How to reset a Nikon DSLR to factory default settings

D7000 camera back - location of second reset button D7000 Top plate - location of first reset button
Nikon D70 reset Nikon-D50-camera-reset
D3000-D80-D40-D40X-D60  Nikon-D100-reset

Two Button reset

It is possible to quickly reset many of the shooting settings to their default values by simply holding two buttons simultaneously for two seconds (both buttons are marked with a green dot for reference). The buttons used for this reset differ depending on the camera model. The chart below shows the various different positions of the two reset buttons depending on the camera model.

Camera

Button 1

Button 2

D40/D40X

Shooting information button

Playback zoom/Setting button

D50

Shooting Mode button

Self timer button

D70 & D70s

BKT Button

Metering mode button

D90 & D80

 +/- Exposure Compensation button

AF Mode button

D600, D610

 +/- Exposure Compensation button

Thumbnail button

D100

Flash mode button

BKT Button

D810(A), D800(E), D700, D200, D300, D300S & D7000, D7100, D7200

QUAL (image quality/Size)

+/- Exposure Compensation button

D5000

Information button

Information edit button

D5100, D5200, D5300

Menu button

Information button

D1 series

FUNC (function) button

Thumbnail button

D60

Playback zoom in button

Active D-Lighting button

D2 & D3 Series, D4(S)

ISO button

White Balance button

Please refer to the user manual for more information on which settings are restored to factory default as a result of the two button reset. Settings in the Custom menu are not affected by the two button method.

To perform a full reset of the Custom menus, select the reset option in the custom menu (users of the D7000, D200, D300, D300S, D700, D2 series , D3 series, and D4 may also need to perform a reset in the Shooting menu to reset all functions).

Resetting the D3100
The D3200 and D3100 do not have a 2 button reset option. To perform a reset you need to manually choose the reset option in the Shooting Menu and the Setup menu. To do this press 'Menu', select the Shooting Menu and scroll through the options until 'Reset Shooting Options' is highlighted, press ok, highlight 'Yes' and press ok again. Repeat this for the Setup menu.

Full reset
The D3000, D100, D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70 or D80 can be returned to the Factory default settings by pressing the button outlined in the illustrations below, the cameras will be reset to "out of the box" condition. Note that this will reset the time and date stored in the camera and the correct time and date will need to be setting, any custom curves that have been loaded to the camera will also be erased. It is advised to only perform the full reset on the direct instruction of Nikon support staff.

Source: Nikon support

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  • Jeffnky

    Just wondering if anyone else had the issue of pressing the 2 buttons to format a memory card on the D810 would stop working at times. It was fixed with the firmware update.

    • Michiel953

      Why not go the menu way when formatting (which I do every time I’ve downloaded my images to LR)? Takes only…. 5 secs to activate that?

      • Jeffnky

        I often have several cards to format each day and with the 2 buttons it takes 1 second, it is much faster.

        • Michiel953

          OK; although not “much” faster… Downloading the images is what takes time, accessing the formatting not so much. In my case the menu usually is still at that point, so very quick to access.

          • NBMZ

            Sorry, but when your working on a fast-paced shoot, the 2 button format sequence is loads faster than trying to remember where the format option is in the menu. 😉 I cannot even remember the time when I used a menu option to format a card.

            Heck, even on the D4 (or D810/D750), you can select which card to format using the 2 button approach…once you try it, you’ll never go digging thru the menus again…

            It’s one of those features I take for granted. (same for the center button “click to zoom 100%” option)

        • Allen_Wentz

          Sorry but “much faster” is not what I want when formatting memory cards. What I want instead is “error-free,” and (for me) getting into the two-button routine has always been just too quick and easy to remain bombproof error-free. I stick with using the menu.

          • Jeffnky

            I do it everyday with between 2 and 6 memory cards and I have never had an “error” of any kind with any previous camera model except when the D810 just ignored me when I pressed both buttons and forced me to the menus. It stopped after the firmware upgrade.

  • Zinchuk

    I had wondered what those green dots were for. Thank God I never pushed them both at the same time!

  • AlphaTed

    Eons ago, there’s another kind of reset by removing the battery. Then turning the camera on, then re-insert the battery. I forgot what this procedure accomplished, but I did try this before with my D300, and I got the result I needed.

    • Thom Hogan

      This is the “last resort reset” I write about in my books. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It works best in the cameras with removable clock batteries (e.g. the pro series, like the D3).

      • NicP

        Really? What about D4? . Dont want to reset settings by accident while changing battery, bad bad thats if D4 has this function.

        • Thom Hogan

          The D4 (and other single digit bodies) have two batteries. It requires taking both out AND triggering a reset to make everything go back to defaults, including the date/time.

          Beyond that, the pro bodies (and many consumer ones) have Save Settings to Card functions. Use them! Some day it’ll save you a LOT of time ;~).

          • NicP

            Thanks a lot. Seems almost impossible resetting by accident.

    • NicP

      Hope this is not a case for newer models. In very fast paced shooting and in stress for a quick battery change i very often forget to shut off camera or sometimes trying to confirm is switched off I turn it on or the other way around or leave it on or off, battery change is very stressful sometimes while sweat rolls on front of lens eyepiece, buttons, last thing I want to happen is to reset the set up.

  • bluzer

    D5500?

    • Photobug

      Use the two buttons with the nearby green dots. The wife has never done it but it works like all the newer Nikons.

      • neversink

        My wife is always resetting my buttons!!!!!!

        • Jebagi Erol Paker

          mine too, to stop my dreaming of new highly recommended Nikon lenses

        • Photobug

          Amen. You been married long enough to understand the details of button pushing. I learned long time ago on how to sell her on why I need a Nikon XXX without pushing her buttons. (grin)

          • neversink

            Yes – and my wife doesn’t care what equipment I buy….
            …. as long as I know it will pay for itself and then more. The problem is I am an equipment junkie. So when I buy the new D5 (after it is on the market for a while) I will sell the D4 and buy my wife a nice present. Do I really need the D5. Will I get any more assignments if I purchase it? Will I get any less assignments if I don’t. Can I wait for the D6? The answer to all these questions is No, No, No – I won’t go to rehab!!!!

            • Photobug

              Enjoy your acquisition habit. I do the same, a nice gift for the wife goes a long way. Especially if diamonds are involved. Once you retire it may change…drastically. However, let me give you a tip, If you did your job during your earning years and put away solid $$$ for retirement there is another option. It your IRA will allow it, it’s a source to pay for the occasional lens or DSLR upgrade.

        • Photobug

          I got a great laugh when I read your post. We need more humor.

  • Spy Black

    What is the “thumbnail button” on a D600? Not that I want to reset my camera, but I’m at a loss as to what this is.

    Edit, I found another green dot by my ISO button, I’ll have to assume this is what was meant by the “thumbnail button”. Might be clearer if you change that to ISO BUTTON. Although I suppose if you just say “look around your camera until you see two green dots”, Bob’s your uncle.

    • Captain Megaton

      Yes, “find the two green dots, press simultaneously” will do the trick, but this is anyway standard procedure written in the D600 user manual.
      Unfortunately it only resets most shooting parameters. It won’t clear, for example, the comment string text. There must be a separate procedure to put the entire camera back to the factory defaults i.e. must useful when you sell the camera. I don’t think the “custom menu reset” covers that.

  • Morris

    will oil come back ?

    • Thom Hogan

      Only on sensors ;~).

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Thanks for the info……

  • Funny this is just like “new” to users… I read the manual of my D60, D300s, D700, D810. and D4s. Everything one needs to know how the functions of their camera work should simply read it. No need to buy a “Nikon Dxxx for dummies”.

    • Michiel953

      The D8xx manuals don’t really make for a pleasurable read, nor are they adequately informative on many subjects. Sites ilke these, or just googling your question, assuming you’re not the first to run into that question, usually is both quicker and more successful.

  • That doesn’t reset the camera to factory default settings. All it does is reset the shooting parameters to factory default. It does not wipe out any AF Fine Tune settings, it does not clear the copyright and comment fields. It does not clear most customizations.

    • Thom Hogan

      That’s correct for the two-button versions. The reset button models do actually tend to restore to original state (not all do, but most did).

      • True! I was referring to the two green button versions

  • Gregory Roane

    Slow rumor week, Admin? 🙂

    The green and red dots were the VERY first thing that I looked up when I got my first Nikon. Guess I had seen “The Fifth Element” too many times: (“The first thing I would have asked is, ‘What does the red button do?'” [Alien pushes button, weapon self-destructs in an explosion]).

  • neversink

    After all the fantastic news from Nikon, things must be slowing down on the rumor mill desk. Time for a vacation, Peter????

    • That’s always the case, things get very quiet after an announcement, but the CP+ show in Japan is coming at the end of February. I expect more than few new compacts from Nikon.

  • Arash Nikkhah

    on d810 I pressed two green dot screen did a refresh but my menu banks and other settings is the same!

    • MRomine

      Must not be a real Nikon. Try rubbing the Nikon logo to see if it rubs off. There might be a Canon logo underneath. 🙂

  • Jack Vinoth

    I have purchased nikon EN-EL-14 battery from flipkart. And the indication shows as clock has been reset. I tried to reset but the options are not working and it says same thing. Pl help me anyone.

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