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The Xbox One provides a fantastic library of its own titles from various developers and publishers. In addition, there are several titles from older Xbox consoles that are compatible with this one, and you can download them to play using the hardware on the Xbox One.

Many games also receive updates to add new features, connect base content from games to newly created levels, and as a way to patch bugs or glitches that make titles less fun to play. Thanks to both its internal storage system and the ability for gamers to add more of their own, you can download and install many games to your own personal Xbox One library.

This feature works similar to the way you would download a game on any computerized system, and some players wonder if they might be able to continue downloading games when they are not using the console. There are two versions of shutting things off that you can do with the Xbox One, and we will cover both of them in our article.

We’ll also talk about game updates, and we can check out some of the ways users might be able to manage them without needing to be at the console during that time. Sometimes, there might be differences in download speeds for games or updates, and we will address that as well.

Can You Install Games While Your Xbox One Is Off?

Technically, you can’t install games while the Xbox One is off completely. When you turn the Xbox One off fully, you may notice that there is still an orange light that glows from the power brick that comes with the device. This simply indicates that the brick itself is functioning and ready to process power for the Xbox One.

It does not show that power is currently flowing to the Xbox. With no power, nothing inside the console is in an active state. This includes the storage unit and the internet connection that the device needs in order to download games or updates.

With all that said, you can still download games when the unit is in a low-power state. The Xbox has two modes that are both part of its shutdown process. You can turn it off completely to save energy, or you can ask it to sleep. If you opt for the latter, the Xbox goes into a state that remains active for some processes but uses less energy that a fully powered console would.

Here, you can’t access the interface of the console or play games on it. However, some background processes are still up and running, and power is still flowing to the device. You should see the standard orange light that indicates that the console is fully off stay green when it is in this state.

If you want to keep the Xbox from shutting down completely automatically, you can access the console’s ‘Settings’ area from its system tray using your controller.

Doing so will allow you to tell the console to shut down completely or go into power-saving mode. When you hold down the center button on the controller to bring up the menu for shutting down or restarting the console, choosing to shut it off will tell it to go into whichever state you’ve chosen.

If you have the low-power state selected, you can still go into the settings and tell the console to shut itself off completely instead. Doing so keeps your usual choice of power-saving mode active, but it will shut everything off for this session.

Will an Xbox Update Games When Off?

Game updates work similarly to game downloads when it comes to their standards. They need the console to be somewhat active in the background, and they need it to have an internet connection in order to download the data. For these reasons, only a console in low-power or sleep mode can handle game updates.

If you shut the console off completely, the update cannot continue. Some game updates may be as large as the base games themselves. They may take some time to download, so it is best to let them continue once they have started.

If you do need to change the Xbox One’s active state for any reason, it is a good idea to make sure that it is only going into sleep mode while an update is happening. This can ensure that it will continue to download the necessary information while the console is at rest.

Should you need to shut it down completely for any reason, it is probably best to tell the update to pause manually before you shut off the console. This isn’t a hard requirement, but it can make sure there is not a sudden interruption in the files that could cause corruption later.

A game update will usually consist of several smaller files in one big download, so there isn’t much risk of anything like that happening, but it is still a good idea.

Are Xbox Game Downloads Faster When the Console Is Off or in Sleep Mode?

Although precise numbers can depend on your internet service provider and your connection speed, broadly speaking, downloads should go faster if you do them when the console is in sleep mode. It is also true that the most common causes of speed bottleneck issues go back to your ISP, but you should be able to see better speeds when the console is at rest.

You can’t track the actual speeds, but running games while trying to download others can slow the rate at which the downloads occur. This is particularly true for games you might be playing that require a persistent online connection.

In such cases, the game you are playing is using some of your available bandwidth, taking away the maximum speeds that your game downloads might reach.

Why Do Xbox Updates Take So Long? (5 Reasons)

Updates to the Xbox system, video games, or apps, can all take what seems to be a longer time than necessary, but precise times can differ from one user to the next.

Here are just some of the common reasons updates to the console might seem to take longer than average:

1. Entire updates to the system itself might be very large. This also tends to be a multi-step process that requires downloading, verifying, and installing new files that update the firmware or software that the system is using. Even with a relatively fast internet connection, this can take some time from start to finish.

2. Installing digital games can take a long time due to sheer file size. Many modern games are the size of several high-definition movies packed together, and downloading all of this data takes time. Additionally, newer games might need day one patches or updates that could be almost as large as the regular game.

For online play, users would have to download these updates before connecting the games to the Xbox Live service.

3. The central processor for the Xbox One is relatively slow compared to other modern CPUs. This means that downloads or updates could also be impacted. Your console’s central processor is an integral part of decompressing the compressed files that you have downloaded.

4. Game installations from discs are also possible, but they are not the fastest method for transferring data. Sometimes, they can be faster than your network connection speed, but large games will still take some time to install fully.

5. Your overall connection speed might be capped at a level that makes downloading or updating any large files something that takes a while to complete.

What Are Some Other Ways To Increase Xbox Download Speeds?

There may be a few things you can do to increase the speed at which your console is able to download games or updates. The easiest thing to try is closing other apps or games that might be active.

While it can be convenient to play a game while you are waiting for the title of your choice to download, this splits the connection’s resources between the two tasks. If you want quicker downloads, it is best to let the console do its job without any interference.

Similarly, you can put less pressure on your home network by making sure no other devices are using the bandwidth for heavy tasks. In part, this can include the Xbox itself.

If you’re planning to stream something from an app while waiting for your download, that takes away some resources for your connection that the console might be able to use to increase the download speed. Make sure the Xbox and no other devices are doing any gaming, streaming, or other heavy tasks for the best results.

If you’re trying to install a game from the disc, it might be best to take the console offline for a bit. Game disc installs should go a bit faster than network ones, but the Xbox will probably try to look for updates to the game while it is also installing them from the disc.

Once again, resources are split between installing files for the base game and getting new files downloaded from servers.

Using a dedicated wired connection over Wi-Fi might help your console reach the upper limits of the internet speed package available for the tier you purchased from your provider.

Additionally, you can try rebooting your router, console, or both, but this should only be something to consider if you’re noticing abnormally slow speeds.


The Xbox offers multiple ways for users to enjoy games and other content. From discs to downloads, the hard drive provides some decent space for at least a few large titles. It also supports apps that allow you to stream video content, listen to music, and more.

Although download speeds are primarily limited to your plan, there are ways you might be able to open up the console’s resources to their fullest potential.