Early adoption of a new console generation like the PlayStation 5 can be a confusing process with a lot of questions. This is especially true for players attached to accounts they’ve been using for a while, like a PSN profile. Luckily, for those coming to a PS5 from a PS4, the new console will display a prompt asking about save data transfer during its initial setup. Choosing to transfer save data can be a lengthy process, and sometimes the transfer gets stuck, leaving many to wonder if it’s possible to cancel the transfer.
Strictly speaking, it is possible to cancel the initial save data transfer from a PS4 to a PS5, but it’s not recommended. Sony would likely agree with this sentiment since it doesn’t provide a button prompt on the screen to cancel while the transfer is active. The transfer requires the two consoles to be connected to the same internet connection in one way or another. This can be done wirelessly by getting the PlayStations on the same Wi-Fi network, or through a LAN cable. Connecting both consoles to a router with a LAN cable will work, but it can also be done with a single LAN cable by connecting the consoles directly to each other. Using only one LAN cable, however, still requires the consoles to be connected to the internet wirelessly, but the cable will make the transfer faster.
Sony most likely doesn’t want people canceling the save data transfer because there’s a danger of corrupting data. With the systems essentially non-functional during the data transfer, the only way to stop it is to turn off the consoles, which isn’t recommended during any sort of save transfer. Unfortunately, many who just got their hands on a PS5 amongst the ongoing shortage won’t want to wait the hours a lengthy data transfer might take, or the transfer’s progress may be frozen, so rebooting the consoles is the only option.
Turning off the PlayStation 5 in the middle of the transfer is not a big deal. Since it hasn’t been set up, turning it off, then turning it back on when it’s completed powering down will just return it to the beginning of the initial setup, where the data transfer can be skipped. Canceling the transfer may be a bit riskier for the PlayStation 4 since it’s the machine with all the data on it. Those looking to cancel the transfer will want to shut the PS4 all the way down, and then boot it up in safe mode in order to rebuild the database.
Holding down the PS4’s power button for three seconds should turn it all the way off. Once the light strip has stopped flashing, and the console is powered down completely, holding the power button again – this time for seven seconds – will start it in safe mode. Once it powers back up, there will be an option to “Rebuild Database” on the safe mode menu. This will give new PS5 owners the best chance at ensuring all their PS4 data remains intact. If PlayStation 5 owners don’t need all of their save data on the new console, other methods such as PS Plus cloud backups and manual transfers with a USB storage device should work well.