Updated 17 October 2018

About Device Activation

This article explains what activation is, activation restrictions, how to activate your devices and how to resolve some of the more common activation problems.


What is activation?

Activation links your PlayStation or Sony device and your SEN account, so you can use your device to access your purchases from PlayStation Store. You need to activate a device if you have not previously used it with your account before, or if you are using your device to play a type of content that it has not played before. You need to activate each compatible device on your account with each content type separately.  

On how many SEN accounts can one device be activated?

You can activate a PlayStation system on as many SEN accounts as the highest number of possible local user accounts on the system.

This means that you can activate a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3 on up to 16 SEN accounts at once and you can activate a PS Vita, PSP or PS TV on one account at any one time.

  Number of local user accounts
PlayStation 4 16
PlayStation 3 16
PlayStation Vita 1
PlayStation TV 1
PlayStation Portable 1
Xperia mobile device 1
PC (Media Go) 2
HDTV/Sony Home Entertainment System/Sony Blu-ray Disc Player 15

Any content that you have downloaded to your activated PlayStation system is available to other local user accounts (subject to content age restrictions). Each type of content needs to be activated separately on each device you want to use to access it. See more information about sharing content here.

How many devices can I activate on one SEN account?

The number of devices that can be activated on your account is limited for each type of content. For example, if you have two PlayStation 3 systems activated for games content, you cannot sign-in on a third system with your PlayStation Network account information and download and play a game. You would need to deactivate one of the first two PlayStation 3 systems to allow you to activate the third. 

  Games Video PlayStation Music
PS4 1 (2) 1 (2) No limit
PS3 2 Any seven of these devices
PS Vita
Xperia mobile devices N/A No limit
PC (Media Go) N/A 2 N/A
PC/Mac (streaming via compatible web browser) N/A No limit No limit
HDTV/Sony Home Entertainment System/Sony Blu-ray Disc Player N/A N/A

How do I activate a device?

Your device is activated on your SEN account when you sign-in to PlayStation Network and download either free or purchased content from your Download List/Library to the device. The device will only be activated for the type of content downloaded and needs to be activated separately for each content type.

Find out how to download content or choose one of the following devices to find out how to activate it without downloading content:

Why can't I activate my device?

There are a few reasons that device activation may fail.  

  1. Are you signed into PlayStation Network through your own SEN account? Sign out and sign back in to be sure.
  2. You need to be able to connect to PlayStation Network to activate a device. Check your local network and check whether PlayStation Network maintenance may be stopping you from activating your device.
  3. If you have reached the maximum number of systems you can activate for a type of content, you will need to deactivate a system. Find out more about activation limits and how to deactivate a device.