How to Factory Reset a DJI Drone & Controller (Step-by-Step Guide)
Whether you are looking to sell your drone, give it to a friend or family member, or perhaps try to correct issues and errors that have occurred when nothing else has worked, you might want to reset your drone or controller and get it back to a pristine factory state.
However, unlike the everyday electronic devices we carry on a regular basis (cell phones, tablets, laptops), it is slightly more involved in resetting a DJI drone back to factory settings, than, say, going into a screen in the drone’s flight app and pressing a button.
You can do a factory reset of a few of the popular models of DJI drones using the DJI Assistant 2 software. Many of the newer DJI drone models cannot be reset to factory settings, but you can remove your personal information from them prior to selling, or you can downgrade the firmware to fix bugs.
Below is a step-by-step walk-through on how to factory reset your DJI drone, if the option is available.
Note: Most of the newer DJI drones cannot be factory reset or restored, however, there are some steps that can be taken to “clean them up”. More on this below.
Models that can be factory reset/restored include:
- Inspire 2
- Phantom Line
- Mavic Pro (2016)
- Mavic Air (2018)
Models that cannot be factory reset/restored include:
- Mavic Mini
- Mini SE
- Mini 2
- Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S
- Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom & Enterprise
- Mavic 3
Factory reset using DJI Assistant 2 software
To date, the following older drones – the Inspire 2, Phantom 3 & 4, Mavic Pro (2016), Mavic Air (2018), and Spark can be restored back to Factory Settings.
Below are the steps to do a factory reset using the DJI Assistant 2 software.
In order to start the factory reset process, you will need:
- The compatible On the Go (OTG) USB cable that came with your drone (or purchase one online) and
- Be at your computer and download the DJI Assistant 2 software for your drone.
Depending on your drone, go to DJI.com, do a search for your drone model using the magnifying glass at the top of the site, which will prompt you to “Search DJI.com…” Type in your drone.
Once you have located your drone model, go into its designated page and click on downloads. This will bring you to your drone’s downloads area. Scroll down and you will see the DJI Assistant 2 software.
Note: If your drone has a missing downloads page, you should be able to use any one of the other drone pages DJI Assistant 2 downloads.
Choose the correct download for your operating system (Mac or Windows) and run the pkg or exe.
After the software installs, go into the DJI Assistant 2 software. You will be prompted to connect your drone to the Assistant 2 software.
Plug the OTG cable into your PC/Mac first, plug the other end into your drone, and then finally turn your drone on.
The software will take a few seconds to “think” as it locates your device, then you’ll be brought into another screen that will show your connected devices or drone, in this case.
Click once on your drone name and the software will bring you to a basic menu screen with the following options on the left-hand side:
- Firmware Update
- Data Upload
- Flight Data
- WiFi Settings
You’ll initially be in the Firmware Update section, which is exactly where you want to be. After the page fully loads, you’ll see a listing of your installed Firmware and a listing of previous firmware versions. Here you will be able to downgrade your firmware if there is indeed a previous version available.
For our intents and purposes, press Restore Factory Defaults. The process will run, showing you a progress bar in percentages and that’s it. Your drone is now restored back to factory settings.
Note: If you are wanting to downgrade your firmware, you can do so and also connect your remote control separately, using STEP 3, then following the proceeding steps.
Newer DJI drones (no factory reset)
As of this article’s writing, it has been confirmed by DJI Support that currently there is no way to factory reset most of the popular newer Mavic line (Mini, Mini 2, Mini SE, Mavic Air 2, Air 2S, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Enterprise and Mavic 3). That’s correct. No way to do so. But don’t get discouraged.
If you are planning on selling your newer Mavic, and you’d like your information removed, per DJI Support, your only option is to sign out of your DJI Account in the DJI Fly app (on your mobile device(s) used to control the drone). This will promptly remove your personal information and flight data, as this information is connected to the user account and not the drone.
If you were wanting to factory reset due to errors and issues, you can roll back your firmware version (for the Drone and the Remote Control) by following the steps above for the DJI Assistant 2.
To downgrade your firmware version, follow all the aforementioned steps, and, for STEP 4, instead of doing a Restore Factory Defaults, from the Firmware section, simply downgrade your firmware, then repeat the process with the remote control plugged in.
How to factory reset the DJI Smart Controller
Thankfully DJI has included a way to easily factory reset your DJI Smart Controller. This makes sense, as it is basically a wifi-enabled smart device and remote controller all in one. So, like many smartphones, you can easily go in and, after a few simple steps, reset the controller.
This is done in two separate stages: deleting the controller’s cache and account, followed by restoring factory settings.
- Power on the controller.
- Launch the DJI GO 4 app (not the DJI Fly App).
- In the DJI GO 4 app, locate the button title “ME”.
- Pressing this will bring you to your information screen.
- Press the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and then “clear cache”.
- SIGN OUT after the cache has cleared.
- On to the next stage.
- Double-click the physical Back/Function button on the upper left of the smart controller, which will bring you to the main screen.
- Here, click on SETTINGS.
- Scroll down to and then choose Factory Data Reset.
- Confirm the reset.
After this, the controller will erase all information, return to a factory state, and reboot, leaving you with a DJI factory unit.