- The “Green Screen of Death” is a common problem on Xbox consoles, similar to the blue screen of death on PCs.
- The main causes of the green screen issue are software problems, hard drive issues, and connectivity problems with Microsoft’s servers.
- Potential fixes for the green screen problem include power cycling the console, updating the software, performing a factory reset, or replacing the hard drive.
When your Xbox experiences the Green Screen of Death, its easy to become overwhelmed looking for a fix. We’ll show you how to fix an Xbox One stuck on a green screen and solve the GSOD issue so you can get back into your favorite game.
The Xbox Green Screen of Death
People love to come up with catchy names whenever a common problem occurs in the tech world. The “Green Screen of Death” has been around as long as the Xbox. TVs commonly get tagged with BSOD problems or the black screen of death, and with PCs, it’s the blue screen of death.
Microsoft’s Xbox error is green because that’s the only screen you’ll generally see when this problem occurs. The bright green loading screen can drive you mad, but it doesn’t mean your console is broken.
What it means is your Xbox is stuck at the loading screen. The reason for this random and somewhat common issue is still up for debate despite the age of the console. With that in mind, you can try to fix an Xbox One stuck on a green screen in several ways, and we’re going to start with the easiest.
How to Fix an Xbox One Stuck on a Green Screen
It can be a huge headache when your console doesn’t allow you to get past the green Xbox loading screen. We’re going to talk about the most common reasons these issues happen and the methods to fix the problem.
One of the biggest reasons for an Xbox One stuck on a green screen is problems with the software. Unfortunately, this common occurrence can be hard to diagnose unless you’ve recently updated the console.
If an update fails, it can result in the green screen of death on an Xbox. When the files used in the boot process are corrupted, the console will not load up as usual. Did you recently perform an update? If the console was working before the update, the software could be the issue.
The Hard Drive
While many consoles and devices use the cloud, they still need to rely on local storage to boot up the system. If files from an update are problematic or there’s an issue with the drive, you’ll get the green screen loading error on an Xbox One.
A bad hard drive on an Xbox One can be hard to diagnose initially. It’s typically the leading cause of the green screen of death behind faulty updates, however. This problem isn’t as simple to fix, although it is still something most gamers can handle themselves.
The Xbox One is a connected device, so you’ll need a steady connection to the internet to perform many functions. Do you have good internet speeds and a stable connection to the net? If so, the problem may not be on your end, but Microsoft’s.
Microsoft’s gaming network depends on servers for many functions, and while they are top-of-the-line, they aren’t flawless. Most Xbox owners have experienced connectivity issues with Microsoft’s servers. This could cause your system to have an issue loading, leaving you stuck on a green screen.
Xbox Green Screen Fixes
Unless your hard drive is shot, most Xbox green screen problems are relatively easy to address. Before you do anything, the first step is to check Microsoft’s servers and all the connections to your console.
You can do this through the Xbox status page, which lets you know if the company is experiencing issues at any time. Check your internet connection along with cables connected to your console. Once you’re sure none of those areas are the problem, it’s time to think about the software and hard drive.
Power Cycle the Xbox
If you’re lucky, the easiest fix for the green screen of death involves power cycling your Xbox. You won’t lose any data, and restarting your console can solve a variety of problems.
- Press and hold the Power button on the front of the Xbox One for 10 seconds until it powers off.
- Turn the console back on by pressing the Power Button again or the Xbox button on your gaming controller.
This will power cycle the console, even in sleep mode. You can also turn the console off and unplug it from the wall to power cycle and Xbox One. Just make sure to leave it unplugged for at least 10 seconds to reset the power supply.
Update the Console
When you feel software is the problem and power cycling doesn’t work, you can try a fresh update on an Xbox One. The Xbox Offline System Update allows you to update a console with a USB flash drive. The only requirements are a Windows-based PC and an NTFS formatted flash drive with 6GB of free space.
- Unplug any Ethernet cable connected to the console, turn it off, and unplug it from the power outlet.
- Wait at least 30 seconds, and plug the Xbox One back in.
- Press and hold the Eject and Pair buttons on the console simultaneously, and press the Power button on the console. Keep holding the Eject and Pair buttons for 15 seconds.
- After the console makes two power-up tones, release the Pair and Eject buttons.
If successful, you should see a menu for the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter, which allows you to update the console with a USB stick. Before you can do that, you’ll need to know which version of the operating system your console runs.
You can access this information by going to Profile & System, choosing Settings, and selecting System. From here, choose Console Info, and you should see the OS version listed. Cross-reference that number against the list below.
- 6.2.11791.0 (xb_rel_1411.141114-2300) fre
- 6.2.12521.0 (xb_rel_1503.150305-1449) fre
- 6.2.12998.0 (xb_rel_1506.150601-2200) fre
- 6.2.13326.0 (xb_rel_1508.150810-2029) fre
- 6.2.13332.0 (xb_rel_1508.150903-2141) fre
- 10.0.10586.1006 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151107-2322) fre
- 10.0.10586.1016 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151118-2147) fre
- 10.0.10586.1024 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151203-1909) fre
- 10.0.10586.1026 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151217-1035) fre
- 10.0.10586.1100 (th2_xbox_rel_1602.160210-2122) fre
- 10.0.10586.1194 (th2_xbox_rel_1603.160317-1900) fre
If your console runs any of these, you’ll want to download the OSU1 file from Microsoft. When your Xbox isn’t on that list, you must apply multiple updates in order. You can find more information on the OSU2 and OSU3 updates and the general updating process here from Microsoft.
Before installing any update, you must unzip it onto the flash drive. The drive should be empty, and the contents of the OSU files must be copied to the root directory of that drive. If the update doesn’t take or you’re still stuck on the green screen, it’s time to reset the console completely.
Factory Reset your Xbox
Performing a factory reset can clear up the green screen of death on an Xbox One. It can also cause you to lose all of the data on your console, including saved games. Before proceeding, back up anything important.
- Press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the guide.
- Choose Profile & System, select Settings, and then choose System. From this menu, select Console Info.
- Choose Rest Console and review the options carefully before proceeding.
You can do a quick reset to keep game data and app or completely wipe the system. You may need to clear the system if the green screen of death occurred after a recent game or app update.
Replace the Hard Drive
If you find yourself reading this section, nothing else in our guide has fixed your Xbox One stuck on a green screen. There is still one option you can try, depending on the age of your system. You’ll want to skip this step if your Xbox One is still under warranty.
Hard drives don’t last forever and are prone to failure on older consoles. They are inexpensive to replace, however, as long as you’re comfortable cracking your case. While we don’t go through the process, this video is a perfect example of how to replace the hard drive on an Xbox One.
The Xbox One is the type of console that can last for a decade or more as long as you can avoid issues like the green screen of death. The ability to fix an Xbox One stuck on a green screen is a skill every Xbox owner should have in their arsenal, but it’s one we hope you’ll never need.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Anthony McLaughlin/Shutterstock.com.