How to Transfer Data to a New Xbox 360 Hard Drive

Migration is easy with a transfer cable

What to Know

  • Update Xbox 360 software: Go to Guide > Settings > System Settings > Network Settings > Wired Network > Test Xbox Connection > Yes.
  • Remove the old drive and install the new one. Plug the transfer cable into the old hard drive and the USB port on the destination console.
  • Turn on the console and choose Yes, transfer to console > Start. If transferring to a new system, you must perform a content license transfer.

This article explains how to transfer your data from an old Xbox 360 to a new one. You'll need a special transfer cable from Microsoft. You'll have to buy the transfer cable separately, but they are not expensive.

Updating the Xbox 360 Software

Before you begin a transfer, update your Xbox 360 software if it isn't current by connecting to the Xbox network over an internet connection.

  1. Select the Guide button on the controller.

  2. Go to Settings and then System Settings.

  3. Choose Network Settings.

  4. Select Wired Network or the name of your wireless network if prompted to do so.

  5. Choose Test Xbox Connection.

  6. Choose Yes to update the console software if prompted to do so.

Transfer Data From an Old Hard Drive to a New Hard Drive

When you have the current version of the software installed, you can transfer the data.

  1. Turn off your old console and if you are transferring to a new Xbox, turn it off as well.

  2. Remove the old hard drive from the Xbox 360 console.

  3. If you are using a new hard drive, install it in the console. Ignore this step if you have a brand new system.

  4. Plug the transfer cable into the old hard drive and into the USB port on the destination console where the hard drive you want to transfer to is located.

  5. Turn on the system(s) and a pop-up message appears asking if you want to transfer data.

  6. Choose Yes, transfer to console.

  7. Select Start.

  8. When the transfer is complete, disconnect the old hard drive and transfer cable from the system.

The transfer process can take several hours depending on how much data you have. Be patient. After the transfer is finished, sign in to your Xbox account.

It must be noted that this is a one-time, one-way process. You can only transfer from a smaller hard drive to a larger hard drive.

If you have less than 32 GB of data, you can transfer from one system to another using a USB flash drive.

Content License

If you transfer the data onto a totally new system, not just a new hard drive, you also need to perform a content license transfer, even if you used a transfer cable, so you'll be able to play your downloaded games on the new system. If you only swapped hard drives and not entire systems, you don't need to do this. If you did transfer to a new system, and you do not do this, you will only be able to play your downloaded content while connected to the Xbox network. It won't work offline. Here's how to transfer the content licenses:

  1. Sign in to the Xbox network using the same Gamertag you used when you purchased the content.

  2. Select Settings and then pick Account.

  3. Go to Your Billing Options and select License Transfer.

  4. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the transfer.

Only buy official Microsoft hard drives for your Xbox. Third-party drives may not be properly formatted to allow for backward compatibility.

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