Ways to Fix an Xbox 360 That Won't Turn On

Troubleshooting Xbox 360 hard drive and power supply issues

The Xbox 360 console and power charger have built-in LED lights that can help you diagnose potential technical issues. Use this Xbox 360 troubleshooting guide to fix a console that doesn't turn on.

Information in this article applies to all Xbox 360 models. There are separate instructions for troubleshooting an Xbox One that won't turn on.

Parent and child playing video games in living room
Robert Daly / Getty Images

Causes of an Xbox 360 Not Turning On

The Red Ring of Death is a hardware issue that can prevent your Xbox 360 from functioning properly. Look at the LED lights surrounding the power button:

  • If the Xbox 360 has a single red ring, it may display an error code on the television. The Xbox Support website has a list of Xbox 360 error codes and how to fix these errors.
  • Two red LEDs mean the Xbox 360 is overheating.
  • If the Xbox 360 displays three red rings, there may be an issue with the power supply.
  • If the Xbox 360 displays four red rings, it's having trouble communicating with the television.

While the Xbox 360 S and Xbox 360 E don't have the red rings of death, you might see the console's power button blinking red. In addition to the blinking light, you may see a message on your TV screen telling you the console is suffering from insufficient ventilation.

Xbox 360 different red rings of death lights
Microsoft

How to Fix an Xbox 360 That Won't Turn On

The steps you should take will depend on the source of the problem.

Unplug any accessories, such as controllers or external hard drives, from the console before troubleshooting to prevent additional factors from affecting the process.

  1. Unplug the Xbox from the wall and plug it back in. This simple solution can resolve issues with the power supply and the console.

  2. Check the Xbox 360 power changer. To check the status of the power supply, plug it into the wall and look at the unit's LED light. Follow these instructions based on the color of the LED when the power supply is plugged into the wall outlet.

    • Solid Green: If the LED power light is green, the power supply should be operating. Unplug the power supply and plug it back into the wall to see if it allows you to power the Xbox console correctly. If you meet the same result, move on to the next step.
    • Red or Flashing Orange: Unplug the power supply from the wall and plug it in again to see if it has any effect. If you still cannot turn on the console, there may be an issue with the wall socket. Plug the Xbox 360 power adapter in another room to rule out possible outlet issues.
    • Solid Orange: There's a strong chance the power supply is damaged. Obtain a new one to see if it allows your Xbox 360 to power on correctly.
    • No Light: Unplug the power supply from the wall and plug it in again to see if it has any effect. If you still cannot turn on the console, there may be an issue with the wall socket or power supply. Use the adapter in another room to rule out possible outlet issues. If the unit still doesn't turn on, it might be damaged. Get a new power supply to see if it allows the Xbox 360 to power on properly.
    Different Xbox 360 power supply LEDs
    Microsoft
  3. Let the Xbox 360 cool down. If your Xbox 360 displays two red rings (or a red blinking light on S and E models), unplug the console and let it cool down for an hour before using it again. Ensure the place where you store the Xbox console has plenty of breathing room to prevent it from overheating in the future.

  4. Disconnect and reconnect all A/V cables from the TV and Xbox 360 console. Four red rings mean there's a problem with the connection to the TV. Make sure the audio and video inputs are in the correct ports and check for physical damage to the cables. If the issue persists, use a different A/V cable to test your system.

  5. Remove and reinstall the Xbox 360 hard drive. If all else fails, reinstall the hard drive or replace it. If you go this route, make sure to transfer your Xbox 360 data to a new hard drive.

Microsoft discontinued support for the Xbox 360, so it is no longer possible to get your console repaired by the manufacturer.