Modern game consoles are essentially dedicated computers. Xbox One and Xbox Series X are powerful machines, but they may have errors or file corruption like any computer. Performing a factory reset on Xbox One or Xbox Series X can solve these problems, and Xbox provides multiple ways to do this.
If your Xbox One or Xbox Series X refuses to start the game, has problems loading files, or simply encounters an issue that cannot be resolved by standard troubleshooting, please try a factory reset. You should also use a factory reset to completely wipe the system before selling it to others to ensure the safety of your personal information.
How to Factory Reset an Xbox One or Xbox Series X
Regardless of which console you use, factory reset for Xbox One or Xbox Series X follows the same steps.
- Open Settings.
- Select System > Console info.
- Select Reset console.
After you select Reset console, you will be presented with three options.
- Reset and remove everything: Choosing this setting will completely erase all Xbox data, including your personal data, game installations, etc. This is the actual factory reset. You should only select this option when dealing with your console or as a last resort for troubleshooting.
- Reset and keep my games & apps: This option is the best option for solving Xbox problems. Reset the operating system, clear the cache, and delete corrupted data without deleting games and applications. If your console starts to encounter many strange problems, this option is one of the best solutions.
- Cancel: If you choose not to reset the console, select this option. Allows you to return to the main menu without causing any damage.
Note that Xbox will not ask you to confirm your choice, nor will it ask you to enter your password to complete the reset. Once you choose your option, the system will run it and you will not be able to stop it.
How to Factory Reset an Xbox Through USB
If your Xbox has a more serious problem and cannot load it, you can perform a reset by loading a specific file on a USB drive and inserting it into the console. You must do a few things to get started:
- A Windows PC
- A USB drive with at least 4 GB of storage, formatted to NTFS.
If you’re not sure how to format your USB drive, don’t worry, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide.
After formatting the drive, go to restore factory defaults. This link downloads the necessary files to your system as a ZIP folder.
Unzip the folder. Inside you will find a file called $SystemUpdate. Copy the file to the root directory of your flash drive and then remove the drive from your PC.
Note that there should be no other files on the drive; must be empty, except for $ SystemUpdate.
The next step involves your own Xbox.
- If you’re using a wired connection, unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the console.
- Power down the Xbox and remove the power cable.
- After 30 seconds, reconnect the power cable.
- Connect the USB drive containing the $SystemUpdate file to the Xbox.
- 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.
- Press the Xbox button on the front of the console and continue holding the Pair and Eject buttons for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Listen for two tones that indicate a power-up. After the second tone, you can release the Pair and Eject buttons.
- After the console restarts, remove the USB drive.
If the process is successful, you will see the digital experience guide on the screen. It will guide you through the steps to restart the console. Please note that the console restart process may take several minutes and requires an Internet connection. Reconnect the Ethernet cable after startup.
About Startup Tones
Listening to the opening tone is not only a necessary step, but also an informative step. The sound that the Xbox makes when it starts up indicates important information about the process. In the above process, the first sound should be heard about 10 seconds after the console is turned on for the second time.
The first beep indicates that a USB update has been detected. The second sound indicates that the file has been copied and mounted. The reason this doesn’t happen all the time is that Xbox generally doesn’t check for USB updates unless prompted. Holding down the “Pair” and “Eject” buttons will instruct the system to check for updates.
If you do not hear these two tones, there is a problem with the update and you may need to repeat the process.
Note: Resetting your Xbox via USB is a full factory reset. Xbox One or Series X data will not be preserved.
Nobody wants to completely restore factory settings, but sometimes it is necessary to do so to troubleshoot errors. However, the first step should be to restart the console and keep the game. Although it will walk you through the initial setup process again and ask you to sign into Xbox Live again, don’t worry, your games and data still exist.
Related: How To Fix The Xbox Error 0x97E107DF