How To Hard Factory Reset a Vizio Smart TV

Posted by Jamie on November 2, 2017

It’s time for a reader’s question again, this time about smart TVs. The question was emailed to us here at TechJunkie the other day and reads, ‘How do I hard reset my Vizio smart TV? It keeps turning itself off randomly and smart functions don’t always work’. As always, we are more than happy to help.

Most electronic devices will have two reset modes, a soft reset and hard reset. A soft reset usually entails switching it off, leaving it a few seconds and turning it back on again. This clears the memory, removes any residual voltage and resets the electronics. A hard reset is more serious and will usually reset the firmware or configuration of the device as well as clearing the memory and resetting the device.

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 upside is that you can return the device back to factory settings. The downside is that you then have to reconfigure it and set it up all over again.

Hard reset a Vizio smart TV

The reader’s question referred to an issue with the TV turning itself off randomly and the smart part of the TV not working properly. While they don’t say whether they tried a simple reset, we would hope they did if they took the trouble to write to us for help.

A hard reset of a Vizio smart TV will wipe all configuration. It will remove all account details for any smart apps, reset network data and usually trigger a firmware update if there is one.

If the TV is having issues, a hard reset returns it to stock. 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 access smart apps or random crashing of apps.
  • Not being able to access the internet even with a good signal.
  • Generally strange behavior.

So how do you hard reset a Vizio smart TV? You will need to use the TV remote.

  1. Press the menu button on the 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, default is 0000.
  6. Select Reset and then OK.

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

This method should work on most recent Vizio smart TVs. I have seen it used first hand and it fixed an issue with the Netflix app crashing at random times on a friend’s TV.

There are apparently a couple of other ways to hard reset a Vizio smart TV. The first involves removing the plug from the socket for at least two hours and holding down the power button on the remote for a full minute while unplugged. This presumably drains all voltage from the TV forcing a reset.

The other way is a little more convoluted but may be worth a try if these two methods don’t work.

  1. Turn off your TV but leave it plugged in.
  2. Hold down the CH+ and 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.

I have not tried this method or seen it tried but I found it on an otherwise reliable website. It may be worth trying if your TV is playing up and before you call in the repair service.

Do you know of any other ways to hard reset a Vizio smart TV? Tell us about them below if you do!

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

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.


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