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Troubleshoot external storage detection on Xbox One

This article describes Xbox One system requirements for external storage devices and what to do if your console can’t detect a connected external drive.

Important Make sure you don’t have any important information stored on your hard drive before setting it up with your Xbox One. The Xbox One will reformat your drive.

Requirements

For an external storage drive to save games and apps from Xbox One, it must meet the following requirements:

  • It uses a USB 3.0 connection. If you’re using a USB hub, the hub must also be USB 3.0 or later.
  • It has 256 GB or larger storage capacity.
  • It has a partition. Typically, drives come wit a preformatted partition. For more information about partitioning an external hard drive, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • No more than three storage devices are connected to the console at the same time.

Devices that don’t meet these requirements will be treated as media storage, such as for music or video. For more info, see How to manage storage on Xbox One.

How to detect your external storage

To check whether your console detects your storage device:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select System > Settings > System > Storage.
  3. If you see your storage device listed, your console has detected it.

If your console doesn’t detect an external storage drive

Solution 1: Make sure you’ve installed any recent updates to Xbox One

It’s possible that there were recent updates to Xbox One and that you need to manually update your system for it to detect your external storage. To update:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide, and then select System > Settings > System > Updates.
  2. If you see Update available, there’s an update you need to install.
  3. After you’re done installing the update, go back to Settings and select System > Storage. See if your device appears in the list.

If your storage device still doesn’t appear, or if there were no pending updates, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Adjust the power management for storage if you’re in Instant-on mode

Check your power setting. If you’re in Instant-on mode:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select System > Settings > Power & startup > Power mode & startup.
  3. Confirm that your Power mode is set to Instant-on.
  4. Unselect the option When Xbox is off, turn off storage.
  5. Restart your Xbox, and then go to Settings and select System > Storage and see if your device now appears in the list.

Solution 3: Other things to try

If your Xbox One still isn’t detecting your external storage device:

  1. Remove and then reconnect the storage device.
  2. Connect the device to a different USB port on the console.
  3. Power cycle your console:
    1. Press the power button on the front of the console for about 10 seconds.
    2. Turn on the console again, and then see if it detects the external drive.

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