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Game Drive for Xbox One - Setup and Troubleshooting

There are two ways to use external USB drives with the Xbox One. 

  1. Games & Apps
  2. Media Drive

Games & Apps

  • The Xbox One requires a specific format on the USB drive in order to play & save games on the drive.  When you plug the USB drive into the Xbox One for the first time, you should be prompted to format the drive for Game and Apps.
  • This will allow you to play and save games on the drive but formatting the drive will erase any data that may be on the drive.  Make sure that you have any data backed up prior to formatting.
  • If you are not prompted to format the drive, you can manually initiate the format process using the following menu selections:  

Home > Settings > System > Manage Storage 

  • The drive should be detected under ‘Manage Storage’. Select the drive and choose to format for ‘Games and Apps’.
  • Once the drive format is complete, it can be used to save play/save games and apps.
  • To protect your data make sure to turn the Xbox One off prior to unplugging the drive.  


To be able to play and save games on the drive it must meet the following requirements:

  • USB 3.0
  • At least 256 GB in capacity.

If the drive does not meet these requirements you will not be able to save or play games to the drive . 

Media Drive 

  • The Game Drive for Xbox can be used to play or view media through the Xbox One.  
  • Movies, music and pictures can be saved to the drive and played on your television using the Xbox One media player.
  • The first time the USB drive is connected to the Xbox One, it will prompt to reformat the drive for use with games and apps.  Click Cancel.
  • You can then view the content using Media Player:  

Home > Media Player > Select the drive 

  • After selecting the drive, you should be able to play the media that is saved on the drive.
  • To protect your data make sure to turn the Xbox One off prior to unplugging the drive.  


  • If the drive is not being detected, try a different port on the Xbox.
  • If the drive is plugged into a USB hub try removing from the hub and plugging it directly into the XBox.
  • If the drive is still having issues take it to a Windows machine and run Seatools for Windows on the drive.
  • For additional information and troubleshooting, see these Microsoft articles:  

Media Player FAQ

Managing Storage

External hard drive detection issues