- Performing a full factory reset on your Xbox One console removes all personal and gaming data and reinstalls a fresh copy of the console’s operating system.
- A partial reset reverts the console’s settings to default without affecting installed games and apps, and is best for troubleshooting issues.
- An offline system update can be used to fix console issues due to a failed system update, by updating the console from a USB drive through the Startup Troubleshooter.
There are plenty of reasons to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console. You could be troubleshooting an issue, in which case a factory reset might resolve any software or conflicting code issues. Alternatively, you could be selling or gifting the console away, and a factory reset will wipe the slate clean.
There are several ways to reset your Xbox One console. As someone who’s troubleshooting or selling/gifting away their console, it’s imperative that you know how to factory reset Xbox One.
Here’s what you need to know:
- There are two ways to reset your Xbox One console.
- A full factory reset is the best option if you’re selling or gifting away your console.
- A partial reset is best if you want to reset all of the console’s settings to default while keeping your data.
- Certain reset methods may differ between the original Xbox One and the newer Xbox One X|S.
Let’s break down the best methods to factory reset your Xbox One, complete with all the steps you need.
Method #1: Use the System Settings
Performing a full factory reset is the best option if you’re selling or gifting away your Xbox One console. This process will remove all the personal and gaming data from the console and revert all the settings to their default values. This process also includes reinstalling a fresh copy of the console’s operating system, ensuring a clean and fresh start.
Follow these steps to perform a full factory reset.
Step 1: Power on the Console
Performing the reset is done within the console menu, and for that, you need to turn the console on. It doesn’t really matter whether you power it using your controller or the power button on the console itself.
However, if you’re troubleshooting an issue that prevents your console from booting up, please skip to Method #2.
Step 2: Access the Console Settings Menu
Once the console boots up, you need to access the Console Info menu. This can be done in several ways, depending on the Xbox OS version, but the process is pretty similar across all different Xbox One consoles.
We typically just press the Xbox Button or the Home Button on the Xbox One controller. This opens up the guide overlay. Use the shoulder buttons (LB and RB) to navigate to the gear icon and access the Settings menu.
Alternatively, you can use the large gear tile in your console’s Dashboard, or select your Gamer Tag in the upper left corner, to open the overlay and select the Settings option. Regardless of how you navigate to the desired option, press the A button on your controller to open up the Settings menu.
Step 3: Reset the Console
Once the Settings menu opens up, use the D-Pad to navigate to the System submenu on your left-hand side pane. The wider right-hand side pane has all the options contained under the System submenu. Navigate to the Console Info option, and press the A button to access it.
This will open the Console Info screen and display all the technical information associated with your console. This includes the console’s serial number, ID, OS version, and Xbox Live and Global device IDs. Use the D-Pad to navigate to the Reset Console option, and press the A button to access the reset options.
Once the Reset your console? screen pops up, you’ll be presented with a full factory reset option and a partial reset option. Since we’re performing the former, navigate to Reset and Remove Everything, and press the A button on your controller.
This will initiate the full factory reset process and remove all your personal and gaming data from the console.
Step 4 (Optional): Home Xbox Associations Error
You may get a “We weren’t able to remove this console’s home Xbox associations” message while attempting to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console. We won’t dive into why this happens, but if it does, select Cancel.
This will revert you to the Console Info menu. Press the B button on your controller to go back to the Settings menu. From there, navigate to and select the Account submenu, and then select the Remove Profile option. Select your account and press the A button on your controller.
A prompt will pop out asking you to confirm account removal. Select the Remove option to remove the account. Once the account has been removed, repeat Steps 2 and 3 to reset the console.
However, if you receive the same message once again during reset, just select the Continue anyway option. The console will then reset to factory setting, but you’ll have to log into the Xbox webpage and remove any instances of the console from your user account.
Method #2: Use the Startup Troubleshooter
If your console doesn’t want to boot up, you can perform a factory reset using the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter. Please note that accessing the Troubleshooter may differ slightly from model to model.
You’ll find instructions on how to reset Xbox One using the Startup Troubleshooter below.
Step 1: Prep the Console
Before initiating the Startup Troubleshooter, it’s really important to prep the console for a full factory reset. To do so, you need to turn off your Xbox One completely. Press and hold the Power button on the front of the console until the console turns off.
Once the console is powered off, reach behind the console and unplug its power cord. This is a standard troubleshooting step that allows the console’s power supply and onboard capacitors to fully drain and discharge.
Most guides recommend that you leave the console unplugged for about 30 seconds before plugging it back in. This helps with clearing any residual charge and can potentially resolve temporary software or hardware glitches that might be affecting your console. However, more experienced tech personnel usually advise that you leave the console unplugged for 3-4 minutes before re-plugging it.
Once enough time has passed, plug the power cable back into the console but don’t turn it on. Move on to the next step.
Step 2: Enter the Startup Troubleshooter
To enter the Startup Troubleshooter, you need to press and hold the Eject and Bind buttons while powering your console. On the original Xbox One, the Eject button is next to the disk drive on the right-hand side. The Bind (or Pair) button is on the left side of the console, directly adjacent to the disk drive. You’ll recognize it by its ))) symbol.
On the Xbox One X|S consoles, the Eject button is next to the disk drive on the right-hand side. The Bind button, however, has been repositioned, and it’s now sitting below the Xbox (power) button. The Xbox One S Digital console doesn’t have a disk drive, in which case pressing the Bind button while powering the console should do the trick.
Press and hold the Eject and Bind buttons, and press the Power button to power up the console — don’t release the Eject and Bind buttons. You’ll hear the power-up chime; keep holding the Eject and Bind buttons for another 10-15 seconds until you hear a second power-up chime. After that, you can release both buttons and the console should start up in the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter.
Step 3: Reset the Console
Once you’re in the Troubleshoot menu — which is very similar to Windows’ troubleshoot menu — select the Reset this Xbox option, located on the bottom left side of the screen; navigate using the Xbox Controller in the same way you would in the Xbox Dashboard.
This will open the Reset this Xbox menu, allowing you to choose whether you want to perform a partial reset or a full factory reset. Select the Remove Everything option to perform the factory reset on your Xbox One console.
Your Xbox One console will now perform a full factory reset and boot into the Setup screen once done.
Method #3: Partial Reset (Optional)
Though the purpose of this guide is to provide instructions on how to factory reset the Xbox One, we would be remiss if we didn’t provide an adequate explanation of the partial reset. Partial reset is best reserved for those experiencing issues with their console. This includes network and controller connectivity issues, audio or display issues, system freezes, crashes, or overall sluggish performance.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s highly recommended that you perform a partial reset first. Performing a partial reset will revert the console’s settings to default without affecting the installed games and apps. It might also resolve a potential issue you’re troubleshooting.
However, if the potential issue persists, try resolving it through a factory reset. Also, we strongly advise against using a partial reset if you’re selling or giving the console away — always perform a factory reset when selling or gifting a console or any other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) device.
To perform a partial reset, simply repeat Steps 1 through 3 described in Method #1. However, once the Reset your console? screen pops up, instead of selecting Reset and Remove Everything, navigate to and select Reset and keep my games & apps. This will erase all accounts, saved games, settings, and home Xbox associations but won’t affect any installed games and apps.
However, if you’re using a Startup Troubleshooter, simply repeat all steps described in Method #2. However, instead of selecting Remove Everything in the Reset this Xbox menu, navigate to and select the Keep games and apps option. Your Xbox One will now perform a partial reset.
While performing a factory reset on your Xbox One is simple, you will have to make some decisions along the way. Tim from YourSixStudios explains why you may choose one option over the other and walks you through the steps in the following video:
Method #4: Offline System Update (Optional)
Many users are tempted to perform a factory reset after a failed update makes their console’s performance unstable. However, this will inevitably delete your data. You can, instead, opt for an offline system update. An offline system update is a good option if you’re experiencing console issues due to failed system update.
This method involves updating your console from a USB drive through the Startup Troubleshooter. Here’s how it’s done.
Step 1: Determine the OS Version
To successfully perform an Offline System Update, you need to create a flash drive that contains the update file. However, the process isn’t the same for Xbox One X|S and the original Xbox One. So, you first need to determine your console’s OS version.
All Xbox One X|S consoles already have the Startup Troubleshooter built in, so all you need to do is create the OSU flash drive. If that’s the case, skip to Step 2.
However, if you own the original Xbox console, you’ll have to update the console twice. To find the console OS version, just navigate to the Console Info menu as described in Method #1. The information should be on the right-hand pane.
The following OS versions need an OSU2 system update from Microsoft:
- 6.2.11791.0 (xb_rel_1411.141114-2300) fre
- 6.2.12521.0 (xb_rel_1503.150305-1449) fre
- 6.2.12998.0 (xb_rel_1506.150601-2200) fre
- 6.2.13326.0 (xb_rel_1508.150810-2029) fre
- 6.2.13332.0 (xb_rel_1508.150903-2141) fre
- 10.0.10586.1006 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151107-2322) fre
- 10.0.10586.1016 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151118-2147) fre
- 10.0.10586.1024 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151203-1909) fre
- 10.0.10586.1026 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151217-1035) fre
- 10.0.10586.1100 (th2_xbox_rel_1602.160210-2122) fre
- 10.0.10586.1194 (th2_xbox_rel_1603.160317-1900) fre
However, if you’re console OS Built is version 6.2.9781.0, you’ll need to download the OSU3 file. This is the only instance in which this particular file is needed.
Alternatively, if your console doesn’t boot, you can try and access the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter. If you can’t, you need either the OSU2 or OSU3 file. If you can access the Troubleshooter, you only need the OSU1 file.
Step 2: Create an OSU Flash Drive
This step is performed on a PC. Download the appropriate flash file from Microsoft; the links are provided below.
Once you’ve downloaded the appropriate file, extract it onto an 8GB (at least) NTFS USB flash drive. Just copy the $SystemUpdate folder from the downloaded .zip file into the root directory of your USB flash drive. Once complete, unplug your USB flash drive from the computer, and plug it into the console.
If you can’t access the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter, and can’t see the OS version from the console, create an OSU flash drive using the OSU3 file.
Step 3: Update the Console
Once you’ve created the OSU USB flash drive, enter the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter as described in Method #2. Please note that it’s crucial to insert the flash drive into the console’s USB port before you power up the console into the Troubleshooter.
Older consoles don’t have an Xbox Startup Troubleshooter. Instead, the key combo forces the console to look for the USB drive update. Insert the USB flash drive with the corresponding file — let’s assume OSU2 is used — and listen for the two power-up chimes.
The first one will occur approximately 10 seconds after you enter into USB drive update mode. The second power-up tone, which should occur within 15 seconds after the first one, means that the update has been successful. If you don’t hear the second power-up chime, it means that the update has failed. Go back to Step 2, make an OSU3 USB flash drive, and repeat the steps.
After a successful OSU2/OSU3 update, revert back to Step 2. However, instead of an OSU2/OSU3 file, this time, load the OSU1 file onto the flash drive. Then update the console again, as described above, but this time using the OSU1 file you previously loaded onto the USB flash drive.
Once the console updates and restarts a few times, you’ll be returned to the Dashboard. However, if the update fails are persistent, you might want to try a full factory reset. If that option also fails, your console might be suffering from a hardware issue. In either case, contacting Xbox Customer Support is strongly recommended.
How to Factory Reset an Xbox One: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Despite being launched approximately a decade ago and discontinued by Microsoft, the Xbox One is still supported by its manufacturer. In fact, developers are still making games for the console.
- The factory reset for Xbox Series X|S, the successor to Xbox One lineup, is more or less the same.
- A full factory reset will wipe all of your data from the console. A partial reset won’t affect the installed games and apps.
- Microsoft still offers software support for its 2005 Xbox 360, a predecessor to Xbox One. We can expect that the support for Xbox One will last for a while.
- Xbox One failed to outsell its predecessor Xbox 360 by more than 20 million units.
There are two main options to perform a factory reset on Xbox One. Additional options were included for those troubleshooting an issue on their console. If you need any help with your Xbox or PC, you can learn to switch screens on Windows here or how to connect an Xbox Controller to your PC in this guide.
|Method #1: Use the System Settings||1. Power on the Console2. Access the Console Settings Menu3. Reset the Console4. (Optional) Home Xbox Associations Error|
|Method #2: Use the Startup Troubleshooter||1. Prep the Console2. Enter the Startup Troubleshooter3. Reset the Console|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Proxima Studio/Shutterstock.com.