How to Reset Your Xbox One

If your Xbox One is acting up, it may be time to restore it to factory settings

Xbox One controller

There are a few different reasons that you might want to reset an Xbox One to factory settings. If the system is acting up, then wiping the slate may return it to good working order. This is a last resort type of fix, since a full factory reset will cause you to lose all of your data, and you'll even have to download any games and apps that you have purchased all over again, (that's a pretty easy process).

What's the Difference Between Resetting, Hard Resetting and Factory Resetting?

Before you factory reset your Xbox One, it's important to know about the different types of resets that your console can undergo:

  • When you turn your Xbox One off normally, it goes into a low power mode. So when you turn it back on, that's just a regular reset or a soft reset. The console never actually turns all the way off.
  • When your Xbox One powers down all the way, and turns back on, that's called a hard reset. It's similar to what happens when you shut down a computer, and no data is lost.
  • When changes that have been made to an Xbox One after it left the factory are reversed, and the console is returned to a state similar to the one it was in when you first bought it, that's called a factory reset. This process restores the factory settings, and it will also permanently delete all of your games, save data and other settings if you choose to reset and remove everything.

Do You Need to Perform a Factory Reset?

Before you totally reset an Xbox One, it's a good idea to try less severe fixes first. For instance, if the system isn't responding, press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds. This will perform a hard reset, which fixes a lot of problems without actually obliterating all of the data on your system.

If your Xbox One is malfunctioning so severely that you can't access the settings menu, or it isn't outputting video to your TV, then scroll all the way to the bottom of this article for instructions on how to perform a factory reset using a USB flash drive.

The other reason to factory reset an Xbox One is to remove all of your personal information, your gamertag, and downloaded apps and games before trading in or selling an old console. This prevents anyone else from gaining access to your stuff.

If you already sold your console, or it was stolen, and you're wondering how to wipe Xbox One remotely, that unfortunately is not possible. However, you can prevent anyone from accessing your stuff by changing the password of the Microsoft account that is tied to your gamertag.

View How to Factory Reset Xbox One From Start to Finish

reset xbox one to factory defaults
Resetting an Xbox One to factory defaults to fix problems or before you sell or trade in an old console. Screen capture

Basic instructions to factory reset an Xbox One:

  1. Press the home button, or press left on the d-pad until the main home menu opens.
  2. Select the gear icon to open the settings menu.
  3. Go to System > Console info.
  4. Go to Reset console > Reset and remove everything for a full factory reset.

Important: The system will be reset immediately upon selecting the reset method. There is no confirmation, so proceed carefully.

The Xbox One will undergo a hard reset, and the process is automated after this point. Leave the system alone, and the Xbox One will reset itself and hard reboot.

For more in depth instructions on how to reset an Xbox One, including individual steps and button presses, continue reading below.

Restore Xbox One to Factory Settings

Reset xbox one
Screenshot

The first step in resetting an Xbox One is to open the main menu. This can be accomplished in either one of two different ways:

  • Press the home button on your Xbox One controller. This is the illuminated button with a stylized X that is centrally located on the front of the controller near the top.
  • Alternately, you can press the left bumper until you reach the home tab and then press left on the d-pad.

Open the Xbox One Settings Menu

Factory reset xbox one
Screenshot

The next step is to open the settings menu.

  1. Press down on the d-pad until you reach the gear icon.
  2. Press the A button to select the gear icon.
  3. With all settings highlighted, press the A button again to open the settings menu.

Access the Console Info Screen

Factory restore an Xbox One
Screenshot

The next step is to access the console information screen.

  1. Press down on the d-pad until you reach System.
  2. Press the A button to open the System submenu.
  3. With console info highlighted, press the A button again.

Choose to Reset the Console

Xbox one reset console
Screenshot
  1. Press down on the d-pad to select reset console.
  2. Press the A button to select this option and move to the final step.

Decide on the Type of Reset to Perform

Xbox one hard reset and factory restore
Screenshot
  1. Press left on the d-pad to select the reset option that you want.
  2. If you want to leave game and app data in place, then highlight Reset and keep my games & apps. Then press the A button. This is the less thorough of the two options, as it only resets the Xbox One firmware and settings without touching your games and apps. Try this first, as it allows you to avoid downloading everything all over again.
  3. To reset the system to factory defaults, and remove all data, highlight reset and remove everything. Then press the A button. Select this option if you're selling the console.

Important: there is no confirmation screen or prompt. When you press the A button with a reset option highlighted, the system will be reset immediately.

How to Reset Your Xbox One With a USB Drive

restore xbox one to factory settings with USB
You can hard reset an Xbox One using a USB stick, but this option wipes everything with no option to retain any data. Jeremy Laukkonen

Note: This method automatically resets the Xbox and deletes all data. There is no option to retain anything.

Using a desktop or laptop computer:

  1. Connect a USB flash drive to your computer.
  2. Download this file from Microsoft.
  3. Right-click the file and select extract all.
  4. Copy the file named $SystemUpdate from the zip file onto the flash drive.
  5. Remove the flash drive.

On your Xbox One:

  1. Disconnect the Ethernet cable if it is connected.
  2. Turn the Xbox One off and unplug it.
  3. Leave the system powered down for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Plug the system back into power.
  5. Plug your USB flash drive into a USB port on the Xbox One.
  6. Press and hold the Bind button and the Eject button, then press the Power Button.
    • Note: Bind is located on the left side of the console for the original Xbox One and below the power button on the Xbox One S. The Eject button is located next to the disc drive on the front of the console.
  7. Hold the Bind and Eject buttons for between 10 and 15 seconds, or until you hear the system power up sound twice in a row.
    • Note: The process has failed if you do not hear the power up sound or if you hear the power down sound.
  8. Release the Bind and Eject buttons after you hear the second power up sound.
  9. Wait for the console to restart and remove the USB drive.
  10. The console should undergo a hard reset, which can take several minutes to complete. When that finishes, it should be restored to factory settings.