Is Unplugging The PS4 Bad? (It’s Surprising!)


Yanking off the power cable from a PS4 is surely not the ideal way to turn off your console, but is it actually bad? Does it harm the software or the hardware of the console or cause long-lasting damage?

Today, we’re exploring what happens when you unplug a PS4, the problems it can cause, and how to fix them. 

Plugging your PS4 should not cause significant damage or damage or data loss, but the memory on the RAM which has not been saved to the data drive will be permanently erased. Your PS4 will boot up in safe mode warning you to not unplug it again.

Several YouTubers unplugged their PS4 when a warning explicitly advised against it. But when the power cord was plugged back in and PS4 was turned on, it booted up in safe mode and returned to normal. 

I will explain what happens if you unplug your PS4 in detail, and if your game is saving or in sleep mode and how to fix the PS4 after you unplug it. Read on to find out!

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What Happens If You Unplug A PS4?

Unplugging your PS4 is the same as unplugging a computer in the middle of a task, and it carries the risk of corrupting files due to the sudden power cut. However, unlike a PC PS4 doesn’t have any inbuilt power supply, so it immediately shuts off. 

I reccomend not trying to unplug a PS4 even while it’s in sleep mode since it may be doing important firmware updates, or game updates. But in some situations situations like a power cut, it is simply out of your control

Here’s everything that may happen if you unplug a PS4 while it’s not safe to do so.  

What Happens When You Unplug Your PS4 Tn The Middle Of A Game? 

If you unplug your PS4 in the middle of a game, all the progress since the last save point will be lost. When you boot-up your PS4 again, it will start in safe mode and recheck all the save files. 

However, your last save point will not be affected. So when you boot up the game you were playing, you’ll start your journey from the last save point. 

While it’ fine when your enjoying your playing sessions but returning to the last save point may not be the best option if you were in the middle of a tough boss battle.

It is so annoying if your fighting a tough Dark Souls boss and it was just a hit away from being defeated and the the PS4 was unplugged. In such a case, you’ll have to start the boss battle all the way from the beginning. What a waste of time!

What happens when you Unplug your PS4 while it’s saving data? 

If you unplug your PS4 while it was saving data, the save file will be corrupted. The corrupt file will not particularly harm your PS4, but it can’t be read by the system. So all the saved progress since the last checkpoint will be lost. 

The corrupt file can still be accessed under the save files on your system. It’s pretty much useless and simply eating into the storage of your PS4, so it’s in the best interest of your console to delete the corrupt file. Here’s how you can delete a corrupted data file- 

How To Delete A Corrupted PS4 Save File

  1. Navigate to the settings menu on your PS4.
  2. Under the settings menu, click on System Storage Management.
  3. Find the ‘save data’ files. 
  4. Find the corrupted data in save files that are listed like the image below. 
  5. Delete the corrupted data

What happens when you Unplug your PS4 in sleep mode?

If the PS4 is doing firmware or game updates you risk data loss or serious damage to the console itself. The PS4 has several warnings to not disconnect the power.

To know if rest mode is the best choice for your PS4 or you should turn it off check my post here, to see if leaving your PS4 over night on rest mode is dangerous check my post here.

I will explain what happens in rest mode.

The sleep mode in PS4 is a power-saving mode that allows you to jump right back into the action without wasting any time on boot-up and loading.

The sleep mode has meagre power consumption and it’s the recommended ideal mode for PS4. If your PS4 is doing nothing in the sleep mode and you unplug the power chord, nothing will happen. T

he only exception to this case is when a game is running in the background and the PS4 goes into sleep mode. In such a case, all the saved data since the last checkpoint will be lost. 

The sleep mode is also used to update the system operating system, as well as autoatmically update games

If your PS4 was downloading any data on sleep mode and you unplugged it, the download will be saved as PS4 has a well-designed download management system. So if you had already downloaded 20 GBs of 40 GB game, you’ll only need to install the rest of the 20 GB when you power it on again. 

How To Fix A PS4 After You Unplugging

In rare cases, unplugging your PS4 may corrupt the hard drive. If such this happens, you’ll need to re-install the system interface in a process called Initialising. 

Initializing a PS4 is the equivalent of a factory reset, so the system settings and preferences will be reverted to default and all the saved data, including the games, will be lost. 

How To Factory Reset a PS4

  1. Navigate to the settings menu. 
  2. Scroll all the way down to Initialisation.
  3. Select Initialise PS4.
  4. A warning message declaring that all the user preferences and data will be deleted will pop-up. Press on the initialise button to confirm the operation. 

If you are confused please watch the below video for a handy guide on how to factory reset your PS4.

What Happens If You Unplug The PS4 While Downloading?

PS4 has an excellent download manager that stores the downloaded files in the hard drive. This means that even if you unplug a PS4 while downloading, the downloaded files will not be lost or corrupted. You simply need to download the remaining files when you restart the PS4. 

A user by the name of ChaoticKnuckles on GameFAQs confirmed that downloads are just restarted if the PS4 was unplugged while downloading. 

The bigger problem if your PS4 is installing updates and then a power surge happens, but downloading just interrupts the download and it should resume the next time the PS4 successfully turns on.

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