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PS5 randomly shutting off? Here's how to fix it

Removing PS5 cooling fan in order to clean PS5
(Image credit: Sony)

If you landed here after frustratedly searching for “PS5 randomly shutting off,” then the good news is that I just went through exactly what you are and there’s a pretty quick and easy fix in most cases.

The PS5 remains difficult to find, but with the console available for over a year, it’s understandable you might encounter an issue here and there. Now your PS5 randomly shutting off mid-game falls on the more catastrophic end of the spectrum for console issues, but don’t worry; I have a few possible solutions that should have your precious PS5 running smoothly again in no time.

We will run through a few different scenarios with the relevant solutions, including what to do if none of these options work for you.

How to clean your PS5 

If your PS5 is shutting down mid-game, particularly when playing more intensive AAA games, it’s likely overheating caused by dust build-up. This was the exact issue that I encountered during my review of Dying Light 2. Depending on where you have your PS5 and the general dust situation in your gaming space, this will be pretty common. Fortunately, you don’t need to take the console apart completely to clean it out thoroughly, but you will need a couple of tools to get the job done. 

The most important tool will be some method to blow the dust out of the console; this could be a compressed air can (opens in new tab) or I used a dust blower (opens in new tab) that I have for cleaning my camera’s sensor. The other tool you will need is a T8 Torx screwdriver (opens in new tab) to remove the PS5 fan assembly, because to really clean things out, you need to remove the fan. I ended up having to clean my PS5 out twice as I didn’t remove the fan the first time, so I’d recommend just biting the bullet and doing this from the start.

Removing PS5 base

(Image credit: Sony)
  • Remove the PS5 stand if you are using it. 
  • Remove the PS5 faceplates.
    • With the PS5 upright, place your hand on the PS5 logo in the upper corner and pull it lightly away from the console while also pushing down on the faceplate. Just be patient, it can take a couple of tries to get it, but it will pop off easily when you have it right. 
    •  Repeat this process on the same corner on the opposite side. 

Removing PS5 cooling fan in order to clean PS5

(Image credit: Sony)
  • Remove the plastic intake fin that wraps around the top corner of the PS5 and covers the top of the fan assembly.
  • Unscrew the four T8 Torx screws holding the fan cover in place on the same side as the M.2 SSD slot. (Note where each one goes as not all screws are the same length.) 
  • Remove the cover where the fan cables lead and disconnect the fan. 
  • Lift the fan assembly out of the PS5. 
  • Blow into the open interior of the PS5 where the fan assembly was located until you don’t see additional dust coming out. 

Removing PS5 cooling fan in order to clean PS5

(Image credit: Sony)
  • Clean fan blades with canned air or a brush or dry cloth if necessary.
  • Replace the fan assembly, plug it back in and replace its cover.
  • Screw the fan back in place.
  • Replace the intake fin.
  • Replace the PS5 faceplates.
    • This is much easier in reverse; simply align the pegs inside the faceplate with the holes on the console and slide it up. It will click into place firmly. 
  • Replace the PS5 stand. 

Your PS5 should be back up and running as good as new. 

Firmware update 

This might seem too easy, but sometimes it's just a matter of a firmware update. This was more commonly an issue immediately after launch, but it’s still a potential solution and just takes a minute.

  • Open the PS5 Settings menu 
  • Select System 
  • Open System Software 
  • Select System Software Update 
  • Now click Update System Software 

Turn off Rest Mode 

Rest Mode is another potential culprit for random shutdowns on the PS5. While it’s helpful to shift into Rest Mode to keep charging controllers and downloading games without the console fully powered up, it’s not worth random shutdowns. It’s easy to toggle on and off, so if you’ve exhausted your other options, it’s worth a shot.

  • Open the PS5 Settings menu 
  • Navigate to Power Saving 
  • Select Rest Mode 
  • Click Don’t Put in Rest Mode 

This is another very convenient feature that you may need to give up if your PS5 is randomly shutting off. HDMI Device Link allows your TV to turn on immediately when you power on your PS5. Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t work as intended and can cause the PS5 to power down or shift into Rest Mode.

  • Open the PS5 Settings menu 
  • Navigate to System 
  • Select HDMI 
  • Toggle off HDMI Link 

Short on power? 

Another possibility is that your PS5 isn’t getting sufficient power. There are a couple of potential options here.

First, the power cord is damaged or simply not plugged in firmly. The latter is easy enough to check; just make sure both ends are seated properly in the outlet and the power port on the back of the PS5. If the cord doesn’t show any signs of physical damage, that is unlikely to be the issue, but a replacement is the only option if it is damaged. 

Reach out to PlayStation 

If none of the above worked, then you need to turn directly to PlayStation support. They may try to take you through some additional troubleshooting steps, but they will help you with the repair or replacement options if necessary. 

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.