How do I update my Xbox? – Here’s the quickest way

Technology is constantly developing and updating, and keeping your devices updated is essential to the performance health of your console – this includes your Xbox.

The system updates that Microsoft releases sporadically is used to help improve the operating system and existing feature of your Xbox. Here’s how to update your Xbox console.

How do I update my Xbox? – Short Guide

Two types of updates are available from Microsoft for Xbox: Available and Mandatory.

Available updates are updates that impact your experience of Xbox, and ‘Mandatory’ updates are ones that change or restructure the OS of your console to improve features and add new content. Updating is essential to stop bugs and issues stopping you from using apps on your Xbox.

So how do you make sure your Xbox is up to date when you are experiencing technical issues or you just generally require a new update that has been released?

It needs to be done, otherwise you may end up with error messages like this;


There are many reasons why you may be struggling to update your console – here, we look at a couple of things users experience when trying to update and how you can solve them quickly to get the update you require.

Step 1 – Free some space

If your Xbox is showing a message that your Xbox is almost full, then freeing some space up may allow you to update your Xbox One console. To do this, follow this process.

  • Open the ‘My games and apps’ menu.
  • Choose a game or app that you don’t use.
  • Press the menu button and select uninstall.
  • Try updating again after you have freed up some space.

Step 2 – Check your connection

If you get a message ‘There was a problem with this update’, this could mean a connection issue is blocking your update process. If you find this to be the case, then you can follow this process;

  • Try updating again as long as you have an internet connection.
  • If you still are struggling to update your console unplug the power cable for a minute and plug it back in. Re-boot your Xbox and try again.
  • You can also try the Offline System Update Diagnostic Tool.

Making sure you’ve got a solid network connection will ensure that you don’t end up with an error message when updating your console.

How do I update my Xbox automatically?

One way to make sure your Xbox stays up to date is to change the settings of your Xbox so that whenever an update is available and you have connected to Wi-Fi your updates happen without prompting.

This saves you from performing them manually every time and helps if you tend to forget to update as I do. To turn on automatic updates you can follow this process:

  1. Make sure you have an internet connection.
  2. Press the Xbox button on your pad.
  3. Go to ‘Profile and System.’
  4. Go to Settings.’
  5. Choose ‘System.’
  6. Choose ‘Updates.’
  7. Under the updates options go to ‘Keep my console up to date.’

Once you have committed to these settings you no longer have to worry about going into your console and finding updates to perform manually.

How do I manually update my Xbox?

You can also ‘Force’ an update on Xbox by manually applying it, this is usually something you would do if you were experiencing technical problems before an automatic update kicks in.

Or if the update won’t download automatically for some reason. Manual updates are available to give the user control over when and where they update their consoles. To force a manual update follow this process:

  1. Make sure you have an internet connection.
  2. Press the Xbox button on your pad.
  3. Go to ‘Profile and System.’
  4. Go to ‘Settings.’
  5. Choose ‘System.’
  6. Choose ‘Updates.’
  7. Under the updates option there will be one of two notifications:
  8. Console updates available, choose this option to update your console.
  9. No console updates available.

How do I instant update my Xbox?

Instant-On is a feature for Xbox Series S/X that lets the gamer essentially skip the start-up of the console when turning it on. So you no longer have to wait for the power cycle to kick in.

In Instant-On standby the console will periodically check for system updates and install them when you aren’t playing to save time in the future of waiting for your console to update while you want to play.

To make sure Instant-On is turned on and your updates start automatically between gaming sessions follow this process:

  1. Open the ‘Home screen.’
  2. Press the ‘Menu’ button on your pad.
  3. Go to ‘Settings.’
  4. Go to ‘Power and Start-up.’
  5. Select ‘Power-mode.’
  6. Go to ‘Instant-On.’
  7. Make sure that ‘Automatically download updates’ is selected.


In conclusion, as annoying as they can be – especially when Microsoft releases new updates every month – updating is essential. If you’ve tried all of the above but it doesn’t work, you may need to contact Microsoft support. However, you should usually be fine following the steps above.

The patches, the fixes, the content and the performance updating aside, they help all the apps interact seamlessly with one another. Avoiding updates seems like a good idea until you start to run into more widespread issues that not updating your console can cause.

It doesn’t take long and the longer you leave your updates the more likely it is something will break just as you desperately want to play a game, then you’ll have to wait even longer because you end up with a ton to catch up on.

My advice? Update when you can, automatic updates are there, for this reason, to save you when you want to join an Xbox Party chat with your friends. So, make sure that everything is fully updated so when you need your Xbox, you can use it.

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An avid gamer, historian and all-round literature buff, Tracy is our go-to when it comes to using different devices. MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux or whatever else, Tracy's got a device that runs it (she's even got an old Blackberry laying around somewhere!).

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