Before you sell your Xbox One or pass it on to someone else, you should perform a factory reset. This wipes all your personal data. Whoever gets the Xbox One will have to go through the first-time setup process once again, signing in with their own Microsoft account.
If you didn’t factory reset your Xbox One and you no longer have access to it, there’s no way to remotely wipe your Xbox One’s data. You can remotely lock your Xbox profile, however, ensuring no one can use it and access its associated personal data without your password. We’ll detail how to lock your profile at the end of this article.
How to Wipe Your Xbox One
To reset your console, power it on and press the Xbox button on the center of your controller. This will take you to the dashboard.
If your Xbox One isn’t responding for some reason, press the Xbox button on the front of your console and hold it down for ten seconds. This will forcibly shut it off. You can then press the Xbox button on either the console or your controller to boot it back up again. This is known as “power cycle,” and should only be performed when your Xbox One is frozen and not responding.
Press the left directional stick to the left or press the left button on the directional pad to open the menu at the left of the screen. Scroll down to the gear icon and select “All settings” by pressing the A button.
Navigate to System > Console Info & Updates on the Settings screen.
Select “Reset Console” to continue.
You’ll be asked how you want to reset your console. There are two options: “Reset and remove everything” and “Reset and keep my games & apps.”
The first option will entirely wipe your device and put it back to a factory-default state. This is ideal if you’re selling your console.
The second option will reset the system to its default state and remove all your personal information. However, it will keep your installed games, apps, and updates. You won’t have to download games and game updates again afterwards, which could save you tens or even hundreds of gigabytes in download bandwidth. This is ideal if you’re resetting your Xbox One to fix a problem, or just want to remove your personal data without the lengthy re-download.
Your Xbox One will immediately begin resetting after you choose one of these options. Select “Cancel” if you don’t want to reset it.
Help, I Forgot to Factory Reset!
If you no longer have physical access to your Xbox One but you didn’t factory reset it, you may want to remotely wipe it like you’d remotely wipe a phone or PC. Unfortunately, you can’t perform a full remote factory reset. However, you can disable access to your Xbox profile and your personal data.
You’ll need to change the password on your Microsoft account to do this. The next time someone attempts to use your profile on an Xbox One console, they’ll need to sign in with your new password. If they don’t sign in, they won’t be able to access your profile and its personal data, such as any files you have stored in OneDrive.
To do this, head to the Microsoft Account website. Sign in with the same account you signed into the Xbox One with. Head to Security & privacy > Change password. Provide a new password here.
People will no longer be able to access the profile you saved on the Xbox One without entering your new password, so they won’t have access to it. You’ll have to re-enter your new password on other devices and apps you’ve signed into with your Microsoft account, too. For example, if you sign into Windows 10 with this password and have a PIN configured, you’ll need to provide your new password before you can sign in with the PIN. You’ll be asked to enter your new password on your other devices when necessary.
The options available for resetting an Xbox One are similar to the options for resetting a Windows 10 PC, which isn’t a surprise–the Xbox One’s software is based on Windows 10 under the hood.