How to Set Up Xbox One: Speed up Xbox One Setup with our handy tips and tricks

Did you manage to snap up a shiny new Xbox One S or Xbox One X? Maybe you’ve picked up an original Xbox One secondhand? Either way, a world of gaming fun awaits you thanks to your new console.

How to Set Up Xbox One: Speed up Xbox One Setup with our handy tips and tricks

Unlucky for you, this entails unpacking your Xbox One and setting it up first. Lucky for you, this doesn’t require a degree in electrical engineering; Microsoft’s straightforward process makes Xbox One setup easy.

And we’re here to make it that tiny bit easier, offering you some of the best hints and tips on how to set up your Xbox One and get the best out of your new console.

Speed up Xbox One setup with your phone

A few steps into the first-time Xbox One setup, you’ll be faced with a mandatory system software update, which can take a good 15-20 minutes depending on your internet connection. You could pop the kettle on and sip a cup of tea while you watch the progress bar across the screen, or you can use your phone to help speed things up.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a URL and code that you can use with your phone’s web browser. This will let you carry on with the rest of the setup process while your console is busy updating itself.

Log in to your Microsoft account

Every Xbox One user needs to have a Microsoft account and a Gamertag. You’ll already have these if you’ve been online with Xbox consoles in the past, but if you need a new Gamertag, Microsoft’s unified system means you can quickly log in with the email and password from an account created for Skype, Outlook, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Windows Phone. If none of these apply, you can always start with a brand-new Microsoft account.


Choose your power mode and automatic update settings

Turning off your Xbox One doesn’t completely shut it down, but rather sets it to a standby mode. There are two modes to choose from during setup: instant-on mode gives you faster startup time, lets you instantly resume your games and automatically downloads updates, but draws around 12W and may have a little fan noise. The energy-saving mode uses much less power, but it will take longer to wake the console and you won’t be able to instantly resume games.

You can also choose whether you want the console to automatically download and install system updates and keep your games and apps up to date.

If you change your mind later, you can find these options in the Settings app under System | Updates and under Power & Startup | Power Mode & Startup.

Make your Xbox One X upgrade easy with a hard drive and the cloud

There are several ways to transfer all your games and personal data from one Xbox One to another. Microsoft now automatically backs up your Home layout and console settings in the cloud, so whenever you sign in on any console, all the pinned apps and games, communities, and game bubs that you follow will be exactly where you expect them to be.

One pain with a new console is that you have to install your games all over again. If you’re upgrading, you can remove that pain completely by having all your games already installed on an external hard drive. Simply plug that drive into your new Xbox One X and all your games are there to play right away.

No hard drive? If you still have your old Xbox One while upgrading, you can do a network transfer. Head to the Settings app, then System | Backup & Transfer | Network Transfer. Check the box marked Allow Network Transfer.


On the new Xbox One, log in and head to the same place where you should see the old console listed. Select it and you’ll be able to pick exactly which games and apps to copy across over your local network.

Get free Xbox games with free trials and subscriptions

Your console also comes with 14-day free trials for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. These can come as codes in the box with your console – some boxed bundles come with longer trials – but are also offered when signing in for the first time.

Xbox Live Gold is required for online gaming. It also comes with two Xbox One and two Xbox 360 games every month as part of Games with Gold.

Learn your way around with Xbox Assist

If you’re feeling a bit lost with your new console, you can always delve into Xbox Assist to learn about some of its features, find a solution to a specific problem you’re having or search the help database.

You can find Xbox Assist by pressing the Xbox button on your controller to open the Guide menu, scrolling right to the System tab, and then selecting Xbox Assist.

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