How To Hard Factory Reset a Vizio Smart TV

Posted by Robert Hayes on August 9, 2019

Cheap televisions have gotten really good, with most consumers able to get an incredible, large 4K panel for under $1000. No one makes better cheap televisions than Vizio, one of our favorite brands for TVs. In addition to featuring great panels, their televisions also include some of the best software you can get. Smart TVs have been all the rage for nearly a decade, and in that time we’ve seen the software go from sluggish and confusing to sleek and speedy. Some models of televisions include software from Roku or Amazon, but most newer models of Vizio televisions include SmartCast, the company’s own software for streaming from the device or from your phone using Airplay and Google Cast.

Of course, no television has perfect software, and as much as we like Vizio’s hardware and software, they aren’t perfect. Their televisions can occasionally run into issues, including:

    • The TV not turning on, or flashing different color screens.
    • Lines appearing at random through the center of the image.
    • The display on the TV not working.
    • The TV keeps turning itself off and on at random.
    • The smart functions stop working.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for most of these problems: a factory reset. Vizio’s televisions, like most electronic devices, have two reset options: a soft reset and a hard reset.

A soft reset is easy: just switch the device off, leave it off for a few seconds, and turn it back on again. This clears the memory, allows any residual charge to dissipate, and restarts the device, all of which combines to fix a large percentage of device problems. (There’s a reason the first advice any technical support person gives is to turn it off and turn it back on again.) After a soft reset, the permanent settings on the device will remain intact. Unfortunately, so will any issues that are more persistent than just a temporary fault.

A hard reset is more serious. Not only does it do everything a soft reset does, it will reset the firmware or configuration of the device to their factory defaults, clear the memory, and reset the device entirely. A hard reset is basically the same as going back in time to when you first took the Vizio Smart TV out of the box.

If a device is misbehaving or showing errors, a soft reset will usually fix it. If it doesn’t, sometimes a hard reset will. The downside is that you then have to reconfigure and set the TV up all over again.

When to Use a Hard Reset

A hard reset of a Vizio Smart TV will wipe all configurations and settings. It will remove all account details for any smart apps, reset network data, and trigger a firmware update if one is available. You should always do a soft reset first to see if that resolves the issues you are having with your TV. If the TV is still having issues after the soft reset, a hard reset will return it to factory settings. It forces the TV to wipe the configuration and replace all files with default files from the cache. It will be like you first unboxed it when you got it home from the store.

A hard reset of a Vizio Smart TV is known to fix:

  • Issues with not accessing an available wireless network.
  • Intermittent issues with smart TV options.
  • Audio issues or problems with video playback.
  • Problems accessing smart apps or random crashing of apps.
  • Not being able to access the internet, even with a good signal.
  • Generally strange behavior.

How to Hard Reset a Vizio Smart TV

To perform a hard reset on a Vizio Smart TV, you will need to use the TV remote. Before you begin, unplug your router. Then:

  1. Press the menu button on your Vizio remote.
  2. Navigate to “System” on the menu and select “OK.”
  3. Select “Reset & Admin” and select “OK.”
  4. Select “Reset TV to Factory Defaults” and select “OK.”
  5. Enter your parental lock code when prompted. The default parental lock code is 0000.
  6. Select “Reset” and then “OK.”
  7. Wait until the TV turns off.

The TV will wipe its config and restore all files from its cache. This may take a minute or two, and you will see the TV switching itself off and then on again. Once the hard reset is complete, you should see the TV setup screen.

  1. Plug your router back in.
  2. Perform the setup process on your TV and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

This method should work on most recent Vizio Smart TVs.


How to Hard Reset a Vizio Smart TV the Hard Way

If your TV won’t reset with the standard method, you may have to do things the hard way.

  1. Turn off your TV but leave it plugged in.
  2. Hold down both the “CH+” and the “CH-” buttons on the TV remote.
  3. Press and release the “Power” button on the TV remote.
  4. Let go of the “CH+” and “CH-” buttons.
  5. Press the “Menu” button on the TV remote.
  6. The TV should turn on and present you with the menu. You should see an “F” in the bottom right to indicate this is a factory setup screen.
  7. Press and hold the “Menu” button for a few seconds.
  8. You should see the Service Menu. From there, you can access factory reset options.

How to Hard Reset a Vizio Smart TV Without a Remote

Because Vizio Smart TVs do not have any buttons other than the power switch, you are fully dependent on the remote for a hard reset. However, remotes are easily lost, and they often malfunction. However, you may be able to use an RCA universal remote to reset your TV. For more information on how to do so, click here.

If you know of any other ways to hard reset a Vizio Smart TV, or are having problems with your Vizio TV, let us know in the comments below!

TechJunkie has lots of other articles on troubleshooting issues with your Vizio TV. We’ll show you what to do if there’s no sound coming from your TV, how to update the apps on your Vizio TV, how to update your TV’s firmware, what to do when your TV won’t turn on, and how to use an Amazon Fire TV stick with your Vizio TV.

14 thoughts on “How To Hard Factory Reset a Vizio Smart TV”

Paul says:
Bought E-48. Has a dummy remote no numbers or menu. I don’t have Wi-Fi so smart cast is a no go. Come on Vizio what were you thinking? Trying to save the company some profits and in the meanwhile losing customers.
Terry says:
Paul I can tell you how to reset without the remote. I agree….what were they thinking??
Terry says:
My E50 has three buttons on the back of the tv in the lower left corner above the power indicator.

To reset it to factory:
Press and Hold down the middle and bottom buttons until you get a message to hold input for 5 seconds to factory reset (approx 60 seconds).

When you get the message to press the “Input” button press and hold the bottom button until you see “Resetting to Factory Defaults” or something like that.

No idea why this has been such a secret or why Vizio did not include a menu button on the remote or the back of the tv…

Dan Kingsmore says:
My vizio on light comes on when I push is and then dems down and goes of. the screen never lights up. what should I try?
Steve says:
When all else failed, unplugging for several hours worked. But not this time! Will try unplugging for 24 hours. (Problem both times was hanging in setup from iPhone app, which I’ve now deleted)
Breven says:
My Vizio 4K 50” won’t even show a light when trying to turn on. I opened it up and checked every cable and wire and plug and done every reset method possible; the tv has only been in my hands for about 5 months and is in amazing condition and just all of a sudden stopped turning on. Vizio support page isn’t working and I don’t know what to do without a receipt. Please help ):
Tony says:
They are junk. I have bought and thrown out 3 of them so far. I will not buy, nor ecommend them any longer
Bosserman says:
Why are we leaving responses if no one replies?
I am also having the same problem as many others.. menu won’t come up long enough to do a hard reset. It’s on screen for a fraction of a second. What to do??
Tony says:
Do like I did. Throw it away and never buy another Vizio
Lance says:
I have a 2012 Vizio. The menu screen won’t stay up and also my channel display won’t go away. It will be on everything that I watch. Netflix, DVD, Playstationview. Not only this problem is always; it always flickers and even sometimes you’ll see the input screen flicker as well.
Mark says:
My Vizio won’t allow me to get past menu bar. “Enter” doesn’t work to reset, find channels or do get into the system menu. Any suggestions as the hard reboot didn’t work either.
JohnFL says:
How to reset with no remote? Press and hold the power button until it restarts, from there you are ready to set it up just like when new.

Hope it helps!

Katharine Bozeman says:
Hi, my Vizio TV doesn’t have any sound, when I press the power button, the light comes on and then goes dim? Do I need a new TV
Donna Rylant says:
No network detected. It was working yesterday. No it’s not. I have internet on my computer and smart phone. We have spoken with our internet provider and satellite providers. We believe it is the TV. Please help
Liz says:
Is there a way to hard reset without a remote? Somehow my vizio tv got left in mute screen and now my screen is just black. We lost the remote in moving. Purchased a replacement remote but it doesnt have the mute screen button on it. All the functions on the tv work fine but I only see a black screen so going into a menu option is impossible. Please help!
Shawn Sweat says:
Can’t do anything because my menu won’t stay up long enough to reset it. I’ve tried the unplug reset to no avail. Don’t know what to do.
Tammy says:
We have had our vizio for awhile now it wasn’t in-laws first. Not long ago a thin black line appeared through the center then a few days later no picture of any kind only sound. Wondering what & why this has happened. & how we could fix it thank you
John H says:
From Vizio..
TV would not boot.. colour screens.. flashing.
Hold down power button on back 30 seconds
Plug in
Power up.

Worked. This failure to boot has recurred twice. Annoying, but the fix worked.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.