Sign in
Share this page

Can’t play or use previously downloaded content on Xbox 360

If you’re having trouble playing or using content you previously downloaded to your Xbox 360, there are several reasons this could be happening:

  • There might be a problem with Xbox Live.
  • You might not be signed in to Xbox Live, or there might be a problem with your Xbox Live connection.
  • You’re trying to download content that’s associated with another account or Xbox 360 console.
To fix this problem, try the solutions on this page. If a solution doesn't work, go to the next one.
Note If you’re having problems downloading new content, see Xbox Live content won’t download on your Xbox 360 console.

On this page

Solution 1: Check for Xbox Live service alerts

Check for service alerts at Xbox Live status, or see if there’s an Xbox Live service alert at the top of this page. If there are any current service alerts, wait a while and then try again.

US customers only: If a specific service or app is experiencing an outage, you can request SMS or voice notification when the outage is resolved. Under the app or service name, click Notify me when this service or app is up and running.

Solution 2: Confirm that you're connected to Xbox Live

Try the Xbox 360 Connection Solution. If you're sure you're properly connected to Xbox Live, skip this solution.

Solution 3: Verify that the content is associated with the account you’re currently using

First, make sure you’re signed in with the account you used to purchase the content. If you’re still experiencing the problem, it might be because you purchased it with a different account.

To confirm you purchased the content with the account you’re currently using, check your Xbox Live subscription and transaction history online.

  • If the content isn’t appearing in the billing and purchase history of your account, it means you might have purchased it with a different account. Try signing in to your Xbox 360 with a different account to download the content.
  • If the content is appearing in your billing history and you still can’t download it, there may be an issue with your profile. Try redownloading your profile by following the instructions at Download your Xbox Live profile to a different Xbox 360 console or redownload it.

Solution 4: Make sure the license for the content is up to date

Did you transfer the content to a new, different, or refurbished console? If so, the locally stored licenses for the content might be out of date. See Redownload purchased content to a new or refurbished Xbox 360 console.

If you want to transfer the license for your content from one console to another, see the "Can I transfer a content license from one Xbox 360 console to another?" topic at Xbox 360 Digital Rights Management.

Solution 5: Confirm that the content is in your console's game library

To do this, you'll have to delete and then redownload the content. Here's how:

Note If you've downloaded the content and received a "This disc is unreadable" message, see "This disc is unreadable" error occurs when you use a Games on Demand game.

  1. On your console, sign in to Xbox Live using the gamertag that you used when you originally purchased the content.
  2. Go to settings, and then select System.
  3. Select Storage, and then select the storage device on which the content is saved.
  4. Select Games & Apps.  
  5. Select the content, and then select Delete. Confirm that you want to delete the item. 
    Note If you don't find the content, look for a file named "Unknown Game" and select that.
  6. Clear your system cache. Here's how:
    1. Press the Guide button on your controller, go to settings, then select System Settings.
    2. Select Storage.
    1. Highlight any storage device, and then press Y on your controller. (It doesn't matter which storage device you select; the cache will be cleared for all storage devices.)
    2. Select Clear System Cache.
    1. When prompted to confirm storage device maintenance, select Yes.
  1. Return to Xbox Home.
  2. Go to settings, and then select Account.
  1. Select Download History.
  2. Select the content you’re having problems downloading, and then select Download Again.

If you still can’t play or download your content, try the next solution.

Solution 6: Confirm that the content is in your purchase history at and at

To sign in at or at, you'll need to use the Microsoft account information associated with the gamertag you used when you purchased the content.

When looking for the content at, remember that not all purchased items load when you first navigate to the page. To find specific content, press Ctrl+F and enter a keyword (such as a word in the content's title).

If your purchase is listed at either of those sites but is not listed in the billing or purchase history of your Xbox Live account, contact Xbox Support.

Solution 7: Check the online location where you bought the content

If the content is listed at the online location as available to buy, your purchase may not have been completed. You'll need to purchase the content again.

Solution 8: Try a different storage device

If possible, download the content to a different storage device, such as a USB flash drive, and then try to play or use the content again. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the hard drive from the system.
    Note You cannot remove the hard drive from a 4 GB Xbox 360 console.
  2. Attach a USB flash drive.
  1. Format the USB flash drive.
  2. Try to download and launch the content again.

Note If the content launches without issue, this is a good indication that the storage device was the problem. For more help, visit the Xbox Online Service Center.

If these solutions don't work and you keep experiencing the problem, contact Xbox Support.

Was this article helpful?


Thank you for your feedback

Thanks for your feedback!

We're sorry this article didn't solve your problem. We won't give up and neither should you. Try this community option, below.
Get help from the community
Ambassador chat image
Ambassador chat
Chat one on one with a fellow Xbox User who wants to help.

Provide feedback for this topic

255 characters remain.
To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback.
Get help from the community
Ambassador chat image
Ambassador chat
Chat one on one with a fellow Xbox User who wants to help.

Contact Us

Would you like to contact Support regarding the "Can’t play or use previously downloaded content on Xbox 360" issue you were reading about or a different issue?

Share this page