PS5 Can’t Start Game or App [8 Easy Fixes] (2023)

From video game classics to new releases, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) has it all. It’s also considered one of the most powerful consoles with expansive storage space. However, you might experience the PS5 can’t start game or app error.

PS5 Can't Start Game or App

The PS5 can’t start game problem is due to several reasons, including in-app bugs, glitches, compatibility issues, and more. This guide will show you the most common reasons for the PS5 can’t start game or app error and eight solutions to fix it.

Read this guide to know more.


Table of Contents

“App Does Not Start on PS5” – Most Common Reasons

Here are some of the most common reasons why you see the PS5 can’t start game or app error on your PS5 console:

  • In-app Bugs – One common reason you’ll experience this error is due to in-app bugs. While this is tricky to solve, you can try installing the app or game’s latest updates or reinstalling it.
  • Game Incompatibility – Another reason apps or games won’t open on your PS5 console is incompatibility problems. This likely occurs when installing the game from an external storage device.
  • Corrupted App Files – When downloading games over the Internet, there’s a slight chance that you might download damaged, incomplete, or corrupted files, which might cause errors when installing or launching them.
  • Insufficient Storage – If you’ve installed too many games and apps on your PS5, it might cause issues with other installed apps. You might need to clear up your storage space to launch all apps seamlessly.
  • Outdated Cache – Temporary app files—such as cache—can cause problems to apps when left outdated. You can try clearing them and check if this solves the PS5 can’t start game or app error.


How to Fix the PS5 Can’t Start Game or App Error

The PS5 can’t start game error can be pretty tricky to solve when facing it for the first time. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix this once you know the proper troubleshooting steps. Here are eight solutions that you can try to solve this PS5 error.

Remember to review each solution and check which one you think is the most effective for your console:


Solution #1: Reboot Your PS5

One of the first things you can do to solve this error is to restart your PS5. This closes all running apps on the console and can potentially fix bugs preventing apps from launching. 

To reboot your PS5, follow these steps:

  1. Press the PS button on your PS5 controller and navigate to the Power icon.
  2. Press X and select Turn Off PS5.
  3. Once switched off, unplug its power cable and disconnect all external devices.
  4. Wait for five minutes to drain the power.
  5. Next, plug the power cable back in and reconnect your PS5 controller.
  6. Switch the console on and launch your desired game. Check if the problem is solved.


Solution #2: Move the Game or App to the Console’s Local Storage

If you’re storing the game or app from an external storage device, try moving it to your PS5’s internal storage. It’s possible to experience app errors on your PS5 once the external storage from which the app is saved is either damaged or corrupted.

To move a game or app to the internal storage of your PS5, do the following:

  1. With your PS5 switched on, navigate to Settings > Storage.
  2. Select USB Extended Storage and choose Games & Apps.
  3. In the “Games and Apps in USB Extended Storage” section, select Move to PS5 and find the games or apps you want to move to your console’s local storage.
  4. Choose Move and wait for the process to complete.
  5. Once done, reboot your PS5 and check if the app launches.


Solution #3: Perform a System Update

Another potential fix when games or apps on your PS5 fail to load is by performing a system update. Specific updates contain fixes to bugs and update your console’s software in case the app doesn’t support the current software version anymore.

To perform a software update on your PS5, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn on your PS5 and ensure it’s connected to a stable wireless network to seamlessly download and install the update.
  2. Navigate to Settings > System and choose System Software.
  3. Select System Software Update > Settings and choose Update System Software.
  4. Choose the latest available update and download it to your PS5.
  5. Once installed, boot up your PS5 and check if the app launches.


Solution #4: Update the App or Game

If you haven’t been using the app for a long time, you might experience errors, or it won’t launch at all. You can try checking if there are new app updates for it and check if this fixes the problem.

To update apps or games installed on your PS5, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Home screen, go to the Main Menu and choose Games.
  2. Highlight the game or app that has problems launching.
  3. Press Options on your PS5 controller and select Check for Update.
  4. Wait for its updates to be installed.
  5. Next, try opening the app and see if the issue is fixed.


Solution #5: Reinstall the Game or App

If updating the app or clearing its cache didn’t solve the PS5 can’t start game or app error, you can try reinstalling it from your PS5. This re-downloads all important app files and installs the game’s latest version, compatible with your console’s software.

To reinstall a game or app on your PS5, proceed to these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Storage and choose Games & Apps.
  2. Find the game or app that has launch errors and select it.
  3. To delete the game, choose the Delete icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  4. Once deleted, reboot your PS5 console.
  5. Next, download the game by going to your Game Library and choosing the game you deleted earlier. Select Download.
  6. Once installed, try launching the game and check if the issue is fixed.


Solution #6: Rebuild the Database of Your PS5

Rebuilding the database of your PS5 is necessary once you’re experiencing various recurring errors. It works by deleting all data in the console’s current database and installing data from a backup.

To rebuild the database of your PS5, proceed to the steps below:

  1. Download and install the PS5 Database Manager to your PS5.
  2. Next, launch the app and go to File > Open Backup File. Choose Start Rebuild Database.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions shown to complete the process.
  4. Once finished, set up your PS5 and reinstall the game or app. Check if it launches properly.


Solution #7: Perform a Factory Reset on Your PS5

If all solutions listed above don’t work, the last thing that you can try is performing a factory reset on your PS5. This resets your PS5 to its factory state, including its configurations and settings. However, it deletes all user data, including all downloaded apps and games.

To perform a factory reset on your PS5, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > System Software and choose Reset Options.
  2. Select Reset Your Console and choose Reset to confirm.
  3. Wait for the factory reset to complete.
  4. Next, set up your PS5 by connecting it to your home network and logging in to your PSN account.
  5. Download and install all necessary apps and games. Then, check if all apps now launch properly.


Solution #8: Contact PlayStation Support and Request For a Repair

If no fixes have worked for you, you can contact PlayStation Support and ask for more help. Their well-equipped technicians are more than capable of diagnosing the issues on your console and repairing them. However, this will give your repair costs, depending on how much damage was dealt to your PS5.


Final Thoughts

While the PS5 is one of the most powerful and advanced consoles today, you may still experience errors with this device. Among the common PS5 errors is the “PS5 can’t start game or app.” It occurs when you cannot open an app or game on your PS5, even when installed.

Hopefully, this guide helps you know more about the “PS5 can’t start game or app” error and how to fix it.