Gaming

How to Reset Your Xbox One: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you want to give your console a fresh start or troubleshoot a technical issue, resetting your Xbox One is a straightforward process. Microsoft has made it easy for both those who want to retain their games and apps and those who prefer a clean slate. The following steps apply to all versions of the console, with just one minor difference that we’ll explain later.

Before we begin, it’s crucial to note that performing a factory reset will remove all personal files and associations from your console, even if you choose to keep your games and apps installed. This includes saved games, achievements, settings, and accounts. However, if your console is synced up with Xbox Live, all this data is stored in the cloud. Just make sure to go online before initiating the reset.

Now, let’s dive into how to factory reset an Xbox One.

Performing a Factory Reset from the Dashboard

Step 1: Sign in. Press the Xbox button (the glowing button in the center of your controller) to bring up the guide overlay.

how to factory reset an xbox one startup troubleshooter
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Navigate to the System menu (the gear icon on the far right) and select Settings.

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Select System, then Console Info.

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Choose Reset Console.

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: At this point, you have two options: Reset and Remove Everything or Reset and Keep My Games & Apps. Select your preference, or cancel if you aren’t ready.

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s important to remember that even if you choose to keep your games and apps, your personal data will still be wiped from the system. To preserve your data, make sure to sync up with Xbox Live or manually export your settings before initiating the reset. Once you’ve made your selection, the console will proceed with erasing content, which may take several minutes.

Performing a Reset with the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter

If you’re unable to access the screen or the Settings menu due to technical reasons, there’s a workaround to boot it up using an external USB drive. Please note that you will need a Windows PC for this method.

Step 1: Power down your console completely and disconnect the power and network cables for at least 30 seconds.

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Step 2: Plug in the power cable and follow the remaining steps.

Step 3: Hold down the Eject and Bind buttons on your console.

For the original Xbox One, the Eject button is located next to the disk drive, while the Bind button is on the left side, adjacent to the disk drive. On the Xbox One X and Xbox One S, both buttons are on the front of the console, with the Bind button below the Xbox button on the right edge. The Xbox One S Digital doesn’t have an Eject button, so the Bind and Xbox buttons will suffice.

Step 4: Press the Xbox (power) button on the front of the console while holding the Eject and Bind buttons.

Step 5: Release the Xbox button but continue holding the Eject and Bind buttons for 10 to 15 seconds. Listen for two tones before releasing these buttons. The Xbox Startup Troubleshooter will appear shortly after.

Step 6: Select Reset This Xbox from the settings and proceed with the factory reset.

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to factory reset an Xbox One
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Performing an Offline System Update via USB

If you’re facing issues and want to solve them without doing a factory reset, you can perform an offline system update using a USB drive. This can help roll back any failed updates or address other problems preventing your Xbox One from functioning correctly. The process differs slightly depending on whether you have an Xbox One S Digital, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or the original Xbox One.

Offline System Update with Xbox One S and Xbox One X

Step 1: Get a compatible USB flash drive. It must be completely empty and have at least 4GB of available space. Format it as NTFS, which is the default Windows file system.

Step 2: In the File Explorer, find your USB drive, right-click it, and select Format.

Step 3: On the next screen, leave everything as is except for the File System. If it’s not already set to NTFS, change it to NTFS.

Step 4: Download the update file to your computer, extract it, and copy the ” $SystemUpdate” file to the root directory of the USB flash drive. It should be the only file there.

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Step 5: Once the transfer is complete, eject and unplug the USB device and return to your console.

Step 6: Power down your Xbox One and disconnect both the power and network cables from the back. Wait for at least 30 seconds.

Step 7: Plug in the power cable and insert the flash drive into the USB port.

Step 8: Press and hold the Bind and Eject buttons on the console, then press the Xbox button. Continue holding Bind and Eject for 10 to 15 seconds until the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter loads.

Step 9: Once it loads, select Offline System Update. Wait for the system to update, and you’re good to go. If the update fails, restart your console and try again. If you’re still encountering issues, reach out to Microsoft for technical support.

Offline System Update with the Original Xbox One

Step 1: Attempt to start the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter by fully powering down your console and removing the power cable for at least 30 seconds.

Step 2: Plug the cable back in and press the Pair and Eject buttons, followed by the Xbox button.

Step 3: Release the Xbox button and continue holding the other two buttons for 10 to 15 seconds. Once you hear two power-up tones, release the other two buttons. If the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter appears, labeled “troubleshoot” at the top, proceed with the steps mentioned above. If not, continue with the following steps.

Step 4: If you don’t see the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter, turn on your Xbox One and press the Xbox button on your controller.

Step 5: Select Profile & System, then go to Settings and choose System. Next, select Console Info.

Step 6: Check your OS version. If it matches one of the versions listed below, skip the next step. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

  • 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

Step 7: If your OS version doesn’t match the listed versions, you’ll need to perform two offline updates. Just like with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, you’ll need a USB drive with at least 4GB of space and format it as NTFS (refer to the instructions in the previous section). If your OS version is 6.2.9781.0, download OSU3 from Microsoft. In other cases, download OSU2.

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Step 8: The following steps are the same regardless of your OS version. The only difference is that if your version doesn’t match the ones listed above, you’ll need to repeat these steps twice – once with OSU3 or OSU2 and once with OSU1. If your OS version matches one of the listed versions, perform these steps with OSU1 only.

Download the respective update file and extract it. Move the “$SystemUpdate” file to the root directory of your USB drive (it should be the only file on the drive).

Step 9: Turn off your console.

Step 10: Once it’s completely powered off, plug in your USB device.

Step 11: After that, press and hold both the Eject and Bind buttons, click the Xbox button on the console one time, and then release it (but keep holding the other two buttons). Continue pressing the Eject and Bind buttons for at least 15 seconds, then release them. Make sure to wait the full 15 seconds; otherwise, you’ll need to start the process over from the beginning.

You’ll know the process is complete when you hear two “power-up” sounds.

Why It’s Important to Listen for Power-Up Sounds

The two tones indicate that the Xbox has successfully recognized the USB drive. Listening for those sounds is crucial, as they signal your system to begin updating automatically. If you don’t hear those tones or instead hear a “power-down” sound, an error may have occurred or the update attempt was unsuccessful. In such cases, it’s advisable to restart the process. If you’ve tried multiple times without success, reach out to Microsoft for technical support.

Performing a Factory Reset via USB

Another option is resetting the console using Microsoft’s reset system update file. To do this, follow the same steps mentioned earlier, but replace the update file with the one provided in the following step.


Please keep in mind that these steps are intended for Xbox One consoles only. For more information or assistance, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc..

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