How To Hard Factory Reset a Vizio Smart TV
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:
- Press the menu button on your Vizio remote.
- Navigate to “System” on the menu and select “OK.”
- Select “Reset & Admin” and select “OK.”
- Select “Reset TV to Factory Defaults” and select “OK.”
- Enter your parental lock code when prompted. The default parental lock code is 0000.
- Select “Reset” and then “OK.”
- 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.
- Plug your router back in.
- 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.
- Turn off your TV but leave it plugged in.
- Hold down both the “CH+” and the “CH-” buttons on the TV remote.
- Press and release the “Power” button on the TV remote.
- Let go of the “CH+” and “CH-” buttons.
- Press the “Menu” button on the TV remote.
- 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.
- Press and hold the “Menu” button for a few seconds.
- 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.