Common Causes of the PS4’s “Blue Light of Death”

With its impressive library and powerful hardware, Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has been remarkably successful since it launched in late 2013. For all the good things we can say about the PS4, however, it has had a few technical hiccups along the way as well.

The most notable of these is the infamous “blue light of death” that many users experienced following the system’s initial release.

Rather than turning from blue to white on startup, the power light would stall and continue to blink blue instead. The issue, which prevented the system from booting, rendered the affected PS4s unplayable.

The blue light of death became a less prevalent issue in later production runs of the PS4, but it’s still a relatively common – and very frustrating – technical problem. Soon after users began complaining about the blue light of death, Sony released a troubleshooting guide to help people resolve the issue on their own. Unfortunately, the causes of the blue light of death are numerous and varied.

So what does Sony suggest if your system falls victim to the blue light of death?

1. Start with a hard reset by pressing the power button on the PS4 for at least 7 seconds, until the system beeps twice.

2. If that doesn’t work, Sony recommends turning the system off and disconnecting the AC power cord from the electrical outlet. Inspect the cord for damage, and try using a different compatible cord (such as one from a PS3) if the problem persists.

A second common cause of the blue light of death is a loose hard drive connection. 

Troubleshooting these issues can be a little more involved, but Sony offers a straightforward process for inspecting the HDD for a loose connection.

1. Start by opening the system and sliding the HDD bay in the direction of the arrow to remove it. Inspect the hard drive to make sure it’s properly seated in the bay. Keep an eye out for loose screws that could allow the assembly to shake loose in the system.

2. If both the AC adapter and HDD connection look good, you can try booting the system in safe mode to bypass the regular boot process.

If you’re still unable to get past the blue light of death, it might be time to call in the pros.

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