How to Get More Storage on an Xbox

Games and apps take up a bunch of space on Xbox game consoles. When there isn’t enough space to install a new game or app, you have a couple of options to create more space by uninstalling some of your content or buying an external storage device that will allow you to add to keep more of your content.

How to Get More Storage on an Xbox

This article will show you how to get more storage on your Xbox.

Change Installation Locations

You can set your default installation locations to individual drives, or you could let your Xbox automatically select where it goes. Xbox will first attempt to install games and apps on faster drives but if a slower drive is the only one available, the content will be installed there.

 Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Choose “Profile & System.”
  3. Select “Settings,” “System,” and then “Storage Devices.”
  4. Click “Change Install Locations.”

Manage Console Storage

An Xbox has either a 500 GB or 1 TB internal storage drive. Most of the space is for games and apps, but some is used for software and other system functions so you will need to set up external storage if you need more.

To manage your storage, follow these steps:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Choose “Profile & System.”
  3. Choose “Settings” and then “System.”
  4. Select “Storage Devices.”

A graphic will be displayed for each drive showing you how much storage is used and how much is free. Choose a drive and do one of the following:

View Contents

Your games and apps and the amount of space they use will be listed here. If you’re attempting to uninstall any games or apps, highlight the item and press the “Menu” button. Then choose one of these:

  • Uninstall

This option will uninstall the game or app.

  • Manage Game and Add Ons

Add Ons don’t need to be downloaded to be used so they won’t take up any storage space on your console.

  1. Go to the “Manage” screen and select the game.
  2. Unselect the box for each add-on you want to install.
  3. Select “Save Changes.”

Move or Copy

Any games that use a lot of space can be transferred to an external storage device. To do that follow these steps:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Choose “My Games & Apps.”
  3. Select “See All” and then “Games.”
  4. Highlight the game and press the “Menu” button.
  5. Choose “Manage Game and Add Ons.”
  6. Select the game box on the top of the screen, and then select “Move or Copy.”
  7. For anything you want to copy or move, select the box, and choose the drive you want to copy or move it to.
  8. Press “Copy Selected” or “Move Selected.”

Anything listed on “More Add Ons” doesn’t need to be transferred because it’s not downloaded to local storage, and will automatically appear.

Uninstall Console Content

This is where you can choose any game or app and press “Remove Selected” to free up some space.

Xbox has smart storage which helps you choose what may be good to remove. You can use their suggestions or make your own decisions. Even if you remove a game from your console, it’s still saved in the cloud, and you won’t lose any progress.

Change How the Drive Is Configured

  1. Select a drive and choose “Change How Drive is Configured.”
  2. Select one of these options:

Using a drive on a specific console enables it to check for updates automatically. Drives designated for one primary console will also be prioritized if you choose the “Let Xbox Choose” option.

If you use multiple consoles, the external hard drive won’t have the ability to update games and apps automatically.

Rename Your Storage Devices

All you need to do is select a drive, press “Rename,” and then put the new name in it.

Format the Storage Devices

This will delete everything on the drive and then format it for an Xbox console.

Set a Screen Capture Location

This will direct the drive to capture screenshots of game clips.

How to Transfer Multiple Games at Once

  1. Connect the external storage device to your Xbox.
  2. On your controller press the Xbox button.
  3. Go to “Profile & System.”
  4. Select “Settings” and then “System.”
  5. Go to “Storage Devices” and click the device that you want.
  6. Select your library by clicking “Select All” or use the checkboxes to select the content you want.
  7. Select “Move Selected” or “Copy Selected” and select “Transfer.”

The entire process could take some time depending on the size and amount of content.

Free Up Hard Drive Space

To free up space:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Choose “Profile & System.”
  3. Select “Settings,” “System,” and “Storage.”
  4. On the “Manage Storage Devices” screen, choose one of these:
    • Clear Local Saved Games
      This will delete the games you have saved on your hard drive, but you’ll still have them in the cloud.
    • Clear Local Xbox 360 Storage
      This will delete any Xbox 360 games that are saved locally, but they will also stay in the cloud.

Remove Leftover Add-Ons and Shrinkable Games

After you’ve uninstalled a game, leftover add-ons may remain. To uninstall these, do this:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Click on “My Games & Apps.”
  3. Select “See All,” “Manage,” and “Free Up Space.”
  4. Select “Left Over Add Ons” or “Shrinkable Games.”
  5. Highlight what you want from the list and press the “Menu” button and then “Uninstall.”

Set Up External Storage

You’re only able to use external storage with Xbox if your hard drive can hold 128 Gb or more and if it can connect via USB 3.0 or 3.1.

You will format your device when you first connect to Xbox.

It’s important to note that formatting a USB will erase all the data that is already contained on it.

After your drive has been formatted and you’ve named it, you’ll have to choose whether you want to use the external drive with your console or if you will be using multiple consoles.

If you’re using the drive on a specific console, the drive will check automatically for updates. If you’re using the drive on multiple consoles you need to manually update the games.

If you want to change how formatting is done, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “My Games & Apps.”
  2. Click on “System” then “Storage.”
  3. Select “Storage Devices” and select which one you want to change.
  4. Press the “A” button and then go to the setting you want.

If you choose to cancel formatting when you connect the storage device, set it up later by doing this:

  1. On your controller, press the Xbox button.
  2. Choose “Profile& System.”
  3. Choose “Settings” and then “System Storage.”
  4. Choose your device and select “Format Device.”

Cloud Storage

When you’re connected to Xbox, any saved games and personal data are saved on your Xbox and in the cloud automatically. However, you need a regular Xbox network connection to keep your data in sync.

Xbox Won’t Recognize My External Drive

The console will reformat your drive so be sure there isn’t any important information stored on the hard drive before setting it up.

If your console doesn’t recognize your external drive visit  Trouble shoot External storage

More Storage Please

Playing on your Xbox can be fun. Lots of new games for the console come out regularly and you probably want to get them all. The problem is you only have so much storage space on your console for all these cool new games. So, you either need to get more storage or free up space for all the new content that comes your way. This article explains how to do both.

Have you used one of the above methods to add more storage to your Xbox? Did you find it helpful? Tell us in the comments section below.

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