When your Xbox 360 is underperforming, or you face any other difficulty in playing the game, you could try the factory reset option in the console for better performance. Factory Reset refers to deleting all the data in the device and transforming it to the default settings.

Reset Xbox 360 – When?

You may need to Reset Xbox 360 when:

  • If you feel your Xbox 360 is sluggish and not performing as it used to be.
  • When you want to sell or exchange your Xbox 360.
  • You want to gift it to someone

Reset Xbox 360 – Why?

  • clear cache and temporary files
  • free up hard disk space
  • improve the console performance by 20-30%
reset xbox 360 cover

Prerequisites

  • Xbox 360 console
  • An Xbox 360 controller in working condition
  • The Serial Number of your Xbox 360 console.

Find your Xbox 360 Serial Number

You can know the serial number of your console in two ways.

Method 1 – Look at the Back of Console

Disconnect your Xbox 360 console, and look at the back for a white label with a bar code.

Look for the label Serial Number and the 12-digit number next to it.

find console serial number from the back of xbox 360

Method 2 – From the Xbox 360 Settings Screen

[1] Power on the Xbox 360 and connect the Xbox 360 to the WiFi network.

[2] Press the Guide button on your Xbox 360 controller and go to the Settings menu.

press guide button
Press the Guide button (green) on your Xbox 360 controller

[3] Scroll down and choose the System Settings on the Settings menu.

highlight system settings

[4] Select the System Info in the Console Settings menu.

system info

[5] Note down the value of the first item on the System Info screen next to the label Console Serial Number.

system info screen find serial number

“This would be required when formatting the hard disk or while performing Factory Reset.

How to Clear Xbox 360 Cache

You can clear the cache on the Xbox 360 to solve issues like File System errors, version-related crashes or warnings, app update conflicts, and save game write errors.

[1] Press the Guide button on the controller to get the menu.

press guide button
Press the Guide button (green) on your Xbox 360 controller

[2] Navigate to the Settings tab using your Xbox 360 controller and select the System Settings on the menu.

open system settings xbox 360

[3] Select Storage on the System Settings.

select storage system settings

[4] Choose the Hard Drive on the Storage Devices to open.

highlight the item hard drive from vertical menu

[5] Choose the Clear System Cache on the Device Options.

highlight clear system cache

[6] Select Yes in the prompt to proceed with the Clear System Cache operation.

choose yes using A button on controller

[7] Once the system cache is cleared, reboot your Xbox 360 console.

Reboot Xbox 360
Press Power or I/0 button to reboot Xbox 360 console

How to Factory Reset Xbox 360

You have to take a backup of data beforehand to prevent important data loss while resetting. The Backup can be done in two ways. They are backup the entire Hard Disk and select the desired games/ data for backup.

Backup Entire HDD

[1] Connect an external USB hard drive or thumb drive to your Xbox 360.

Connect a USB storage device
Connect a USB storage device, Pen Drive, External HDD, External SSD, or Flash Drive

[2] Go to the Settings and select System Settings on the menu.

Select system settings to Factory reset xbox 360
Open System Settings

[3] Choose the Storage option in the System Settings.

select storage from system settings to factory reset xbox 360
Select the item labeled Storage

[4] Use Xbox 360 controller to select Hard Drive in the Storage devices.

storage devices menu list
Choose the ‘Hard Drive’ from the vertical menu item list

[5] Click Transfer Content in Device Options to share files.

choose transfer content on device options for factory Reset Xbox 360

“On the next screen, a prompt named Select a Device would let you select devices to back up the Hard Drive content.”

[6] Select the USB Storage Device or any other device, in case you connect an SSD or a USB HDD.

choose usb storage device

[7] Select Yes in the prompt to start the backup process.

Manually Select Backup Items

[1] Plug an external USB HDD or a thumb drive into the Xbox 360 console.

plug a usb storage device
Plug a USB Pen drive or any external storage like Flash, HDD, or SSD

[2] Go to the Settings and click the System Settings in the Settings.

navigate to system settings in settings tab

[3] Choose the Storage option on the System Settings.

select storage from system settings

[4] Select Hard Drive in the Storage Devices.

select hard drive

[5] Choose the Games and Apps on the Hard Drive.

select games and apps from this menu

[6] A menu would appear on the next screen. Use the controller to select the desired game to backup.

select a game or app to backup on xbox 360
Highlight any game or app using your Xbox 360 controller to backup

[7] Select the Move option on the vertical menu and tap button A on the face buttons side.

choose move to backup selected game to external storage
Choose Move item from this menu

[8] Identify and choose the USB Storage Device.

“It may be labeled different to what is shown below if you are using a USB SSD or HDD.”

[9] Once you have identified your USB Storage Device, tap the Y button on the controller to start the backup process.

choose where backup should be done
Choose storage where the backup should be stored

You need to wait for the backup process to finish and repeat it for other games and apps if required again.

Related: How to Restart Xbox 360

How to Factory Reset Xbox 360

You can reset your Xbox 360 to factory settings with the format option in the System settings.

[1] Switch on Xbox 360 console and wait for the home screen to load.

Turn on Xbox 360
Press Power or I/0 button to turn on Xbox 360 console

[2] Go to the Settings and select the System Settings screen.

select Settings to factory reset Xbox 360

[3] Choose Storage on the System Settings menu.

Highlight Storage on System Settings

[4] Select Hard Drive in the Storage Devices.

Highlight Hard Drive

[5] Choose the Format to factory Reset the Xbox 360.

Choose Format item on the vertical menu

[6] Choose the Yes option in the prompt.

Choose Yes to reset xbox 360

[7] Select the Enter Serial Number option in the next prompt.

Select Enter Serial Number to reset xbox 360

[8] Enter your Console Serial Number in the Input field on the next screen and click Done.

Type in using on-screen keyboard to Factory Reset Xbox 360

It takes a couple of minutes for the system to complete the formatting of the Hard Drive. After reset, you have to set up the Xbox 360 console from scratch as a new device. This reset will also reset your Xbox 360 controller.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you reset your Xbox 360?

When you factory reset your Xbox 360 console, your entire data is on HDD, including account settings, Xbox Live account, and any other settings on Xbox 360 console would be restored to the factory defaults.

Can a reset once in a while save my Xbox 360 from the ring of death?

No. Reset is a good choice to keep your Xbox 360 performing well.
But a lot of other physical factors may cause your Xbox 360 to become bricked.

Is factory reset harmful?

Factory Reset doesn’t harm your Xbox 360 console, even if you end up doing it multiple times.

Is there a chance of bricking my Xbox 360 console if there is a power failure during Reset?

Yes, unless the hard disk is USB or SSD. The Conventional hard disk inside the Xbox 360 would be busy during the reset operation, deleting all the contents while spinning really fast.
A power failure would mean high chances of a hard disk failure by motor seizure, input or output head failure, or a short circuit in the HDD controller board.

How to reset Xbox 360 Passcode?

Go to the Settings >> Family and enter the Passcode. If it is an incorrect passcode, choose the Reset Passcode option. You have to answer the preset question to master reset the Xbox 360 passcode.