Xbox One won’t read games [SOLVED]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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xbox one not reading games

Xbox One users have at one time or another raised concerns over the Xbox One not reading games, which is quite frustrating especially when you want to unwind by playing your favourite games.

Usually, this happens when the disc either won’t play or is not recognized when you insert it into the console. If your Xbox One Home screen tells you to insert a disc when a disc is already inserted, that means it doesn’t recognize your disc.

In such a case, there are two possible issues: either the settings for Instant-On power mode can render a small number of consoles unable to read discs, or, the console’s disc drive needs servicing.

Whatever the case may be when you find Xbox One not reading games, here are some solutions to help you get back to gameplay as soon as possible.

What can I do if my Xbox One is not reading games?

  1. Preliminary fixes
  2. Change power modes and power cycle the console
  3. Reposition your console
  4. Reset the Xbox One operating system
  5. Check the game disc for damage
  6. Try another game disc
  7. Replace the game
  8. Check for disc drive errors
  9. Request a repair

1. Preliminary fixes

  • Restart your console as the first quick fix – it usually helps in many cases.
  • If you’re using a USB flash to play the game on your console, ensure your external hard drive is selected as the default place to install games, by checking the storage settings.
  • You can also power down and unplug the Xbox One power cable, unplug the USB flash drive/hard drive, and move it to another port on your console. Plus back the power cord and power on the unit. Otherwise format the drive and the console will set it back up and format it again for use. It could be caused by a bad sector on your drive.
  • Sometimes your console may not recognize your external drives, so unplug and plugging back in is a common fix for this.
  • Install the latest Xbox updates through Xbox Live. Press Guide on your controller, then choose Settings>System settings>Wired network (or your wireless network)>Test Xbox Live connection. Install the update by selecting Yes when prompted
  • Check that you’re using the official hard drive for Xbox as some games won’t play unless you have this drive.
  • If you’re playing a disc game, you can clean the disc with a soft clean and slightly damp cloth, then try and see if it works again.
  • Clear the cache on your Xbox by pressing and holding down the power button to turn off your console, unplug the power cable from the console and press the power button to drain the battery. Connect the power cable again and wait till the light turns orange (from white), and turn on your console again.
  • Play the disc on another console and see if the issue is the disc or the console’s disc drive
  • Ensure Blu-ray player app is properly installed, and is from the same region you bought your console.

2. Change power modes and power cycle the console

  • Press the Xbox button to open guide
  • Select System
  • Select Settings
  • Select Power & Startup
  • Select Power mode and startup
  • Select Power mode
  • Select Energy saving
  • Perform a hard power cycle by holding down the Xbox button for 10 seconds, then press the button again to restart it
  • Try the disc again and wait to see if the Xbox One console will read it. If it reads, revert back to Instant-On power mode

Your Xbox One doesn’t work after a power outage? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

3. Reposition your console

The positioning of your console may result in your Xbox One not reading games.

Once your Xbox One console is horizontally positioned on a level, stable, uncluttered surface, try playing your game again to see if the gameplay issue reoccurs.

4. Reset the Xbox One operating system

There may be a problem with your console’s operating system hence Xbox One won’t play games. The reset can be done without deleting your games or apps. To do that:

  • Open the guide.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select All Settings.
  • Select System.
  • Select Console info & updates.
  • Select Reset console.
  • On the Reset your console?screen, select Reset and keep my games & apps. This resets the OS and deletes potentially corrupted data without deleting your games or apps.

Note: Do NOT select Reset and remove everything because this resets the console to factory settings, and all user data, and all games and apps will be deleted. This should only be used as a last resort solution.

If successful, you may have to repeat some general console set-up steps before getting back to the Home screen. Try and play your game again after this.

5. Check the game disc for damage

Take a close look at the back side of your disc. Are there scratches or other visible damage?

Excessive scratching, nicks, or other damage can prevent your Xbox One console from reading a disc.

6. Try another game disc

If your game disc is clean and free of visible damage, the gameplay issue may be caused by a problem with your console’s disc drive. To test this, try playing a different game disc.

If you’re able to play other game discs on the same console, then the disc drive is not the cause of the gameplay issue.

7. Replace the game

If none of the general troubleshooting solutions work, and your Xbox One won’t play games, especially for disc games, you can replace the game.

Can’t stream Xbox games to Windows 10? Check out this guide and solve the issue in no time.

8. Check for disc drive errors

If your Xbox One console is unable to play any disc-based games, you should check to see if a disc drive issue is causing the problem.

9. Request a repair

If the above solutions don’t help, your Xbox One console will need a repair, which you can request for by going to the Online Service Center.

Were you able to get your console to read games again? Let us know in the comments section below.