The Most Common Xbox One Issues and How to Resolve Them

Even with the introduction of the Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One users continue to face common problems. Microsoft’s contribution to the eighth console generation brought its own set of challenges. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common Xbox One problems and provide solutions for each issue.

Getting in Touch with Microsoft

To expedite any warranty-related issues, we recommend registering your Xbox One on Microsoft’s website. Registration allows you to check your warranty status and receive free repairs, if applicable.

Stuck on the Splash Screen

When booting up your Xbox One from a completely powered-off state, you may encounter a long delay of up to 10 minutes before the UI appears. If you’ve been waiting for more than 10 minutes, a hard reset is required.

Possible solutions: Before performing a hard reset, keep in mind that this action will erase all accounts, saved data, and other stored information on the system. If you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, your save data is likely stored in the cloud. To preserve your data, power down the console by holding the Xbox button for 10 seconds. If possible, sync or back up your save data before performing the reset. Otherwise:

  • Power down your Xbox One by holding the Xbox button for 10 seconds. Then, hold the sync, eject, and Xbox buttons on your console until you hear two beeps (around 10 seconds). Release the buttons, and you’ll see a factory reset menu. For Xbox One S without an eject button, use the sync and Xbox buttons.

  • Error codes E100, E200, E204, E207, E101, E102, E106, E203, E208, and E305 indicate the need for an offline system update. Visit the Xbox website for detailed instructions. In summary, you’ll need a USB stick formatted to NTFS (the same file system as Windows). Download the update file from the aforementioned website and copy the $SystemUpdate file to the USB drive. Eject the stick. Back on your Xbox One, follow the button combination described above to access the troubleshooting menu. Plug in your USB stick and select “Offline System Update.”

Disc Drive Makes a Grinding Sound

Some Xbox One users have reported a grinding sound coming from the disc drive. However, this issue does not damage the disc. When you insert a disc into the console’s optical drive, you may receive an error message stating, “Sorry we can’t play that disc. Try an Xbox One game, music CD, or a movie on a Blu-ray or DVD.” Thankfully, this issue is specific to the original Xbox One.

Possible solutions: Microsoft has addressed this problem multiple times and confirmed that affected owners can return the hardware for replacement. If you purchased your console secondhand, ensure the disc drive is in proper working order before finalizing the purchase. To resolve the issue:

  • Return the hardware to the store where you purchased it. While Microsoft previously provided free games to those affected by this problem, the promotion may no longer be active. Nevertheless, if your disc drive is making grinding noises, you can still likely return the console.

  • Contact Microsoft directly using the provided contact methods. The support team can arrange replacements and, in some cases, send you a new console with a game of your choice before you send in your original system.

Xbox One Won’t Update

Some users have encountered issues during the mandatory update phase, preventing proper access to Xbox One features.

Possible solutions: This problem could be caused by a variety of factors, including issues with the Xbox One, internet connection, or Microsoft’s servers. Before contacting Microsoft for assistance, try the following steps:

  • Check your internet connection. Ensure there are no interruptions that could disrupt the update process.

  • Wait and try again later. If you’re having trouble downloading the update, it may be due to server maintenance or a high volume of users updating their consoles simultaneously. Wait for an hour or two before attempting again. If the problem persists, visit the Microsoft Live Status page to check for known issues.

  • Check your hardware. Ensure that all physical connections are secure. If you’re using a wireless connection and experiencing errors, try connecting your Xbox One to the internet via an Ethernet cable.

  • Power cycle your Xbox One. Hold down the power button for five seconds to shut down the console, then unplug it from the power source. Wait for at least 30 seconds before plugging it back in and turning it on. This will clear the cache and reset the network card.

  • If you receive a specific error message related to updates or online connectivity, refer to Microsoft’s network connection error list.

  • If the update still fails to download, contact Microsoft for further assistance.

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Xbox One Won’t Power On

Some users have reported that their Xbox One either won’t power on at all or only powers on for a limited time before shutting off. This issue may be related to the console itself or the power brick.

Possible solutions: The first step is to ensure that all connections are properly secured. After confirming this, check the power brick to see if it is receiving electrical current. The presence of a solid white or solid orange light indicates that the power supply is functioning correctly. If there is no light or the light flickers, it needs to be replaced. Try the following steps:

  • Verify that the outlet you’re using is functioning properly. Plug in another device or try connecting the power supply to a different outlet.

  • If the power supply isn’t receiving current, it’s likely defective and requires replacement. If you registered your console, you can order a new power supply online.

  • If the power supply is working but the Xbox One still won’t power on, contact Microsoft directly as there may be a defect with the system.

  • If the controller isn’t powering on your console, try pressing the power button on the console directly. Occasional syncing issues can cause this problem.

  • The issue may not be related to the console itself but rather Xbox Live. Some users have experienced black screens when attempting to turn on their systems due to intermittent issues with Xbox Live. Disabling the internet connection may allow you to still play games. Otherwise, wait for Microsoft to resolve the server problems.

  • As a last resort, you can reset the internal power supply. Power down your console, unplug it from the wall, and wait at least 10 seconds (or longer) before plugging it back in.

Xbox One Powers Down Unexpectedly

A small number of users have reported that their Xbox One powers down unexpectedly, which is a separate issue from the system not powering on.

Possible solutions: Before assuming a hardware malfunction, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Check the ventilation of the system. Overheating can cause the console to shut down unexpectedly. If the console displays a warning message indicating overheating, turn it off and wait for at least an hour. Ensure that the Xbox One has proper ventilation before attempting to power it on again. If the issue persists, contact Microsoft.

  • Check the light on the power brick. A flickering or black light indicates a power issue.

  • Verify if your Xbox One is set to turn off automatically. Navigate to Settings, then select Power & Supply, and choose the “Don’t Turn Off Automatically” option.

  • Ensure that the AC outlet your Xbox One is plugged into is functioning correctly.

Your TV Isn’t Displaying the Best Resolution

Some Xbox One users have experienced difficulties with their console automatically detecting the proper display resolution.

Possible solutions: Fortunately, there are easy fixes for this issue. Follow these steps:

  • From the Xbox One dashboard, press the Menu button to access the Settings. Select Display & Sound, then choose TV Resolution and select the appropriate setting.

  • If you have a relatively new TV, ensure that it has the most recent firmware. Consult your TV owner’s manual for instructions on updating the firmware if needed.

  • If display issues persist, try using a different HDMI cable. If the problem persists, contact Microsoft for further assistance.

Audio Isn’t Working Properly

Several audio issues have been reported by Xbox One users. Fortunately, most of them are not related to hardware problems, allowing for possible fixes before contacting Microsoft.

Possible solutions: The audio issue could be due to software settings or faulty connections. Follow these steps to resolve the problem:

  • Go to Settings and select Display & Sound. Choose the option that matches your system (HDMI or Optical) and select the appropriate audio format. If unsure, select Stereo Uncompressed.

  • If connections are secure and the issue persists, it may be due to a faulty optical or HDMI cable. Replace the cable and see if the problem is resolved. Keep the receipt in case you need to return the cable after contacting Microsoft.

  • If you’re connecting your Xbox to a cable TV box, unplug both the Xbox One and the cable box. Wait for 30 seconds to allow the cache to clear.

  • Some cable boxes have unique audio settings. Check with your cable provider for assistance.

Games Won’t Install

All Xbox One games need to be installed, and some users have experienced freezing during the installation process. This freezing can occur at 0%, preventing the game from being played.

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Possible solutions: This issue could be related to the optical drive, the disc itself (if it’s a physical copy), or the network connection. Try the following steps:

  • Ensure that your console is updated with the latest Microsoft patches. If your console is offline, connect it to the internet (if possible) and allow it to update.

  • If you’re online and experiencing issues, it may be related to your connection to Xbox Live. Disconnect your Ethernet cable or disable the wireless connection through Settings. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds, restart your system, and avoid reconnecting online. If the installation proceeds normally, you can then reconnect to Xbox Live without any problems. If the issue persists, contact Microsoft for assistance.

  • If the issue is specific to one game and it’s installing from a physical disc, ensure that the disc is clean and undamaged. If you notice a chip or scratch, you may need to return the game.

Controller Isn’t Syncing

Occasionally, Xbox One controllers may experience syncing issues. This can include disconnections or drifting.

Possible solutions: If your controller becomes unresponsive, ensure that it has functioning batteries and restart the console. If the problem persists, check the following solutions:

  • For disconnecting controllers, make sure the batteries are functioning properly and restart the console. Ensure that you’re within range of the Kinect, as disconnecting controllers display infrared lights when out of range and attempting to reconnect.

  • For drifting controllers, ensure that your controller is updated and has fresh batteries. Power down and unplug your console, wait a few minutes, then restart it. If the issue continues, consider requesting a replacement controller through Xbox’s online service center.

Xbox One Can’t Read Discs Properly

Some users have reported issues with their Xbox One failing to read certain games or having trouble reading any discs at all. It’s important to note that these issues are not always caused by damaged discs, and a console that struggles to read discs doesn’t necessarily mean it’s faulty. If the solutions below don’t work, contact Microsoft or your retailer if the disc is under warranty.

Possible solutions: Follow these suggestions to resolve disc read errors:

  • For isolated disc read errors, ensure that the disc is not scratched or smudged. Minor cosmetic scratches are usually acceptable, but deep scratches can indicate serious damage. Use a soft, slightly damp cloth (preferably microfiber) to clean the disc and remove fingerprints. If your Xbox One still can’t read the disc after cleaning, try inserting it into another console (if available) to determine whether the disc or the Xbox One is at fault.

  • For widespread disc read errors, it’s possible that the disc isn’t inserted far enough for the laser to read it. Eject the disc, and if your console is on an entertainment center, carefully move it to an open area while keeping all cords and cables plugged in. With the console turned on, tilt it from the front to a 45-degree angle. While holding it in this position, insert the disc. This position allows the disc to move into its intended position more easily. Instead of an error message, your game should begin to load. The Xbox One’s feeding mechanism can struggle to pull the disc far enough back for proper reading as time goes on.

Games Frequently Freeze or Crash

Even high-tech hardware can experience slowdowns and crashes. Xbox One users have reported intermittent freezing and crashing during gameplay sessions.

Possible solutions: Freezing or crashing can have various causes, but there are steps you can take to get back into the game and reduce the frequency of such occurrences:

  • If a game freezes, press the home button in the center of your controller to return to the dashboard. While the game icon is highlighted, press the Menu button (three horizontal lines) and select quit. This is a quicker method than restarting the console or selecting another game just to quit a frozen one.

  • For persistent freezing, try a power cycle. Press and hold the power button on the console for at least five seconds. Ensure that the console has been powered down for at least 30 seconds, then hold the home button on the controller to turn the console back on. The boot-up process may take longer, but this may resolve the issue.

  • If freezing or crashing occurs consistently in a specific game, deleting and reinstalling the content may fix the problem. Navigate to your applications and select the troublesome game. Press the home button and choose Uninstall. After uninstalling the game, navigate to your uninstalled applications in your library and reinstall the title. Wait for the installation to complete and see if the issue is resolved.

  • If none of these methods work, you can reboot the console’s resolution settings. If a disc is inserted, remove it. Press and hold the power button on the console for five seconds. Once the console light stops flashing, simultaneously press and hold the power button and the disc eject button. Wait for two beeps (up to 10 seconds). Keep in mind that this button combination changes the display resolution, so ensure that your TV is set to AV output. When the console boots up, don’t be alarmed if the resolution appears lower. Go to Display and Sound in the console settings and change the resolution to 1080p or 720p, depending on your TV’s capabilities. If it’s 1080p, change the video fidelity back to 50Hz. If it’s 720p, change the video fidelity to 24Hz. Finally, insert the disc, and your game should run smoothly.

  • In some cases, the game itself may be the source of crashes. Titles like Borderlands 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare have been known to cause hard crashes on Xbox One X. An update from the game developer will be required to resolve these issues.

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Cannot Connect to Network or Xbox Live

Occasionally, network or Xbox Live connection issues may arise randomly.

Possible solutions: There are multiple ways to troubleshoot your console’s online status. First, check Xbox Live Status to ensure that there are no global connectivity issues. If your console fails to connect to Xbox Live, it will attempt to troubleshoot the issue and display an error message. These connection problems can be caused by various factors.

  • If your console fails to connect to your network but all other devices are connected, try a power cycle. Press and hold the power button on the console for at least five seconds. Once the console is completely off and the Xbox logo is no longer flashing, press and hold the home button on your controller to power it back on.

  • Turn off your console, then reboot your modem and/or router. After your home network has fully rebooted, power on your console and check if you can establish a connection.

  • If you’re experiencing issues with Wi-Fi, try connecting your console to the internet using an Ethernet cable. If your console successfully connects, you may need to update your router’s firmware. Refer to your router’s instructions (often available on the device) for guidance on updating the firmware. After updating, power on your console and check if you can connect wirelessly.

  • Even if you’re not online, your Xbox will automatically sign in to your primary account upon powering on. Signing out and signing back in may prompt your Xbox One to reconnect. Sometimes, this simple solution resolves the issue.

Kinect Doesn’t Pair with Console

Although Microsoft has discontinued the Kinect for Xbox One, it is technically still supported by the console. However, legacy users may encounter issues with the peripheral not being recognized correctly.

Possible solutions: Microsoft has confirmed that the issue lies with the Kinect itself, rather than the Xbox One. While this may mean you don’t need to send your entire console for repairs, replacement Kinect sensors can be expensive in the reseller market.

  • First and foremost, ensure that the Kinect is physically connected to the Xbox One. If it is, check that the connection is free from obvious damage.

  • Try power cycling your system. Turn off the Xbox One by holding the power cord for five seconds, then unplug both the AC cord and the Kinect cord. Wait for 30 seconds, then reconnect everything and try again.

  • Contact Microsoft directly to arrange for a replacement Kinect.

With these solutions in mind, you’ll be better equipped to resolve the most common Xbox One problems. Enjoy uninterrupted gaming on your Xbox One!

Editors’ Recommendations
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  • The most common Xbox Series X problems and how to fix them
  • The best upcoming Xbox Series X games: 2023 and beyond
  • Your Xbox Live Gold subscription will turn into Xbox Game Pass Core this September

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute official support or advice from OnSpec Electronic, Inc. For technical assistance with your Xbox One, refer to the official Xbox support channels. OnSpec Electronic, Inc. is not responsible for any actions taken based on the information provided.

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