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Will my Xbox download games when off?

With game sizes getting larger, gamers often wonder if games download when the Xbox One is off. Let’s answer that for you.

Xbox one download games while off on a purple background
Image: Unsplash

Quick Answer: Yes, you can download and install games on your Xbox One while it’s off, but you need to adjust some settings. Head to ‘General’ settings and in ‘Power options’ select ‘Sleep mode.’ Ensure the ‘When Xbox is off, turn off storage’ option is unticked.

One common question most Xbox users ask themselves is, “If I turn off my Xbox will my game still download.” If you need to download a game like Fortnite on your Xbox One but don’t want to leave the console running, you have options.

You may have heard that your Xbox can supposedly download and install games while you’re not using it, but the first time you tried – you woke up to the same install percentage as the night before. What gives?

With this in mind, you might wonder, “does Xbox download games when off?”

The Xbox One, or any other Xbox console, has a convenient feature that allows games to download even when the console is turned off, so users don’t have to worry about missing out on their favorite titles.

But your console probably isn’t set up to allow downloads when it isn’t in use. So, let’s fix that.

Xbox one s knowtechie
Image: KnowTechie

Do games download when the Xbox One is off

Short Answer: Yes (but you’ll need to dive into the Settings menu to enable it)

The Xbox One cannot perform an Xbox download while off, as the console needs to be turned on and in an active state to initiate and complete any downloading process.

However, setting your Xbox to Sleep mode allows it to download games while it’s off. That keeps it in a low-power state, ready to switch on at a moment’s notice.

In addition, It also keeps the network connection and hard drives running.

What is Sleep mode on Xbox One?

Xbox one power settings

Xbox One’s Sleep mode is a feature that allows your console to keep chugging along in the background, even while it looks like it’s taking a nap.

By enabling it, you can take advantage of its power-saving capabilities while it downloads and installs updates, games, and apps. You won’t even have to wait for it to wake up

Think of it as a power nap for your Xbox One. It’s not fully asleep, but it’s not wide awake, either. It’s just dozing off while it gets its work done.

And when you come back to it, everything is updated and ready to go. Pretty cool, right? Here’s how to enable it.

How to download games while your Xbox One is off 

You’ll first need to set your console to Sleep mode to get your Xbox One to download games while it’s off.

READ MORE: The best Xbox controllers

Doing this, the console is in a low-power state and keeps the network connection and hard drives running, so it can quickly switch on when needed.

Here’s how to turn it on.

  1. Grab your controller

    Press the Xbox button to open the guideXbox controller xbox button

  2. Make your way to Settings

    Navigate to System > Settings.Xbox system settings menu

  3. Look for the Power Options menu

    Then, General > Power options.Xbox power mode settings

  4. Now, look for the Sleep setting

    The image is showing the user different power options for their console, such as shutting down, sleeping, and restarting. Full text: general power options choose how this console turns off current power use while off: 0. 5w > 10-15w shut-down (energy saving) sleep · console shuts down · console sleeps instead of · supports automatic updates of shutting down customise power options console and games · console uses more power · supports remote features while · supports waking the console console is on remotely · cuts power use by over 20x while · console starts up faster turn off console off restart now v active shut-down now k

    Select Sleep in the Power Options.

  5. Make sure ‘turn off storage” is not enabled

    This image shows the power options available for a console, including turning off after two hours of inactivity and four hours of video or music, as well as keeping the console and games/apps up to date. Full text: general customise power options turn off after when console is off, turn off 2 hours of inactivity storage turn off after 4 hours of video or music remote features keep my console up to date keep my games & apps up to date v tv & a/v power options ·k

    Make sure that When the console is off, turn off storage is unticked, so any external drives don’t get turned off.

That’s all you need to do. Now when you turn your Xbox One off via the controller, or it goes to sleep after inactivity, it’ll keep downloading games to install. Your Xbox will also update games when off, as long as sleep mode is active.

Download games while your Xbox One is off with the right settings

Xbox one and xbox controller on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Once you have the correct settings, your Xbox One console will download games while it’s off. This is a great way to download your games without keeping your console on the entire time.

Just start a game download, and you can let the console go to sleep or turn it off yourself.

When you return, the game will either still be downloading or finished, so you can hop in and start gaming.

And yes, you can still play games while they’re downloading on the Xbox One, just in case you were wondering. Now you know that your Xbox One will download while off.

Are there any downsides to using Sleep mode on Xbox One?

One of the downsides is that it does use a bit more power than just turning off your console completely.

So, if you’re worried about your energy bill, it might be a good idea to turn off Sleep mode and manually download and install updates and games when you’re not using your Xbox.

Xbox one controller in hand

Another thing to consider is that sometimes things can go wrong with your network connection or with the console itself while it’s in Sleep mode.

This could result in some updates or downloads failing, which can be a real bummer. But hey, don’t let that scare you off from using Sleep mode altogether.

Can you turn off Xbox while downloading a game?

It’s happened to all of us – you start downloading a hot new game on your Xbox and then realize you need to head out or power down.

But what actually happens if you flip that power switch while a download’s still in progress? Will it wipe out all your hard-earned progress?

Fortunately, the tech wizards at Xbox have thought of this scenario. If you need to turn off your console mid-download, you can safely pause the process first without losing anything.

  • Just head to My games & apps
  • Select the Queue tab
  • And pause the download you’ve got going.

The progress will then pick up right where you left off next time you power up. With this trick, you can duck out to join the real world without derailing your game download – crisis averted!

Just make sure you pause first rather than just powering down directly. Once you resume, it may take a few minutes to spin those download servers back up, so stay patient. But your precious progress will still be waiting.

As long as you keep those few things in mind, it’s a handy feature that can make your gaming experience even more enjoyable.

Do games download when Xbox One is off

There is a common misconception that games will automatically download when the Xbox One is off. However, this is not the case as the console needs to be powered on for the download process to initiate.

Therefore, if you are wondering “Will my Xbox download games when off?”, unfortunately, it will not. The console needs to be in a powered-on or a low-power state (Instant-On mode) for downloads to occur.

If the Xbox One is completely turned off, the download will resume once the console is powered back on.

So, to answer everyone’s burning question: “Do Xbox games download when the console is off?” Yup, make sure your Xbox One needs to be set up in Sleep mode to download games while it’s off.

What do you think? Plan on using this feature on your console? Let us know down below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.



  1. Avatar of me


    June 14, 2023 at 4:06 am

    That’s the old menu. No instant on option any more. It’s called sleep but I just set it and it didn’t download anything overnight

  2. Avatar of kevin raposo

    Kevin Raposo

    July 4, 2023 at 4:03 am

    Thanks for the heads up, this was scheduled to be updated soon, but you just saved us some time, so thanks. The post was updated with newer images.

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