How to Migrate Games and Settings to Xbox One X

The Xbox One X is here, just in time for the holiday shopping season. If you’re considering picking up Microsoft’s powerful new machine, there’s a good chance you already own an Xbox One. If so, you’re going to want to transfer all of your games and save files and settings to your shiny new console. Fortunately, Microsoft has taken steps to ensure that this process is as painless as possible.


With the latest Xbox One software, users are able to back up their games and settings and save files so they can be installed immediately after setting up a new Xbox One X. In addition, Microsoft is also allowing users to download the 4K content of some Xbox One X games ahead of time, eliminating the need of having to wait to download it on the new console.

This is all aimed at enhancing the user experience. No one wants to wait for massive files to download before they can take their new console out for a spin. Thankfully, Microsoft has put the consumer first and enabled them to start the migration process before they even have an Xbox One X.

Ensure Your Xbox One Is Up to Date

The first thing you want to do is make sure your current Xbox One console is up to date. The latest Xbox One software update came in late October. The update ushers in improvements to the user interface, as well as backward compatibility with original Xbox games.


If you’ve disabled automatic updates, you’ll need to download and install the update before you can start backing up your games and settings. To do so, press the Xbox logo button in the center of your controller. In the guide menu navigate to “Settings.” From here, select “All Settings -> System -> Updates.” Finally, select “Console Update Available.” Your Xbox One will then download and install the software update.

If you would like to receive automatic updates in the future, press the Xbox logo button and select “System -> All Settings -> System -> Updates.” Under the “Console” heading select “Keep my console up to date.”

Transferring Games

There are two ways of transferring your games to your Xbox One X: Over your network or via an external drive. Either method is relatively painless, but transferring via an external drive is significantly faster. To transfer your games via an external drive, you’ll need a hard drive that is at least 256 GB and supports USB 3.0. If you’re using a brand new drive, plug it into your Xbox One. Upon doing so, your Xbox will ask you to format the drive for either games and apps or personal data like videos and photos. Since you want to transfer your games, select “Games and Apps.” Once the drive is formatted, you can begin the transfer process.


To get started, navigate to “System -> Settings -> Storage.” Select your Xbox One’s internal drive and hit “Transfer.” The external drive that you plugged in should pop up as the target drive. Next, select the games you want to transfer and hit “Copy” or “Move.” When the process is completed, all you’ll have to do is plug the external drive into the Xbox One X, and you’ll be ready to go.


If you don’t have an external drive handy, you can transfer your games via the wireless network in your home. This method is considerably slower, and you’ll have to wait for your Xbox One X to arrive before you can start. Before you start transferring, make sure both Xbox One consoles are powered on and connected to the same network. To start transferring over the network, go to “Settings -> System -> Backup & transfer.” Finally, select “Network Transfer -> Allow Network Transfer.”

Download 4K Content

The big appeal of the Xbox One X is the massive hike in graphical fidelity that comes with 4K support. Unfortunately, 4K content is huge. This means that download times are only going to increase significantly.

Luckily, Microsoft allows Xbox One owners to initiate the 4K content download on their current Xbox One console. This can then be transferred to your new, more powerful, Xbox One X console once it’s hooked up and ready to go. To get a head start on downloading 4K content, navigate to “Settings -> System -> Backup & transfer.” Then, just check the box labelled “Download 4K game content.”


Developers may add 4K content at a later date, so if you’d like to avoid waiting for downloads, it’s a good idea to tell your console to download them as soon as they become available. To automate 4K content downloads, go to “Settings -> System -> Updates.” Finally, check the box labelled “Keep my games and apps up to date.”

Transfer System Settings

Copying your current Xbox One console’s settings to your new Xbox One X saves you time so you can start playing ASAP. Doing so configures your Xbox One X exactly like your current Xbox One.

With your external drive plugged in to your current system, go to “Settings -> System -> Backup & transfer.” From here select “Back up my settings.” You can review what settings will be backed up by selecting “What gets backed up?” If everything looks good, simply select “Back up to device.” Once it is finished, plug the external drive into your Xbox One X before you power it on.  Once the Xbox One X boots up, it will ask you if you’d like to load those settings or start from scratch.


Microsoft has enabled current Xbox One owners to get all of the annoying stuff out of the way before they even open the Xbox One X box. This ensures that people will spend more time enjoying their new console rather than pulling their hair out in frustration. Are you planning on buying an Xbox One X? Do you already have one? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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