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How To Get More Storage on Your Xbox

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Whether you’re a casual gamer or a seasoned assassin with the controller, chances are you may run out of storage space on your Xbox.
Xbox consoles have a storage capacity of either 500GB if you have an older device, or 1TB device if you have a more recent version. This makes a big difference when it comes to game storage because some games, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, can take up almost 200GB of storage in your console. As you build up your game collection with larger game downloads, you’ll eventually need more space on your device.
Wondering how to get more storage on Xbox? Here’s everything you need to know about expanding your Xbox’s storage capacity.

How much space does an Xbox come with?

xbox controller and games
Credit: Pixabay
Xbox One launched in 2013 with its first consoles offering 500GB of storage space. With some games taking up to 200GB of space, you’d quickly run out of space after downloading only a few games of that size. If your games averaged 45GB each — most games are 35GB to 50GB — you could fit about 11 games on your console before needing to expand storage space.
Xbox released a 1TB version of Xbox One in 2016 and Xbox Series S and Series X in 2010, which allows gamers to download twice as many games. Given the 45GB average game size, many Xbox owners can download up to 22 games on their console. If all your games were nearly 200GB, however, you could only fit five games on your console before needing more space.
What takes up the most storage on an Xbox, anyway? The answer is games and apps.

How do I check how much storage space is available?

xbox controller
Credit: Unsplash
Not sure how to check the amount of storage available on your device? It’s easy.

  1. Press the “Xbox” button on your controller.
  2. Select “Profile & System,” then “All Settings,” then “System,” then “Storage.”
  3. From here, the page should display the amount of storage space used versus the amount available.

How To Get More Storage on Your Xbox

storage expansion on xbox series s
Credit: Microsoft

1. Uninstall Unwanted Games and Apps

You might be asking yourself how to get more storage on Xbox for free. The easy answer is to delete games or apps you’re not using. Downloaded games and apps (think music and TV streaming apps) easily use the large majority of your storage space. Take a look at your downloads and clear out any games you aren’t playing anymore.
How to uninstall games and apps:

  1. On the home screen, click “Go to my games & apps.”
  2. Select the game/app you want to uninstall.
  3. Click the “Menu” button on your controller.
  4. Select “Manage game/app.”
  5. Select the file you want to delete.
  6. Click “Uninstall.”

If you previously purchased the game, you can always reinstall it when you want to play it again—as long as you have enough space on your Xbox that is.

2. Delete Saved Game Files From Disk (That Are Already Backed Up to the Cloud)

Each time you play a game, data from your game is saved to both your console and to the cloud. Another way to free up space on your device is by deleting saved game files on your hard drive because they are already backed up to the cloud.
How to remove games but keep them on the cloud:

  1. Click the “Xbox” button on your controller.
  2. Select “Profile & System” > “Settings” > “System” > “Storage”
  3. When you reach the “Manage storage devices” screen, select “Clear local Xbox 360 storage.” This will remove local games while keeping them on the cloud.
  4. From the same “Manage storage devices” screen, select “Clear local saved games.” This will remove games downloaded to your hard drive but keep them on the cloud.

But maybe you don’t want to uninstall or delete anything from your device and you’re wondering how to free up space on Xbox without deleting games. Fortunately, there’s an alternative.

3. Don’t Want to Delete Games? Add an External Hard Drive

This one will cost you some money, but it’s worth the investment. Adding an external hard drive can double your Xbox storage space.
Before you take this route, make sure it meets these three criteria:

  1. The external hard drive should be empty (any data will be wiped clean during installation)
  2. The external hard drive must have a minimum of 256GB of storage space.
  3. The external hard drive must support USB 3.0.

Once you connect your hard drive to your console, you’ll be prompted to select “Format storage device.” Your console will take it from there. Remember, if you run out of room on your external hard drive, you can always purchase a second one.

Can I upgrade my Xbox internal hard drive?

You may read tips that tell you to replace the internal hard drive, but we don’t recommend that because it requires that you take your console apart and put it back together. Unless you know what you’re doing, you could easily damage your console which can result in data loss and a void in your warranty. Instead, play it safe and choose one of the above options.

Enjoy More Games with Ease

xbox game pass various games
Credit: Microsoft
As you can see, it’s easy to run out of internal storage space on your Xbox, but it doesn’t need to limit your gaming abilities. Choose to uninstall unused games and apps or buy an external hard drive to add more space to your console. Then, browse the Xbox Game Pass library for the best new games to download, and let the gaming continue.

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Slickdeals Staff
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