Updated 29 January 2019

How to activate a PlayStation system

Find out how to activate your Primary PS4, perform a temporary activation on a friend’s PS4 and activate a PS3 or PS Vita/TV.

Activation links your PlayStation system to your account and allows you to access PlayStation Store purchases. Depending on the content you want to access, there are different activation restrictions:

  • PlayStation console activation limits

    Games

    • 1 Primary PS4 and 1 temporary PS4 activation
    • 2 PS3 systems
    • 2 portable PlayStation systems (PSP or PS Vita/TV)

    Video

    • 1 PS4 Primary PS4 and 1 temporary PS4 activation
    • 1 PS3
    • 3 portable PlayStation systems (PSP or PS Vita/TV)

Related articles

 
 

How do I activate a PS4 system?

Each player can have one PS4 activated as the Primary PS4 for their account, and one Temporary Activation on another PS4.

Activate a Primary PS4

  • [Settings] > [Account Management] > [Activate as Your Primary PlayStation 4] > [Activate].

Activate a temporary PS4

A Temporary activation happens when you select [Play as a Guest] on another PS4 log-in screen and sign in to PSN. You will be the only user who can download and launch your PlayStation Store content. Always remember to sign out of your account to end a temporary activation and avoid reaching your activation limit.

  • Activate PS3

    There are no primary/temporary activations on PS3.

    1. Select your local user account and go to [PlayStation Network] > [Sign-in] > [Account Management].
    2. Go to  [System Activation] and highlight 'PS3'.
    3. Select the type of content you want to activate your PlayStation 3 system to use and press (X button).
    4. Highlight 'Activate System' and press (X button).
    5. You will see a message to confirm that your device is now activated or to let you know that you have already reached your activation limit for the content type.
  • Activate PS Vita/TV

    There are no primary/temporary activations on PS Vita/TV.

    1. On your PS Vita system tap  [Settings] > [PlayStation Network] > [System Activation].
    2. Select the type of content you want your PS Vita to use - Games or Video.
    3. Tap [Activate] > [OK].
    4. You will see a message to confirm that your device is now activated or to let you know that you have already reached your activation limit for the content type.

How do I activate a new PlayStation system?

Each account can have one Primary PS4 and one temporary activation. A temporary activation will end once you sign out of PSN. To change a Primary PS4, you must first manually deactivate the previous Primary PS4.

If you have reached your activation limit for PS3 or PS Vita/TV, you can manually deactivate each system using the guide below.

If you find that you cannot sign out of a temporary activation or manually deactivate a PlayStation system, you can perform a remote deactivation of all PlayStation devices. This action can only be performed once every six months and should be considered as a last step.

 
 
 
 

Video: "Activating and Deactivating the PS4 as a Primary Console"

How to activate your PS4 system

Just sign in to your account on your PS4 and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you’re activating a second PS4 or you’re signing into PSN on a friend’s system, you might want to learn a little more about activation to keep your account secure but accessible, so you can safely share selected account benefits.

Whose PS4 are you signing into?

Your PS4

  1. Select your local user or select [New User] on the PS4 system’s log-in screen. This is the first screen you see after your PS4 starts up.
  2. Sign into PSN.
  3. If you don’t have another system activated on your account, this PS4 is automatically activated as your primary, so you won’t see step 4.
  4. If you have a primary PS4 already, you’ll see a screen asking if you’d like to make this system your primary PS4. Choose [Change Primary PS4].

You can also activate a system as your Primary PS4 later. Go to [Settings] > [PlayStation Network/Account Management] > [Activate as Your Primary PlayStation 4] > [Activate] and follow the instructions to do this.

A friend’s PS4

Only activate your own PS4 as your primary system. This is to make sure that everyone who uses your home PS4 can keep access to all shared features and services, even if you’re signed into PSN elsewhere.

To avoid accidentally activating your friend’s system on your account follow these steps:

  1. On the PS4 system’s log-in screen select [Play as a Guest] to create a temporary local user.
  2. Sign into PSN.

More information about activation