How To Make Sure Your Xbox Series X/S Games Are Always Updated

How To Make Sure Your Xbox Series X/S Games Are Always Updated
Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

There’s nothing better than kicking back after a stressful day at work and diving in with a new game. If you’re an Xbox Series X or S owner, this might come in the form of Psychonauts 2 or any of the other recent hits on Xbox Game Pass. But as much fun as gaming can be, it can also be riddled with frustration — particularly if you get caught on the wrong side of a game update.

A long time ago, you’d download a game or put a disc in, and that would be that. The game would start and you’d be off to the races.

Now, games get weekly or even daily updates that can be over 50GB — and if that game requires the use of online connectivity or it was purchased digitally, you might actually have to stop and wait for it to update before you can even boot it up.

It means there’ll be some days where you sit down to a game and you’ll never actually get to play it because of how long updates can take.

Luckily, there’s a solution — and you just need to tinker around with the Xbox Series X or S settings to find it.

xbox series x s update game settings
Image: Gizmodo Australia

To make sure your games are always up-to-date and ready to play, you’ll want to make sure you have keep my console up to date and keep my games & apps up to date checked in the settings menu.

Here’s how to navigate to these options:

  • Settings > System > Updates

Check both boxes, and your Xbox will have permission to keep all games updated on a daily basis. It means even if your console is asleep overnight, you’ll still be able to turn it on and have all your updates completed.

But there are two additional steps you’ll need to ensure your Xbox can receive updates without manual input. First, follow this path:

  • Settings > General > Power mode & startup

Then, make sure turn off storage when Xbox is turned off is unchecked and switch your power mode selection to instant-on.

As long as both these settings are correct, your console will automatically push through any game updates and help you kick off long nights of gaming without the wait.

When you need a good game in a jiffy, these settings will be an absolute blessing.


  • I haven’t got this working on my series x as yet, pretty sure I have all of this turned on. Kinda wish they had of applied “smart delivery” to this, but I guess it’s more of a UI issue, which isn’t the Xbox’s strongest point

    • I was having trouble too, and unchecking the ‘turn off storage’ option fixed it for me – some people have suggested a factory reset, but that’s a pain. It might be worthwhile sending a report to Xbox?

      • Cheers Leah. I might try turning that on & off again when I get home. To be honest, after a few attempts I had just given up, before reading this.

  • This helps but in my experience it’s mostly useless unless you’re not playing a game for a while. To really make sure you’re up to date I’ve found:
    * Friday is usually patch day, checking manually for updates in the morning and afternoon usually makes sure everything is being downloaded as soon as it can be.
    * Automatic updates can sit around for days, so regularly checking for updates manually will force them to update now rather than at the system’s whims.
    * Suspend active games if you’re trying to get a patch down. Otherwise it’s like being on dial up.
    * Try and avoid early evening updating. Microsoft is notorious for their throttling during peak periods so even if you do everything to make sure it downloads as fast as possible it can still rival Sony for slowest download speeds.

  • One very important thing that wasn’t mentioned here is that you need to make sure that you don’t have the option to turn off your external storage if you are using an external USB drive. If the hard drive turns off when the console is in sleep mode, game will not auto update

    • oh, you did mention it… my bad… missed it. This is a very important point often missed. Well done Leah J. Williams!!

      • All good! I wasn’t aware of it at first, so I made sure to include it in the article because it’s one of the more important settings.

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