.
- Slide the Hard Disk Drive bay cover (the shiny part) out and away towards the left of the system to remove it.
- Check the hard drive to ensure it’s properly seated and securely fastened to the board. If you wish to change it, remove the screw and replace the hard disk with a new one. Remember, you’ll need to install new system software on the new hard disk.
Method 2: Freeing Up Space
Low space on the console creates smaller room for the system to operate hence causing it to slow down. Freeing up some space will help improve the speed of your system.
- From the main screen, navigate to Settings > System Storage Management and then select any of the categories below to view more information.
- Capture Gallery
- Application Saved Data
- Select the content you want to delete.
- Press the Options button and then select Delete.
Application Saved Data contains all the data saved from games, and there’s likely to be some bad cache there. Open up the game causing the system to freeze and clear its data.
Method 3: Rebuilding the Database
The PlayStation 4’s database begins to clog over time, which makes it inefficient and slow. Rebuilding the database will significantly boost your console’s performance and reduce freezing or lagging.
- Power off the PS4 by holding the power button for at least seven seconds. You will hear two beeps indicating it’s completely off.
- Boot into Safe Mode by pressing and holding the power button for about 7 seconds until you hear a second beep.
- Connect your DualShock 4 controller via a USB cable to the PS4 since Bluetooth is inactive in Safe Mode.
- Scroll down and select the Rebuild Database – This scans the drive and creates a new database of all content. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
- After this, click on the “Update System Software” option and check if there are any updates available.
- If there are, install them and check to see if the issue persists.
Method 4: Optimizing the Internet Connection
You can experience lags during online gameplay due to a slow internet connection. Follow these tips to reduce lag during online gaming sessions.
- Use ethernet connections over Wi-Fi if possible
- Use a Wi-Fi signal booster if the signal is very weak, or move the console closer to the router
- Using a Faster DNS
- Download and run Google’s Namebench on any PC (try not to have any other download going on as you do, as it could alter the results). It will benchmark all the available nameservers and find the ones that are closest and fastest for you.
- On your PS4 go to Network > Set up Internet Connection and select “Use Wi-Fi” or “Use a LAN Cable” depending on whether you’re connected via Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable.
- Select Custom > Automatic > Do Not Specify > Manual.
- Enter the numbers provided by the Namebench application in their respective order. After, select “Automatic” and then “Do Not Use”.
Note that the quality of connection to nameservers varies over time, so you might want to repeat this process periodically.
Setting Up Port Forwarding
- Go to your router’s settings using a browser (typically 192.168.1.1).
- Look for “port forwarding” settings.
- Once you’re there, provide or select the IP address of your PS4. It can be found in Settings > Network > View Connection Status on your PS4.
- Create UDP and TCP port forwarding rules for both for the following numbers: 80, 443, 1935, 3478, 3479, 3480. This site can walk you through the procedure for your specific router.
- Also remember to use NAT Type 2 instead of 1.
Method 5: Getting the Latest Updates
A firmware update usually provides performance improvements and fixes to your PS4 console.
- Get a USB stick with at least 400 MB of free space. The USB stick must be wiped, then create a folder called ‘PS4‘ with a subfolder called ‘UPDATE‘.
- Download the latest PS4 update from here and copy it over to the UPDATE folder on your flash drive.
- Shut down the console, and then insert the USB stick into one of the PS4’s forward-facing USB ports.
- Hold the power button for at least 7 seconds to boot into Safe Mode.
- In Safe Mode, select the third option, which is ‘Update System Software,’ and follow the directions from there.
Reinitializing the PS4 system will restore your system giving you an out of the box experience.
Here are a few additional measures you can take to ensure your PS4 doesn’t freeze or lag.
- If you are facing freezing issues with a game disc, contact the retailer you bought it from.
- Provide enough ventilation for the system.
- Just rebooting the system often works.