Numerous PS4 owners on Reddit and across social media are warning of a message containing a string of characters that can reportedly cause Sony’s console to seize up and crash. In some cases, the console gets so mixed up from this glitch that users are performing a factory reset on the hardware to get it working normally again.
We’ve seen bugs just like this on mobile platforms, where a certain message or strange character can wreak havoc and cause unstable behavior. If the reports are true, Sony will likely act quickly to roll out new system firmware that eliminates the issue. After all, this company loves issuing updates that improve system performance and stability.
To avoid any headaches until this gets sorted out, below are some steps you can take to protect your console against receiving the message at question from your multiplayer opponents and other strangers.
If you receive the message, delete it from Sony’s PlayStation Messages app for Android or iOS instead of opening it on your console.
There are reports that deleting the suspect message with Sony’s smartphone app before powering on your console and signing into PlayStation Network is enough to avoid problems. Sony’s PS4 messaging app is a free download and available on both Android and iOS.
How to restrict messages on your PlayStation 4 to friends only:
A) From a web browser, you can visit this URL. Sign in with your PS4 account credentials. Choose “Personal Info | Messages” and then select the edit button near Messages. From here, you can choose anyone, friends only, or no one. Until Sony fixes this bug, you should choose one of the latter two options.
B) From the PS4 console, go to Settings —> Account Management —> Privacy Settings. Choose “Personal Info | Messages” and then select Messages. From here, you can choose anyone, friends only, or no one. Until Sony fixes this bug, you should choose one of the latter two options.
How to rebuild the PS4 system database:
If you’re affected and find your PS4 acting funky even after getting rid of the message, you might want to boot the console in safe mode and rebuild the database. This process shouldn’t impact any of your saved data. Here’s what Sony says it does:
Scans the drive and creates a new database of all content on the system. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
This option is useful for cleaning up the data on your PS4 as it reorganises everything on the hard drive. Select this option if you are experiencing issues such as game freezes or frame rate drops.
Doing this definitely sounds like a good step to get everything straightened back out if some jerk hits you with the bad message.