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How to factory reset your Xbox Series X/S

Take your console back to basics with a factory reset
Last Updated on November 29, 2023
how to factory reset your xbox series x/s
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Are you pondering over how to factory reset your Xbox Series X/S? Whether you’re troubleshooting, preparing to sell, or simply starting fresh, a factory reset can be a powerful tool. This guide is crafted to provide you with a straightforward, step-by-step approach to resetting your Xbox Series X or Series S to its original state.

Before taking on a facotry reset, learn how to clear the cache on your Xbox Series X/S to keep your console running smoothly. We also have guides for how to delete cloud saves on Xbox Series X/S and ensure you have available save data to prevent your console from crashing or freezing unexpectedly.

How to factory reset your Xbox Series X/S console – step-by-step guide

Resetting your Xbox Series X|S to its factory settings can be a straightforward process, whether you’re troubleshooting, preparing to sell, or starting afresh. This guide provides two methods to perform a factory reset: directly through your console or using a USB flash drive. Each method is broken down into detailed steps, ensuring that you can safely and effectively return your Xbox to its original state.


Resetting from your console

Directly reset your Xbox Series X/S via your console.



Accessing the guide

Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.



Navigate to System Settings

Inside your guide, go to Profile & system > Settings > System > Console info.



Select your reset option

Choose ‘Reset console’. You’ll be presented with three options:
● Reset and remove everything: This completely wipes your console, including all user data, accounts, saved games, settings, and apps. Ideal for when you’re selling or gifting your console.
● Reset and keep my games & apps: Use this for basic troubleshooting. It resets the OS and deletes potentially corrupted data without removing your installed games or apps.
● Cancel: Exits the reset menu without making any changes.



Execute the reset

After selecting your desired option, your console will begin erasing content and reverting to default settings.


Resetting using a USB drive

Resetting an Xbox Series S without a controller involves using a USB flash drive to perform a factory reset. This method is especially useful if you cannot access the console’s settings due to a lack of controller or display issues.



Preparing your PC

First your must format a USB Flash Drive to NTFS. Most USB flash drives come formatted as FAT32 and will need to be reformatted to NTFS. This process will erase all data on the flash drive. You will also need to use a USB flash drive with at least 4 GB of space.



Download the reset file

Next, download the Xbox Factory Reset File. Go to the official Xbox support website and download the ‘Restore Factory Defaults’ file. Save the file to your computer (it will be a compressed .zip file).



Extract and copy the file

Next, Extract and Copy the File. Right-click on the downloaded .zip file and select ‘Extract All.’ Extract the files to a location on your computer. Copy the extracted System Update file to the root directory of your USB flash drive.

✓ Mike’s advice

Last resort

If you are looking to use a factory reset to try and fix an issue, this should be your last resort. There are other methods for smaller issues such as power that can be fixed in different and less severe ways.

Does an Xbox factory reset delete everything?

Yes, a factory reset on an Xbox console does delete everything. When you choose the option to ‘Reset and remove everything,’ it erases all user data from the console. This includes all accounts, saved games, settings, home Xbox associations, and all installed games and apps. It essentially returns the Xbox to its original state, as it was when first purchased.

How do you hard reset an Xbox when it won’t turn on?

To hard reset your Xbox, unplug the power cord from your console and wait at least 10 seconds. Once you have waited, plug your console back in and press the Xbox button on the front of the console. This should provide the console with an internal power reset.

Final thoughts

Understanding when and why to perform a factory reset on your Xbox Series X is crucial. It’s the go-to solution when persistent problems arise that standard troubleshooting can’t fix. Alternatively, you may be handing over the console to someone else and need to wipe your data securely. Either way, it is an important process to understand.

Michael is an experience tech writer and editor, a keen gamer, and interested in what makes tech tick.