Skip to main content

Red Light on Xbox Kinect Sensor

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

Kinect Red Light Problems

A host of problems can lead to the light that's typically green on the front of the Xbox Kinect sensor to suddenly turn red. This can stem from the Kinect sensor not being able to move up and down, the sensor getting insufficient power, the sensor not being level, the sensor software not being updated, and more.

Use troubleshooting to work through the potential problems to find out exactly what the problem is so you can take the appropriate steps to get your Xbox Kinect sensor back up and running.

The Xbox Kinect sensor.

The Xbox Kinect sensor.

Xbox Kinect Software Needs Updating

The software for your Xbox Kinect may not be up to date. You can update the Xbox Kinect software by inserting an Xbox Kinect game disc in your Xbox 360 console and load the game as you normally would. If the Xbox Kinect software needs to be updated, a message will be displayed prompting you to update your Xbox 360 console's software. Highlight "Click, Restart" and then click "A" to install the update and restart the Xbox 360 console.

Loose Cables

Either the Xbox 360 power cable or the cables that power the Kinect sensor and connect it to the Xbox 360 console may be loosely connected. Check the Xbox 360 console and Kinect cables by doing the following:

  1. Turn off the Xbox 360 and disconnect the console's power cable from both the AC outlet it's connected to and the Xbox 360. if you're using an Xbox 360 S, disconnect the single cable connecting the Kinect sensor from the console. If you're using a previous model of the Xbox 360, disconnect cables extending from the Kinect connected to both the Xbox 360 console and an AC power outlet.
  2. Wait for 30 seconds and then reconnect the power cable and any Kinect sensor cables. Firmly push the cables into place to ensure they are securely connected and that there are no loose connections.
  3. Power your Xbox 360 back on.
  4. Check the light on the big box on the power cable to make sure it's green.
  5. If this light is any other color, try connecting the Xbox 360 power cable and, if you're using one, the Kinect power cable, to a different AC outlet that you know functions properly to see if the problem is with the outlet and not the Xbox 360 or Kinect.
  6. If, after connecting the devices to another AC outlet you're still experiencing problems with the Kinect, you have larger problems with Xbox 360, such as a defective power cable, overheating or damaged internal components, and the problem is not likely with your Kinect sensor.

"Kinect Sensor Can't Move" Error

If you receive the Kinect Sensor Can't Move error, the Kinect sensor is having problems tilting up and down. To resolve this problem, turn off the Xbox 360 console. Position the Kinect sensor on a flat surface if it isn't already and make sure there are no obstacles preventing the Kinect sensor from moving up or down. Restart the Xbox 360 console and try playing a Kinect game to see if the problem is resolved.

Room Temperature Where Kinect Sensor Is Located

The temperature in the room where the Kinect sensor is located may be too hot or too cold. The Kinect sensor operates best in a room where the temperature is roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Check your room temperature and adjust it accordingly.

© 2011 Max Dalton


Ruby Vercoe on September 10, 2020:


My dad and I have been trying to fix our 360 so I can play the old games but it always says “insufficient power” so we bought another Kinect thinking that would fix everything but we got the same message again. Is this to do with the console? How do we fix it????