Depending on the setup you have, you may find that you are often dealing with PS4 games with the locked icon on them. When you try to load the game up, it will give you an error about not having the licenses that allow you to play it. Who do you fix this problem?
This can sometimes be a temporary issue. If you have a slow connection to the internet at home or PSN is running a bit slow, it might take a few seconds for it to go away after you boot up. This guide will help you remove the padlock so that you can get back to playing a game.
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What Causes The Locked Icon on PS4 Games?
The locked icon is generally a piracy prevention system. This exists to stop one person sharing games with others that they do not have a license to play. If you owned a PS3, you might remember that one person could purchase a digital game and others could log in with that account download it and they would be able to play that game forever.
Sony wants to limit this so that only the person who paid for the game gets to play it. It makes sense, but it does get in the way. Even if you are not game sharing, you will run into some issues with games that are locked if you own two PS4 consoles. Here is some help to unlock them.
This should only happen on a secondary PS4
If you are experiencing this issue, you will likely be familiar with the primary and secondary PS4 system. The primary PS4 will store licenses on the machine and you will not need to constantly revalidate. This means the lock icon will never appear. If you are using a secondary PS4, you need to have an active internet connection to validate the license. Any failure in these requests to validate will cause the games to lock.
How to fix PlayStation 4 Locked Games
For fixing the PS4 game locked icon issue, I will assume that switching the PS4 to primary is not currently an option for you. The following steps will allow you to fix the problem assuming you are not sharing games with friends.
Wait a Minute For The License To Validate
If you were playing a game and it is in suspend mode, you will see the game is active, but the padlock is preventing you from loading the game. If this happens, you can wait a few moments. The PS4 is attempting to communicate with the PSN servers to check whether you have a valid license to play this game. Sometimes it can take a few seconds. It is very common for it to take a few seconds after booting up the PS4.
Check Your Internet Connection
Since an active internet connection is required to validate the license, make sure you are actually connected to the internet. You can run a connection test from the settings menu of the PS4 to be sure. Restarting your router or performing a full restart of the PS4 rather than using suspend/sleep mode. This could reset any networking components that have started acting up. Upon restarting you should be able to communicate with PSN to validate the license.
Check your Account Is Not Banned
Banned accounts are not able to communicate with PSN. If your account has been banned, you will be unable to validate licenses. Make sure that you are logged into PSN on the PS4 and everything is working as expected.
Game Locked after Game Sharing
I am not going to use this guide to teach people how to game share. If you are doing this, the locked icon is a very common problem. You can attempt to fix it using the solution above but the problem is down to you sharing the game in the first place. The other person who owns the primary account has control and is restricting your access to this title. Either they have connected to the internet and kicked you off or there is an issue with the account. Sharing is not something you should be doing with friends.
Additional Help Fixing Locked Games
This video is a good resource to use if the steps above have not been any use to you.