How-To Geek

How to Transfer All Your Information to a New PS3

The PlayStation 3 now costs half the price, has double the storage, and uses half the power. If you need another reason to upgrade, Sony also makes it easy to transfer all of your information to a new console.

Transferring all of your games, data, and settings is easier than ever, and all you need is an ethernet cable. Read on as we walk you through the whole process of setting up your new PS3 and wiping all your information off the old one.

Prep the old PlayStation 3

The first thing you need to do is sync all of your trophy information to Sony’s servers. In the XMB go to game -> trophy collection and push triangle on your controller. The menu will open and you can select sync with server.

The sync will take a few minutes but once it completes all of your trophies will be safely copied on Sony’s servers.

Next you should deactivate your system. To do that go to PlayStation network -> account management -> system activation and deactivate your system for game and video data.

Next go to the settings menu and check for updates.

Now to avoid errors during the transfer, scroll down to network connections and disable media server connection.

Then disable internet connection.

Finally scroll up in the system menu to the data transfer utility.

At this point you should connect your old and new PlayStation 3 together with an ethernet cable. You should also have your new PS3 plugged into your TV so that you can get ready to begin the transfer once the old system is waiting for a connection.

Note: You can use either a crossover ethernet cable or a standard patch cable. The PS3 will be able to internally switch to know which cable you used.

Select transfer data from this system to the other PS3 system in the next step.

If you have any other users on the system it is also a good time to deactivate the system under their PSN accounts and sync their trophy information too. You have to back all the way out of the process to do that, but at least you are warned before you continue.

Click OK on the next screen after you have connected the new system with an ethernet cable.

Leave your old system at the waiting to transfer data screen and switch TV inputs to the new PS3 system.

Transfer to the New System

Just like the old system you will want to check for updates, disable media server connection, and disable internet connection on the new system and then start the data transfer utility.

This time select the option to transfer data from the other PS3 system to this one.

Once the system connects it will ask you to format the new system which will erase all data. Only do this if you are sure that you don’t have any information stored on the new system.

Note: The old system will not be erased during this process.

Are you sure?

Let the format finish and the system will automatically reboot and should connect again to the old system and begin transferring data.

Note: Depending on how much information you had on the old system this may take quite a while. I had about 35 GB of information on my PS3 and the process took about 40 minutes.

Once finished the new PS3 will automatically reboot

All of your information should be on the new system exactly as it was on the original.

You may need to re-authenticate some services like Netflix and Hulu Plus but otherwise games and settings should be the same.

Wipe Old PS3

Some games may store data elsewhere on the system and you will want to make sure that you have a backup of any games that may support extra data. Little Big Planet and PlayStation Home both have extra areas you may want to check to make sure your data is backup up before proceeding to the next step.

You can also verify all of the information on the new system before continuing with wiping the old system.

Once you verify you have any information you need and want to erase your personal data go to the settings menu -> system -> restore PS3 system.

We had already deactivated the system and synced our trophy information earlier but if you haven’t you will want to do that now.

Select what method you want to use to format the PS3 with. Unless there is something really personal on the system a quick format should be good enough.

Are you sure?

The format will go really fast and then ask you to restart your PS3.

After it has finished it will walk you through the initial setup of the system. You don’t need to walk through the setup if you plan on selling the system so you can also just shut it down.

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 03/3/11

Comments (13)

  1. djeclipse25

    Yeah, just don’t go trying to swap out your hard drive for more storage at Firmware ver.3.56 You get an annoying error saying it either doesn’t see the drive, or isn’t compatible. This was in efferts to thwart people installing larger drives to run game images from the drive after haxing their console. Of course people with legitimate hdd failures are having a hell of a time trying to get their systems up, and running due to this. Thx sony!! Would you like to remove anymore features??

  2. BAF

    @djeclipse25: I’m pretty sure they’ve released a new version of 3.56 that fixes that bug. Everything I’ve heard about it says it’s an old bug from 3.41 or so that was fixed and came back (and was fixed again). Sony is being a giant douchebag these days, but I don’t think they were trying to keep people from upgrading drives.

  3. price skeptic

    Can you put up a link to this “half price” PS3?

  4. Justin Garrison

    @Price Skeptic I was more referencing the fact that the original 60 gb PS3 cost $600 and the current 120 gb PS3 cost $300.

  5. djeclipse25

    It does throw an error for the 3.56 update, I can give the several codes I receive on one of my systems that I tried the upgrade to with several drives ranging form seagate to hitachi, 5400rpm to 7200rpm. I can point to numerous sites that indicate that 3.56 is giving issue, but I am not going to cause google is a few clicks away :D
    When you put in the drive, it asks for the 3.56 update from a flash drive, or other formatted storage device. U plunk the update in the folders it specifies, and tells you not only is the update corrupted and to restart the system, when you go to the safe mode menu it will not restore the system software to WHATEVER drive you put in it…period… If or when you try this, throw me a message, and tell me I am wrong! :O

  6. Woot

    Will this method allow me to transfer locked (or whatever it’s called) save files/data as well? (RE5, AC2, SF4, Bayonetta and so on…)

  7. djeclipse25

    If you image the install, or transfer will allow all copy protected materials to be transfered, but there is a limit in the EULA , If I recall it is 3 times.. :( which a rip for saved game like guitar hero, and the like..
    So you can transfer 3 times, then I think you get 5 times to re-download bought content… I hate buying digital media. I like tangable things with no limits, and if there are, you crack them :D

  8. djeclipse25


    Here’s the link to what I was telling you about, I did spend the time for you unfortunately.

  9. Ian

    Thanks – this guide was very helpful.

    (Of course, I’ve had to wait 3 weeks for the PSN to come back online so I could sync my trophies, but that’s Sony’s fault).

  10. Ross

    Thanks for this really helpful guide. The only part of the process which was different for me (as of October 2011) was that my new PS3 didn’t automatically reboot once the transfer was complete. I had to click “O” (Back) and then the unit rebooted.

    Thanks again for this really helpful guide, saved me a heap of time!

  11. android-2084

    my question is my ps3 is dead YLOD so i dont have a ps3 to transfer my data to my new ps3 what to do?

  12. Uri

    I was sharing PS3 with my wife (we have two separate PSN accounts) and now I got my own. Can I use this method to only transfer data (PSN games/demos/saves) connected to my login/user and leave hers intact?

  13. Connie

    So we did the data transfer but after it completed (after 5 hours) all of the add ons for LBP and levels completed were not there. When we put LBP in the new PS3 it basically does not have any saved data. Acts like its a brand new game. Many tears out of my son becuase he has hundreds of add ons. Can any one help??

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