How to Factory Reset and Wipe an Xbox 360 before Selling

If you want to sell your Xbox 360, there are some things you should do before putting up the ad. First, you should factory reset your console to wipe it clean and return to factory settings. Optionally, you might want to clear the device cache or back up some or all of the data you have stored on the console’s hard drive. Here’s how to prepare your Xbox 360 for resale.


How to Factory Reset and Wipe an Xbox 360 before Selling


Back Up Your Xbox 360 Data


If there’s any data you’d like to keep before selling your Xbox 360 or refreshing it, perform a backup. To back up your data, follow these steps.



  1. Plug a USB flash or hard drive into your console’s USB port. It should appear in the list of your storage devices.

  2. On the Home screen, press the “Guide” button on your controller.

  3. Next, pick the “Settings” tab.

  4. In the “Settings” menu, choose the “System Settings” tab.

  5. Enter the “Storage” section.

  6. Highlight your console’s hard drive and press the “Y” button on your controller.

  7. Pick the “Transfer Content” option from the drop-down menu and select your USB drive.

  8. After that, select the files you want to back up and click “Start.” If you’re backing up a large amount of data, the transfer might take some time.


Factory Resetting Your Xbox 360


It is highly recommended that you perform a factory reset and wipe your Xbox 360 if you intend to sell it. The process is relatively simple, though it may take some time for the console to format the hard drive. If you want to keep some data, you should back it up—more on that later. For now, it’s time to jump into the factory reset option.



  1. While in Xbox 360’s Home screen, press the “Guide” button on the controller.

  2. The Main Menu opens. Select “Settings” from the navigational menu at the top.

  3. Next, you’ll see the main categories of the “Settings” menu on the screen. Select “System” in the upper-left corner of the grid.

  4. Next, enter the “System Settings” tab.

  5. Choose the “Storage” tab.

  6. You will see the list of all devices and drives connected to your system. Highlight the “Hard Drive” and press the “Y” button on the controller. This will bring up device options.

  7. Pick the “Format” option and press “A” on the controller.

  8. Select “Yes” to confirm your choice.

  9. In the “Format Hard Drive” screen, select “Enter Serial Number.”

  10. Enter your console’s serial in the prompt, then press the “Start” button on your controller.

  11. You’ll see a “Formatting in progress” message with a progress bar. After the process is complete, you’ll be returned to the Home screen.


After completing the above steps, your Xbox 360 hard drive is reset and ready to go, but there are two more things you need to do: clear the location and clear the cache in the console.


How to Delete the Location on Your Xbox 360


From here, you should delete your user location. Remember that you’re logged off of Xbox Live now, and your games got deleted from the format process.



  1. Go to “Settings.”

  2. Open the “System” section of the menu.

  3. Select the “Storage” tab.

  4. Select the “Location of your user.”

  5. Delete it.


How to Clear the Cache on Your Xbox 360


If you intend to sell your Xbox 360, it is also a good idea to clear the console’s cache. Another reason to remove it is if the games are performing poorly or the device is slowing down. Clearing the cache won’t delete your games and account, but it will delete game updates. Follow these steps to remove your Xbox 360’s cache.



  1. In the Home screen, press the “Guide” button on your controller—the one with the Xbox logo on it.

  2. Next, choose the “Settings” tab in the Main Menu.

  3. Open the “System” tab.

  4. In the “System” section, select the “Storage” tab.

  5. Next, highlight the device you want to clear and press the “Y” button on your controller.

  6. The “Device Options” screen will appear. Select the “Clear System Cache” option from the menu.

  7. Confirm your choice.


The Final Step for You or The New Owner


If you sell the console, the new owner performs the initial setup, but you can do it too if you keep the console and start fresh. Here’s how it’s done.



  1. Access the “Main Menu.”

  2. Go to the “Settings” section.

  3. Choose the “System” tab.

  4. Select the “Initial Setup” option.

  5. When prompted, confirm your choice.

  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Xbox 360 console.


Preparing your Xbox 360 for selling might seem like a daunting task, but it’s not, and it is essential. This strategy removes personal data like credit cards, images, game saves, and game downloads so that the next person can’t access your account or paid items. Of course, the same applies for you if you are just resetting everything and starting fresh!

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