How to Fix Problems Updating the PlayStation 3

Introduction

Sony pushes regular updates to the PlayStation 3 operating system. The majority of the time, you can count on your PlayStation to download these updates automatically, which is great. But if an update ever fails, you might find yourself in a situation where your PS3 is stuck in limbo - never being able to successfully update itself to latest system software. This may prevent you from playing online with friends, etc. This guide will help you troubleshoot difficulties with installing an update.
Before You Begin:
Updates require a connection to the internet.
PS3 logo

1 Reboot

  1. Hold down the Power Button located on the front of the PlayStation 3 system for 10 seconds.
  2. The power indicator will turn red.
  3. Restart the console by pressing the Power Button again.
    PS3 with Power button identified on the right. Diagram.

2 Try to Update

Now, attempt to update your PlayStation 3 again.
If you need assistance performing an update:

? Were you able to update?

  1. Yes, the update worked
  2. No, I still can't update

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Sony pushes regular updates to the PlayStation 3 operating system. The majority of the time, you can count on your PlayStation to download these updates automatically, which is great. But if an update ever fails, you might find yourself in a situation where your PS3 is stuck in limbo - never being able to successfully update itself to latest system software. This may prevent you from playing online with friends, etc. This guide will help you troubleshoot difficulties with installing an update.
Before You Begin:
Updates require a connection to the internet.
PS3 logo
  1. Hold down the Power Button located on the front of the PlayStation 3 system for 10 seconds.
  2. The power indicator will turn red.
  3. Restart the console by pressing the Power Button again.
    PS3 with Power button identified on the right. Diagram.
Now, attempt to update your PlayStation 3 again.
If you need assistance performing an update:

Safe Mode allows you to start the system with the most basic functions only. The Safe Mode menu options may help you correct issues and allow your PlayStation to start normally.

  1. Connect the controller with the USB cable from the PlayStation.
    Illustration of controller connecting to PlayStation 3 via USB cable with callout stating to check that the system is turned on (power indicator is lit solid green)
  2. Press and hold the power button on the console for 10 seconds or until it has shut down. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off. The power indicator should be solid red.
    Illustration of PlayStation 3 with power button highlighted
  3. Release the power button.
  4. Press and hold the power button again until you hear two short beeps.
  5. Press the PS button on the controller to start your PlayStation in Safe Mode.
    PlayStation controller with PS button highlighted

Rebuild Database option will try to restore your files and would return your console's configuration back to its default settings.

  1. When you are in Safe Mode, scroll down and select Rebuild Database.
    Safe mode with Rebuild Database highlighted
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Safe Mode allows you to start the system with the most basic functions only. The Safe Mode menu options may help you correct issues and allow your PlayStation to start normally.

  1. Connect the controller with the USB cable from the PlayStation.
    Illustration of controller connecting to PlayStation 3 via USB cable with callout stating to check that the system is turned on (power indicator is lit solid green)
  2. Press and hold the power button on the console for 10 seconds or until it has shut down. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off. The power indicator should be solid red.
    Illustration of PlayStation 3 with power button highlighted
  3. Release the power button.
  4. Press and hold the power button again until you hear two short beeps.
  5. Press the PS button on the controller to start your PlayStation in Safe Mode.
    PlayStation controller with PS button highlighted

Restore PS3 System reverts your console back to its default settings and deletes the saved data and all users from the system.

Choosing to initialize your PS3 will clear the hard drive of data, including downloaded games, saved game data, and anything else you’ve added to the console since buying it. Ensure any data you do not wish to lose has been backed up beforehand.

  1. When you are in Safe Mode, scroll down and select Restore PS3 System.
    Safe mode screen with Restore PS3 system highlighted
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Now, attempt to update your PlayStation 3 again.
If you need assistance performing an update:
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