The PlayStation 4 Pro serves a purpose we haven’t seen from a video game console before. While not a part of a new “generation,” the system serves as a solid upgrade for playing your existing PlayStation 4 library. If you want to keep your games, save files, themes, and user settings with you when you make the leap to the new system, you can do so through a very simple and fast data transfer process that Sony has introduced in the latest PlayStation 4 system software. Here’s how.
This process will also work if you’re moving your data from the PS4 to a “slim” model, or even from the PS4 Pro back to the original PS4.
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Step 1: Upload saves to the cloud on your original PlayStation 4
If all goes well during the data transfer, this step won’t be necessary. However, on the off chance your power goes out or there is a technical malfunction during this process, it’s possible that your precious game saves corrupted. To avoid this, upload important save data to the cloud through PlayStation Plus. As of January 2019, PS Plus members have 100GB of storage space to work with.
To upload the desired saves, go to the Settings section of the system’s home screen and search for application data management. From there, find Saved data in system, select all games you wish to upload, and select Upload to online storage.
To download the save data on your new system, just substitute selecting Saved data in system for Saved data in online storage, select all saves you want on your new system, and download them from the cloud.
Note: This step is not possible without a PlayStation Plus subscription. If you are not a member, start the process with the steps below.
Step 2: Sync trophies
Before starting the transfer process, also make sure to open the Trophies application on your original system and let it sync to the PlayStation Network. These trophies are likely to be lost completely should you not do this beforehand.
Step 3: Prepare your PlayStation 4 Pro for the data transfer
Before you can begin the data transfer between the two machines, you have to run an initial setup on your PlayStation 4 Pro. Follow the on-screen instructions, pair your controller, and then connect your console to the internet in the same manner you did the original system.
Once connected to the internet, your PlayStation 4 Pro should begin downloading the latest system software update. Let this process finish and wait for the console to then install the software and reboot. You must be signed into the same PlayStation Network account on both systems, so take the time to sign in your account before switching your attention to your other PlayStation 4.
Step 4: Turn on your original PlayStation 4 and connect the two consoles
After your new PlayStation 4 Pro has installed the new software and has rebooted, turn on your original machine and make sure it’s also signed into the same PlayStation Network account.
Next, take an Ethernet cable — it can be practically any length — and connect each end to the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 4 Pro, respectively. Sony advocates backing up the original PlayStation 4 to a hard drive or connecting both consoles to a router with two separate Ethernet cables, but we found the one-cable process to be much easier and surprisingly quick.
Step 5: Begin the transfer process
After the PlayStation 4 Pro restarts, it will ask you if you wish to transfer data from an older PlayStation 4 to your new model. If you did not receive this prompt, you can also find the option under the System section of the settings menu.
Select Yes, follow the on-screen instructions, and the system will begin scanning your Wi-Fi network for another console. After finding both systems on the same network, it will ask you to connect the two with an Ethernet cable. The good news is that if you’ve made it this far into the process, you’ve already hooked up that Ethernet cable.
Next, your new PlayStation 4 Pro will ask you to hold the power button on your old console until it beeps. This will only take a second or two. Once you hear the beep, your data will start to transfer to your new console. Our test transferred about 300GB of data, and it took about an hour to complete.
Once your consoles finish the transfer process, you can finally put your new PlayStation 4 Pro through its paces. Everything will look the same as your original console, but it won’t feel the same; everything will run smoother and better. Finally, your new console will ask to be your “primary” PlayStation 4 console. Choosing yes will allow you to play digitally-purchased games offline.
Step 6: Pack away that old system!
As your transfer process completes, your old PlayStation 4 will power off automatically. If you want, you can store it for a rainy day, for a friend, or just in case your new console runs into some issues. If you do decide to use it again, you’ll find all of your games, save files, and profiles right where you left them, so make sure to reformat the console first if you’re going to give it away or sell it.