Find Out If Xbox One USB Ports Are Always On!


The Xbox One can use a lot of power and cost you some money in your electricity bill. However, are your Xbox One USB ports always on which adds to your bill? I decided to find out.

So are Xbox USB ports always on? Yes, Xbox one USB ports are always on so you can charge different devices This is a common feature in PCs & Laptops and not unique to the Xbox One. The Xbox One can stop supplying power to devices but this involves external hard drives, not the USB ports themselves. To see how to connect an external hard drive to your Xbox and which one to buy check out this post . To see how to connect an external hard drive to your Xbox and which one to buy check out this post .

I will discuss why your Xbox One USB always has power and how to stop your Xbox One from powering external devices and general energy-saving tips for your Xbox One. Are you ready?

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Why Are Xbox One USB Ports Are Always On?

USB ports always being on are not unique to the Xbox One, as the feature is very common in PC motherboards or Laptops. Manufactures give the feature different names, Dell for example call it PowerShare.

The logic behind PowerSharing is it allows your Xbox to keep other devices powered and allows you to charge them, such as charging you’re charging your controller overnight with your Xbox one. The devices themselves are tasked with understanding if the Xbox is actually on.

If you have an external hard drive connected to your off Xbox One such as the Seagate 2 Game Drive(Amazon Link), the external device will still be powered as the light will flash; but it’s on standby as the light will blink more slowly.

This causes problems when you are trying to remove your external hard drive , as your external HDD is always supposed to be on as your Xbox One tries to download patches and updates for your Xbox software.

You cannot simply remove your external hard drive when your Xbox is off as you know the USB ports still supply energy to the external hard drive. So to be safe make sure you do the following

How To Stop Your Xbox One USB Powering External Hard Drives When Off

  1.  If you’re in Instant-on mode:
  2. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  3. Select System> Settings> Power & startup> Power mode & startup.
  4. Confirm that your Power mode is set to Instant-on.
  5. Unselect the option When Xbox is off, turn off storage.

What are the USB ports on Xbox one for?

Your Xbox One depending if it’s the original fat Xbox One, the Xbox One(my one) or the powerful Xbox one X should have three different USB ports in the console. However, what can you do with these ports?

Charge All Your Electronic Devices! (Not Apple)

The most simple thing is to charge any of your android devices such as your phone, power bank or anything really! Note your Apple devices will charge at such a slow rate it’s basically not worth it.

Charge your controller overnight via the USB or charge your play and charge kit such as this Microsoft officially licensed POWER A one(Amazon Link) so you never have low battery ever again!

Install Themes On Your Xbox One!

Did you know you can change and install different backgrounds to completely personalise your Xbox One home screen to how you want it to look! Click here for the high-quality official Xbox One screensavers!

It’s very easy to set up using a USB stick such as this SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB Flash Drive USB 3.0 that I own

  1. Download a Wallpaper you want to a USB drive
  2. Insert the USB drive into your Xbox One and open your Media Player app. Select File Explorer, choose your USB device and select your images
  3. When your image is displayed press the Menu button on your controller and select “set as background

Heres a video walkthrough if you prefer a more visual explanation

Play Music & Movies On Your Xbox One With A USB

You can actually stream movies and music on your Xbox One from a USB! Like downloading a new wallpaper it is easy to do and you can get started in minutes!

  1. Format your USB into FAT32(Your Xbox only recognises this format)
  2. Download the music/movie/Tv show you want to view on your USB
  3. Put your USB into your Xbox One
  4. Open the Media Player App(if you don’t have it download it from the Microsoft Store)
  5. You should sell all your USB’S available media files for you to enjoy on your Xbox One!

Watch this handy YouTube video for an easy video explanation

Record Up To 1 Hour Of Gameplay Footage 1080p With Your USB No Capture Card Required!

One of the coolest of your Xbox One USB is the ability to record up to 1 hour of high-quality gameplay using a USB that is 3.0. Again I highly recommend the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB Flash Drive(Amazon Link) as it is very cheap for the price and you will need the higher memory because gameplay footage files are quite large.

  1. Press the home button on Xbox Controller
  2.  Scroll to “Broadcast & Capture> Advanced settings
  3. Go to “game clip resolution and set it to 1080 SDR if you have an Xbox One S/Xbox One or 4K if you have an Xbox One X
  4. From capture, location set it to from “internal” to “external”
  5. Insert your USB drive into your computer and click format and make the file system “NTFS (note this will delete all files from your USB)
  6. Plug your hard drive into your Xbox 
  7. Launch a game and go to capture options and click “capture from now” and you will be able to record high-quality gameplay up to 1 hour without a capture card or streaming service! Amazing right?

Now, I take no credit from this discovery all the credit goes to the YouTuber Royal Gamer and I have tried the method out myself and can comfort that is WORKS Look at his video yourself down below

Use An Your USB Ports For An External Hard Drive!

Games are massive these days with Red Dead Redemption 2 needing a whopping 107 GB of storage for the Xbox One even with the disc! Also with the best deal in gaming the Xbox Game pass(read about the amazing service here), there are 100s of games but your Xbox will only have 500-1000 GB of storage!

Here’s where an external hard drive such as the Seagate 2 Game Drive(Amazon Link) comes in handy! Use your Xbox One USB ports for good and have all the games you could ever want! Here’s how to use it

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your Xbox One’s USB Port. You will see an on-screen prompt pop-up
  2. Select Format storage device
  3. Choose a name for your drive using your Xbox keyboard
  4. Select install new things here to automatically install future games & content onto your drive
  5. Finally select Format storage device

Check out this handy YouTube tutorial on how to set up your external HDD with your Xbox if you would prefer it in video

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Recommend Products

Seagate 2 TB Game Drive for Xbox

Play and Charge Kit Plus – Microsoft Officially Licensed for Xbox One

SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB Flash Drive USB 3.0

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