How to Stream Xbox One to Your PC

Streaming an Xbox One to a PC is a two-step process that requires access to both the console and the computer. The Xbox One and PC both need to be on the same network, and the network connection needs to be strong and fast enough to handle streaming. Wired ethernet connections work best, but streaming an Xbox One to a PC is possible via Wi-Fi if there aren't too many obstructions in the way.

What is Xbox One Game Streaming?

There are two different things that game streaming can refer to. The first involves live streaming gameplay to a platform like Twitch or YouTube. The other involves streaming from the console to a computer that's connected to the same network.

The purpose of streaming an Xbox One to a PC is that it can turn any Windows 10 PC that's connected to the same network into a remote display for the console. That means you can play games, or watch movies, or use any Xbox One app on any Windows 10 tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, without physically moving the console, as long as everything is hooked up to the same network.

Before you get started: Make sure that your Xbox One and your Windows 10 PC both have the most recent system updates installed.

The console and PC must be connected to the same network as well. That means they should both be plugged into the same router via ethernet cables, or connected to the same router via a Wi-Fi connection.

How to Activate Streaming on Your Xbox One

instructions showing the steps to turn on xbox one streaming
Before an Xbox One can stream to a PC, the option needs to be turned on.

Screen Capture

The first step in streaming an Xbox One to PC is to enable streaming on the Xbox One. This is a pretty easy process:

  1. Open System > Settings
  2. Access Preferences > Xbox app connectivity
  3. Check Allow game streaming to other devices.

Either Allow connections from any device or Only from profiles signed in on this Xbox must be selected. If you share your network with other people, the second option is more secure.

Selecting Don't allow the Xbox app to connect will prevent streaming.

How to Stream Xbox One to PC

instructions showing the steps to turn on windows 10 xbox app streaming
Streaming an Xbox One to a PC is accomplished through the Windows 10 Xbox app.

 Screens Capture

The second, and final, step in streaming an Xbox One to a PC requires the Windows 10 Xbox app. This is a free app that is available from the Windows store.

The Xbox app is used to initiate streaming:

  1. Make sure your Xbox One is turned on.
  2. Launch the Windows 10 Xbox app.
  3. Locate the icon on the left that looks like an Xbox One and click on it.
  4. Locate your Xbox One in the list and click Connect.
    Note: This step is only done once. If your Xbox doesn't show up in the list, verify that it is turned on. If it is, and you still don't see it on the list, you will need to find its IP address and enter it manually.
  5. Click Stream.

This will initiate the stream. If nothing happens, try clicking Test streaming to see what the problem is.

After this initial setup has been completed, streaming in the future is even easier:

  1. Launch the Windows 10 Xbox app.
  2. Locate the icon on the left that looks like an Xbox One and click on it.
  3. Click Stream.

If the Xbox One is off, you will first need to click Turn on.

Launching Games From the Xbox App

a screenshot showing how to launch xbox one games from the windows app
You can launch games and apps on your Xbox One from the Windows app. Screen Capture

Once you're streaming, you can launch games and apps from the Xbox One dashboard. The display that you would normally see on your television will still appear on the television, but it will also be mirrored on your PC monitor, tablet, or laptop screen. This allows you to navigate the Xbox dashboard, and launch games, as you normally would.

If you prefer to launch a game directly from your PC to get right into the action, that's also an option.

  1. Launch the Xbox app.
  2. Navigate to the game hub for the game you want to play.
  3. Click Play from console.

This will automatically connect to the console and start streaming if everything is set up correctly.

How to Control an Xbox One Game From Your PC

Xbox One Controller

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Stringer/Getty Images

If you want to stream your Xbox One to a PC that's in a different room, there's one more additional step. While a controller that's connected to the Xbox One will still be able to control it during streaming, the range of controllers is limited.

That means you need to connect an Xbox One controller to your PC if you want to play a game via streaming. This is less important if you're just streaming a movie or other video, but a controller is still useful in case you need to pause.

The easiest solution is to simply plug your Xbox One controller into your PC with a micro USB cable. Windows 10 will automatically recognize the controller.

If you want a more permanent solution, you may want to consider buying a second controller and pairing it to your PC. Look for the revised design that first came with the Xbox One S if your PC has Bluetooth, or one that comes with a wireless USB dongle if your PC doesn't have Bluetooth.

Streaming In-Game and Party Chat

When you stream from your Xbox to your PC, you can also participate in both party and in-game chat. If you want to do this, you'll need to connect a microphone or headset to your PC before you launch the Xbox app and start streaming.

You can use a USB headset, a headset that's connected to the headphone jack on your computer, or a headset that's connected to your Xbox One controller.

In any case, you will also need to make sure the microphone or headset is set as your default communication device:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your PC.
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
  3. Select Manage Audio Devices.
  4. Under the Playback tab, right click on your headset and make sure it is set as default device.
  5. Under the Recording tab, right click on your headset or microphone and make sure it is set as the default device.

You may also need to set your headset or microphone to be the default communication device.