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The PlayStation 3 is known for turning off on its own, generally because of an issue with the console itself. However, turning it on by itself is something else, and it can spook you if you aren’t prepared for it.

Most of the time, when a PS3 turns on by itself, it’s because you have automatic updates turned on. This feature will turn on the PS3 at random times to check for or download updates. It may also have something to do with power surges or putting the PS3 into standby mode. 

No, your PlayStation 3 is probably not haunted. We hope. It’s just a matter of the settings in 9 out of 10 cases. It could be a few other things but, for the most part, turning on by itself does not mean that the console is falling apart or on its last legs .

4 Fixes To PS3 Turning On By Itself

1. Automatic Updates

If you own a used PS3 or you have other family members using the console, it could be that one of them turned on the Automatic update feature since it’s not a factory setting right out of the box.

As an important side note, you don’t have to be a PlayStation Network Subscriber to access automated updates. Though that’s a common misconception, the automated update feature can be on without the subscription.

If you’re reading this, you obviously don’t want your PS3 turning on in the middle of the night and updating. Well, with the automated feature on, it will do just that.

  1. Turn on your PS3
  2. On the dashboard, scroll over to ‘Settings’
  3. Select System Settings
  4. Select Automatic Updates
  5. Disable Automatic Updates

The only thing that being a PSN member does is allow users to access other updated features and digital products. It’s not the door that opens for automated updates and things of that nature. That still happens no matter what.

2. Outlet Issue

The odds of this being the culprit are slim and none, however, it’s still a possibility that you could be dealing with a faulty outlet that has an effect on the PlayStation 3 system. One of the best ways to eliminate the outlet as a culprit is to purchase a multimeter.

All a multimeter will do is tell you whether the power coming through your outlet is 110V or 120V. It should reflect no more or less. If the multimeter does reflect something higher or lower than 110V or 120V, you have a problem with the outlet and it needs to be addressed.

A faulty outlet is as much a safety hazard as it is a problem for your PlayStation 3, much less anything else you have plugged into it.

Unless you just happen to be an electrician (in which case you would already have a multimeter), you should have someone come out and have a look at the outlet and avoid plugging anything into it in the meantime.

3. Soft Reset the Console

If the automatic updates are turned off and there is nothing wrong with the power supply, there’s something going on with the PS3. From this point of view, it could be a million things.

However, the simplest response is to soft reset the PS3 to see if that will straighten the situation out.

  1. Press and hold the power button on the front lip of the PS3
  2. Make sure you continue holding the button down for at least 30 seconds
  3. When you hear three, rapid beeps, release the button
  4. Wait a few seconds longer
  5. Press the power button again

Now, all you have to do is wait and see if it happens again. If it’s coming on at a set time each day or night, that’s a strong indicator that it’s an automated function.

If it’s coming on randomly, that indicates something askew, such as a power supply issue or some bug in the software.

4. Safe Mode Rebuild the File System

This is another way of doing a reset while hopefully getting rid of a few bugs or fixing anything that you’re missing. It sounds worse than it is and you will lose some of your original settings.

However, you won’t lose anything you’ve purchased on the PlayStation store or lose progress in your games.

  1. Press and hold the power button until you hear the first, second, and third beeps
  2. Press and hold it again
  3. Once you hear the double beep let go
  4. Connect your PS3 controller
  5. Press the PS button on the controller
  6. Select ‘Rebuild Database’ on the screen and confirm

While it will take a few minutes for the PS3 to work through this, it’s not an exhaustingly long process.

Final Thoughts on PS3 Turning On by Itself

You shouldn’t worry too much because this is almost certainly an automatic update feature that you just need to turn off. On the very low, off-hand chance that it’s something else, you still have a few options to set your PlayStation 3 back in order.