How to Factory Reset an Element or Westinghouse Fire TV Edition Smart TV without a remote or access to the OS

It has been just over 6 years since Element and Westinghouse released the first ever smart TVs running Amazon’s Fire TV operating system built in. While they’re certainly not up to par with modern Fire TV Smart TVs in many ways, they are still perfectly functional TVs and I still use mine every day. When needed, it’s usually straightforward to factory reset any Fire TV Smart TV through the “Device & Software” menu on the Settings screen, but if your TV has encountered an issue that is so bad that you can no longer use the remote or access the operating system, there is a way to factory reset these early Fire TV Smart TVs using nothing but the physical buttons on the TV itself.

The Element and Westinghouse Fire TV Smart TVs are unique from all other Fire TV Smart TV models that came after them in that they can be reset without a remote and without access to the main Fire TV interface. Unfortunately, I’m unaware of a method to do the same thing with other Fire TV Smart TV models, like those from Toshiba, Insignia, Amazon, TCL, and others. This method only works for Element and Westinghouse Fire TVs.

Steps to factory reset a Westinghouse or Element Fire TV Edition Smart TV:

  1. Unplug the power cord of the TV. (Turning it off is not enough. It must be unplugged.)
  2. There is a row of physical buttons under the TV, to the right of the brand logo in the center. The second button from the right is the SOURCE button. Press and hold down the SOURCE button on the TV while you plug the TV power cord in.
  3. Keep holding the SOURCE button until a black screen with a menu in the upper left appears, then let go of the button.
  4. Use the VOLUME UP/DOWN buttons to navigate to the “wipe/factory reset” option in the menu and press the POWER button to select it. (The buttons you’re pressing to do this are the ones on the TV, not on your remote.)
  5. Wait patiently for the TV to fully reset. Be sure to not unplug or turn off the TV during this process, even if it takes a long time. Just let it do its thing and you should see the Fire TV setup screen come up once it is all done.

4 comments
  1. Chris says:

    Nice wish there was a way to reset firesticks. From time to time I come across so many stuck on the fire tv logo and won’t come on.

  2. Element Al says:

    Mine now boots with Seiki not Element. Not sure how that happened, but the tv was updating regularly. When I did the factory reset, first the sync remote issue which I dealt with by using the app, then when it looks for updates fails and will do nothing else. Amazon and Element are useless… tried updated via usb, fails. not sure how Seiki firmware was installed and can’t find the element firmware. any ideas?

    • Wang0100 says:

      Same problem and unsuccessful attempts to solve. I called both element and Amazon. Amazon tried to help me troubleshoot unsuccessfully. I guess the TV is trash and nonfunctional as it can’t update.

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