How To Reset Xbox One WITHOUT Turning It On

how to reset xbox one without turning it on

Do you have an Xbox One that you need to reset, but you run into an issue as soon as it starts up?

Perhaps the error is causing your TV to show a blank screen or the console freezes as soon as it starts up.

Either way, there is a quick and simple way to reset it using just a USB drive and the buttons on the console itself. This process does require you to turn it on, but it launches the console into a reset mode that bypasses most issues like a frozen screen.

Let’s get to it!

How To Reset Xbox One Without Turning It On

The Xbox One can be reset using a system restore file loaded onto a USB flash drive formatted as NTFS. First, load the restore file on the flash drive and insert it into the console. Press the Pair and Eject buttons at the same time and hold them until you hear two tones.

That’s the process I’ll be covering in a nutshell. It should only take about 5 minutes, and requires you to have only two things:

  • A Windows-based computer with access to the internet
  • A USB flash drive formatted as NTFS and with at least 4GB of storage available.

Assuming you have those on hand, you’re ready to reset your console.

Step 1: Load The Reset File Onto A USB Drive

You will need to insert your USB drive into a Windows computer and then go to from a browser. This link will download a .ZIP file that you will use to reset your Xbox One.

Once you’ve downloaded the file, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your USB drive is formatted as NTFS and has no other files on it.
  2. Right-click on the file and click Extract All to unzip the file.
  3. Locate the file called “$SystemUpdate” and copy it to your USB drive.
  4. Eject the USB drive from your computer.

Step 2: Boot Up Your Console In Reset Mode

Microsoft has cleverly hidden a mode that will check for a USB device with the file you just downloaded as soon as it boots up.

Checking for a USB drive takes a few seconds, though, so rather than slow down the console every time it starts up, you need to hold down a specific combination of buttons to activate it.

Here’s how to reset your Xbox One from startup:

  1. Turn the console off and remove the internet cable (if using one) and the power cable.
  2. Wait for about 30 seconds, then plug the power cable back in.
  3. Insert the flash drive into the USB port on the back of your console.
  4. Press and hold the Pair button on the side of the console and the Eject button on the front of the console.
  5. While holding those two buttons down, turn the console on by pressing the Xbox button on the front. (It can be a little awkward to reach.)
  6. Keep holding the Pair and Eject buttons down until you hear two tones a few seconds apart. This will take 15 seconds at most.
  7. Release all buttons after you hear the second tone and wait while your console restarts itself, which can take a few minutes.
  8. After the console powers up again, you can remove the USB drive.
  9. If you removed a wired internet cable, plug it back in now as you will need the internet to finish setting your console up.

That’s all there is to it! At this point you should see a set up guide that will walk you through the rest of the process. Just follow the on-screen prompts to finish resetting your console.

Final Words

Hopefully this guide helped you reset your console, even if you were having an issue where it would freeze at startup or display a blank screen.

But if you’re still running into issues, it might be time to reach out to the Xbox support team to see if they can help troubleshoot your issue. They offer 24/7 live chat as well as phone support from 6:00AM to 5:00PM Pacific Time, seven days a week.

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