How to Fix PS5 Can’t Start Game or App Problem Within 5 Minutes | Troubleshooting 101


Is your PS5 troubling you with the ‘Can’t start the game or app’ error? If yes, then you should read this article till the end.

Users of the PlayStation 5 frequently experience the “Can’t start the game or app error” issue. This error message frequently appears when a sudden issue prevents the game or app from operating.

What is the “Can’t start the game or app” Error?

The “Can’t start the game or app” error typically means that your console is facing some unforeseen issues with the game’s launch. It pops up whenever you try to run a game or open an app. It further hinders the operational ability of the program and can affect the game you want to play.

PS5 Can't the Start Game or App

Numerous factors could be at blame for this inaccuracy. If a game or piece of software hasn’t been revised to the most recent version or there are compatibility problems, it could occasionally get the error. Let us sneak a look at the possible reasons.

➡️ Software Issue

The software of the PS5 console may sometimes experience a glitch or a bug. This has the ability to prevent the games and other apps from launching and playing them. Like any other software, this also further needs to be regularly updated for efficient performance. If it’s been a while since you updated your PS5, take a look and check for any available and pending updates.

➡️ Incompatibility Issue

Some programs and games need the most recent software version for smooth startup and operation. It won’t work if you try to use an app or game that is incompatible with your current hardware or the OS of the PS5. In such cases, you might also wish to check for game or app updates or, if necessary, consider updating your console.

➡️ Corrupt/Missing File

For various causes, a game or software file may vanish or be corrupted. Problems may arise if you attempt to launch them. To fix this, you might try reinstalling the game or app. This time, also ensure all the necessary files are present and installed in the proper order. Moreover, make regular backups of essential files and game saves to prevent data loss.

➡️ Storage Issue

If the storage on your PS5 is nearly full, the performance of your games or apps may deteriorate, making it difficult to start them. Check whether an external hard drive or your console’s internal storage has adequate free space. You may manage your storage by uninstalling older games and apps or further relocating them to an external storage device.

PS5 Storage Issue
Source: Reddit

➡️ Overheating

The PS5 can overheat, just like any other electrical equipment, if not allowed enough airflow or used continually for an extended period. As a preventative measure against overheating, the console could decline to start games or other applications. Place your PS5 away from obstacles, in a space with adequate airflow to keep it cool. Moreover, using a cooling stand or fan is something you should consider.

Solutions to Fix “Can’t start the game or app” Issue

Here are some solutions listed that you can try to fix the problem and continue playing games on your PS5. 

#1. Restart Your PS5 Console

Restarting the PS5 console is a quick and effortless approach to resolve the “can’t start game or app” error. Use the actions listed below to accomplish that.

Step 1: Shut off the PS5 Console.

Step 2: Disconnect the PS5 connection from the wall outlet. Additionally, you should unplug any accessories, including the controllers, that are connected to the PS5.

 Restart Your PS5 Console PS5 Can't the Start Game or App

Step 3: Re-plug the PS5 power cable into the wall outlet after your PS5 console has been switched off for around three to five minutes.

Step 4: Connect the controllers to the PS5 gaming system and turn it on. Wait for the PS5 system’s software to load completely after that.

Step 5: Check whether the problem still arises or not. If it doesn’t, continue playing!

#2. Delete Unnecessary Files from Your PS5 Console

You can quickly free up storage on your PS5 by following a few easy steps.

Step 1: Start the PS5 console. Select the “Gear” icon, and then select the “Setting” menu.

Step 2: Select the “Storage” option when navigating the pop-up “Setting” menu.

Step 3: To examine the game list currently installed on your PS5 system, choose “Game & Apps“. The games will be displayed with their default settings according to how long you’ve played them. Top of the list would be your all-time favorite video games.

 Delete Unnecessary Files from Your PS5 Console
Source: PlayStation Blog

Step 4: Begin navigating the list to find the game or games that might be the problem. Select “Delete” from the menu that appears in the bottom right corner.

Step 5: Make sure you acknowledge the deletion of your chosen games if a pop-up window asks you to do so to finish the reinstallation procedure.

#3. Substitute External Storage

You must download the game or software directly to the internal storage (SSD) of the PS5 console to avoid the main issue. You must first unplug any currently connected external USB storage to accomplish this.

Step 1: Click the “Games” section > “Game Library” option while navigating the PS5 Home screen. 

Step 2: Choose the games showing an issue and press the “Option” key, marked on the controller by three horizontal lines. Go to the pop-up window’s “Remove from Screen” option. If that option is not provided, you can skip this final stage of the removal process.

Step 3: Next, go back to “Game Library” and select the game by pressing the “X” button on the controller, after which the game’s product page will be displayed.

Step 4: From the menu, choose “Download.” Ensure the game is deleted from the Home screen using the “Remove from Home” method stated above if there isn’t a “Download” option.

Step 5: Select the “Download” option from the three horizontal dots menu. Once the download is complete, install the game once again.

#4. Upgrade the System Software

Obsolete software may result in numerous issues or flaws. Fortunately, Sony often releases new updates that may help you fix problems and improve the performance of your PS5. The updated version may also include additional features to enhance your console’s gaming capabilities.

Upgrade the System Software PS5 Can't the Start Game or App

Step 1: Ensure you have stable internet connectivity before starting the updation process. This is important to consider.

Step 2: Select System Software Update and Settings under Settings > System > System Software from the menu.

Step 3: Update the system software. Follow the on-screen directions to install any available updates.

Step 4: Check whether the update has taken place, verify it and then check if the same issue occurs again.

#5. Modify Game/App Settings and Saved Data

Caching out unnecessary data saves space. Doing this will enhance your console’s performance and gaming experience. Here are the steps to execute it.

Step 1: Open settings on the PS5 console. Go to Saved Data and Game / App Settings.

Modify Game/App Settings and Saved Data
Source: Reddit

Step 2: Select the Performance Mode or Resolution Mode area on the right side of the window. You can find it by clicking the Game Presets tab in the left pane.

Step 3: Modify it from Game Default to Performance Mode.

Step 4: After doing the above steps, restart your PS5 Console, open the game, and see if it starts properly or not.

#6. Create a New PS5 Database

You can restore your PS5 system software’s whole database by deleting all of the current data from the system and importing it back from the backup file. This helps you manage frozen or sluggish PS5 system difficulties by essentially recreating the database. There are two additional steps to the process available here.

Create a New PS5 Database

Step 1: Open “PS5 Database Manager” after downloading it. To finish the process, go to File > Open Backup File > Start Rebuild Database > and follow the directions.

Step 2: Restart once the process is completed.

Alternative Method: Turn off the PS5 gaming system. Hold the “Power” switch down while pressing it for two beeps. Connect the controller to the PS5 via the USB cord, then press the PS switch on the controller to access the “Safe Mode” menu. Then select “Clear Cache & Rebuild Database” and “Rebuild Database.” After the procedure is finished, restart the console.

#7. Factory Reset the PS5

Consider performing a factory reset on your PS5 if a game or app is still not functioning. After this procedure, your PS5 console will be reset to its factory settings. Below is a list of the measures to take to do that.

Step 1: Click Settings on the PS5 console’s home screen.

Step 2: Reset your console by going to System Software > Reset Options.

 Factory Reset the PS5

Step 3: Following that, the console will be automatically reset. Simply wait for the operation to be completed.

Step 4: Restart your PlayStation 5 system and reinstall the app or game. Run the game or app afterward to see if the problem has been fixed.

Final Words

No matter what the source of the “Can’t start the game or app” issue is, you need to be cautious when choosing the remedy and focusing on the precise cause. Fortunately, there are some decent solutions that you can rely on. Using the troubleshooting methods we’ve mentioned, you will be able to smash the issue out of your console in no time.

Next, if you’ve got a new PlayStation 5 console and don’t want to lose progress in your games, check out how to transfer PS4 data to PS5!

Dhruv Parmar
Dhruv Parmar
Dhruv is an enthusiastic content writer and passionate gamer developing content around latest games, tricks, and techniques to rule the gaming world. Other than gaming, he likes to talk about Freelancing, Personal Branding, and LinkedIn Growth.

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