A new message exploit is hitting PlayStation 4 consoles that causes the system to lock up, and the only fix is to factory reset it. To protect your system, you’ll need to set your messages to private.
Initially posted in the PS4 subreddit, a user claimed that a message hit his console that caused it to completely lock up. Numerous reports and confirmations followed, but here’s the fun part: you don’t even have to open the message. If it’s sent to your system and shows up in a notification, the system is immediately soft bricked. Fun!
Fortunately, the user was able to get a screenshot of the message from a friend using the PS4 Messages app for iPhone. This is what it looks like:
Unfortunately, if you get that message while your console is powered on, there’s apparently not a thing you can do to stop it from doing what it does. You can, however, save your system from bricking if you login to the PS Messages mobile app and delete the malicious message before you turn your system on.
Fortunately, there’s also a proactive approach to fixing this one (and it’s simple!): just set your messages to Friends Only or No One. This should prevent the malicious message from being sent to your account (unless you have some jerk friends, anyway).
Update: Sony has fixed this issue, but also noted that if this bug hits your console you won’t have to factory reset—you just need to rebuild the database. Here’s the quick and dirty:
- Turn off the console completely, then long-press the power button until you hear a second beep (about seven seconds after the first one), then release. This will boot the console into Safe mode.
- Choose option 5. Rebuild Database.
- Let it do its thing. After a few minutes, the console will be back to normal.
Keep in mind, however, you’ll still need to delete the message from the mobile app, otherwise this could happen again.
Despite the issue being fixed, it’s still not a bad idea to go ahead and limit your messages, too. You can do this in two ways: from the PlayStation itself, or from the mobile app. From the console, head into Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings > (enter your password) Personal Info | Messaging. You can change who is able to send you messages from there.
On the mobile app, jump into the Settings menu (it’s three dots in the upper corner on Android, or the button in the lower right on iPhone), then choose Privacy Settings > Personal Info | Messaging > (enter your password) > Messages. Again, set it to Friends Only or No One.
That’s pretty much all it takes to safeguard your system. Plus, no more spammy crap in your inbox. Consider that a bonus.