The PlayStation 5’s user interface is a departure, if not a radical one, from that of the PlayStation 4 before it. As such, it will likely take some time for new PS5 owners to get used to how the console works and where everything is. That’s natural with any new UI, but on PS5, Sony has made some curious design decisions that may leave users scratching their heads. One of them is with the console’s download history.
If you’ve used a PS4, you’re probably accustomed to being able to check your download list from the console’s notifications, which are accessible directly from the dashboard (tap the PlayStation button to get there) or from the Quick Menu (hold the PlayStation button to pull it up). So you might expect a similar situation on PS5. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Here’s the main thing to know about your download history on PS5: It’s accessible only while you’re actively downloading or uploading something.
Now, there are some qualifiers to that statement. But essentially, the people at Sony apparently decided that you don’t need to be able to view your download list whenever you want, which seems pretty presumptuous on their part!
How to check PS5 download history
The PS5’s dashboard is broken up into two tabs, Games and Media, with each one showing a single line of games or media apps, respectively. The horizontal scroll is similar to the PS4 interface, but instead of pressing up to get to a navigation bar with a variety of options, on PS5 you tap — not hold — the PlayStation button on the DualSense controller to bring up the Control Center. This menu takes the form of a row of shortcuts at the bottom of the screen.
If you have a download or upload — or an installation of a patch or a digital game — that’s in progress, one of the Control Center icons will be Downloads/Uploads. Pressing X on it will pop up a small window listing your active download(s)/upload(s); clicking any of them will show the PS5’s Downloads/Uploads screen.
You can also pause downloads directly from the Control Center by hitting the options button on any of the download(s)/upload(s) and clicking “Pause All Downloads.” But if you want to cancel an active download or upload, you’ll need to press X to open up the Downloads/Uploads screen and cancel it from there.
The Downloads/Uploads shortcut will also appear in the Control Center if there’s been an error with a download or upload — for example, if you lost your network connection while downloading something. (In this case, the icon will have a little red bubble on it with an exclamation point.)
This is the only situation in which you can access the Downloads/Uploads screen on PS5. As soon as an active download is completed, the Downloads/Uploads shortcut disappears from the Control Center. (There’s one exception to this: If you had the Control Center open at the time the operation finished, the Downloads/Uploads pop-up will simply show a message saying, “There are no items in progress.”)
The PS5 will notify you of a download’s completion, assuming that you have such pop-ups enabled in the system’s notification settings. But there’s no way to get to the Downloads/Uploads screen from the “Installed” notice itself in the Notifications section of the Control Center. Instead, if you click into it, the only option you’ll see is to play the game in question.
Can I pin the download history to the PS5 Control Center?
It’s possible to customize the Control Center to an extent. Seven of the icons — Game Base (a shortcut to party chat and your friends list), Music (which hooks into Spotify), Broadcasts (for livestreaming games), Accessibility, Network, Sound, and Microphone — are optional, letting you choose whether you want to keep them in your Control Center at all times. (To customize the list, press the options button while any of the icons are highlighted.)
Downloads/Uploads, however, is not one of the shortcuts that the PS5 allows you to pin.