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About system updates on Xbox One

Part of the complete Xbox One Getting Started Experience.


The Xbox One console features updatable software. This software includes the operating system as well as many system, game, and media apps for the Xbox One. During a system update, the software on your console is updated through a download-and-install process. The system software updates may sometimes update the system’s firmware, but this is not common for most updates.

System updates help improve your experience with the addition of new features as well as improvement of existing features. The updates will be downloaded from the Xbox Live service directly to your Xbox One and subsequently installed.

There are two types of system updates you’ll see: available system updates and mandatory system updates.

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Available system updates

Each night, when the console is in Instant-On mode, it will check to see whether any updates are available. By default, these updates will be downloaded and installed when the console isn’t being used. This reduces the impact updates have on your Xbox One experience, and they won’t block you from connecting to Xbox Live until they become mandatory. You can modify your console’s ability to download and install updates by changing its power mode. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select All Settings.
  4. Under Power & startup, select Power mode & startup.
  5. In the first column, you can select the power mode dropdown menu, which will turn into an expanded list. You’ll want to ensure that your console is in Instant-on mode.
Available updates will now be downloaded and installed during off-hours when your console is not in use.

Mandatory system updates

Mandatory updates are very similar to the update experience on Xbox 360.

You should only see this type of update if you’ve chosen to either put your console into an energy-saving power mode, or if you’ve disconnected your console from Xbox Live for a period of time. Most updates start as available system updates, but if you don’t perform the update while it’s in the available state, you’ll be forced to do so when it switches to mandatory.

During the mandatory state, you’ll receive a notice that there’s a system update available. You’ll have only a few options from this screen:

  • Start update
  • Turn off Xbox
  • Disconnect wireless (This option will only be available if wireless connectivity is in use.)

You‘ll see this screen because mandatory updates require you to download and install the latest update in order to connect to Xbox Live.

If you’re using a wired Internet connection and you don’t want to perform the system update, you can select Turn off Xbox. Once the console has shut down, unplug your network cable and turn your console back on to resume your offline experience.

If you’re using a wireless Internet connection, you’ll also see the option Disconnect wireless, which will cancel the update. This option does not require a reboot of the console.

Frequently asked questions

What does the update cost?

Nothing. The update is free from Microsoft, but you may incur data charges from your ISP depending on your service agreement.

How can I tell if my console software is up to date?

If your console is connected to Xbox Live, you should have the latest software. If you want to see the current OS version number, or what features were added or updated based on this system update, see Xbox One operating system versions and system updates.

Do I have to install the update?

No. However, if you want to play or communicate on Xbox Live, you must have the latest console software. New games might also require the update before you play them.

Note Kinect games might not play properly if your console software is not up to date.

Can I force my console to update before the update switches to mandatory?

Yes. Once an update has been set as available, you can force your console to start immediately. There are two ways to perform this action, based on whether your console is online or offline.

  • Online consoles. To force an update to a console while the release is in an available state, follow these steps:
    1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
    2. Select Settings.
    3. Select All Settings.
    4. Under System, select Console info & updates.
    5. Available updates will show in the second button down in the first column.
      If an update is available, the button will read Update Available. If your console is already on the current release build, the button will be grayed out and will read No update available.
  • Offline consoles. To update a console without connecting it to the Internet, a user can use the Offline System Update Diagnostic Tool or OSUDT to update their console offline. This can be useful if your home Internet service has bandwidth constraints and you'd prefer to download the update somewhere else, and then bring it home to install it.

    Note If you're updating your system for the first time, or updating to the New Xbox Experience for the first time, you'll still need to connect to the Xbox Live service at least once. While online, you'll be asked to enter your Microsoft account password for each profile on the console in order to complete sign-in. If you don't remember the password for your account, see the Lost Password Solution.

Can I go back to the old software version if I change my mind?

No. Once your console is updated, it will stay updated.

I can’t connect to Xbox Live. What should I do?

If you can’t connect to Xbox Live, see the Xbox One First-Time Connection Solution.

How system updates work

System updates vary depending on the power mode of your Xbox One console.

Instant-On mode
All countries outside of the European Union will default to Instant-On power mode. One of the features of Instant-On is the ability for your console to check for updates on a nightly basis. If an update is available, the system will download and install it while you sleep. After installation, the console will need to reboot, which will require full shutdown from sleep mode.

The next morning, you may try to wake up Xbox by saying “Xbox On,” but nothing will happen. This is because your Xbox has shut down completely. Wake it by pressing the Xbox button on the front of your console or on your controller. This is the only way you’ll know that a system update has occurred, and it’ll be the only disruption to your experience.

Energy-saving mode
If you’ve put your console into energy-saving power mode or disconnected it from the Internet, you may miss a window for an available system update and be required to perform a mandatory system update. In that case, you will see the following screens.

When you reconnect your console to the Internet, or when an update goes from available to mandatory, you’ll see the It’s time to update screen.

A screen displays the words, 'It's time to update' and 'Getting ready …'.

After testing your network and getting the actual size of the update file, your console will display that information on the screen.

Note Streaming content on other devices or surfing the web while the update is downloading may affect how long this download will take and could extend the time beyond the initial estimate.

Under the words 'It's time to update,' the message 'Press A to start' appears.

When the test is complete, the It’s time to update screen will list your options:

  • Start update
  • Turn off Xbox
  • Disconnect wireless (This option is only available if wireless connectivity is in use.)

The new updating screen makes it very easy to track your progress. The slide bar and the percentage show you how far the update has progressed. The countdown of MB on the right side helps you identify if your update has stalled or if you’re having connectivity or bandwidth issues.

As long as you see the number counting down on the right side of the slide bar, you’re still downloading the update. A slow countdown is okay, as it just means you have low bandwidth on your network. If the countdown stops for an extended period, you may have a network issue that you’ll need to resolve to complete the update.

An example progress bar shows the update status at 6 percent with 47 MB remaining.

When the update is completely downloaded, you’ll see the Done screen.

An image of the console with a green check mark and the word 'Done!'

Next, you’ll be taken to the Restarting screen.

A screen displays the words 'Restarting …' and 'This may take a moment.'

If you receive any error messages either during the system update process or after the system restarts, see the Xbox One System Update Solution.

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