How to Factory Reset an Xbox One or Xbox Series X

By 2 months ago

Modern game consoles are essentially computers with particular capabilities. The Xbox One and Xbox Series X are powerful machines, but they, like any computer, might experience glitches or damaged files. These issues can be resolved by doing a factory reset on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X, and Xbox provides numerous options for doing so.

Try a factory reset if your Xbox One or Xbox Series X won’t start a game, won’t load files, or has other issues that regular troubleshooting won’t fix. You should also do a factory reset to completely delete the system before selling it to ensure that your personal information is safe.

How to Factory Reset an Xbox One or Xbox Series X

Regardless of which system you have, factory resetting an Xbox One or Xbox Series X follows the same processes.

  1. Open Settings.
  1. Select System > Console info.
  1. Select Reset console.

After you select Reset console, you will be presented with three options.

  • Reset and remove everything: Choosing this setting completely wipes the Xbox clean of all data, including your profiles, game installs, and more. This is the actual factory reset. You should only choose this option when you are getting rid of your console or as a last resort when troubleshooting problems.
  • Reset and keep my games & apps: This option is the best choice when troubleshooting problems with your Xbox. It resets the operating system, clears the cache, and deletes corrupt data without removing games and apps. If you begin to experience many weird issues with your console, this option is one of the best fixes.
  • Cancel: If you choose not to reset the console, select this option. It backs you out to the main menu with no damage done.

Be aware that the Xbox does not require you to confirm your choice or provide a password in order to complete the reset. You can’t stop the system from carrying out your option once you’ve made it.

How to Factory Reset an Xbox Through USB

If your Xbox is having more significant problems and won’t load, you can reset it by loading a certain file onto a USB drive and connecting it into the console. To get started, you’ll need the following items:

  • A Windows PC
  • A USB drive with at least 4 GB of storage, formatted to NTFS.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to format your USB drive; we have a whole instruction available.

Go to after you’ve formatted the drive. This link saves the required file to your computer as a ZIP folder.

The folder should be unzipped. A file called $SystemUpdate can be found inside. Remove the drive from your PC after copying that file to the root directory of your flash drive.

Note that the drive should be empty except for $SystemUpdate; there should be no other files on it.

The next step involves your Xbox itself. 

  1. If you’re using a wired connection, unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the console.
  2. Power down the Xbox and remove the power cable.
  3. After 30 seconds, reconnect the power cable.
  4. Connect the USB drive containing the $SystemUpdate file to the Xbox.
  5. Press and hold the Pair and Eject buttons.

Note: If you have an all-digital console that does not have an eject button, you only need to hold the Pair button. 

  1. Press the Xbox button on the front of the console and continue holding the Pair and Eject buttons for 10 to 15 seconds.
  2. Listen for two tones that indicate a power-up. After the second tone, you can release the Pair and Eject buttons.
  3. After the console restarts, remove the USB drive.

The digital experience guide will appear on-screen if the process is successful. It will walk you through the process of resetting your console. Be advised that restarting the console can take several minutes and requires an internet connection. After it starts up, reconnect the Ethernet wire.

About Startup Tones

Listening for startup tones is not only a necessary but also an educational step. The sounds that your Xbox makes as it starts up provide important information about the process. The first tone should appear about 10 seconds after you turn on the console for the second time in the preceding procedure.

A USB update has been detected, as indicated by the first tone. The file has been copied and mounted, as indicated by the second tone. Because the Xbox does not check for a USB update unless requested, this doesn’t happen all of the time. Holding down the Pair and Eject buttons at the same time instructs the system to search for an update.

If you don’t hear these two tones, it’s possible that something went wrong with the update, and you’ll have to start over.

Please note: Resetting your Xbox through USB is a total factory reset. No data on the Xbox One or Series X will remain.

Although no one wants to perform a complete factory reset, it is sometimes required when debugging issues. However, the first step should be to reset the console while preserving the games. Don’t worry if it asks you to join back into Xbox Live and go through the basic setup procedure again; your games and data will still be there.


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