USB flash drive support for Xbox 360

Use a USB flash drive for storing your Xbox content

You can use a USB flash drive as an Xbox 360 storage device and store up to 32 gigabytes (GB) of content. You can…

  • Purchase a preformatted 8-GB or 16-GB Xbox 360 Flash Drive from SanDisk. This official Xbox 360 USB Flash Drive by SanDisk is pre-configured to work with the Xbox 360 console.
  • Note A preformatted 32-GB flash drive is not currently available from SanDisk.


  • Format a USB flash drive as an Xbox storage device.

A USB flash drive is a great way to take your game saves or gamertag with you to another console. However, the latest console software lets you download your profile to any console. For information, see Download, move, or delete your Xbox Live profile.

Note A USB flash drive can be used to move 32 GB of content to another console. If you need to move more than 32 GB of content to another console, use the Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Cable.

The following table lists the kinds of content that can be stored on different kinds of Xbox storage devices.

Xbox content

360 Hard Drive

USB memory unit

Xbox game data



Themes, icons, avatar items, game contents, demos, and trailers



Arcade titles



Facebook and Twitter pages



Xbox 360 games



Xbox 360 Games on Demand






Music files (mp3, wma)



Original Xbox games



USB flash drives

USB minimum requirements

To use a USB flash drive with your console, the USB flash drive must meet these requirements:

  • A minimum of 1 GB storage capacity.
  • Formatted with the Windows FAT32 file system. Macintosh or Linux formats do not work.

Note Using a USB flash drive that does not meet the minimum performance requirements might significantly affect the performance of your console.

Format a USB flash drive

Before you format a USB flash drive as an Xbox storage device, make sure you have the latest console software update.

You can format up to 32 GB of the storage space on the USB flash drive to use as Xbox storage.

Note If you receive the message "Can’t configure," the USB flash drive does not meet the USB minimum requirements.

Format a USB flash drive

  1. Plug a USB flash drive into a USB port on the front of your console.
  2. Press the Guide button on your controller, go to Settings, and then select System Settings.
  3. Select Storage or Memory.
  4. Select USB Storage Device.
  1. Choose either Configure Now or Customize to format the USB flash drive for Xbox content.

Note If the USB flash drive doesn’t have at least 1 GB of space available, the options on this screen are not available. In this case, use a different USB flash drive.

Configure Now: Erases the USB flash drive and configures 32 GB for Xbox storage

  1. Select Configure Now and confirm that you want to erase all data on the USB flash drive.

Customize: Configures a portion of the USB flash drive (up to 32 GB)

  1. Select Customize.
  2. Move the Reserved Storage slider to select the amount of space you want for Xbox storage.

    Note 512 MB is reserved for system use.
  1. Select Configure.
  2. The console tests your USB flash drive to make sure it works correctly with the console. If your USB flash drive passes this test, you can use it.

    Note If the USB flash drive is rated below the recommended speed, you might experience reduced game performance and quality. To cancel and try another USB flash drive, select Cancel.

  3. Your USB flash drive is ready to use and is listed as a USB Storage Device.

Now you can use your USB flash drive like any other Xbox storage device.

Note Information stored by your Xbox 360 console on a USB flash drive can’t be viewed or accessed on a computer. You can only plug two USB flash drives into your Xbox 360 console at once.

USB warnings and errors

I'm getting a "Performance Warning” message. What does this mean?

If your USB flash drive doesn't meet the USB minimum requirements, you may experience significant performance problems while playing games on the flash drive or saving content to the flash drive.

I'm getting a "Can't Configure" message. What does this mean?

Your USB storage device is not working correctly and can’t be used to store Xbox 360 content. Replace your USB storage device with one that meets the USB minimum requirements:

  • Minimum 1-GB storage capacity
  • Windows FAT32 file system format

    Note If the device was formatted in Windows using FAT16 or NTFS, you might be able to reformat it in Windows using FAT32. Macintosh and Linux formats do not work.

Frequently asked questions

Why does Xbox 360 only support 32 GB of USB storage?

Supporting 32 GB of storage space on USB flash drives is a huge increase over the original Xbox 360 memory unit. If you need additional storage, consider adding an Xbox 360 Hard Drive. See Xbox 360 storage options for more information.

Why don’t I have a full 32 GB of available space available on my USB drive?

The Xbox 360 reserves 512 MB of storage space for system use.

What other storage options do I have?

The Xbox 360 320-GB Hard Drive is the best option for media enthusiasts. You'll have plenty of space for games, HD TV and movies, Games on Demand, game demos and add-ons, music, and much more. Certain games still require a hard drive in order to play system link or Xbox Live multiplayer games. For multiplayer gaming, it is recommended that you use a hard drive.

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