Does Xbox Download Faster While Off?


If you own an Xbox, it’s normal to want to know if your games will download faster if your unit is off. We’ll answer some of the most common questions about Xbox downloads and their speed times for you. 

Your Xbox will always download faster when your machine is “off” than it will when it’s on and in use. This is because you use fewer resources when the unit is off or idle, and the processor can focus solely on the downloads. 

Does the Xbox Really Download Games While Off?

Technically, the console is not really off but asleep when it performs that action. Some Xbox units have an “Instant On” feature that users can find in their settings. This feature allows users to play, manage, and download Xbox games from their mobile devices. The feature also offers the lowest power consumption and the quickest start-up for the Xbox.

It’s the feature that users will need to select if they want to download games while their Xbox is “off.” One can activate this feature by going to the “Settings” menu and then clicking on the “Power & Startup” menu. The “Power Mode” options are under the “Power & Startup” menus. Users can also select a box that will allow them to wake up their Xbox by saying “Xbox on.”  

How Quickly Does the Xbox Download Games When Off?

Game downloads can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Whether the Xbox is on or off, the download time depends on several factors. One thing that directly affects the download speed is the size of the game. Something that’s only 1 GB will download way faster than a 100 GB game. Larger games can take hours to download. 

The second factor that affects download time is the user’s internet connection and speed. Someone who has a 50 Mbps plan will see completed downloads much faster than someone whose internet plan has a 25 Mbps speed. 

Other things can affect the downloading times as well. Inclement weather can slow down time. Having more than one unit connected to Wi-Fi can also slow down the download process. Furthermore, poor connections can slow down time.             

How Quickly Does the Xbox Download Games When I’m Playing?

As mentioned, download times vary according to game size, internet connection, and other factors. Your download speed will likely get throttled if you are playing a game while you’re trying to download a new game. The most beneficial way to download games is to avoid using your Xbox for anything else until your games are finished downloading. That way, you’ll get the quickest results.  

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How Do You Speed Up Download Times on Your Xbox?

You can use various strategies to speed up the download times for your games. These are some of the most valuable ways to do so:

Stop Playing Games

One strategy is to end all games you might be playing. Use the proper procedure to quit the games so that the processor doesn’t divide any of its time between downloading and processing your gameplay activities.  

To quit a game, you will need to hover over its icon and then press the little black button on the left side of your Xbox controller that has three horizontal lines. You’ll see the option to “Quit” the game there. Select that so that the game will shut down properly and not run in the background. 

Pause a Download or Two

Your Xbox may be set up to download game updates regularly. If that’s true, you’ll see it in your queue when you start downloading a new game. You can significantly speed up that game’s download time by pausing one or several of the other downloads and updates. Simply hit the pause button on those items, and you’ll notice that your download progresses much faster. 

Use a Wired Connection

Using a wired connection instead of a Wi-Fi connection is another way to speed up the process of your downloads. You can purchase an ethernet cable and connect one end to your router and one end directly to the Xbox unit. That will remove all the clutter so that you can experience a smooth and swift connection. 

Reset Your Router

You may also wish to reset your router if it hasn’t been reset in a while. You need to find the reset button and press it to do so. Reset buttons are usually located on the side or rear of the router. Alternatively, you can unplug your router and leave it off for at least 30 seconds to reset it. 

Restart Your Xbox

If all else fails, you can always restart your Xbox. It might just be that your unit needs to take a breather and a power-up with a fresh start. 

What Causes Slow Download Times?

Slow download times can come from a variety of factors. They could stem from Microsoft server issues or network issues on your end. They could happen because your Xbox is too cluttered with games and no longer has the free memory to compute. Things that are out of your control, such as weather issues and service provider problems, can also be the culprit.

How Do I Check My Xbox Speed?

Before you try to fix a download speed problem, you need to ensure that the problem is coming from your end. To do so, you need to press the Xbox button and then navigate to “Profile & System” and then “Settings,” “General,” and “Network Settings.” You’ll then see a part of your menu that says “Test Network & Speed Statistics.” You should have a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of .5 Mbps for gaming. If you see any numbers that seem extremely low, you can go ahead and try some of the processes mentioned above to resolve the issue. 

Now you know whether your Xbox will download your games while it’s turned off. You also know some things you can do if you want your download speed to progress a lot faster. Use this information to get the most out of your Xbox and ensure that you get fast downloads of your most enjoyable and favorite games. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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