The Xbox Series X is one of two models for Xbox’s latest console, alongside the Xbox Series S. It is one of the most advanced video game consoles ever made, and it can do quite a few things, ranging from playing video games, watching movies, and so much more. But one thing some Xbox owners are asking is, is it possible to install Windows on Xbox Series X?
While it would be nice to be able to run Windows on your Xbox Series X, and while consoles appear to be getting more and more like computers with each generation, it is unfortunately not possible to run Windows on an Xbox Series X. This is in spite of the fact that the Xbox Series X runs on an x86 processor and has the same kind of hardware that a Windows PC would.
But why can’t you install Windows on the Xbox Series X? And are there any other operating systems that can run on it?
Can you Install Windows on Xbox Series X?
As discussed above, it is simply not possible to use Windows 10 on an Xbox Series X in the same way you would use it on a Windows PC. Even if you could install Windows 10 or Windows 11 on an Xbox Series X, you would have no way to open and operate the operating system. Thus, all you would do by trying that is waste space on the Xbox Series X’s hard drive.
Something you may bring up, however, is that the Xbox Series X actually does have Windows 10 on it – well, sort of, anyway. Video game consoles often have operating systems built into them, some of which are modified versions of Windows. Xbox has been building its consoles around modified versions of Microsoft Windows since the very beginning. For example, the original Xbox was built using a modified version of Windows 2000. The same is true for the Xbox Series X, which runs on a modified version of Windows 10 (though it still cannot be used in the way Windows 10 can be used).
Can you install Windows on Xbox Series S?
While the Xbox Series S also operates on a modified version of Windows 10, it also cannot use Windows 10 as you would on a Windows PC. It would be even more difficult to do this on an Xbox Series S, as the Xbox Series S is a weaker (but still powerful) console. So, while it can still do a lot, even having multiple games and apps open at the same time, it, unfortunately, cannot run Windows 10.
Can you install Windows on the PlayStation 5?
There are various pros and cons regarding PlayStation 5 versus Xbox Series X in terms of power, but the PlayStation 5 does have some advantages. For example, the PlayStation 5 has a faster solid-state drive, meaning that it can open and use games and apps with less wait time. But does this mean that the PlayStation 5 could have a better chance of running Windows 10?
While it would be nice if it could, it unfortunately cannot. Being a non-Microsoft console, it should also come as no surprise, especially since the PlayStation 5 does not have the Microsoft Windows structure put into building it.
Why can’t you install Windows on Xbox Series X?
The reason for this is very simple: The Xbox Series X, as well as the Xbox Series S, were never designed to use Windows. The Windows operating system is complicated, more complicated than the firmware of an Xbox Series X. It is not necessarily too much power for the Xbox Series X to handle, but rather, the hardware is simply not designed to handle Windows. The only exception, of course, comes in the form of the modified versions of Windows used on various Xbox consoles, but for the user, that certainly does not count as using Windows on an Xbox.
Will the Xbox ever be able to run Windows?
Figuring out the answer to this question is honestly somewhat complicated, as there are numerous factors that come into play. One important factor is that the hardware, as it exists now, is simply not designed to use Windows 10 properly. The Xbox Series X would have to have its design changed on a pretty fundamental level before it was actually capable of operating. But the important question here is, will the Xbox ever be able to run Windows? The answer will ultimately be “it depends.”
Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are, first and foremost, meant to be used to play video games. Sure, there are plenty of other things you can do with them, but they’re video game consoles before anything else. Thus, modifying an Xbox to be able to run Windows like a regular computer could not only make the Xbox considerably bigger, but it may require that the Xbox be more expensive. They would have to redesign aspects of how the Xbox works, particularly giving it the ability to do the functions Windows requires.
You may have noticed the Steam Deck, the recently released Steam handheld console, which users have been capable of getting Windows 10 to run on. While it may seem strange that the Steam Deck can do this and the Xbox Series X cannot, it is actually not strange at all. This is because, unlike the Xbox Series X, the Steam Deck is actually designed to be a portable computer, just like a laptop is.
While the Steam Deck uses its own SteamOS as the default operating system, Valve – the creator of the Steam Deck – not only allows you to switch to a Windows operating system, but they even made it easier to do so. However, even with the Steam Deck, using a different operating system like Windows is still pretty rough. It may get better in the future, however, so look forward to that.