Xbox 360 Controller Black

It’s a sufficiently old machine now that ‘how to factory reset Xbox 360’ is a fair question to ask. The predecessor to the Xbox One and the first-ever console for a large number of gamers, the Xbox 360 had a storied run. There were landmark games to grace its then-powerful hardware and a fair share of hiccups as well (remember the ring of death).

If you own an Xbox 360, you may be facing some performance troubles which you want to get rid of. Or you’ve decided to finally sell it or give it away. Either way, a factory reset is one of the most effective ways you can use to revert your console to a day one state.

You can also choose to erase the cache on your console to try to fix many of the performance issues, before performing the irreversible factory reset.


How to Clear Your Xbox 360 Cache

Although a factory reset will almost certainly remove any common problems you might be facing on your Xbox 360, it’s a permanent process. Resetting your console will lose all your game files, save data, themes, and avatars that you haven’t backed up. Hence, clearing the cache should be your first choice when attempting to remove performance issues.

When you clear the system cache on an Xbox 360, it basically removes temporary files and data on your hard drive. If corrupted cache data is causing issues, clearing the cache can solve most of those issues.


  1. Press the Guide button to open the Xbox Guide
  2. Select the Settings tab
  3. Select System Settings
  4. Select Storage, then select Hard Drive
  5. Press the Y button to open Device Options
  6. Select Clear System Cache, then select Yes to confirm


Wait for the process to finish and then restart the console to see if the performance issues are fixed now.


How to Factory Reset Xbox 360

It’s possible that clearing the cache doesn’t fix the issues you were facing. In that case, or if you’re planning to give your console away, you need to perform a factory reset, effectively cleaning the slate are starting fresh.

Before you start the factory reset, you should back up all your important data – game files, save data, themes, and other data – so you can restore it after the reset.

How to Back Up Your Xbox 360 Data

Backing up your important data is essential in case you want to restore it to your new console or you want a fail-safe in case something goes wrong during the factory reset process.

  1. Connect an external hard drive or a flash drive to your console
  2. Open the System Settings menu, then choose Storage
  3. Select Hard Drive
  4. Press the Y button to open Device Options
  5. Choose Transfer Content
  6. Select the destination USB drive
  7. Select Start


How to Find Your Xbox 360 Serial Number Before Factory Reset

The Factory Reset process requires you to input your device serial number as one of the final steps in the process. Hence, you need to locate your serial number before initiating the reset process.

You can usually locate the serial number on the back of the console. But if it has been scratched off or otherwise not there, you can follow the steps below to find it in the System Settings:

  1. Press the Guide button to open the Xbox Guide
  2. Select the Settings tab
  3. Select System Settings
  4. Select Console Settings
  5. Scroll down and select System Info
  6. You will find the Console Serial Number at the top of the box that appears

Xbox 360 System Info & Serial Number

  1. Note down the serial number and proceed to the Factory Reset process.



How to Perform Factory Reset on Xbox 360

Resetting your Xbox 360 will permanently erase your hard drive, removing all your data. Make sure you’ve successfully backed up your data before proceeding to the following steps:

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Select Storage, then select Hard Drive
  3. Press the Y button to open Device Options
  4. Select Format
  5. Select Yes to confirm
  6. Enter your Console Serial Number that you had noted down
  7. Select Done and wait for the process to finish


Your console should return to a brand-new state and you’ll be prompted to set it up again. You can now safely sell it or give it away. Or you can log in with your account if you were trying to fix a persistent issue with the system.

Wednesday 29th December By

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