Using an external USB drive with an Xbox Series X or S


Both the Xbox Series X and S support external USB drives. However, unlike previous Xbox consoles that allowed you to play those games from the external USB drive, you will not be able to play games optimized for Series X|S consoles from the USB drives.

External Storage Requirements:

  • Capacity must be 128 GB or larger
  • Connected using USB 3.0 or later

If the storage device does not meet these requirements the Xbox will use it for Media storage.

USB external drives support:

  • USB drives can only be used for storage for games optimized for Xbox X|S, they cannot be played from the drives
  • For non-optimized games (like Xbox One games), USB drives support both storage as well as playing those games from the USB drives.

Games optimized for Series X|S stored on an external USB drive will need to be moved back to the internal drive or Seagate Storage Expansion Card for game play.


  • If you plug in an external drive while the Xbox is off and you wait until the LED goes off on the drive, it may not be detected when you power on the Xbox.
    • Disconnecting and reconnecting the drive while the Xbox is on should resolve the issue.
  • If you plug in an external drive with the Xbox on and get the prompt to format it, but hit cancel, it may no longer be detected, even after a restart.
    • Disconnecting and reconnecting the drive while the Xbox is on should resolve the issue.
    • If not, disconnect, reboot the Xbox, then reconnect.
  • 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 there is an issue playing a game from the drive, try moving it to internal storage to see if the issue still exists.
  • 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: