The Most Common Xbox Series X Problems and How to Fix Them

Like any new console, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S aren’t without issues. Although since-debunked reports of smoking consoles painted Microsoft’s new consoles in a poor light, the Series X has had a surprisingly smooth launch (much smoother than the Xbox One, at least).

Still, some issues remain. In this guide, we’re going to cover the most common Xbox Series X problems, as well as how to fix them.

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Get in touch with Microsoft

Before getting to any fixes, take note of the different contact options for Microsoft and Xbox support. There’s a robust support system in place, and for certain issues, you’ll need to contact Microsoft for a repair or replacement. If you have a smaller issue that we haven’t covered in this guide, you can ping us on Twitter @DigitalTrends so we can add it to this guide, as well as tag @XboxSupport. That seems to be the fastest support route.

In addition to keeping support options handy, we recommend checking the Xbox Live status page frequently. You’ll find all online issues for the Microsoft Store, games, movies, apps, and more there.

Malfunction: Discs getting stuck in the disc drive

Some early Xbox Series X units have a disc drive problem (the same problem responsible for the next two issues we’re going to discuss). The most concerning of these issues is the disc getting stuck halfway in the disc drive, sometimes accompanied by loud clicking sounds or grinding noises.

I have an even worse problem 🙁 What would be the best way to get a replacement pic.twitter.com/546UloBRkr

— drknickel (@drknickel) November 11, 2020

Potential solution

The problem here is with the disc drive itself, not with whatever disc is getting stuck. Because of that, we recommend getting in touch with Microsoft for a repair or replacement using the contact methods above.

Thankfully, the issue doesn’t seem too complex. An early Reddit thread showed multiple Xbox Series X users having the same issue, attributing it to the dust cover that protects the disc drive. Users report that a small amount of force with the palm of your hand is usually enough to loosen this cover and allow the disc to slide in.

We haven’t seen any videos of this fix working, and we haven’t encountered it ourselves. To be clear, we don’t recommend forcing a disc into your console. If it messes up anything in the disc drive, it’ll almost certainly void your warranty, and it may leave you with a broken game disc, too.

Malfunction: Clicking from the disc drive or fan

Discs getting stuck is the main issue Xbox Series X owners are experiencing, but some also are reporting a clicking sound from the console after inserting a disc or while installing a video game.

Potential solution

If the clicking is coming from your disc drive, the solution is simple. Some discs may cause a clicking sound in the disc drive when loaded. A good way to test if your disc is the problem is to insert it into another Xbox console — an Xbox One will work — and see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, there’s a problem with your disc drive. Contact Microsoft to arrange a repair or replacement.

If the sound is coming from the vent at the top of your Xbox Series X, we have some bad news. After experiencing a clicking sound from the fan, a Reddit user opened their Xbox Series X and found that a cable was hanging close to the fan, causing a clicking sound when the fan started to spin.

Like the issue above, we don’t recommend taking your Series X apart. It will void your warranty, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could get hurt, too. Contact Microsoft using the methods above to arrange a repair or replacement instead.

Malfunction: Discs won’t play at all

Some early Xbox Series X units won’t recognize discs at all. Note that this issue applies to all discs you insert, regardless of if they’re Xbox One games, Blu-rays, or DVDs. If you’re having trouble with a particular disc, we recommend cleaning the disc with a damp microfiber cloth, letting it dry, then trying it on a different Xbox console. If the disc in question is a Microsoft published game, you may be able to exchange it under the Xbox Game Disc Exchange program.

Potential solution

If your console won’t recognize a disc when you insert it, or it tells you to insert a disc when you already have one in, there are two possible problems. Either there’s an issue with your power mode — which, according to Microsoft, affects a small number of consoles — or there’s a problem with your disc drive.

You can solve the power issue yourself, thankfully. You need to change your power mode and perform a hard reset, which you can do by following these steps:

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller.
  • Select Settings (cog icon).
  • Follow Profile & System > Settings > General > Power Mode & Start-Up.
  • Under Power Mode, select Energy-Saving. 
  • Hold the Xbox button on your console for 10 seconds until it has completely shut down.
  • Power on your Xbox Series X and try the disc again.

If that doesn’t solve your problems, there’s an issue with the disc drive. Contact Microsoft to arrange a repair or replacement.

Malfunction: Xbox Series X won’t turn on

If your Xbox Series X won’t turn on, there’s probably an issue with the internal power supply. Microsoft says these issues usually come up after a power surge where the power supply will reset itself. Thankfully, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to solve this problem before contacting Microsoft.

Potential solution

Before resetting your power supply, some standard troubleshooting is in order. First, make sure that the outlet the console is plugged into works by plugging another device in. If the outlet isn’t the problem, you can perform an internal power supply reset by unplugging the power cord of the Xbox Series X for 10 seconds, then plugging it back in. If that doesn’t solve your problem, and you’ve confirmed the outlet isn’t the issue, try a different power cord.

If you still can’t power on your console, there’s an issue with the power supply that requires servicing. Contact Microsoft using the options above.

Malfunction: No signal to TV or corrupted image

The Xbox Series X supports 4K HDR at 120Hz with a variable refresh rate, which is enabled by the HDMI 2.1 standard. The included cable supports HDMI 2.1, along with its resolution and refresh rate features, but it may cause issues on your TV. In particular, if you have a TV that supports variable refresh rate from LG, Samsung, or Vizio, you may not see a signal or the signal may be corrupted.

Potential solution

Before doing anything with your Xbox, make sure your TV is updated to its latest firmware. Updates like these bring official support for external devices, and with the Xbox Series X using the latest tech, there’s bound to be some issues. A firmware update should solve this problem for most users.

If you’re still having trouble and you can’t make out options on the screen, you’ll need to boot your console into safe mode. If you can see enough of the screen for navigation, you can skip this step. To put your console into safe mode, do the following:

  • Eject any discs from your console.
  • Press the Xbox button on your console for 10 seconds.
  • Press and hold the Xbox + Eject buttons until you hear two beeps (continue holding until the second beep, which happens 10 seconds after the first).

At this point, your console will be in low-resolution mode. Open the Settings menu and follow General > TV > Display Options > Video Modes. If you booted into low-resolution mode, change the resolution to match your TV.

This issue comes up with 4K at 120Hz with variable refresh rate turned on. Microsoft recommends changing one of these to solve the problem. Potential compatible solutions include 1440p at 120Hz with variable refresh rate, 4K at 60Hz with variable refresh rate, and 4K at 120Hz without variable refresh rate. Any combination works, but you can’t have all three, at least right now. You’ll find the resolution and refresh rate options under the Display Options menu and variable refresh rate settings under Video Modes. 

If issues still persist, turn off variable refresh rate on your TV. Each TV is a little different, so consult your manual for the correct instructions.

Bug: Games not launching with 0x800708ca or similar error

When launching certain games on an Xbox Series X, you may get this error: “Something went wrong. 0x800708ca.” This error comes up when trying to launch certain Xbox One games that have been upgraded to the Series X version. Gears 5 and Forza Horizon 4, for example, are both Xbox One games with Series X patches. After upgrading to the Series X patch, you may encounter this error when launching these games (or others with Series X patches).

Potential solution

Like many early issues with the Xbox Series X, Microsoft plans to address this error in a future console update. For now, Microsoft recommends resetting your console after upgrading your games to the Series X versions.

To reset your console, perform the following steps:

  • Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  • Select Settings (cog icon).
  • Follow System > Console Info > Reset Console. 
  • Select Reset and Keep My Games & Apps. 

Additionally, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the game that’s causing problems.

Bug: Smart Delivery games won’t install or have graphical issues

Gears 5 Escape

Microsoft’s Smart Delivery feature allows players to get the most recent version of cross-generation games. If you already own Gears 5 on Xbox One, for example, you’ll get the Series X version for free. This feature isn’t without problems, however. Certain Smart Delivery titles won’t recognize that installation has finished, or they’ll launch with graphical issues.

Microsoft has pinpointed this issue to Xbox One games brought over to the Xbox Series X on an external hard drive. There doesn’t seem to be a set list of affected games, so if you installed any games from an external hard drive brought over from your Xbox One, keep this issue in mind.

Potential solution

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t have an official solution for this issue yet, though plans to address it in a future console update. For now, we recommend reinstalling games that are stored on your external hard drive to the Xbox Series X’s internal storage. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Select the game, then press the Guide button.
  • Select Uninstall. 
  • Navigate to My Games & Apps. 
  • Select the game again, and choose Install. 

Note that this issue seems to be a problem with the install itself, not with the storage medium. As such, moving your games from an external hard drive to the Series X’s internal storage may not solve the issue.

Bug: Xbox 360 games not launching

Certain Xbox 360 games will either not launch or immediately return players back to the home screen after launching. Note that this problem and its solution are exclusive to Xbox 360 games. If you’re having problems with Xbox One or Xbox Series X games, refer to the solutions above.

Potential solution

There isn’t a set reason for this issue, but it generally comes up with Xbox 360 games installed on an external hard drive that was used on an Xbox One. To solve it, you’ll need to clear your local Xbox 360 storage. Make sure you have an Xbox Live account and that your saves have been backed up before performing the reset.

After your saves are secured, perform these steps:

  • Open the Settings menu.
  • Follow System > Storage. 
  • Select Clear Local Xbox 360 Storage. 

Bug: “Trim failed” game captures and shares

Yakuza 7 Share

There are currently three issues when capturing, editing, and sharing 4K game captures on the Xbox Series X. The first comes up when trimming a clip, where you may see a “trim failed” error. There are also issues when uploading 4K videos to Xbox Live — where you may see an error or blank screen after the upload — and when sharing clips to Twitter.

Microsoft hasn’t reported errors for sharing on other platforms, and we haven’t encountered any issues. If you’re getting a different error related to 4K game captures, the solution here may still solve your problem.

Potential solution

Although Microsoft has identified three different issues related to game captures and shares, they all have the same solution. The problem is the resolution. Thankfully, the bug was addressed in the November console operating system update. Follow Settings > Console Info > OS Version to see what OS you have installed and to update to the latest version.

If you’re still having issues, here’s a workaround:

  • Open the Settings menu.
  • Follow Preferences > Capture & Share. 
  • Set Game Clip Resolution to 1080p. 

Bug: Wi-Fi doesn’t work or has connection issues

There are two issues regarding networking with the Xbox Series X right now, though one of them is more widespread than the other. Microsoft has identified that the Fritz!Box 7430 router is causing issues for some users. There isn’t an official fix now, but Microsoft plans to address the issue in a future update. Right now, we recommend using an Ethernet cable if you have the Fritz!Box 7430 and can’t connect to Wi-Fi. Alternatively, you can use a mobile hotspot.

The much more widespread issue relates to connection issues while playing multiplayer games. This issue only applies to players using Wi-Fi, either experiencing drops while playing or being unable to connect at all.

Potential solution

Like the router issue, Microsoft doesn’t have an official fix for Wi-Fi problems yet. However, there are a few things you can try. First, switch from the 5GHz band to the 2.4GHz band of your router, or vice versa. If that doesn’t solve the issue, open your router settings and disable WPA2 for the 5GHz band. Each router has a different way to access the control panel, so consult your router’s manual for the correct instructions.

Bug: Can’t connect controller

Xbox X Controller

The wireless controller that comes with your new Xbox Series X may not connect to the console. Before moving to the solution, make sure that you’ve replaced the batteries in your controller and that it powers on. We also recommend trying other controllers with your gaming console to see if they work.

Before getting to the solution, here’s a quick refresher on how to connect your Xbox Series X controller:

  • Power on your Xbox Series X by pressing the Xbox button on the console.
  • Turn on your controller by pressing the Xbox button on your controller.
  • Press the Pair button on your console until the Xbox logo starts flashing rapidly (button right above front USB port).
  • Press the Pair button on your controller until the Xbox logo starts flashing rapidly (button on the back of the controller, next to the USB port).

If all is working correctly, the lights on your console and controller will move from a rapid pulse to a slow one before turning solid white. If they don’t, proceed to the solution.

Potential solution

A hard reset of your Xbox Series X should solve any controller connectivity issues. Hold down the Xbox button on the front of your console for 10 seconds, waiting until you hear and see the console shut off. Wait a few seconds more, then press the Xbox button again to power on your console.

If your controller still won’t connect, use a USB cable to plug it directly into your Xbox using the USB port on the front. Your controller should power on and work, but if it doesn’t, there’s an issue with your controller. If your controller works wired but not wirelessly, and you’ve performed a hard reset and checked your batteries, contact Microsoft for a repair or replacement.

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