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How to fix a PS5 that won't turn on

Thankfully, Sony even has some built-in recovery tools.
By

Published onSeptember 27, 2023

The only thing worse than your PlayStation 5 deciding to randomly shut off is it not turning on in the first place. If you’re panicking about the situation, here’s what might be going on, and what you can (potentially) do to get your expensive hardware back in gear.

How to fix a PS5 that won’t turn on

There’s no universal solution to the problem, but there is a troubleshooting checklist you can use to diagnose your PS5 and attempt various fixes. Only worry about paying for repairs if absolutely nothing in this list works.

1. Check your power cable and outlet.

PS5 stock images on stand 1
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

If your cable is damaged or loose, it may not be supplying enough power, if any. In fact if you see any browning or severe fraying, stop using your PS5 immediately, since that poses a fire hazard. You’ll need to buy a replacement cable .

Even if there isn’t any visible damage, it could be that your cable is faulty. Try to rule out other options before spending cash.

One of those is testing your wall outlet to make sure it’s still working. Outlets can fail, and the simplest way to check is by plugging in a device you know for certain is working, such as your smartphone. If there’s another free outlet on your wall, you can try switching your PS5 to it.

2. Try power-cycling your PS5.

If you’re seeing a blinking white light on your PS5, go ahead and attempt to power-cycle the console. Follow these steps:

  • Hold down the power button until the white light stops flashing.
  • Disconnect the power cable, then wait 20 minutes or longer. This ensures that any lingering electricity will drain.
  • Reconnect power and try turning your PS5 on again.

3. Make sure your display cable and outlet are working.

plug the other end of your hdmi cable into the hdmi port on your television
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

It’s possible that your PS5 actually is powering on, but that something in your display chain is broken, meaning ports, the video cable, and/or your TV or monitor. If you see a solid white light on the console, examine both HDMI ports for damage, and check that your TV is switched to the correct input.

If there are no problems so far, you may have to swap in another HDMI cable. Remember that you should always use a cable that matches or exceeds the HDMI version your display’s best port is capable of, the current peak being HDMI 2.1. Otherwise you may not get the best possible refresh rates or HDR support.

4. Keep your console cool.

While overheating is more likely to cause mid-game shutoffs than prevent a PS5 from turning on, the latter isn’t impossible. Make sure your console is sitting in a well-ventilated space, and one where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight for hours at a time. You might even consider aiming a desk fan at it.

You may also need to purge accumulated dust, in which case you’ll need a can of compressed air, and possibly a Torx T8 screwdriver to open up your PS5 and/or clean out the fan. In fact, that fan is a dust magnet, so it should be a focus if there seems to be a lot of build-up in general. You’ll have to temporarily disconnect the fan to do a thorough job.

5. See if it’s just stuck in Rest Mode.

Although Rest Mode is an excellent way of saving power while still allowing background downloads and controller charging, there’s a chance your PS5 can get stuck in that state.

Assuming Rest Mode was enabled the last time you used your console, try holding the power button down for 15 seconds to force a reboot. If you’re lucky, your PS5 will spin up as normal and reach the homescreen.

6. Use a disc, or built-in recovery options.

ps5 with dualsense controller
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

There are a few unorthodox steps you can try that may force your PS5 back on.

  • Try inserting a Blu-ray, DVD, or CD. This is only an option if your PS5 has a disc drive, naturally, but if you can insert a disc without having to ram it in, your console should turn on.
  • Restart in Safe Mode. To do this, hold down the power button until you hear a second beep. Connect your DualSense controller via USB, then push its PlayStation button. Onscreen, select Restart PS5.
  • Rebuild your PS5’s database via Safe Mode. Follow most of the instructions from the previous step, but choose Rebuild Database from the onscreen menu. This can take a while, so it’s better to attempt a restart first.
  • Perform a factory reset. If all else fails, you can restore your PS5 to factory settings by copying the restart process and choosing Reset PS5. You’ll lose all your locally saved data, but as long as you can sign back into your PlayStation account, you’ll be able to re-download any games or saves stored in the cloud.