Whether you’re giving your console to a friend or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes you just need to give your Xbox One a fresh start. Fortunately Microsoft makes this very easy to do, whether you want to keep your games and apps installed, or just start with a totally clean slate. This same process applies to all versions of the console, whether you have the original or the new and beefed-up Xbox One X, with one minor difference noted when relevant.
Note that even if you opt to keep your games and apps installed, performing a factory reset will still remove all personal files and associations from the console, including saved games, achievements, settings, and accounts. All of that will be stored in the cloud if your console has synced up with Xbox Live, which happens automatically when connected to the internet, so be sure to go online, if able, before initiating the reset.
When you’re ready, proceed with our guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One. If for technical reasons you are unable to see the screen or access the Settings menu in order to perform the following steps, then skip ahead and we’ll tell you the workaround to boot it up with an external USB drive. Note that you will need access to a Windows PC to do this, however.
Performing a factory reset from the dashboard
Step 1: Sign in
Press the Xbox button (glowing in the center of the controller) to bring up the guide overlay.
Step 2: Navigate to the System menu (the gear on the far right), and select “Settings.”
Step 3: Select “System,” then “Console info.”
Step 4: Select “Reset console.”
At this point, you have the option to either Reset and remove everything or Reset and keep my games & apps (or cancel and back out if you aren’t ready).
Note that even if you keep your games and apps, all of your personal data will still be wiped from the system, so be sure to sync up with Xbox Live or export your settings manually beforehand if you don’t want to lose them. Once you’ve selected your preferred way to reset, the console will proceed with erasing content, which could take several minutes.