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Selling or Giving Away Your Old Xbox? Make Sure You Factory Reset It

Learn how to protect your personal information before reselling or gifting your Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or Xbox One.

Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an associate writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading.
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
2 min read
An Xbox with a controller
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Whether you're giving away your old Xbox One as a college graduation gift, or you're selling your Series S to upgrade to a Series X, it's a good idea to factory reset your console and wipe your data. You might not have the same sort of information on your Xbox that you have on a phone or computer, but factory resetting is still an easy way to protect yourself before you give up your old video game console. (If you're looking to sell a device for some extra money, there are many options, but Decluttr is a good place to start.)

You have options for resetting your Xbox

While completely wiping your device is the best practice when you are selling or giving away your Xbox, Microsoft gives you two ways to remove data from your Xbox. You can either completely wipe your Xbox or partially wipe your Xbox. 

To access both of these options, press the Xbox Button to open the guide and select Profile & System,
and then under Profile & System select Settings. Under Settings, select System and then select Console Info

Under Console Info, select, Reset Console. After selecting Reset Console you'll be presented with two options: Reset and remove everything and Reset and keep my games and apps

xbox reset screen

Selecting Reset and remove everything will reset your console to factory settings, while Reset and keep my games and apps will reset your operating system and keep your games and apps intact. Reset and keep my games and apps is a good option if you are troubleshooting a problem with your Xbox. 

If you're giving away or selling your Xbox, select Reset and remove everything so your Xbox will be reset to factory settings and your personal information will be completely deleted from the console. This process is the same for all Xbox consoles, regardless of which version you're looking to get rid of.

Microsoft also lays out how to reset your Xbox via a USB flash drive, but this process is only necessary if your Xbox isn't displaying on your screen or if you can't access the settings menu.