How to remove the lock from PS4 games

You are a happy owner of PlayStation 4 , Sony’s iconic console that has surpassed 100 million units sold worldwide, and you usually enjoy the many titles you downloaded digitally through the PS4 store. However, lately you are having some problems accessing some contents of your library, as a lock icon appears on them , and you are not allowed to start them.

That’s the way it is, am I right? Then don’t worry: in the course of this guide, in fact, I will explain how to remove the lock from PS4 games, showing you all the possible solutions at your disposal. In case you are wondering, before I explain the procedure to solve the situation, I will analyze the causes of the problem, so that you can understand the reasons why the lock icon may have appeared on one or more of your games.

Courage: why are you still standing there motionless in front of the display? Are you going to go back to playing that game you liked so much? In my opinion you are not in the skin. Come on then, you just have to follow the quick instructions below carefully. There is nothing left for me to do, except wish you good reading and wish you a big good luck for everything!


  • Preliminary information
  • How to remove the lock from PS4 games
  • In case of problems

Preliminary information

Before going into the details of the procedure on how to remove the lock from PS4 games , I think it may interest you to know more about why this problem occurs.

Well, to avoid the misuse of the games, Sony has introduced a digital license verification system on PlayStation 4. In other words, it is verified that the player has really purchased a title installed on the console and the type of license of the console is verified. which this has.

There are, in fact, different types of licenses for digital titles: the full one and the temporary one . The first concerns, for example, games purchased from the PlayStation Store , since they have been bought and remain the property of the player’s account essentially forever (although over the years, following their removal from the store, some titles digital were no longer downloadable even for those who had the license: in this regard the story of Kojima’s PT is known ).

As regards, however, the temporary license, it is linked, for example, to demo versions of the titles, such as Beta , or to games “given away” with the PlayStation Plus , accessible only during the periods in which your subscription is active.

Put simply, Sony uses this method to verify that you have actually paid for the game and are not playing a title for which you do not have a valid license. When the latter is not detected on the player’s account, the padlock icon appears in the box of the game involved.

Trying to start a title marked with a padlock, the message: “The application cannot be started. The application can only be started by a user who has the respective license ” . Typically, this happens when you log in with your account on another PS4 . For example, some people have a second PlayStation 4 and may, therefore, find themselves in this situation.

There is also another reason that could cause this, which is PS4 account sharing . Well, I remind you that this practice is prohibited by Sony itself as regards people outside their family unit . For all the relevant details on what is allowed and what is not allowed to do, I recommend that you take a look at my tutorial on how to share games on PS4 .

For the rest, unfortunately online there are also portals that promise the sale of PS4 accounts : I invite you to stay away from the latter, since this practice is not allowed by the terms of service and could lead to the ban of the profiles involved, also causing the ‘ inability to access the games . In short, do not be duped by those who talk to you about sharing with people outside the family unit and selling accounts.

In any case, the probable cause of the inconvenience you are also experiencing is a problem with the licenses of the “padlocked” games. In this tutorial, therefore, I am going to explain how to fix the situation.

How to remove the lock from PS4 games

After having shown you what are, in general, the causes behind the appearance of the “lock” on PS4 games, I would say that it is time to take action and solve the problem.

In many cases, the appearance of the lock is due to a simple, unexpected problem: perhaps it is just a wrong check of the licenses. Therefore, restoring the latter should fix the situation.

The license restoration does not involve the loss of data or settings, so you should try to do: to do that, you just need to bring to you in the toolbar top of PS4 in the main menu, press on the icon settings , and access to the card account management .

After that, you just have to press the X button on the controller first on the item Restore licenses and then on Restore . This will do a quick check of the licenses of the titles installed on your PlayStation 4.

It usually takes a few seconds, and if the previous check turns out to be incorrect, the games involved will be available again. Then press the OK button to confirm that the licenses have been restored.

To be sure that such a problem does not happen in the future, I recommend that you activate your PS4 as the main one . From the Account Management menu , press the Activate as main PS4 option and select the Activate option first and then the Yes option . If in doubt, you can refer to the guide on how to put main account on PS4 .

Perfect, now you can go back to the home screen of the console, by pressing the PS button on the pad, and try to start the game that was previously blocked again. Don’t worry if you still see the lock icon : it may take a while for it to disappear, but if you are able to launch the title it means you have “unlocked” it.

As for the games “given away” with the PlayStation Plus subscription , in that case the only thing you can do to access those titles again is to make this subscription again . You probably know everything since you’ve done this before, but if you need more information you can find it in my tutorial on how to activate PlayStation Plus .

Finally, another problem could be that you have multiple accounts on your PS4. In this case, if you have purchased a game with a profile and want to access it with the main one, the lock icon may appear. To solve, in general, just log in first with the account that includes the game , start the game and only then log in to the main account and start the title. If you have any doubts about this, you can refer to my tutorial on switching users on PS4 .

In case of problems

How do you say? Haven’t the solutions mentioned above solved the problem yet? Unfortunately there are myriads of variables at play and therefore further problems could arise. In this case, it is best to contact Sony directly, via the official PlayStation support page .

Here you can type, in the search bar , the terms “game lock” and take a look at what the PlayStation manufacturer himself suggests. If not even the answers provided by the portal help you to solve the problem, you might consider taking a look at the section You need to contact us , at the bottom of the page, and select one of the available methods (for example, e-mail).

By doing so, you will have the opportunity to speak directly with Sony experts about the problem you have encountered. They are certainly the best people to analyze your situation.

In case you need further guidance, I recommend that you take a look at my guide on how to contact PlayStation , in which I have explained a little everything there is to know about this possibility.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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