Has your PS4 Pro ever frozen right as you were about to beat a difficult level or boss? I feel your pain. Few things are more frustrating than having your game lock up on you just when things get good.
But don’t worry – I’ve got your back. After dealing with repeated PS4 Pro freezes myself, I scoured forums and did a ton of trial and error to find proven solutions. In this guide, I’ll share everything I learned so you can get back to enjoying uninterrupted gaming.
Common Causes of PS4 Freezing
Before we dive into fixes, understanding what‘s behind the freezing can help narrow down the best approach.
Overheating is one of the biggest culprits. All that processing power in the PS4 Pro generates a lot of heat. If dust builds up or airflow is blocked, the console can overheat and freeze up as a protective measure.
Hard drive issues like a faulty sector or corrupted data are another prime suspect. Freezes happen when the PS4 has trouble accessing game data from the hard drive fast enough.
Outdated software and firmware can also muck things up and cause stability issues. And don’t forget about problematic game installations – bugs and conflicts in game data are surprisingly common.
So with those main causes in mind, let’s walk through your troubleshooting playbook step-by-step.
10 Ways to Stop PS4 Pro Freezing For Good
I’ve listed fixes in order from simplest to most involved. We’ll start with quick software tweaks and work our way up to replacing hardware components if needed.
1. Update Games and System Software
Keeping your PS4 system software and games up to date seems basic, but it solves many stability issues.
Outdated games are especially prone to freezing on newer console firmware. Check for game updates under Library or in the PS Store.
Regularly install PS4 system updates under Settings > System Software Update. Updates often include performance fixes.
2. Close Background Apps and Downloads
Freezes can happen when your PS4‘s resources are maxed out. Be sure to close any apps and pause downloads before playing games. The less your system is trying to juggle, the more smoothly games will run.
3. Rebuild the PS4 Database
Rebuilding scans your hard drive for errors and can clear up corrupted data causing freezes. Here are the steps:
Fully power down your PS4 by holding the power button for 10 seconds.
Once powered down, press and hold the Power button again until you hear a second beep. This will launch Safe Mode.
Connect a controller with a USB cable and press the PS button. Select option 5 to Rebuild Database.
This scan can take a few hours depending on drive size. Rebuilding the database also optimizes system performance.
4. Replace Internal Hard Drive
If you suspect the hard drive is causing freezes, consider replacing your PS4 Pro internal drive.
A 2.5” SSD provides a big speed boost and improves game loading. The Samsung 870 EVO is a top choice.
Or you can simply replace with a new 1TB hard drive like the Seagate Firecuda.
Be sure to reinstall system software on any new drive. Check out iFixit‘s HDD swap guide for how to clone your old drive to retain games and saves.
5. Try External Hard Drive on PC
Do you use an external USB hard drive to store PS4 games? Try connecting it to a PC to check for errors.
Use Windows‘ error-checking tool to scan the external drive for bad sectors.
If errors are found, replace the external drive. Frozen games are a common symptom of a failing external HDD.
6. Test Games Individually
See if freezing only happens with certain games. This points to data corruption as opposed to a system-wide hardware failure.
Delete and reinstall any suspect games. This fixes damaged data that might be causing crashes.
Make sure to sync your game saves to PS Plus cloud storage or a USB drive so you don‘t lose progress.
7. Clean PS4 Pro Vents and Fan
Prevent overheating by keeping your console‘s vents and fan clear of dust buildup.
Use a can of compressed air to blow out vents and vacuum out fan openings.
Regular cleaning helps ensure proper airflow and cooling. Overheating can definitely cause freezes!
8. Replace PS4 Pro Thermal Paste
The thermal paste between the PS4 processor and heatsink dries out over time. Replacing it can significantly lower temperatures in an overheating console.
Arctic Silver 5 and Noctua NT-H1 are excellent pastes praised by gamers.
Follow an online guide for disassembly – replacing paste involves taking the PS4 completely apart.
Only attempt if you have experience taking electronics apart!
9. Initialize PS4 System
Initializing (factory resetting) your console can wipe out any corrupted software causing instability issues.
Go to Settings > Initialization and select Initialize PS4.
This will erase everything and restore to out-of-the-box state, so backup saves first!
10. Replace Faulty Hardware
If all else fails, freezing may be caused by a hardware component failure requiring repair or replacement.
Issues that persist across a full initialization point to a component defect.
Overheating related freezing can mean the cooling system needs repair.
Consider contacting Sony support if you suspect a hardware fault under warranty.
Replacing defective hardware like the power supply, cooling system or motherboard will resolve freezing in cases of hardware failure.
When Should I Consider Replacing My PS4 Pro?
Despite your best troubleshooting efforts, there comes a point when it may be time to upgrade to a new PS4 Pro or PS5.
Here are a few signs a replacement makes more sense than continued repairs:
- Freezing and crashes still happen after trying all recommended fixes
- Console is more than 2-3 years old
- Repair costs exceed $150+ and there‘s no guarantee it will work
- You need to upgrade to play newer PS5 games eventually anyway
With the PS5 out, PS4 Pro prices are dropping fast. At a certain point, putting repair money toward a new system is the smarter long-term investment.
How to Prevent Lost Game Progress from Freezes
Nothing stings quite like losing an hour of gameplay due to a crash. Here are some tips to minimize progress loss:
Frequently save at checkpoints instead of relying on autosaves.
Back up saves regularly to a USB drive or PS Plus cloud storage.
If a freeze occurs, close the game application immediately using the PS button menu.
Avoid system resets which can corrupt data – close games normally after saving.
Restore backed up saves after any freezing related crashes.
Saving often and backing up your data is crucial. Don‘t let a freeze ruin all your hard work!
No more raging at frozen screens when you‘re about to win! This guide provides proven solutions for resolving PS4 Pro freezes based on extensive research and troubleshooting.
Start with simpler fixes like closing background apps, rebuilding the database, and updating games/firmware. For persistent freezing, try replacing the hard drive, cleaning dust buildup, re-applying thermal paste, or initializing the system.
But know when to cut your losses. If you‘ve sunk hours into fixes with no improvement, a PS4 Pro replacement may be the way to go.
I hope these tips spare you the headache I experienced and get you back to enjoying uninterrupted gaming. Let me know if the solutions work for you or if you have any others to suggest!