How to put a PS VITA into Safe Mode

Safe mode is a feature for starting the PS Vita with the “minimum required functionality” if the system is no longer able to start up normally. By starting up the system in safe mode, then executing a menu option, you may be able to eliminate the symptom. Please note there is a chance that safe mode options will not fix the problem and your system will require service.

We do not recommend using the options in Safe Mode unless you are experiencing issues with the PS Vita. Some of these options could result in loss of data.

If you choose to perform one of the Safe Mode options, please back up your data before attempting to enter safe mode (when possible). Learn how to copy files here from the PS Vita.

Activating Safe Mode

To activate safe mode, press and hold the following buttons while it is OFF (not standby) for 5 seconds:

“R” button + PS button + Power button


Safe Mode Options

Once you reach Safe Mode, you will see the following options. Use the D-pad to highlight a selection and press “X”.


  1. Restart the PS Vita System
    Reboots the PS Vita
  2. Rebuild Database
    This rebuilds user created data (lists, messages, and some other saved information).
  3. Format Memory Card
    This deletes all the information on the PS Vita Memory Card, including game saves, pictures, music, and downloaded games.
  4. Restore the PS Vita System
    Restores the PS Vita current firmware to its default state.
  5. Update System Software
    Allows you to update the Vita through:To update your system software, choose from one of the three methods listed below
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