After 15 years, you’d think the Xbox 360 would kick the bucket and the console would simply cease to work. However, if you take care of the machine, it’ll serve you well—a testament to the console’s quality. But regardless of how well you’ve kept your Xbox 360 clean, you can run into a stuck Xbox 360 tray.

Rather than take apart the Xbox 360 down to its disc tray, there’s a few tricks you can take advantage of. Depending on your model, the process is slightly different. Find the model you own and follow the steps provided.

Fixing a Stuck Original Xbox 360

If you still have the original Xbox 360, first off—how? You have some serious luck if your original Xbox 360 survived the Red Ring of Death. Second, try these methods below.

Got a Credit Card? Try This…

You can safely force the disc tray open with the help of a credit card or debit card or any card for that matter. So long as it’s relatively sturdy and thin enough to fit between the disc tray and Xbox 360, it should work.

Here’s what you do:

1. Turn the Xbox 360 on. Yes, it needs to be on for this.

2. Now, wedge the credit card between the top of the disc tray and the Xbox 360.

3. Press the Eject button and as the Xbox 360 attempts to open, bend the credit away from you. You don’t have to apply a lot of force, so be gentle but firm.

4. Check for any sticky substance. In the event that you found the reason for the stickage, shut down the console and clean it.

Once the disc tray pops open, you can retrieve any game that may be stuck or insert a new game. If you have no desire to get the console fixed, this is a safe way of ejecting the disc tray without damaging it. In fact, you’re welcome to use this method. Of course, it will eventually get tedious.

Got a Paperclip? Try This…

Another method of opening the disc tray is through the use of a paperclip. Using this method will manually eject the disc tray, taking advantage of the inside mechanics.

Here’s how:

1. Shut down the console completely and remove all the cables, including the HDMI cable.

2. Remove the faceplate. On the left-hand side of the disc tray should be two holes.

3. Take a paperclip and insert it into the leftmost hole and push. You will feel some resistance and that’s normal. When done successfully, the trap will open.

4. Clean the disc tray.

Fixing a Stuck Xbox 360 S

Fixing a stuck Xbox 360 S is a bit more straightforward than the original Xbox 360. All you’re going to need to pull off this trick is a paperclip. Once you have one, move on with the guide.

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by shutting down the entire system. When it’s powered down, remove all cables including the video cable.

2. Now, look at the console face on. You want the vent on your left to be facing you, which is the console’s right side, which is also the side of the console that’s closer to the disc tray. You can remove the plastic vent. It comes off easily.

3. Now, with the vent removed, notice the grey chassis? There’s a hole colored in yellow. Take a paperclip and insert it into the hole. It doesn’t take a lot of force to manually eject the disc tray.

4. Clean the disc tray.

Fixing a Stuck Xbox 360 E

For those of you who own an Xbox 360 E, there’s a hidden eject button that can manually pop the disc tray out, allowing you to retrieve a stuck disc, insert a new game or simply clean the tray. All you need is a paperclip.

Here’s how it works:

1. First things first: shut down the console entirely. You don’t want to be sticking a metal paperclip into a system that has electricity running through it. Afterwards, remove all cables.

2. Now, on the side that’s closest to the disc tray, you’ll see a plastic grill. It can be removed with the help of a flathead screwdriver, but a good grip on it works just as well.

3. Once removed, take notice of the grey chassis showing through. That’s where the hardware is housed. You should also notice a yellow sticker accompanied by a hole. Take a paperclip and insert it into the hole. If successful, it will manually eject the disc tray.

4. Clean the tray.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, being able to access the disc tray without taking it apart entirely is a boon. You’ll still have the opportunity to clean it or better yet, assess the damage if any is apparent. While it isn’t likely that any internal damage is present, it’s worth trying these before taking it apart.