Consoles Gaming Hardware

What do the PlayStation 3 lights mean?

playstation 3 lights
It looks serene enough here, but what about when the lights start flashing?

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) may be a last-generation console but it’s still popular – offering HD graphics and a Blu-ray player, it’s hardly harking back to the 8-bit generation of gaming. Indeed, with one of the best upscaling systems for DVDs, many people keep hold of their PS3 simply to play their disc collection. Unlike the PlayStation 4, it has a variety of lights – here, I’ll explain what the PlayStation 3 lights mean.

The PS3 has two lights – if you have the original or super-slim models, these are two LEDs on the very right-hand side. If you have the slim model, then the lights are behind the eject and power buttons. In all cases, the light on the left indicates disc status and the light on the right is for power.

Power light – solid red

The PS3 system is off or in standby mode.

Power light – solid green

Your console is switched on and working normally.

Power light – flashing red

Your console has overheated. Check vents for blockage and consider moving the console somewhere where’s better air circulation. For the brave, it’s relatively easy to remove the case and clean the fan. Yes, this will invalidate your warranty, but by this time that’s likely a moot point!

Power light – flashing green

Your PS3 is turning off.  If the green light continues to flash green, your console may be trying to write to the hard drive before shutting down so patience may be required. However, if this continues, hold down the power button for 5 seconds – the console will beep and should turn off. Then try to restart it.

Power light – flashing green/yellow/red

If the power light is cycling between these three colours then something pretty catastrophic has gone wrong – possibly a hardware fault.

Disc light – solid blue

There is a disc inside your console.

Disc light – flashing blue

A disc was just inserted or a disc is trying to eject. If the light constantly flashes blue, it may be an issue with the disk being stuck. If this happens, and you’re using an original 60GB PlayStation 3, there’s no way to remove the disc yourself. However, for other models of PlayStation 3, you can use this guide for trapped disc removal.

NOW READ THIS: Should I buy a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro?

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.


Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • What are the flashing lights by the USB ports? I have one that is green and one that is yellow/orange. Is this catastrophic?

    • I know the Yellow/orange one is the HDD light. It tells you when something is being pulled, written, or used off your Hard Drive. It is not catastrophic and actually tells you when to NEVER turn off your PS3.