How to Fix “Too Many USB Devices Connected” Error on PS4

Last Updated: October 9, 2023By
Person holding black PS4 controller

Experiencing a “Too Many USB Devices Connected” error on your PlayStation 4 can be more than just a minor inconvenience; it can halt your gaming or entertainment session in its tracks. This error message can pop up for various reasons, leaving many users puzzled about its root cause and possible solutions.

If you find yourself grappling with this issue, you’ve come to the right place.

Common Causes for the Error Message

Discovering the “Too Many USB Devices Connected” error on your PS4 can prompt a wide range of emotions, from mild annoyance to full-blown frustration. Before you jump into troubleshooting, it’s important to know what might be triggering this error message.

Identifying the root cause will guide you toward the most effective solution.

Overloading the PS4 USB Ports

One of the most straightforward reasons you might encounter this error is by simply connecting too many USB devices to your PS4. Your console has a limited number of USB ports and a specific power output capacity.

When you exceed these limits, the PS4 will likely display the error message as a way to prevent potential damage or malfunction.

Firmware Bugs or Outdated Software

Sometimes the software running your PS4 is the culprit. Older firmware versions may not be fully compatible with newer USB devices, or they might contain bugs that can trigger the error message.

An update from Sony could inadvertently lead to compatibility issues as well, especially if you haven’t kept your system up-to-date.

Power Supply Issues

USB devices require a certain amount of electrical power to operate properly. If you connect devices that collectively demand more power than the PS4’s USB ports can supply, you may run into this error.

This is particularly relevant for external hard drives or other power-hungry devices.

Conflicting Devices

The PS4 is designed to work with a variety of USB devices, including controllers, headphones, and external storage solutions. However, not all USB devices are compatible with the PS4.

In some cases, incompatible or faulty devices can cause conflicts that trigger the error message.

Internal Software Conflicts

Lastly, it’s possible that the software of the connected USB devices is not playing well with the PS4 system software. This can happen when using non-standard or third-party accessories that haven’t been designed to work seamlessly with the PS4.

Understanding PS4’s USB Port Capabilities

Before diving into solutions, let’s get acquainted with the limitations and functionalities of the PS4’s USB ports. Knowing what your system is capable of will not only help you troubleshoot more efficiently but also enable you to make better use of your PS4’s features in the future.

Number of Ports and Their Locations

The PlayStation 4 usually comes with two USB ports located at the front and one at the back. These ports serve multiple purposes, including charging controllers and connecting external storage devices.

It’s crucial to be aware of the number of ports as overloading them can lead to the error message in question.

Types of Supported Devices

Your PS4’s USB ports are versatile and can connect to various types of hardware. The most common are game controllers, external storage devices, and certain types of audio equipment like headsets.

Not all devices are compatible, so it’s advisable to consult the PS4 manual or official Sony guidelines for a list of supported devices.

Power Output Limitations

USB ports on a PS4 are designed to deliver a specific amount of electrical power. Devices that require a high power input might not function properly when connected to a PS4, especially if there are multiple such devices.

Knowing the power output capacity of your PS4’s USB ports can help you avoid connecting too many power-hungry devices simultaneously.

Data Transfer Speeds

The data transfer rate of your PS4’s USB ports can also be a contributing factor to performance and potential issues. PS4 USB ports typically support USB 3.0, offering faster data transfer speeds than older USB versions.

Faster transfer speeds are essential for tasks like transferring game files to an external hard drive.

Device Prioritization

When connecting multiple devices to your PS4, it’s useful to prioritize them based on necessity. For example, if you are gaming, a controller would take precedence over an external storage device that isn’t in use.

Prioritizing devices can help you avoid overloading the USB ports and triggering the error message.

Technical Steps to Resolve the Error

Black PS4 Controller on wooden desk

When faced with the “Too Many USB Devices Connected” message on your PS4, your first instinct may be to reach for the power button or unplug all connected devices in a hurry. However, a more methodical approach can often yield better results.

Here are some technical steps to help you tackle the issue head-on.

Restart the PS4

Your first line of defense against this error is restarting the PS4. By doing so, you effectively clear the console’s temporary cache and end all running processes, providing a fresh start for the system.

  1. Hold down the PS button on your controller.
  2. From the menu that appears, select ‘Power Options.’
  3. Choose ‘Restart PS4.’
  4. Wait for the system to fully restart before reconnecting USB devices.

Disconnect All Devices

Physically disconnecting all USB devices from the PS4 can sometimes resolve the issue, especially if overloading is the root cause.

  1. Turn off the PS4.
  2. Unplug all USB devices from the front and back ports.
  3. Restart the PS4.
  4. Reconnect the devices one by one, checking for the error message after each connection.

Update System Firmware

Keeping your PS4’s system software up to date is crucial for optimal performance and error resolution.

  1. Navigate to the PS4’s home screen and select ‘Settings.’
  2. Choose ‘System Software Update.’
  3. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install it.
  4. Reboot the PS4.

Inspect USB Devices

Sometimes the issue might lie with the USB devices themselves rather than the PS4. Examine each device for visible defects like bent pins or damaged connectors.

  1. Unplug the device.
  2. Look for physical damage.
  3. Test the device on another system if possible.

Check for Software Conflicts

Conflicting software on USB devices can also lead to the error message. Ensure that your devices are compatible with the PS4 and don’t have software that conflicts with the PS4 system software.

  1. Consult the PS4’s online manual or community forums for compatibility lists.
  2. Update the software of your USB devices if updates are available.
  3. Reconnect them to the PS4 one by one to isolate any device causing the conflict.

Advanced Troubleshooting

When standard troubleshooting methods fail to resolve the “Too Many USB Devices Connected” error, it may be time to explore some advanced options. These methods are intended for users who are comfortable with taking additional steps that might be more complicated but can also be more effective in addressing the underlying issues.

Boot into Safe Mode

Safe Mode allows your PS4 to start with only essential system functions. This can be useful for identifying issues that aren’t apparent during normal operation.

  1. Completely turn off the PS4 by holding the power button for seven seconds.
  2. Once the system is off, press and hold the power button again until you hear a second beep indicating the console is starting in Safe Mode.
  3. Connect a DualShock 4 controller via USB and press the PS button.
  4. Select the ‘Restart PS4’ option and check if the error persists upon reboot.

Use a Powered USB Hub

A powered USB hub can provide additional electrical power, potentially resolving issues related to power limitations of the PS4’s built-in USB ports.

  1. Connect the powered USB hub to an electrical outlet.
  2. Plug the hub’s USB connection into one of the PS4’s USB ports.
  3. Connect your USB devices to the hub.
  4. Turn on the PS4 and see if the issue is resolved.

Reset to Factory Settings

Resetting your PS4 to factory settings should be considered a last resort, as it will erase all data on the system.

  1. Backup all important data to an external storage device or the cloud.
  2. Go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Initialization.’
  3. Select ‘Initialize PS4’ and then ‘Full Initialization.’
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Rebuild the Database

Rebuilding the PS4 database can resolve various issues, including USB connection errors.

  1. Boot the PS4 into Safe Mode as described earlier.
  2. Select ‘Rebuild Database’ from the Safe Mode menu.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the process to complete.

Check for External Interference

Sometimes, other devices or even physical obstructions can interfere with the operation of USB-connected devices.

  1. Ensure there are no other electronic devices too close to the PS4.
  2. Remove any potential physical obstructions near the USB ports.
  3. Test your USB devices again to see if the issue is resolved.


Facing the “Too Many USB Devices Connected” error on your PS4 can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re eager to dive into your favorite games or media. This guide has covered various angles to approach this problem, from understanding the limitations of your PS4’s USB ports to methodical troubleshooting and advanced techniques for error resolution.

Each step or method serves as a tool in your diagnostic toolkit, allowing you to pinpoint the issue and resolve it effectively. By addressing the problem through a comprehensive lens, you empower yourself to tackle not just this, but potentially other technical hitches you may encounter with your PS4 in the future.