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How to use Xbox energy-saving mode

Save on household bills by adjusting your Xbox’s power options.

xbox series x console with light bulb

Quick Answer: Your Xbox Series X|S has two power options; Shutdown (energy saving) and Sleep. Switching between them takes seconds and can be done through the General Settings option.

As technology advances and power-hungry technologies such as AI continue to grow, any small step we can take to reduce our carbon footprint is always welcomed.

The new Xbox energy-saving mode takes a big step towards helping gamers become more eco-friendly.

Microsoft now considers the Xbox to be the first ‘Carbon Aware’ games console, thanks to last year’s Xbox system update. This introduced a new low-power mode, as well as new options to customize the console’s power settings further.

How to find the Xbox energy-saving mode

Xbox Energy saving mode screen
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

Finding and turning on the new Xbox energy-saving mode is extremely straightforward. It only takes a few seconds to switch between the Xbox shutdown (energy saving) and sleep (full power) modes.

  • Navigate to Settings (cog on home screen) > General.
  • Select Power options, then Shutdown (energy saving) from the menu.

Once you are in the console’s power options, you will not only be able to switch between the standard and new power-saving modes, but also get an overview of how much power you are saving.

You can even make more advanced changes to your console’s power options.

Xbox’s energy-saving mode reduces the power consumption from 10-15W down to 0.5W, marking an impressive leap towards becoming an eco-friendly console, while also helping to save you money on your bills.

Does the Xbox energy-saving mode impact you?

xbox updates management screen
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

Reducing the Xbox’s power consumption saves energy. In doing so, you’ll be pleased to know this doesn’t impact the console’s performance. It only has a minor impact on certain features.

When in energy-saving mode, the console will take around 20 seconds at most to fully boot up. Considering the impact on your household bills, it is a relatively small price to pay.

Features such as Quick Resume will still work as normal, letting you jump straight back into a game where you left off.

The only real downside is that games will no longer download when the console is turned off when running your Xbox in energy-saving mode. But, if you’ve got faster fiber internet, the chances are this won’t affect you.

You can use the Xbox’s Manage Updates screen to manually start game and app updates. This allows you to choose what games/apps you want to update and when.

I’ve personally been using the Xbox’s new energy-saving mode since it was released back in the start of 2023, and haven’t found it to cause any issues or inconvenience me in any way at all. And as someone with severe ADHD who wants things instantly, that’s a big seal of approval.

Customizing your Xbox’s power options

Xbox Series X TV and AV options
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

As well as using the Xbox energy-saving mode to reduce power consumption, there are also a few customizations you can make to push your energy savings further.

In the power options menu, select Customize power options, where you will see a list of other power-based options designed to help save even more energy.

  • Turn off after (inactivity): This setting will let you choose how many minutes of inactivity the console will wait before shutting itself down.
  • Turn of after (Music & video): This setting will let you choose how many hours of music or video will be played before the console turns itself off.
  • Keep my console up to date: Updates consume power, both at the console and server. By turning this off, you can choose to download Xbox system updates at a time when renewable energy is more commonly used in your area.
  • Keep my games and apps up to date: This setting will completely disable automatic updates for all your games and apps, letting you choose when you want to update them, and saving energy by not updating games that you have left installed, but are no longer playing.

The final customizable power options are the TV & A/V power options, which come with another set of features that let you control your console’s power state through other connected devices, and vice versa.

HDMI-CEC settings require a compatible HDMI cable and work in a very similar way to HDMI ARC, which is also used to connect devices in a similar way.

Have you used the Xbox’s energy-saving mode? Has it impacted you in any way? Let us know how you got on in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kegan is an avid gamer and tech enthusiast that has been gaming and building custom gaming rigs from a young age. He started out on his Amiga back in the 90s and hasn't stopped geeking out since.

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