How to set PlayStation 4 messages to private

Hackers can use PS4 messages to mess with your console.

After news about a new PlayStation 4 hack, gamers have been wondering how to set their PlayStation 4 messages to private. The new exploit comes in the form of a private message that contains emotes and/or other random characters. If you open up and view this message your system will crash.

Sony is reportedly aware of the issue and are actively working on a fix. Until then, it’s advised to avoid opening messages and to manually set all of your messages to private to ensure a hacked message doesn’t slip its way into your inbox. To help, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to set your PlayStation 4 messages to private.

Update: Sony released a statement regarding the messaging hack. According to Sony

"We've since fixed the issue, and it wasn't bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under 5 minutes. Delete the message on the PS mobile app, go into Safe Mode, use Option 5, console back to normal." 

How to Set PlayStation 4 Messages to Private

To avoid the latest PlayStation 4 hack, you'll want to be sure your messages are set to private.
© Sony

To set your PlayStation 4 messages to private, you’ll need to navigate to the Privacy Settings menu on your PlayStation 4. On Twitter, user @liquid_gaming broke the process down in an easy-to-follow format which you can find listed below.

  • On the main PS4 menu, select “Settings.”
  • From “Settings” select “Account Management.”
  • Scroll to find the “Privacy Settings” option.
  • In Privacy Settings, select “Personal Info/Messaging.”
  • Select “Messages.”
  • Set “Messages” to Friends Only or No One.
  • Ensure your settings are changed and you’re done.

It shouldn’t take you too long to update your message settings. If you already have strange messages in your PlayStation 4 inbox, do NOT open these. Per the information above, opening these messages could result in annoying PlayStation 4 crash loop. Once that happens, you’ll need to run through the following steps as instructed by Sony

  • Delete the message on the PS mobile app.
  • Go into Safe Mode.
  • Use Option 5.
  • Check to ensure your console has returned to normal. 

If the reset provided by Sony isn't working, or your PlayStation 4 has other issues on top of the hacked message error, you can also try running through a factory reset. Although, be advised that you cannot reverse a factory reset once you run through it. To restore the default settings on your PlayStation 4, you’ll need to complete the following steps as noted by the PlayStation 4 User’s Guide:

  • On the main PS4 menu, select “Settings."
  • From “Settings” select “Initialization.”
  • Choose the “Restore Default Settings” option.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to factory reset your PS4.
  • WARNING: You cannot undo a factory reset, so make sure you 100% want to do this before accepting and completing the Restore Default Settings process.

The best way to avoid a hacked PlayStation 4 is to avoid opening any strange messages and for extra safety, set your PlayStation 4 messages to private. For a visual guide on how to set your PlayStation 4 messages to private, be sure to check out this helpful YouTube video below courtesy of user MonkeyFlop.

By reading through this guide, you should now know how to set your PlayStation 4 messages to private.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.


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