How to fix the disc reader on Xbox One

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For those of us who still prefer to play games from physical discs rather than digital downloads, there’s one major issue that can get in the way: a faulty disc drive. 

If your Xbox One is having trouble reading discs, though, there’s good news – it might not be time to retire your console just yet. In fact, there are a few very simple fixes you can try first to resolve the problem. 

First, eject and check the disc you’re trying to play. If it’s scratch- and fingerprint-free, you'll have confirmation that the problem lies with your console’s disc drive itself. 

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Luckily, it's unlikely to be anything major – unless your console is very old, that is. So, here’s what to do if your Xbox One fails to recognise a disc.

How to fix disc reader on Xbox One

The following might seem like overly simple fixes for this issue, but they often do the trick and are worth trying before taking more drastic measures. First, try changing the power mode and then power cycle the console:

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide. 
  • In the ‘Settings’ menu, head to ‘General’ then ‘Power mode & startup’. 
  • Click on the ‘Power mode’ setting and enable the ‘Energy-saving’ option.
  • Hold down the Xbox button on your console for 10 seconds.
  • Once the console shuts down completely, restart the console by pressing the Xbox button.
  • Insert your disc again and wait for a few seconds to check if the issue is resolved.
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The position of the console may also be causing problems with the disc reader. The Xbox One is  not designed to perform in a vertical position, so place the console horizontally on a flat and stable surface to improve the disc drive’s performance.

READ MORE: How to fix the black screen of death on Xbox One

Resetting your Xbox One console

If that doesn’t work, resetting your Xbox One is the next option. Access the guide menu (by pressing the Xbox button on your controller), and then you can find the options for resetting your console by navigating to ‘Settings’, then ‘System’, then ‘Console info’.

This will offer you two options. Go for the ‘Reset and keep my games and apps’ option rather than the more extreme ‘Reset and remove everything’ option – this will mean you won’t have to redownload all of your favourite games.

READ MORE: How to transfer games from an old Xbox One to a new one

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Next steps to fix your Xbox One’s disc drive

If your console still isn’t reading discs, try cleaning the disc drive and removing built-up dust – you can find more on that in our disc drive cleaning guide.

However, if you can hear a grinding noise when the console is trying to read a disc, it’s likely in need of an internal repair or replacement. Doing this yourself is not advised, especially if your machine is under warranty. Opening up your console could void its warranty, and make it difficult to get it fixed if things go wrong. 

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Contact Xbox Support or take your console to a Microsoft-approved repair specialist for a professional fix. It won’t be free, but it’ll probably cost you less than having to shell out for a whole new machine.

READ MORE: How to fix an Xbox One controller that won’t sync