How to reset Xbox 360 and why it might be necessary

Much like a regular computer, the Xbox 360 can be prone to errors such as freezing, lagging and the occasional overheating. Should you be experiencing problems with the console, or you simply want to free up some hard drive space, you will need to know how to reset Xbox 360. Below is a quick guide on how to get yourself back to gaming as soon as possible with a clean Xbox 360, as well as some pre-reset checks.

Quick Check Before Reset – Clearing the Cache

If you are thinking of resetting your Xbox 360 because of problems you’re experiencing while playing, you might only need to clear the temporary files in the cache that could be corrupted or damaged. • From the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings”, then “System”, and next “Storage”. • Highlight the hard drive and press the “Y” button on the controller for device options. • Select “Clear System Cache”, then “Yes” on the next menu. • Finally, reboot the console and check if the problems persist.

Preparation for Reset – Disabling Parental Controls

If your Xbox 360 console has active parental controls they should be turned off before performing the reset. If your console doesn’t have parental controls then please skip this section. • From the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings” then select “Family”. • In “Content Controls” select “Off” and you will be prompted to input the passcode. • If you have forgotten the passcode, then after 3 incorrect guesses it will allow you to reset the passcode by asking you for your passcode question.

Preparation for Reset – Drive Backup

In the event that you do not wish to transfer any data, feel free to skip this step. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you back up all your important files to a USB storage device. • Plug in the USB storage device to the console. • From the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings” then select “System” then “Storage”. • Highlight the drive you wish to backup and press “Y” on the controller for device options then select “Transfer Content”. Now select the USB storage.

Preparation for Reset – File Backup

If you prefer to only back up certain files (such as save files), then: • Plug in the storage device you wish to use for the backup. • From the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings” then select “System” then “Storage”. • Select the drive where the files are located. • To backup game save files select “Games and Apps” and then select the game. • Select the save file you want and choose “Copy” and then select the storage device you want to back up to.

Obtaining the Console Serial Number

In some cases, you might be required to input the console’s serial number, so it’s best to write this down before proceeding with the reset. • From the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings” then select “System” and “Console Settings”. • Scroll down the list and select “System Info” and you will see “Console Serial Number”. This can also be found on the back of your Xbox 360 console under the barcode. Write down the console serial number in preparation for the next step.

Resetting Xbox 360

Now you should be ready to reset the console. Remember this is permanent and you will lose all the data that you haven’t backed up. • Once again from the Xbox 360 dashboard go to “Settings” then “System” and finally “Storage”. • Highlight the drive you wish to format and press the “Y” button on the Xbox 360 controller to display “Device Options”, then select “Format”. • If prompted, enter the console serial number (see the previous step for instructions on how to obtain it).

Congratulations, you should now be using a clean Xbox 360 with lots of storage for all your needs. If you start experiencing problems again, or maybe you just bought a refurbished console, this process is safe to do again whenever you need it, so don’t hesitate to bookmark this page to easily find your way back! Should you get stuck at any stage and require further help, remember that you can always reach out to Xbox support at