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How to Stop Your Xbox 360 From Freezing

The Xbox 360 is a bit of a paradox—the hotter it runs, the more it freezes.

The Xbox 360 is a bit of a paradox—the hotter it runs, the more it freezes.

Does Your Xbox 360 Keep Freezing?

There are a lot of great things about the Xbox 360, but almost everyone experiences a universal problem with the console at one point or another: freezing.

Yes, this is one problem that can be very aggravating when you’re in the midst of a battle or nearing the finish line of that all-important race. Lucky for you, there are some ways to possibly fix your Xbox 360.

These helpful pointers may help solve your freezing dilemma:

Check the Disc for Scratches

The first thing and probably the most obvious thing to do is to check the back of the disc. If there are any scratches, smudges, or marks on the disc, this could be the cause of your problem. Simply take a soft cloth and wipe from the center of the disc outwards. Re-insert the disc into the console and see if that solved the problem.

If your game continues to freeze in the same spot, there could be an error/glitch on the disc. Bringing back the game to the store from which it was bought or sending it back to the publisher explaining the problem would probably be your best option.

Improve the Ventilation

Another simple problem could be that your Xbox is overheating. This happens to many people because they believe that even though they can hear the fan running that it is sufficient, but that’s not always the case. It all depends on not only how long you use the console but also the environment in which the console is placed.

If your Xbox is placed in a cabinet, near a heater, or surrounded by other heat sources, it could not be getting proper ventilation. Try disconnecting the Xbox and moving it to an open shelf or at least to an area that is open. Putting it on a soft surface such as a couch or bed is not recommended because it could block some of the vents.

If your Xbox is in a properly ventilated area but still overheats due to prolonged use, you could go out and buy an external fan that hooks right onto your console.

Clean Out the Cache

Another possibility would be that your Xbox cache or your save game file has been corrupted. Cleaning out your cache could help. (Note that this is safe. It will not delete any of your game saves, profiles, demos or videos or anything else you have saved on your Xbox. It will, however, delete your game automatic updates. These will have to be re-downloaded after the process is complete.) To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Move to the System section of the Xbox Dashboard.
  2. Select Memory, and then press the A button.
  3. Highlight a storage device.
  4. Press the Y button to view the Device Options screen.
  5. While you view the Device Options screen, enter this sequence of commands on the controller:

    i) Press the X button.

    ii) Press the X button.

    iii) Press the left bumper.

    iv) Press the right bumper.

    v) Press the X button.

    vi) Press the X button.

    After you enter the correct sequence, you will receive the following message:

    "This will perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 storage devices. Do you want to continue? Yes/No"
  6. Select Yes, and then press the A button.

Assess the Hard Drive

Not only can your cache become corrupted, but your hard drive itself can as well. Now if this is the case, it is not the end of the world. It can be fixed. First, you need to find out if it actually is the hard drive that is corrupted.

Try removing the hard drive while the console is switched off and leave it out for a few days. Continue to play games during that time, and if it stops freezing, then you’ve found your problem and your hard drive needs to be formatted.

How to Format the Hard Drive

Note: Before proceeding with the next step, it is recommended that you transfer all your data to a memory unit, or you will lose most if not all of your save games, demos, music, etc.

To format your hard drive simply insert the hard drive while the console is off and go into the system menu. You will find formatting options there.

Hopefully, the above steps have helped you to fix your Xbox 360. If for some reason you’ve done the above steps and you still have problems, try doing some more searching.

Whatever you do decide to do, under no circumstances should you open up your Xbox. Doing so will void your warranty!

© 2009 JulianBarber


RustyTrey2008 on October 21, 2018:

I didn't do it yet but I'm going to is going to work

Butsack on May 13, 2018:

There is no "memory" option.

Harmony on July 21, 2016:

this didn't help me, my game still freezes everytime I try and play Black Ops II

BINNYMOON on February 18, 2015:


irtaza on September 27, 2014:

my xbox 360 is sim model it kepps on freezing while playing game i do every thing delete system cashes every thing but xbox keeps on frezing help me what i can do it first freze while playing fifa 15 and second time freze while playing transfromers rise of dark spark evry time xbox freeze help me please

Dylan on May 24, 2013:

What if it is just keep freezing every time I go into youtube?

scott on April 29, 2012:

if non of the steps work ive tried taking the shell of the xbox off as best as you can and hovering the vents because dust can get on the laser that reads the disc's

TrAcI kIlLaTIME on February 19, 2012:

Thanks for the help! It works!

Henry on February 18, 2012:

What if you take off the hard drive and play the games but it still keeps freezing, is that normal to happen without it or is it a problem?

Montell on February 12, 2012:

and what if the game frezzes while playing games from the hdd ?

Shaun on February 11, 2012:

The left and right bumpers on on top of the triggers. I didn't know what they were either I just pressed them knowing what they did, n

Cart on December 06, 2011:

I think the button command worked thanks love you!!

luciano on August 31, 2011:

dosent work i did everything and i took it to gamestop so stop telling people lies

coltin on August 17, 2011:

well mine only happens when i press the middle button and the white thing pops up and it only happens when my wireless adapter is plugged in then like 3 or 4 secs later it freezes and its starten to piss me off so any tips to stop it before my xbox goes through physical abuse a.k.a thrown through a window my email is thanks

Haris on July 24, 2011:

What is left and right bumper

cameron on December 19, 2010:

what if you don't have a hard drive and your games are not to scraatched and the games freeze. i have two games that freeze and they are as scratched as my other ones how do i get it to stop freezing. my email is

David on April 21, 2010:

What happens if non of these work would it be the xbox?

Billy on April 15, 2010:

thanks so much it was my hard drive from the start

Joe on August 19, 2009:

if the hard drive is the problem and the above steps do not fix it, would microsoft replace it IF its less than a year old?

JulianBarber (author) on August 07, 2009:

Yes Alex, it sure will. Give it a shot and let me know. Thanks!

Alex on August 07, 2009:

So this will stop from freezin