Restoring to factory defaults is the probably the least thing you can do on your Xbox One. This is because doing so will completely wipe out all your data, as if it just came of the box. But with the recent roll out of the Xbox One X, some owners may already be planning to upgrade their console and sell their old Xbox One. If you’re one of those who are planning to sell your console, this is where resetting comes in handy to remove all your personal data easily.
Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to reset your Xbox One console to factory default settings.
STEP 1: Press the Xbox logo button on your controller to open the Xbox One’s guide.
STEP 2: Navigate to Settings, then go to All Settings, and then System.
STEP 3: From there, select Console info & updates.
STEP 4: Select Reset console.
STEP 5: On the Reset console screen, there are three options to choose from, namely:
- Reset and remove everything – this is the recommended choice if you are planning on selling your Xbox One console or giving it away. This completely erases the Xbox One and restores the console to the factory defaults. This removes all personal data including account info, games and installed apps.
- Reset and keep my games & apps – choosing this will reset your Xbox One’s operating system. Doing so has the potential to find and delete any corrupted files without deleting your games or apps. This will save you a lot of time as you won’t have to download and reinstall large game files after the console has been reset.
NOTE: Sometimes a reset will not fix the problem. According to Microsoft, it is possible that a corrupt game file is the culprit. If this is the case, then you will have to select “Reset & remove everything.” However, this should be the last resort.
- Cancel – It cancels the reset operation and brings you back to the previous screen.
Resetting the Xbox One with a USB Flash Drive
Don’t worry if for some reason you cannot access the Settings menu or there is no picture on your screen. You can still reset your Xbox One with nothing but a USB flash drive. In order to reset your Xbox One console to factory settings using a USB flash drive, you’ll need a computer that can connect to the Internet and a flash drive with a minimum of 4GB of space.
I. Preparing the USB Flash Drive
STEP 1: Plug in your flash drive to your computer.
NOTE: Most flash drives come formatted as FAT32 out of the box to ensure compatibility with both macOS and Windows. For this you’ll need to format it to NTFS.
STEP 2: If you are using a Mac, you can use Disk Utility.
If you’re using a Windows PC, right-click the drive in File Explorer, then select Quick Format.
STEP 3: Once your flash drive has been successfully formatted, download the Restore to Factory Default file.
NOTE: This is a compressed .zip file that contains all of the necessary files to reset your Xbox One console.
STEP 4: Once you’ve downloaded this file, unzip it, and then locate the file labeled $SystemUpdate.
STEP 5: Copy this file to the root of your USB flash drive.
II. Preparing the Xbox One Console
STEP 1: Before plugging the USB flash drive into your Xbox One console, unplug the network cable first if you are on a wired Internet connection. If your Xbox One is on a wireless Internet connection, you may disregard this step and proceed to the next step.
STEP 2: Shut down/Turn off the console completely.
STEP 3: Once your Xbox One is completely turned off, unplug the power cable to make sure that your console is totally powered off.
STEP 4: Wait for about a minute, then plug the power cable back in.
II. Perform the Reset Process
STEP 1: With the Xbox One powered off, plug the flash drive into a USB port on the console.
STEP 2: Press and hold the BIND button and the EJECT button simultaneously.
STEP 3: While holding these two buttons, press the Xbox button on the console as well.
STEP 4: Continue holding the Bind and Eject buttons for another ten to fifteen seconds.
NOTE: The BIND button is also known as the pairing button. It’s the same button one would press to pair a new controller to the console. If you’re not sure where that button is located, refer to the diagram shown below.
STEP 5: You should hear two “power-up” tones a few seconds apart. When you do, release the Bind and Eject buttons after the second “power-up” tone.
STEP 6: Remove the USB flash drive when the console restarts.
NOTE: If you didn’t hear anything after fifteen seconds or hear two “power-down” tones, then it means that the process is not successful. In this case, repeat the reset process again.