How to Reset a DSLR Camera

Updated: Sep 7, 2023 2:52 PM
how to reset dslr camera

If you are new to digital photography, you may wonder how to reset a DSLR camera. Many of the best digital cameras, after all, are DSLR models, and these cameras often require software resets to keep everything functioning smoothly. So why learn how to reset the best DSLR cameras, and what are some tips to get it done? To reset a DSLR camera to its original factory settings, the process will vary by camera model. Typically, you can access the reset options through the camera’s menu system. Look for settings like “Initialize,” “Reset Default,” or “Factory Reset” in the menu. Some cameras may also offer a 2-button reset feature that restores factory default settings. Remember to consult your camera’s user manual for specific instructions on performing a factory reset.


  • Resetting your DSLR to its original factory shooting settings is a great way to alleviate a number of minor maintenance issues, software glitches, and error codes.
  • Check the instructions for information on how to access the original factory settings, and Google if you don’t have a paper manual.
  • Other settings reset options include menu diving, experimenting, and performing certain reset button combinations.

Why Reset a DSLR Camera?

If you have ever wondered how to repair a DSLR camera, resetting the settings is one of the first action steps. When comparing a cell phone camera vs a digital camera, you notice they both run on software suites. This software runs into issues sometimes and is helped by engaging in a full factory reset, though this does not help with learning how to fix a scratched camera lens.

Insider Tip

Resetting your camera is good if you notice the software acting sluggish as you take photos.

However, performing a factory reset doesn’t help with chromatic aberration correction, so you can learn what ISO is in DSLR by looking at the settings tab.

How to Reset DSLR Camera Settings

Each camera is unique, with different techniques to reset to the factory settings. Here are some troubleshooting steps.

Check the Manual

Your first step here is to check the instruction manual for specific steps as to how to reset to factory settings, as menu system layouts can vary greatly by camera. Although there is typically an option somewhere in the general menu settings tab of your menu, this differs depending on the make and model of your camera. The instructions will get really specific here, letting you know exactly how to get this done. Can’t find the instructions? Look online for a PDF by Googling your camera’s model name along with the “instruction manual.”

Menu Dive

If you do some light menu diving via your DSLR’s onboard screen, you will eventually come across an option to perform a factory reset. Once you do, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. As a reminder, this will bring all of the settings to what they were when you originally unboxed the camera. Additionally, it will erase anything stored on the camera’s built-in storage drive, though it should not impact anything stored on a memory card.

STAT: Nikon DSLR cameras have a two-button reset feature that lets you reset the camera’s settings back to the factory defaults. (source)

Button Combinations

With some cameras, making certain button combinations leads the camera to reset to the factory settings. However, you need to know the exact combinations here. Check online or look in the, you guessed it, instruction manual.


How do I clear the settings on the Canon Rebel 77?

The process here has nothing to do with exposure compensation, so just check the instructions or menu dive to find a setting for performing a full factory reset.

What do you do when you drop your camera?

It depends on how bad the fall was. Turn the camera off via the power switch and check out the LCD screen, performing a factory default reset by holding down a button for 2-3 seconds or by inserting a ballpoint pen into the correct hole.

How do you troubleshoot common DSLR camera problems?

Restoring to the original factory settings is a good first step, even with high-end cameras like the Mark III. Other troubleshooting steps include replacing the battery via the battery compartment and consulting a repair tech.

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