Reset Xbox 360 to Factory Settings: Step by Step Guide

You just found the ultimate guide to reset Xbox 360 to factory settings.

Willing to see that old console, which has been collecting dust in your living room? You might want to reset it back to factory settings so that your personal information doesn’t go along with it.

Clearing Cache on Xbox 360

While resetting is a simple process, the changes following a successful reset of your Xbox 360 can’t be reverted so this is a step you should take only when everything else fails or only when you no longer care about what’s in the console. Upon successfully resetting your console, all of your games, personal information, accounts, settings and any trace that you had used the console will be wiped off. The console will be as good as a new one. Since the process is irreversible, it’s always a wise idea to back up your data (just don’t miss your save games). If you have turned on Cloud Saves, you really don’t have anything left to worry about as long as you have a solid internet connection because everything else could be redownloaded. If you have been facing errors on your Xbox 360 but don’t want to go through the tedious process of redownloading the games and apps, clearing the cache might help. Follow these steps to clear cache on your console:

Step 1: Press the ‘Home’ button on your controller.

Step 2: Head to the ‘Settings’ tab, which is the right most tab on the menu bar.

Step 3: Highlight the first tile that says ‘System Settings’ and press ‘A’.

Step 4: Navigate to the ‘Storage’ option within the ‘System Settings’ menu.

Step 5: Highlight your Xbox 360’s internal storage and press the ‘Y’ button on your controller to bring up the options for your hard drive.

Step 6: Head to ‘Clear System Cache’ and press ‘A’ then authenticate the process by choosing ‘Yes’ and let your console do the work.

Step 7: Restart your console and see if your issues have been addressed. If they still persist, resetting your Xbox 360 to its factory settings will be the only option.

Reset Xbox 360 to Factory Settings
Image Credit: Comrade Aaditya

Reset Xbox 360 to Factory Settings: Locating the Serial Number

You will need to enter your console’s serial number for authenticating the complete removal of data from your Xbox 360’s hard drive. The serial number is printed on the back of your console but if the tag is no longer there, you can salvage the number from your ‘Settings’.

Follow the first 3 steps listed above. Head to ‘Console Settings’ from the ‘System Settings’ menu. Move all the way down to ‘System Info’ and press ‘A’. The system will now display awful lot of information regarding your Xbox 360 (don’t be overwhelmed) but just copy your serial number and get out of there.

A separate guide on backing up your Xbox 360 data will be published on this website soon.

Resetting your Xbox 360 to factory settings won’t delete your Microsoft account and your Xbox Live Subscription will be safe. If you use the same Microsoft account on this console, your saved games will be restored from the cloud (but you need to have enabled ‘Cloud Saves’, in the first place).

Check this out! Xbox Series X: Even Old Games Will Run at 120 FPS

Reset Xbox 360 to Factory Settings
Image Credit: Microsoft

Steps: Reset Xbox 360 to Factory Settings

Follow the first 3 steps from the previous list. Within the ‘System Settings’ menu, navigate to ‘Storage’ and press ‘A’ to see a list of storage devices connected to your console.

Step 1: Highlight your hard drive and press ‘Y’ to view the additional settings for your hard drive.

Step 2: Choose the ‘Format’ option and approve your selection in the next screen. You will now be prompted to enter your console’s serial number. After entering the number, choose ‘Done’ and let your console do the work. Let the progress bar to fill up.

The time required for the bar to fill depends on the size of your storage unit.

Do not unplug your console during this process. The console will restart after the process is complete and it will ask you to sign in and do some basic setup. It will be as though you just bought a new console and are setting it up for the first time. Shut it down if you don’t plan to use it anymore or jump back to your games by logging in to your Microsoft account. Connect your backup drive and restore your games or just redownload them from Xbox Live.


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