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The fan in the Xbox is simply meant to keep it cool; a fact that everybody that doesn’t live in a cave is well aware of. What it’s not supposed to do is sit there and run constantly. In fact, the fan should only kick on sporadically when needed. If it’s running high, constantly, you have a problem.
Most of the time, this problem crops up when you have the Xbox Series X in “Instant-On” mode, for rapidly launching a game and continuing where you left off. However, bad ventilation, or dirty vent ports.
The fan should run at low capacity most of the time but it definitely shouldn’t be running full out, whether the console is on or off, all the time. While the fan is designed to run as hard as necessary to keep the temps nominal, it’s not designed for constant running, even when the console is off.
Table of Contents
1. Instant On Mode
Instant On mode is Microsoft’s solution for those who want to step away from their games a lot, without leaving the game running.
However, when it is time to come back, gamers want to just jump right in, without waiting for the console to cycle up.
This mode is enabled by default, so if you don’t want the fan running while the system is off, you’ll need to jump into the settings to turn the system off from there.
- Go to the Xbox Series X home screen
- Select the Gear Icon to open up the Settings menu
- Hit the right bumper to scroll over to Profile & System
- Select Settings
- Select the General tab in the left column
- Select Power Mode & Start-Up
- Select Full Shutdown
So, that’s not exactly a method for turning off the Instant-On option, however, it is a way to get around it. You can also fully shut down the console via the power button at the top of the tower.
To use it, press and hold the power button for about ten seconds. You will know it worked because you will hear the fan shutdown inside, which is the entire point. For future reference, do the following to turn Instant Mode off for good:
- Jump back into the Settings Menu
- Select Power Mode & Startup
- Select the Power Mode: Instant-On tab
- Select “Energy Saving”
- Enable the Energy Saving Power Mode
Since Instant-On keeps things running, the Energy Saving Mode will overrule it and completely shut down the console.
2. Loose Internal Power Cable
This is a known problem with Xbox Series X consoles. It’s not what we would call ‘common’ but it’s common enough that there are plenty of instructions out there on how to fix it.
If this is the case, you have two options in terms of how to fix it.
The first is to disassemble the outer casing yourself. The second is to take the Xbox to a reputable repair shop. If you want to make it a DIY project, it’s not a difficult one. You just have to be careful to avoid creating any static shock while working on the interior.
You shouldn’t have to access all of that anyway, so long as you’re just opening the outer case to unplug and plug in the internal power cable.
However, it’s always a good idea to be safe and avoid shuffling your feet across the carpet while you’re working on it.
2 Ways to Extend the Life Of your Xbox Series X
1. Clean The Ventilation Ports on Your Xbox Series X
This one goes without saying. If you want to get the maximum lifespan out of any console, you have to practice at least a small degree of preventative maintenance. In this case, that’s cleaning the ventilation ports on your Xbox.
The whole purpose of the fans is to pull heat away from the critical components away and vent that heat out and away from the Xbox. If your vents are covered in layers of dust, the fans will struggle to dissipate the heat.
This struggle creates two issues. Number one, it shortens the lifespan of the console. Number two, it opens your Xbox Series X up to potential heat damage, which could ruin the system over time.
The best way to keep it clean is to just dust it regularly, maybe once a week or twice a week if you have dogs or cats. Avoid keeping the console, close to the floor, especially if you have pets running around the house.
You can use a compressed air can but never fire the air directly into the vents. Hit it at an angle and don’t lay it on too hard.
So long as you keep the ventilation ports clean, the internal fan will be able to keep up with the cooling demands of the system and properly vent the heat away.
2. Consider Where You Place Your Xbox
Like all consoles, the Xbox Series X needs plenty of room to vent. Plus, it needs to be on a platform that doesn’t absorb heat very well. For instance, if you set it on a metal desk, the surface of the desk will absorb that heat, warming it beneath the console.
The warmer it gets, the more difficult it is for the console to dissipate the heat as it fights higher temperatures from within and from below.
You also want to avoid placing the console inside tight areas, such as cabinets or small cubby holes that barely contain the console.
The whole point of venting heat out and away from the console is to get the heat away. A tightly confined space blocks the system’s ability to do that. Set your Xbox console up somewhere that is open and has plenty of air for the system to breathe.
Final Thoughts on Xbox Series X Fan Always On
For the most part, the fan is always running, even when the system is off. The thing is, you shouldn’t be able to hear it when the system is in low-power mode. If you don’t like this, you can switch the settings to energy savings mode.
If the fan is running loudly and too much, the system is struggling, and it’s time for a little maintenance in terms of cleaning up the vents and potentially dealing with the internal power cord.