Troubleshoot Xbox 360 graphical display problems

Overview

When playing games or using apps on your Xbox 360 console, you experience one or more of the following problems:

  • Individual pixels appear corrupted.
  • Shapes are distorted. Random polygons, stretched objects, or long lines appear.
  • Graphics are misshaped or aren't displayed correctly.
  • Clusters of green or purple pixels appear in the center of the screen.

Note If your screen is freezing or your console stops responding, see the Xbox 360 Screen Freeze Solution.

Solutions

To resolve this problem, try the following solutions.

Solution 1: Clean the disc

If you're having the problem with a specific game or DVD, try cleaning the disc. (See Care for your console and game discs.) Also, check if the problem happens with other games or discs.

Solution 2: Check your AV cable

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Unplug your AV cable from the back of your console, and then plug it back in again.
  3. Turn your console on and check for the display problem.

If the problem still occurs, make sure you're using the correct AV cable and console display settings.

Note If you're using a multicomponent system, connect the console directly to the TV to simplify troubleshooting.

Solution 3: Remove the hard drive

If the problem happens only with game discs, try temporarily removing your hard drive. If your Xbox 360 console doesn't have a hard drive, skip to the next solution.

Remove a hard drive from an Xbox 360 S console

  1. Turn off the console.
  2. Position the console horizontally.
  3. On the right side of the console, locate the hard drive cover release. It's close to the back of the console.
  4. Slide the release toward the front of the console while pulling the hard drive door open.
A hand opens the hard drive cover on an Xbox 360 E console.
  1. Pull the tab to remove the hard drive.
A hand inserts a hard drive into the hard drive slot on an Xbox 360 E console.
  1. Replace the hard drive cover.
  2. Turn on the console.
  3. Try to play a game disc.

Remove a hard drive from the original Xbox 360 console

Note Not all Xbox 360 consoles include a hard drive.

  1. Turn off the console.
  2. Locate the hard drive on the top of the console (or on the left side, depending on how the console is oriented).
An arrow points to the hard drive on an original Xbox 360 console.
  1. Press the release button on the hard drive.
An arrow points to the hard drive release button on an original Xbox 360 console.
  1. Lift the hard drive away from the console.
  2. Turn on the console.
  3. Try to play a game disc.

If this solution resolves the problem, reattach the hard drive and skip to solution 5.

Solution 4: Disconnect Memory Units or USB flash drives

  1. Turn off your Xbox console.
  2. Unplug any Xbox Memory Units or USB flash drives attached to your console.
  3. Turn on your console.
  4. Try playing a game.
  5. If this solution resolves the problem, reattach the memory unit or flash drive and go to solution 5.

Solution 5: Clear your system cache

Some console problems can be fixed by clearing your system cache.

Solution 6: Try another cable or TV

Try borrowing an AV cable from a friend for testing. If using a different AV cable doesn't resolve the problem, try using your console with another TV.

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