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 Microsoft 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

Xbox Live Core Services: up and running

If you see any alerts here, wait until the service is up and running and try again:

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

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

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

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

To confirm you purchased the content with the Microsoft 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 that the licence for the content is up to date

Did you transfer the content to a new, different or refurbished console? If so, the locally stored licences for the content might be out of date.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 licence for your content from one console to another, see the "Can I transfer a content licence 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 and then select System Settings.
    2. Select Storage.
On the System Settings screen, the Storage category is selected.
    1. Highlight any storage device, and then press the Y button 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.
On the Device Options screen, the option to Clear System Cache is selected.
    1. When prompted to confirm storage device maintenance, select Yes.
  1. Return to Xbox Home.
  2. Go to settings, and then select Account.
The Settings page, with the Account tile highlighted
  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 purchased content is listed in your Microsoft account and your Xbox profile

To view the purchase history for your Microsoft account, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account.
  2. On the Payment & billing menu, select Order history.
  3. Next to "Show", select all.
  4. Next to "From", select All available. Scroll down to view your order history and confirm that the purchased content is listed.

To view a list of content purchased for your profile on, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to with your Microsoft account.
  2. Select your gamertag in the upper-right corner.
  3. In the drop-down list that appears, select Profile.
  4. On your profile page, select My games.
  5. To see all Xbox 360 content you own, select View all across from "Xbox 360".

If your purchase is listed on your Microsoft account but is not listed in "My games" for your Xbox profile, 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.
A drawing of the Xbox 360 Flash Drive with the cap removed
  1. Format the USB flash drive.
  2. Try to download and launch the content again.

Note If the content play without issue, this is a good indication that the storage device was the problem. For more help, go to the Device Centre.

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