PS5 Keeps Downloading/Installing PS4 Version of Games

Many PS5 users complain about their gaming console automatically downloading PS4 versions of their games.

Unfortunately, this bug is super common, and Sony is aware of the issue. They solved the problem at one point, but it seems the bug has returned to infuriate PS5 gamers.

If you’re an unlucky PS5 owner who has “the bug”, we have some tricks to try, so you can get back to enjoying your PS5 games in peace (or in the carnage, depending on what you play).

Why Does This Happen?

It’s unclear why this bug exists and why it returned after one of PS5’s updates. But it is a firmware issue concerning the video game discs.

People who use the PS5 Digital edition do not have this problem related to how the console reads an inserted disc. Because many games are still released in a PS5 version and PS4 version, the console seems to get confused and default to the PS4 game.

Consequences of This Bug

If you noticed this PS5 bug, you might wonder what the big deal is. Most people simply find the bug annoying and inconvenient, but others have had severe issues, causing data to be deleted or other consequences. Below are a few consequences of this bug gamers must deal with, in case you haven’t considered these.

Playing the Wrong Version

The way the PS5 downloads both the PS4 version and the PS5 version makes it difficult for players to notice that there are two versions of the game. This results in many gamers accidentally playing the old version for hours.

This isn’t the end of the world for the average casual gamer. Sure, it’s disappointing that you dedicated hours to an outdated game version, but not life or death.

However, professional gamers and streamers, who rely on these games as their livelihood, can lose money, followers, and time. For this demographic, the bug is a serious issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Luckily, the gaming community has made most people aware of this issue, so they can avoid making this mistake when downloading a new game.

SSD Space Issues

Another consequence of this bug that is more likely to impact your everyday player is SSD space issues. SSD stands for solid-state drive, the storage system on your PS5. The SSD saves all your progress and data whenever you insert a new disc, download a game, and play.

Otherwise, you’d have to start over every time you turned on your PS5. Some players who downloaded the PS4 version and PS5 version of a game without realizing it lost tons of their game data, forcing them to restart their journey.

If you know you have space for two more games in your SSD but accidentally download four, the SSD will be forced to delete older data. Again, this is not the end of the world, but for casual and professional gamers alike, it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing.

How to Fix This Bug

So, how can you fix this bug, so your console doesn’t download a PS4 game? Unfortunately, there is no real solution until Sony upgrades the PS5 and eliminates this bug.

Luckily, there are a few workarounds that gamers have discovered that you can try. While these are only workarounds and not comprehensive solutions, they’ve helped many players and can prevent the consequences.

Keep the Disc Drive Empty

The number one workaround for this PS5 bug is to remove the disc from the drive whenever you’re not actively playing. The console automatically downloads both game versions, including the PS4 game, when the disc is left in.

But if you remove the disc whenever you’re not playing, the console won’t have the chance to do this. Even if you continue to use the console for something other than gaming, take the disc out so you can prevent the PS4 version from downloading.

Ensure you always return game discs to the case, so they don’t get scratched. This workaround seems to be the most successful option.

Disable Automatic Downloads

Another workaround is to disable automatic downloads on your console. This solution has only worked for some, but most gamers found that it stopped the automatic PS5 game downloads.

When you disable automatic downloads, you will have to download your games, which is inconvenient and time-consuming manually, but it will prevent SSD issues. Keep in mind you will also need to update your games manually.

Follow the steps below to disable automatic downloads on your PS5 console:

  1. Select the gear icon in the top right corner of the main page. This will open the settings panel.
  2. Scroll down to Saved Data and Game/App Settings and enter this page.
  3. Scroll down to the Automatic Updates section and click on it. A panel explaining automatic downloads will open.
  4. You can toggle two settings: Auto-Download and Auto-Install, in Rest Mode. You should disable both so the small circle is gray and not white anymore.

This should prevent automatic downloads and updates. But for some PS5 gamers, the PS4 versions still wind up on their drive. But it’s worth a try!

Set Options on Each Game

Another option to avoid accidentally playing a PS4 game is to adjust the option on all of your games manually. Depending on how many games you have downloaded, this may be time-consuming and not worth the effort.

But you can select each game, tick the PS5 box, and delete the PS4 version. If you are not worried about SSD space, you can just tick the PS5 option and leave the PS4 game installed. After setting your preferences, the console will only launch the PS5 version.

Switch to a Digital Edition

This workaround could be better, meaning you need to upgrade your PS5. But this PS4 game version bug seems only to occur when gamers use a disc to download the game. Digital players do not have this issue. So if you don’t want to wait for Sony to fix the bug, you can switch out your current PS5 for the newest Digital edition (which is nice to have when traveling, anyway!).

Is Sony Going to Fix the Bug?

Sony released a statement saying they know of the bug’s return and plan to solve the issue in the next PS5 upgrade. However, they did not explain why the bug returned with the most recent update. They also did not provide an expected release date for the upgrade that should eliminate this annoying bug.

Tips to Prevent Data Loss Due to This Bug

No one wants to lose valuable gaming data, especially not due to a bug that’s out of their control. While we wait for a comprehensive fix from Sony, there are steps you can take to mitigate data loss as a result of this bug:

  1. Regular Backups: Always remember to backup your game data. This could be on an external hard drive or cloud storage. If the SSD gets overwhelmed and your data is deleted, you can retrieve it from the backup.
  2. Monitor Your SSD Space: Keep an eye on your SSD space. Check it regularly, especially when installing new games. The sooner you notice any unusual space consumption, the better you can manage it.
  3. Manual Downloads: As mentioned earlier, manually downloading your games instead of automatic downloads gives you more control over what’s installed on your PS5.

Remember, these are preventive measures and not foolproof solutions. However, they can go a long way in ensuring you don’t lose your precious gaming progress.

How to Identify if Your PS5 Has Downloaded the PS4 Version of a Game

If you’re suspicious that your PS5 might have downloaded the PS4 version of a game, it’s relatively easy to check. Follow these steps:

  1. On the PS5 Home Screen, navigate to your Game Library.
  2. Select the game you want to check.
  3. Click the three dots next to the game. This will open up a dropdown menu.
  4. Look for the “PS4” or “PS5” tag next to the game version.

If you see a “PS4” tag, then it means your console has indeed downloaded the PS4 version of the game. You can delete this version to save your SSD space and ensure you are playing the optimal PS5 version.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is there is currently no solution for this disruptive problem. Sony is enthusiastically working to solve the issue, but players will have to deal with it until they release a new update to eliminate the bug. The best workaround is to take the disc out when you aren’t playing and wait eagerly for Sony’s next update.


Below are commonly asked questions concerning this bug and its consequences.

Will a PS4 version game work on a PS5 console?

Yes. Sony makes newer PlayStation models backward compatible, meaning older games can work on newer consoles. Almost every PS4 game will successfully run on a PS5 console.

How many games can fit in an SSD?

The space on an SSD will depend on the size. The average SSD on a PS5 has one terabyte of storage, which is substantial. You can store about 25 fully downloaded games and all their progress data in one terabyte.

Are the PS4 version and PS5 version of a game different?

Yes, the PS5 and PS4 versions of the same game will have notable differences. First, the PS5 version will have higher resolutions, FPS, and shorter loading times. Aside from tech specifications, the games may also have story or feature differences. For example, a newer version of a game may have new weapons or a different plot.

If I have both PS4 and PS5 versions of a game installed, can I transfer my saved data between the two?

Yes, most games will allow you to transfer your save data from the PS4 version to the PS5 version. This usually involves uploading your saved data to the cloud (or a USB drive) on the PS4 version, then downloading it on the PS5 version. However, not all games support this feature, so it’s best to check with the specific game’s instructions.

What can I do if I accidentally deleted a game from my PS5?

If you accidentally delete a game, you can always re-download it from your game library at no extra cost, provided it’s still available on the PlayStation Store.

Can I play the PS4 version of a game on my PS5 if I choose to do so?

Yes, you can. The PS5 supports backward compatibility which allows you to play PS4 games on your new console. Note that the gameplay experience of backward compatibility varies depending on the particular game and the company that made it.

Are there visual cues to identify if I am playing a PS4 version instead of a PS5 one?

Yes, typically PS5 games will have better graphics, smoother frame rates, and faster load times. If the game looks or performs significantly worse than expected, it’s possible you’re playing the PS4 version.