FIX: Xbox One S is not reading discs

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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The Xbox One S was released by Microsoft prior to the release of Xbox One X. Each of these consoles are packed with media features such as 4K streaming and Blu-ray player, plus support for the Xbox One games library.

It is part of the Xbox One generation which means it can play all Xbox One branded video games, including titles that are backwards compatible with Xbox 360 and Xbox. Thus the console can play digital and physical disc versions as the Xbox One X.

The Xbox One S also supports HDR for enabled video games, and comes with a built-in 4K Blu-ray disk drive for playing CD/DVD and 4K HDR Blu-ray discs, but at lower resolution compared to the Xbox One X.

If you’re having trouble with your Xbox One S not reading discs, check out the solutions below and see if they help.

How to fix Xbox One S not reading discs

  1. Disc won’t play or gives back errors
  2. Disc won’t read, isn’t recognized or won’t play when inserted
  3. Console makes grinding noise when disc is inserted
  4. Position the Xbox One S properly
  5. Use your finger to drag the disc in

1. Disc won’t play or gives back errors

If you have a problematic disc out of your collection, try the solutions below to resolve the Xbox One S not reading discs:

  • Clean the disc with a soft and slightly damp piece of cloth (must be clean as well). Do this by holding the edges without touching the surfaces of the disc
  • Play the disc on another console (if available) so you can see where the problem is.
  • If the problem is reading CD/DVD/Blu-ray discs and not game discs, ensure the Blu-ray player app has installed successfully before trying again
  • Check that the DVD/Blu-ray disc is from the same location you bought your console
  • Replace the game if none of the above preliminary solutions help.

Note: If you have issues with your UHD Blu-ray discs and your Xbox One S won’t read discs, especially for those in North America and Europe, the console complies with UHD Blu-ray requirements, but it is known that a limited number of such discs manufactured early 2016 may not play on the Xbox One S. This has since been corrected but if it persists, check with the support team of the title’s studio for assistance.

2. Disc won’t read, isn’t recognized or won’t play when inserted

This happens when the settings for Instant-On power mode can render a small number of consoles unable to read discs, or the disc drive needs servicing. However, try the solutions below:

Change power modes and power cycle the console. To do this:

  • 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 S console will read it. If it reads, revert back to Instant-On power mode

If this doesn’t work, request a repair from the Xbox Online Service Center.

3. Console makes grinding noise when disc is inserted

If you hear a grinding noise when you insert or try to play the disc, then your Xbox One S console needs service, in which case you can request a repair at the Online Service Center.

4. Position the Xbox One S properly

Xbox One S won't read discs

If the Xbox One S won’t read discs, check that you have correctly placed the console horizontally on a flat and stable surface. The console isn’t meant to operate in a vertical position as this affects disc drive performance. A proper stand is also needed if you want to place it vertically.

Ensure the surface is stable, don’t place it on speakers or subwoofers, and check that the space is well-ventilated, uncluttered, cool, and away from direct heat so1rces.

5. Use your finger to drag the disc in

This is a trick most users have shared online. If your Xbox One S won’t read discs, put a finger through the middle of the disk, then put the disk in the console and let the console try and drag the disc in.

If it builds resistance, take your finger out of the disc and the console should drag it in a little bit faster than usual. Check if your console reads the disc and that the game loads. You can also try putting in the disc multiple times and see if it is read.

Did any of these solutions help? Let us know in the comments section below.