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The Importance Of PS3 Deactivation

John McLaggan
Features, PS3

The Importance Of PS3 Deactivation

Are you trading in your original Playstation 3 for a new PS3 Slim, or preparing a PS3 to go away for repair? Are you aware you should be deactivating the system beforehand? If not, read on....

Like the other consoles, Sony have a store where users can purchase games or more content for existing games, on up to five consoles. This means if you set up your account on another PS3, you can download and use the content you've paid for, up to five times.

Activating a PS3 occurs automatically after the account has been set up. However, deactivation is not automatic and if you go over the five PS3 limit you will no longer have access to the paid content on the new PS3.

The steps to deactivate a PS3:

  1. Move to the Playstation Network section
  2. Select Account Management
  3. Select System Activation
  4. Choose PS3
  5. Choose Game (video isn't available)
  6. Select Deactivate your system

Tthis will ensure your traded in or broken PS3 will no longer count towards your five PS3 download limit.

The Importance Of PS3 Deactivation

If a Playstation 3 is not deactivated before it is traded in or sent for repair, then the process cannot be carried out on the replacement console.

Instead, contacting Sony and requesting them to deactivate all the PS3s on your account is the best approach. This allows the current PS3s to be reactivated and remain within the limit. It may take a few calls though as customer services may refuse to deactivate the systems. However persistence should pay off - Sony claim this issue should only affect a small number of PS3 owners and they're probably right as the PS3 failure rate is low.

The Importance Of PS3 Deactivation

However over the long term, the five PS3 limit may be an issue. It's very worthwhile to take the couple of seconds needed to deactivate a PS3 that's no longer needed, especially those who intentionally take advantage of the five PS3 limit to share content amongst friends.

Some PS3 owners share an account between a group of five, allowing each person to use the content purchased by anyone in the group, but this is a practice that Sony do not approve of. If any of the members of the group have a PS3 that is replaced and not deactivated, they will not be able to use the shared account on the replacement PS3.

Add a comment15 comments
G. Threepwood  Sep. 14, 2009 at 13:31

How can you deactivate a PS3 if it is broken and being sent off for repairs??

Emma Kelly  Sep. 14, 2009 at 13:55

From the above, it seems you should call Sony.

John McLaggan  Sep. 14, 2009 at 14:00

Not all PS3 failures are terminal, if the PS3 is completely dead then there's little you can do however if the blu-ray drive stops reading discs (appears to be a common cause of PS3 failures) then it will be possible to deactivate the PS3 first.

Alex  Sep. 14, 2009 at 14:22

I had the yellow light of death on my PS3, I followed the guide to fix it using and heat gun and magically it started working again. Its possibly the scariest fix I've ever done on anything.

Ray186  Sep. 14, 2009 at 16:10

It is kind of funny that Sony once touted the ability to share games with your friends, now looks on you with disdain if you do.


seedaripper1973  Sep. 14, 2009 at 16:31

Hi Alex....my 60 gig launch YLOD as well..what is this magical fix you speak of??i havnt found anything on the net?? (and its out of warrenty) an explanation on the 'heat gun fix' would be great,as i have nothing to lose now...cheers mate

Jared  Sep. 14, 2009 at 17:05

Is Deactivating your Account recommended when doing HDD upgrades?

John McLaggan  Sep. 14, 2009 at 17:10

Hi Jared - no need to deactivate the PS3 when upgrading the hard drive as the rest of the PS3 hardware is remaining the same

cell989  Sep. 14, 2009 at 18:22

This happened to me with a dead PS3, so I was not able to deactivate itr before sending it in. When I got my replacement, it died on me 2 months later, and I was not able to deactivate it either, leaving my account down to only 3 PS3's, I called Sony to deactivate all units from my account but they gave me a lot of bullshit, I mean like a lot, really bad service as they were not able to resolve my problem, also one of the faulty PS3's was the one I used to purchase video content, which is limited to only one PS3. my video purchases are completely useless now.

Sony can rectify all of this, but they just dont want to, so eventhough I actually own 5 PS3's I can only use 3, Bullshit is my end result.

Jared  Sep. 14, 2009 at 19:12

Thanks, John! for the heads up, now just gotta wait for 3.01 or some patch before I do the upgrade.. I haven't made the jump to 3.00 yet, and i dont plan on it until a patch is released.

Alex  Sep. 15, 2009 at 16:18

I followed the guide from here:

The 40GB PS3 is different inside, but if you have a 60GB one it should be identical to the movie on youtube. You have to remove the warranty sticker though, thats the downside.

seedaripper1973  Sep. 16, 2009 at 11:04

thanks alot alex...much appreciated mate..i'll try this fix over the weekend (inbetween bouts on my new slim) ;) kudos to you!

KINGKONG  May. 7, 2010 at 01:28

just bought new MW2 maps cant use them my ps3 wont deactivate GUTTED

KINGKONG  May. 7, 2010 at 01:29

can anybody heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp

Jonathan Lester  May. 7, 2010 at 15:56


PSN's been having a fair few problems recently thanks to the enormous demand for the MW2 maps. I'd suggest waiting a day or two until Sony's sorted out the kinks.


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