If you’re encountering issues with your Xbox One or planning to sell or gift it, performing a factory reset might be your best course of action. Factory resetting an Xbox One can resolve software glitches and erase personal data, preparing the console for a fresh start.

However, the process can seem intimidating if you’re not sure what it involves or what its consequences might be.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to factory reset an Xbox One, a controller, without turning the console on, without a password, and whether a reset will erase all your data. We’ll also touch on how to factory reset a locked Xbox One.

How To Factory Reset Xbox One


Factory Resetting an Xbox One: An Overview

A factory reset restores your Xbox One to the state it was in when you first took it out of the box. It erases all data, including account details, settings, saved games, and installed apps. Hence, ensure you’ve backed up any critical data before you begin.

How to Factory Reset Your Xbox One

Here are the steps to factory reset your Xbox One:

  1. Access the Guide: Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.
  2. Go to Settings: Navigate to ‘Profile & system’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘System’ > ‘Console info’.
  3. Select ‘Reset console’: Two options will appear — ‘Reset and keep my games & apps’ and ‘Reset and remove everything’. The first option resets the OS and deletes potentially corrupted data without deleting your games or apps. The second option restores the console to factory settings. Select the option that best fits your needs.

How to Reset an Xbox One Controller

If your controller isn’t working correctly, you might need to reset it. Unfortunately, Xbox One controllers don’t have a dedicated reset button or option. However, you can ‘power cycle’ the controller to reset it:

  1. Power Off: Turn off the controller by holding the Xbox button on the controller for about ten seconds. The LED light will blink and then switch off, indicating that the controller is off.
  2. Remove Batteries: Remove the batteries from the controller to ensure it’s completely off.
  3. Power Cycle the Console: Turn off your Xbox One and unplug it. Wait for 10 seconds, plug it back in, and turn it back on.
  4. Reconnect: Insert the batteries back into the controller and turn it on. The controller will reconnect with the console, effectively ‘resetting’ it.

How to Factory Reset an Xbox One Without Turning It On

If your console won’t turn on or is stuck on the startup screen, you can still perform a factory reset by entering the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter:

  1. Access Troubleshooter: Hold the ‘Pair’ and ‘Eject’ buttons, then press the ‘Xbox’ button on the console. Continue holding the first two buttons for about 15 seconds until you hear two power-up tones a few seconds apart.
  2. Select Reset: In the Troubleshooter, select ‘Reset this Xbox’.
  3. Choose Reset Type: Choose ‘Reset and keep my games & apps’ or ‘Reset and remove everything’, depending on your needs.

How to Factory Reset an Xbox One Without a Password

If you’ve forgotten your passkey or password, you can still perform a factory reset:

  1. Attempt to Sign in: Enter an incorrect password five times to bring up the ‘Reset your console?’ message.
  2. Select Reset: Choose ‘Reset this Xbox’.
  3. Choose Reset Type: Select ‘Reset and keep my games & apps’ or ‘Reset and remove everything’ as needed.

Will I Lose Everything If I Restart My Xbox One?

Restarting or power cycling your Xbox One won’t erase your data; it only refreshes the system. However, performing a factory reset and choosing ‘Reset and remove everything’ will delete all data.

Can You Factory Reset a Locked Xbox One?

If your Xbox One console is locked and you can’t remember the password, you can still factory reset the console using the steps provided above in ‘How to Factory Reset an Xbox One Without a Password’. Be aware that this should be a last resort, as it will erase all data on the console.

To conclude, whether you’re troubleshooting or preparing your Xbox One for a new owner, a factory reset can be a handy procedure. Ensure you’ve backed up your important data before starting, and follow these instructions to achieve a successful factory reset.