Why Does My Xbox Keep Turning Off? (23 Fixes)

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xbox keeps turning off

An issue that frustrates many Xbox users is that sometimes the console may start to turn off on its own. This could happen while you are playing a game or just after you have powered the console on.

In most cases, it is caused by different aspects of the power supply and ventilation on the console. But in a few other cases, it is an indication of a hardware failure that may require some repairs.

We have researched all the known reasons why your Xbox console keeps turning off and their possible solutions. Please read on to see how you can solve this problem in clear and simple steps.

Why Does My Xbox Keep Turning Off

1. Console is Too Hot

If your Xbox suddenly turns off while you are playing a game, it is possible that the console has become too hot. When the Xbox console is too hot, it turns off on its own as a safety measure to prevent serious damage to the device. So, it’s nothing to worry about.

Cause – External Ventilation Issues

If your Xbox console does not have proper ventilation, your Xbox may overheat and turn off on its own.

Fix – Wait for Xbox to Cool down

The first step to take when your Xbox console overheats and turns off is to let it sit for 1 full hour. This will give all the internal components of the console enough time to cool and get back to good working conditions. After waiting one hour, please ensure that all the conditions listed in the next fix below are met before powering your console back on.

Fix 2 – Ensure Proper Ventilation

  • Make sure that the air vents (exhaust grill and side panels) on the console are free of any cobwebs, dust, or other materials that may block it
  • Make sure that there is no device on, inside, or under the Xbox console
  • Make sure that no device that gives off heat is close to the Xbox console
  • Do not place your Xbox console under direct sunlight
  • Make sure that your playing area allows for proper ventilation so that the hot air emitted by the console is properly dissipated
  • Do not place your Xbox console on soft surfaces like rugs, sofa, beds. It is better to place it on a cool, hard, steady surface

Cause 2 – Internal cooling component malfunction

Your Xbox console comes with an integrated internal cooling system which helps to make sure that you can enjoy your Xbox for a long while without overheating. The internal cooling system includes the thermal paste and the fan.

The thermal paste cools the processor during use while the fan cools the entire console. If any one of these parts malfunctions, the console or the processor would overheat and cause your Xbox to power off.

Fix – Change Thermal Paste

If you have used your Xbox for 2 to 3 years, then you should change the thermal paste. When the thermal paste no longer covers the CPU properly or when it starts to flow off the processor, it will cause the board to overheat and cause your Xbox to turn off on its own

Fix 2 – Ensure Fan Works

Make sure that the fan is working, and turning at full speed. If you notice an unusually loud noise from the fan, please have it checked by a technician. Sometimes, it could be because the console has become too hot. But, other times, it could also be that the fan is developing a fault.

Fix 3 – Don’t Use Xbox for Too Long, All the Time

Even though the console has an effective cooling system, it is not good practice to use Xbox for prolonged periods too often. Using Xbox for prolonged periods at a time wears out the thermal paste quickly which in turn would cause overheating of the console.

2. Power Supply is Faulty or Tripped

Another reason why your Xbox may turn off on its own is that the power supply is either faulty or tripped off temporarily. This happens when the power supply is inadequate for the console, or the power circuit on the Xbox suffers a glitch, or the wall outlet is faulty, or any other power-related issue.

Before performing any of the steps below, please make sure that the power cord is actually plugged in properly into the power port on the console and into the wall socket.

Fix 1 – Power Cycle

When your Xbox turns off, check the power indicator light. If it is a steady white or orange, then you know that power the power source may not be the issue. Rather, it is the internal power circuit that’s glitching. If the light is blinking or there is no light at all, then there is probably an issue with the motherboard or the power supply.

Whatever the case, you should first try to unplug the Xbox from the socket, wait about 30 minutes, and then plug it back in

Fix 2 – Use Another Wall Outlet

If you perform the power cycle above and the issue persists, then it is likely that the socket you are using is faulty. In that case, you should try plugging the Xbox into another wall socket and see if the power issue is resolved

Fix 3 – Remove Extension or Surge Protector

If you are using an extension, it may be that the extension is faulty. It may not be supplying any power at all or it may be supplying inadequate voltage to power on your Xbox.

Also, surge protectors could affect the power supply quality to your Xbox. Original Xbox power cables have an in-built surge protector anyway, so it is best to stick to Microsoft recommendations.

The best way to use Xbox as recommended by Microsoft is to plug it directly into an AC wall socket that is confirmed to be working well.

3. Defective Controllers

The Xbox console and controller are very closely integrated to provide a flexible experience on your Xbox.

You can use the Xbox button to power on the console just as you can use the console’s power button to do the same. This integration means that when there is an issue with the power function on the controller, it may cause the console to turn off on its own.

Fix – Change Battery or Repair Controller

The best way to know if the controller is the source of the problem is, when your Xbox turns off on its own, press the Xbox button on the controller to power it back on.

If it does not power on, press the power button on the console to power it on. If the console comes on, then you’re sure that the controller is the problem.

In that case, you need to first change or charge the batteries depending on the type you are using. If that does not resolve the issue, then you may take the controller to a repairer to fix the power issue for you.

4. Automatic Shutdown Feature on

The Automatic shutdown feature on Xbox enables it to turn off after an extended period of inactivity. This function is activated by default to a certain inactivity time period, usually 1 hour. If your Xbox turns off on its own, it is possible that it was inactive for this length of time.

However, there are occasions where a glitch in the Xbox system may cause the automatic shutdown to be activated even when you are actively using the console.

Fix – Turn Off Automatic Shutdown

Follow these steps to turn off The Automatic shutdown on your Xbox:

1. Turn on the console.

2. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.

3. Select Profile and system

4. Select Settings

5. Select General

6. Select Power mode and Startup

7. Under Options, select Turn off after

8. Select Don’t Turn Off Automatically

5. Persistent Storage or Cache Issues

Just like every other smart device, the Xbox one has a cache memory. It also has a special cache memory called Persistent Storage.

The persistent storage on Xbox is a long-term cache for storing data that are not related to saved games such as replays and custom rendered recordings of gameplay. Persistent Storage is not like the normal cache because it does not store any data that is needed for a game to run.

However, there are times when this persistent storage may become filled with too much data or become corrupt, causing your Xbox to malfunction including powering off on its own.

It also causes other such as lagging and unresponsiveness. The same goes for the general cache memory.

Fix – Clear Cache and Persistent Storage

There are two steps to totally clear the cache and persistent storage on your Xbox. Please note that both steps have to be completed in order to fully clear the filled or corrupt memory on your Xbox;

Step One

1. Press the Home button on the Xbox controller to open the menu

2. Select Settings

3. Select Devices and Connections

4. Select Blu-ray

5. Press A to Clear Persistent Storage

OR

1. Press the Home button on the Xbox controller to open the menu

2. Select Settings

3. Select Disc & Blu-ray

4. Select Persistent storage.

5. Then Clear Persistent storage

Step Two

1. Power off your Xbox and unplug it from the power supply

2. Press and hold the power button on the Xbox console for 10 seconds. Then repeat 3 times more

3. Plug the power cord back in

4. Wait one full minute, then press the power button to power on your Xbox

6. Instant-On Feature

The instant-on feature on Xbox is like a mix of Sleep and Hibernate on your PC. When you turn this feature on, your Xbox is never fully turned off when you power it off.

Instead, it enters into a very low power state so that the boot time is reduced when you power it back on. Instant-on also allows you to wake up your Xbox with your voice if the feature is available on your Xbox series.

However, there are times when a glitch in the feature may cause your Xbox to keep powering off on its own, constantly putting it in that low power state.

Fix – Turn Off Instant-On

To eliminate this problem, you need to turn off the instant-on feature. The only catch is that it will now take your Xbox longer to fully boot when you power it on.

To turn off instant-on:

1. Turn on the console.

2. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.

3. Select Profile and system

4. Select Settings

5. Select General

6. Select Power mode and Startup

7. Click the Power Mode dropdown menu and select Energy Saving

7. Faulty Power Cable and Ports

Another common cause of your Xbox turning off on its own is that the power cable for your Xbox may be bad, or the power port may be faulty. When troubleshooting for this, you need to adopt a step-by-step elimination method to isolate the source of the fault.

Fix – Disconnect and Reconnect All Cables

This is the first step to take to ensure that the fault is not from a partial connection at any end of the power supply.

1. Remove the HDMI cable from your Xbox

2. Remove the power cable from your Xbox

3. Remove the plug from the power supply

4. Carefully and firmly fix the cables back in the order that they were removed

Then check if your Xbox still turns off on its own. If it does, please go to step two.

Fix 2 – Clean Dust From The Port and Power Cable

It may be that there are substances in the power port or power cable that are preventing the free flow of electricity to your Xbox.

1. Blow compressed air into the power port on your Xbox console

2. Use a damp, clean, tiny piece of cloth to clean around the power pins

3. Also, blow compressed air into the end of the cable that connects to your Xbox

4. Blow compressed air into the HDMI port on your Xbox

Then try and see if your Xbox keeps turning off still

Fix 3 – Replace Power Cable

If your Xbox still won’t come on or stay on, then it may be that the power cable is faulty and needs replacement (view on Amazon). Please be aware of these specifications to ensure you are buying the right cable for your Xbox:

1. Voltage versions – 100-110V, 220-24V, 100-240V only.

2. Power cable must meet the power requirements for your region.

3. Power cable must be new

8. Xbox Out of Date

Another common reason why your Xbox keeps powering off is that the console may be out of date. Xbox releases updates at least once a month. These updates introduce new features to Xbox as well as fix existing bugs on the console.

If your Xbox is out of date, it may not have the patches needed to fix the bugs that are causing the powering-off issue.

Fix – Update Xbox

Xbox is set to update automatically but this may fail due to network issues, interrupted updates, or your Xbox not meeting the conditions for automatic update.

To update Xbox manually:

1. Ensure that your Xbox is connected to the internet. We recommend using an ethernet cable for this

2. Press the Xbox button on your controller

3. Select Profile and System

4. Select Settings

5. Select System

6. Select Updates and Downloads

7. Select Update Console

To set Xbox to update automatically, you would need to enable Instant-on. This is to enable updates to download and install in the background:

1. Press the Xbox button on your controller

2. Select Profile and System

3. Select Settings

4. Select General

5. Select Power Mode and Startup

6. Select Power Mode and set it to Instant-on

7. Press the B button to go back to Settings

8. Select System

9. Select Updates and Downloads

10. Check the box to Keep My Console Up To Date

11. Also check the box to Keep My Games and Apps Up to Date

9. Glitch

If your Xbox keeps turning off even after replacing the power cable and performing all the other steps above, then it is possible that your Xbox has run into a serious glitch that may require a hard or factory reset.

As you use your Xbox over time, you may have changed settings, played games or used your Xbox in a way that is not recommended by Microsoft, causing your Xbox to malfunction seriously.

You would need to either refresh the console or completely wipe all the data on it to resolve the issue. Please perform these steps one after the other and try using Xbox after each step:

Fix – Hard Reset Console

1. Turn on the console.

2. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the menu

3. Select Profile and system

4. Select Settings

5. Select System

6. Select Console Info

7. Select Reset Console

8. Select Reset and Keep My Games and Apps

This is the first step to take for the troubleshooting process. This process will reset the operating system of the Xbox, remove all corrupt data, while preserving your data.

If this hard reset does not resolve the issue of your Xbox turning off, then you would have to perform a full factory reset.

Fix 2 – Factory Reset Console

1. Turn on the console.

2. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.

3. Select Profile and system

4. Select Settings

5. Select System

6. Select Console Info

7. Select Reset Console

8. Reset and Remove Everything.

If your Xbox has been powering off because of a file or system corruption, then a factory reset is certain to fix it. You would however, lose all your apps and games.

Fix 3 – Factory Reset Using PC

Some users have reported that they are unable to perform a factory reset because the Xbox won’t stay on long enough to complete the process. In that case, you may use your PC to reset your Xbox and resolve the issue.

Follow the steps below carefully to reset using PC:

Requirements:

  • A windows OS laptop
  • Internet connection
  • USB flash drive with no file on it and at least 4GB space, and formatted as NTFS. Note that all other formats such as FAT32 and exFAT will not work for this process.

If your USB is formatted using the normal FAT32, please reformat it to NTFS using the steps below:

1. Plug the USB drive or external storage device into your PC.

2. Open File Explorer.

3. Right-click your USB drive or external storage device.

4. From the pop-up menu, select Format.

5. In the File system dropdown menu, select NTFS.

6. Select Start to begin formatting.

Then proceed with the next steps to reset your Xbox

1. Plug your USB flash drive into your PC’s USB port

2. Download the file to reset your Xbox

3. Go to the downloaded zip file on your PC, right-click on it and select Extract All

4. Copy the $SystemUpdate file from the extracted files into the empty USB flash drive and eject the drive

5. If your Xbox is using a wired connection, unplug the cable from the console at this point

6. Power off your console if it is still on, then unplug it from the power supply

7. Wait 30 seconds, then plug the cable back into the power supply

8. Plug the USB with the reset file into the USB port on your Xbox

9. Press and hold the Pair button ((( and the Eject button on your console

10. Then, press the Xbox button

12. Then, keep holding the Pair and Eject buttons for 15 seconds.

13. Note: If your Xbox does not have the Eject button, then just press the Pair button alone for the steps above.

14. Wait until you hear two power-up tones. If you do not hear these two tones a couple of seconds from each other, then the reset has failed

15. After the two tones, release the Pair and Eject buttons

16. Wait until the console starts, then unplug the USB flash drive

17. Follow the onscreen instruction to complete the reset process

10. Xbox Faulty

A few users have found that even after resetting Xbox to factory settings, the console continues to turn off intermittently on its own. If this is the case with you, then it’s very likely an indication of a hardware issue on your Xbox.

It is possible that the processor or mainboard is faulty and requires either the expertise of a technician to fix it or a total replacement.

Fix – Repair Console

To repair your Xbox, we strongly recommend going through official channels. This provides a better guarantee of a proper repair than using third-party repairers.

1. Register your Xbox here – support.xbox.com/en-US/help/hardware-network/warranty-service/register-your-product

2. Sign in here to check your Xbox warranty status support.microsoft.com/devices

3. If your device is still under warranty, you are eligible to get a free repair of your Xbox. However, the terms and conditions for warranty depend largely on where you bought your Xbox.

You could review the terms for your location here support.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/warranty-and-protection-plan-terms-conditions

4. If your device is no longer under warranty or you are not eligible for a free repair, you will be notified of the cost when you sign in here account.microsoft.com/devices/select-device-for-repair

However, if you are unable to access Microsoft for a repair, please do proper research for a trusted repairer in your area. Please note that your Xbox is a complex and delicate device, you should not take chances with its repair.

Fix 2 – Replace Console

If you are unable to fix your Xbox, then we recommend that you get a new one instead (view on Amazon). Please note the following when buying Xbox:

This will guarantee quality and ensure that you are covered by warranty

  • Register your Device once you purchase it
  • Do not use any accessories outside of the ones that come with your Xbox

Fix 3 – Contact Xbox

If buying a new Xbox is not on the cards for you, you may contact Xbox for assistance on the issue you’re facing. They may have a solution that would work for your particular device which we have not covered in this article.

You may also reach them via Twitter.

Why Does My Xbox Keep Turning Off When I Play a Game?

The main possible reason why your Xbox keeps turning off when you play a game is that your Xbox is overheating. When your Xbox is performing a power-intensive function like playing a game, the console generates heat. Therefore, if you notice that your Xbox only goes off when you play a game, it is very likely that it is heating up too much.

To keep the console cool:

  • The thermal paste has to cover the circuit properly and replaced every couple of years
  • The fan has to be working properly
  • Your Xbox must be in a well-ventilated area
  • Your Xbox must not be under direct sunlight
  • Your Xbox must not be in a small compartment. Clearance on all sides of the Xbox must be at least 6 inches
  • Your Xbox must not be close to any device that gives off heat
  • Your Xbox must not be on a soft surface such as a bed or rug or sofa

1. Game Defective – Game Causes Xbox to Overheat

If you notice that your Xbox console overheats and shuts down when you play particular games, it is not because the games are defective. Rather, it is because they consume a lot of resources on your Xbox CPU which causes it to overheat.

However, this can easily be avoided if you have proper ventilation around your console. Every game on Xbox is vetted by Microsoft for compatibility with the console. Therefore, it is the power and resource demands of the game that’s causing your Xbox to overheat and not a defect.

Also note that, even if you have good ventilation, the thermal paste that cools the processor has to be changed every couple of years. If not, overheating will still occur with games that use much processing power.

Why Did My Xbox One Turn Off By Itself and Won’t Turn On

If your Xbox turned off on its own and won’t turn back on, then it most certainly is a power issue on the console. Here are some of the possible causes:

Console is Not Properly Plugged In – When you encounter this issue, first ensure that the power cord is properly plugged into the console and plugged firmly in the wall socket.

You’ve Got a Bad Power Outlet – After ensuring that the console is properly plugged in, check whether the fault is at the wall outlet. Use another wall outlet to test and see if your Xbox comes back on. Do not use an extension or a surge protector to plug in your Xbox console.

The Internal Power Supply is on Standby – If you plug in the console and the LED indicator lights up but the console won’t power on, it is possible that the internal power supply of the Xbox console is on standby.

Reset the supply by unplugging all the cables from the console, the wall outlet and the power supply. Wait 15 seconds and then plug them back in. Then power on your Xbox with the console power button

The Power Supply Circuit Breaker Broke – this has to do with the power connection in your location. You would need to have it checked out by an electrician

The Motherboard is Defective – If the motherboard of the Xbox is defective, the LED indicator may not even light up when you plug it in. Once you have confirmed that the power source and the power cables are all working well, you may need to take your Xbox to a repairer to check the motherboard for possible defects.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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