He was born in Schwyz, the son of aristocrat Josef Rudolf Reding von Biberegg (1726–1799). His brother was a general, Theodor von Reding (1755–1809).
Until 1788, Alois von Reding served in the Schwyzer regiments in the service of Spain, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. After he returned to Switzerland, he became a national captain of the canton of Schwyz.
When the Helvetic Republic, imposed by the French, was introduced in 1798, he led a revolt made up of forces from Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Uri. Many of the cantons resented being denied the right to self-government and the limits on the freedom of worship imposed by the new regime. Heavily outnumbered, von Reding was forced to submit to French General Schauenburg on 13 May. The rebel cantons were merged into a single one, thus limiting their effectiveness in the central government, and the French failed to keep their promises in respecting religious matters.