The new generation of Xbox consoles has a lot of power, which, while fantastic for gaming, does have the potential to lead to your Xbox Series X overheating. And while they have tried to design the console to make cooling as effective as possible, there are times when it might start to get a little on the warm side.
It's important to avoid your console overheating for a number of reasons. At a minimum, it can cause your console to slow down. At worst, it can do permanent damage to essential components. So if you start to feel your console warming up, it's better to take preventative action rather than trying to fix it once it's got too hot.
Below, you'll find everything you need to know about your Xbox Series X overheating and how to fix it.
What to do if your Xbox is overheating
We'll look at two different aspects of this question. First, we'll advise you on how you can prevent overheating from arising in the first place. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. But just in case you need a cure, we'll also cover that.
There are two main reasons such a carefully designed console might overheat: extremely intense use or poor ventilation.
How to prevent Xbox series X overheating
Microsoft have designed the Xbox Series X with ventilation and cooling as a priority. And they've also made sure you can set up your Xbox vertically or horizontally, with no negative impact on this (although it is primarily designed to stand upright). But there are some general principles to follow, whichever way you like to set it up.
- Keep your Series X console on a stable surface that is relatively cool.
- Make sure it isn't close to any direct heat sources.
- Give your console a minimum of 4-6 inches of clearance on all sides to ensure sufficient air can circulate.
- Don't put your console in an enclosed cabinet.
- Make sure none of the vents are blocked.
- It's best to avoid putting it directly onto a carpet or a rug with long fibres. These can block the air vents and may contribute to a build-up of dust and fibres. This can reduce the efficacy of the cooling system.
How to fix an overheating Xbox
While it's all well and good to try to prevent overheating in the first place, there may still be times when it happens. Maybe you've played Forza Horizon 5 for 12 hours straight on a hot day. If this happens to you, here's what we recommend:
- Switch off your console.
- Leave it off for at least an hour.
- Move it to a well-ventilated position.
- It's also worth checking for any signs of dust build-up or any blockages.
- Gently vacuum the vents to help clear any debris or dust that may have accumulated.
- Some users find that switching to energy-saving power mode can help.
If you've tried all this and are still experiencing overheating issues, there are suggestions that resetting your console to factory defaults might help. Go to Settings > System > Console Info > Reset Console and choose Reset keeping games and apps to avoid losing all your content.
You may want to contact Xbox Support for further assistance. This is especially true if your Xbox is brand new, as it will likely still be covered by its warranty. If there is a more serious issue, such as a faulty fan, then a repair or replacement may be required.
What are the warning signs?
You should be aware that your Xbox is getting hot long before it becomes a problem. There are a couple of signs to look out for.
One of the clearest indications is when the fans on your console start making a lot of noise. This can indicate that they are having to work particularly hard. You probably don't need to worry if the fan does this for a few moments. But if it becomes persistent background noise, you might want to start paying attention.
Another more subtle clue can be if you start experiencing performance issues. Graphical glitches, frame drops, and slow loading times can all suggest your console may be getting too warm. Of course, these are often caused by other issues, so it's a little harder to determine. But it's something to bear in mind if this starts happening to you.
Finally, if your Xbox shows you a message saying that the console is getting too warm, don't ignore it. This is a clear sign that things are getting too hot. And it's best to take action immediately to allow your Series X to cool down again.
Is the Xbox Series X overheating dangerous?
The Xbox Series X is an extremely powerful console, so it will inevitably get warm. According to Gamers Nexus, your Xbox will usually run somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees. And your console will be well capable of handling this. If it does get too warm, the biggest risk is damage to the console itself. It will typically shut itself down if it detects it is getting too warm, minimising the risk as much as possible.
Ideally, you don't want to trash your expensive Series X console. So taking the preventative measures we suggested will minimise this risk. But if you've already got into hot water, follow our tips on cooling things down instead.