Share this page

Troubleshoot external storage detection on Xbox One

This article describes Xbox One system requirements for external storage drives 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.


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 with a preformatted partition. For more information about partitioning an external hard drive, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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

Additionally, no more than three external drives can be connected to the console at the same time.

How to detect your external storage

When you first connect an external storage device with your Xbox One, the console should detect the device and walk you through the process of setting it up.

If this doesn’t happen, or if you want to confirm later that your console detects the storage device, here’s how:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select All settings.
  4. Select System.
  5. Select Storage.
  6. Select Manage storage. If you see your storage device listed, your console has detected it. If your device doesn’t appear on the list, try the troubleshooting steps described on this page.

What to do 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. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select All settings.
  4. Select System.
  5. Look under Console info & updates. If it says Update available, there’s an update you need to install.
  6. After you’re done installing the update, go back to Settings and select System, and then Storage. See if your device appears in the list.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, or if there were no recent updates to Xbox One, try the next solution.

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

Check to see if you’re in Instant-On power mode. For more information, see How to change the power settings on your Xbox One console.

If you’re currently in Instant-On mode, follow these steps to adjust the power management for storage:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select All settings.
  4. Select Power.
  5. Go to Power mode.
  6. Unselect the checkbox next to “When Xbox is off, turn off storage.”

If this solution doesn’t resolve the issue, try the solutions in the following section.

Solution 3: Other things to try

Here are some other things to try if your Xbox One still isn’t detecting your external storage device.

  • Remove and then reconnect the drive.
  • Connect the drive to a different USB port on the console.
  • Perform a “full reboot” of the 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.

If 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

Virtual Agent
Hi, I’m Microsoft’s virtual support agent. I can help you with your question.
Share this page