How to download games while Xbox is turned off and in sleep mode

Want to download games while you Xbox is switched off? Here is everything you need to know…

by Steven Shaw
Image of Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, on grey background ; Does Xbox support Ultrawide Xbox Series X not connecting

One of the best features of Xbox consoles is the vast array of games available to purchase via the digital storefront. While downloading games has its benefits, time spent waiting to download a game can sometimes be a little frustrating. Especially if you are impatient to start playing.

What you may not have realised is that you can actually download your games even while your Xbox is off. This has the benefit of letting you get on with the rest of your day. When you return to your console, you won’t have to start up the download where you left off, saving you a lot of time and frustration.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? So let’s get into how you download games onto your Xbox, even when it’s in sleep mode. We’ll look at both the Xbox One and the Series X below.

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What is Xbox Sleep Mode?

Sleep mode is a shorthand for putting your Xbox on standby, rather than switching it off completely. It’s the Xbox equivalent to the PlayStation 5’s Rest Mode.

Technically, the Xbox offers more than one kind of standby mode. There is the Energy-saving power mode, which is designed, as you’d expect, to save energy. It takes longer for the console to boot up after you turn it back on – up to 45 seconds.

Another option, the one used to download games while this Xbox is on standby, is the Instant-on mode. As the name suggests, this will switch your console on much faster, taking under 5 seconds.

The benefit here is that games and applications will continue installing and updating, even when the console is off. It does consume more power than the energy-saving mode, but it will save you time.

So now that’s all straightened out, how do we make sure our Xbox is in the right power mode? How we can download games in the background while it’s switched off?


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How to put Xbox One in Instant-on mode

  • Start by pressing the Xbox button on the controller.
  • Go to System > Settings.
  • Find and select the Power mode and Startup menu.
  • Under Power Options, highlight Power mode and press A.
  • You have the choice of Instant-on or Energy-saving. Select Instant-on to enable it.

How to put Xbox Series X|S in Instant-on mode

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.
  • Select Profile and System > Settings > General > Power mode and start-up
  • You can choose which setting you want from the Power mode drop-down menu

With either of these consoles, once you’ve put them in the correct power mode, the hard work is done. Simply begin downloading the game you want, then you can switch off your console into Instant-on mode. This way the download will continue. Make sure your Xbox has a stable internet connection. Everything else will happen like magic.

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Steven Shaw