I traded in my copy of overwatch and deleted the game. Would I be able to reinstall it from the library?

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    As far as I know, 'disc' and 'digital' are different versions of the same game in Playstation land. So I guess no.
    – Faxter
    Feb 28, 2019 at 21:43
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    You didn't "lose" the disc, you "sold" the disc (in exchange for whatever you traded it for). By doing so, your license to use the software went with it.
    – KutuluMike
    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:36
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    @DavidSchwartz I understood you did need a license for software? at very least for a PS4 game, as much of the game content is copied from the Blu-ray onto the console's HDD, which would institute copyright infringement without a license.
    – Vality
    Mar 1, 2019 at 20:16
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    @DavidSchwartz that is only true if you are the owner of the copy of the software you are using; once you sell/give/trade your copy to someone else, you no longer own a copy of it, and your "implied" license to copy it for normal use (e.g. copying it from CD into memory) it is gone. The recipient now has it.
    – KutuluMike
    Mar 1, 2019 at 20:45
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    @DavidSchwartz Using software without possessing a license to use it doesn't fall under copyright law. It's a completely different branch of law, and it is quite illegal (though whether it's worth it for the licenser to pursue legal action is a different matter entirely). And you can be sure that most every form of software nowadays, particularly ones sold commercially) have an explicit license that you as the owner implicitly agree to upon purchase and use. And, generally speaking, part of those licenses say that if you no longer own the product, you are no longer allowed to use it.
    – Abion47
    Mar 1, 2019 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


No, this is not possible.
Games must have been purchased/downloaded from the PS Store in order to be installed via the library. Physical versions aren't tied to your account in the same way as digital, otherwise I could just sell all of my physical games immediately and redownload them digitally, allowing me to play for practically no cost.

You sold the physical game and therefore no longer own a copy. You must buy a new one. This is unlike digital games, where you obviously cannot sell away your copy, so you are free to redownload it whenever - you still "own" it (or rather, you're purchasing a license to use it, following Sony's Terms and Conditions).

Assuming you've actually deleted all data associated with the physical copy, you shouldn't run into any issues installing/playing the digital version.

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    "you still own it" -- until Sony decide that you don't. You're (probably) only buying a limited license to use it. Mar 1, 2019 at 10:12
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    @RogerLipscombe moot point really, since a lot of physical copies nowadays come with a required registration somewhere (steam, other services), which means you cannot use the game if said service decides not to let you play anymore. Mar 1, 2019 at 11:05
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    @RogerLipscombe - You're probably right. I intentionally oversimplified that aspect. Many services we use today follow a similar model (your don't own a single bit of your digital music library from "X music service", etc.). I didn't feel like digging through Sony's T&C since it's most certainly covered in there, but the licensing details are mostly irrelevant to OP's question. I'll still tweak the language to clear that up a little bit. Just want to keep the answer fairly general and low-level. Mar 1, 2019 at 13:49
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    I could just sell all of my physical games immediately Heck, you wouldn't even need to worry about the hassle of purchasing a physical copy and then reselling it. If Sony allowed this, you could just "rent" a copy from GameFly or your local RedBox and then play the game forever.
    – jmbpiano
    Mar 1, 2019 at 17:54
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    @jmbpiano - True, but it depends. I've sold games before at no real loss, so If you find the right buyer you can break near even. Heck, I've even made a tiny profit re-selling some older used games. With renting, you're out that money regardless. But this is all some dumb theoretical world where this is possible and doesn't totally destroy the PS4 game market :) Mar 1, 2019 at 18:07

In addition to @BrootsWaymb's answer, even if you didn't delete the game (or managed to download it again), you wouldn't be able to play it.

Physical copies of PS4 games can only be launched with the disk still in the system. The PS4 won't let you play otherwise.

The only options you have at this point are:

  • Buy another physical copy and avoid "losing" the disk. You can reinstall the game at will, as long as the disk's in your PS4's disk drive and still in readable condition. You'd need the disk there anyway, if you intend to play the game.
  • Buy a digital copy. You can re-download the game at will, unless Sony removes it from their servers (like what happened to P.T.). Those situations are extremely rare, though they do happen occasionally. You gain the benefit of not having to swap disks, in return for not being able to resell them.

Of course, there's always the option of simply not playing the game anymore, since you sold it.

Note that the game data are different from the save data. If you deleted the game data, you can easily recover those (as described above). If you delete your save data, on the other hand, there's no going back. You might still have a copy in the cloud if you are a PS Plus member and have the auto-upload option enabled, unless you deleted that one as well, in which case have fun starting the game anew!

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