How to activate a primary PS4 console

Find out how to activate your primary PlayStation®4 console and the activation limits for your PlayStation consoles.

To share games and subscription benefits on a PlayStation®5 console, please visit the Console Sharing and Offline Play guide below.

How to activate a primary PS4 console

Each player can have one PS4™ console activated as the primary PS4 console for their account. If it's your first PS4 console, the console is automatically activated as your primary PS4 console.

  1. Go to Settings Account Management Activate as Your Primary PlayStation 4.
  2. Select Activate or Deactivate.
  • If you have another PS4 console activated, deactivate your previous console to activate a new PS4 console.
  • If you want to deactivate a console you no longer have access to, you can remotely deactivate all devices every 6 months.

There are no primary activations on PlayStation®3 consoles.

  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 console to use.
  4. Select Activate System.
  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.

There are no primary activations on PlayStation® 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.

What's a primary PS4 console?

Activating a primary PS4 console links the console to your account and enables these features:

Players on your console can access: Primary PS4 console players can:
  • Applications purchased from PlayStation™Store.
  • Automatically download pre-orders.
  • Some benefits of your PlayStation®Plus subscription.
  • Remotely download purchased content on PlayStation®App.
  • Themes purchased on PlayStation Store.
  • Remote play on other devices.
  • Having a family manager account on your PS4 console allows you to decide what kind of content can be accessed by your children by setting up parental controls.

  • For more information about activating a primary PS4 console, visit the Online User Guide.

PlayStation activation limits

You can activate the following consoles on your account:

Type of Console Activation Limits
PS5 console 1*
PS4 console 1
PS3 console 2
PlayStation® Vita 3

*Console Sharing and Offline Play

  • You can have a PS5® console and a PS4 console both activated without deactivating one of them.
  • If you use your account on multiple PS5 consoles or PS4 consoles, you can only activate one each.

Having issues?

  1. If you have another PS4 console activated as your primary PS4 console, deactivate the console to change activation.
  1. Check the PSN status page. If you see any alerts, wait until the service is up and running and then try again.
  1. Check that your console has the latest system software installed.
  1. Turn off your router and wait at least 5 minutes. Then restart your router and try again.
  1. If you are experiencing connection issues, find connection solutions for your console below.
  1. Restart your console.
  1. Check if the primary account user has purchased the content.
  1. If the game or benefit is included as part of your PlayStation®Plus subscription, make sure the subscription is active. If you're looking for a PlayStation Plus game, check that it's still available by visiting the PlayStation Plus guide.
  1. If the game is owned by someone else who shares the console, make sure they have activated the console as a primary PS4 console.
  1. If you are seeing a padlock icon next to a game, check the guide below for troubleshooting steps.

Need help? 

Contact our support specialists