Troubleshooting Xbox One Network Failures

Microsoft’s Xbox One game console includes an option for “testing network connections” on its Network screen. Selecting this option causes the console to run diagnostics that look for technical issues with the console, home network, internet, and Xbox network service. When everything is configured and running as it should, the tests complete normally. If an issue is detected, however, the test reports one of many different error messages as described below. 

Cannot Connect to Your Wireless Network

Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles, Xbox Controllers, Xbox 1, XB1


When set up a part of a Wi-Fi home network, Xbox One communicates with a broadband router (or another network gateway) device to reach the internet and the Xbox network. This error appears when the game console can’t make a Wi-Fi connection. The Xbox One error screen recommends power cycling their router (gateway) device to work around this issue. If the router administrator recently changed the Wi-Fi network password (wireless security key), the Xbox One should be updated with the new key to avoid future connection failures.

Cannot Connect to Your DHCP Server

Microsoft Xbox One S


Most home routers use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) for assigning IP addresses to client devices. While a home network can in concept use a PC or other local device as its DHCP server, the router normally serves that purpose. An Xbox One will report this error if it is unable to negotiate with the router via DHCP.

The Xbox One error screen recommends users to power cycle their router, which can help with temporary DHCP glitches. In more extreme cases, especially when the same issue affects multiple clients besides the Xbox, a full factory reset of the router may be required.

Cannot Get an IP Address

Xbox One and Kinect


This error appears when an Xbox One can communicate with the router via DHCP but does not receive an IP address in return. As with the DHCP server error above, the Xbox One error screen recommends to power cycle the router to recover from this issue. Routers can fail to issue IP addresses for two main reasons: all available addresses are already in use by other devices, or the router malfunctioned.

An administrator can (through the router’s console) expand the home network’s IP address range to deal with cases where no addresses are available for the Xbox to

Cannot Connect With an Automatic IP Address

Xbox One

Marco Verch / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

An Xbox One will report this error if it is able to reach the home router via DHCP and receives an IP address, but connecting to the router via that address does not work. In this situation, the Xbox One error screen recommends users to set up the game console with a static IP address, which might work, but requires careful configuration and does not solve the underlying issue with automatic IP address assignment.

Cannot Connect to the Internet

internet connection with wlan router in home office
deepblue4you / Getty Images

If all aspects of the Xbox-to-router connection work properly, but the game console still can’t reach the internet, this error occurs. Normally the error gets triggered by a general failure in the home’s internet service, such as a temporary outage on the service provider end.

DNS Is Not Resolving Xbox Server Names

Xbox One and controllers

MaxPixel / CC BY CC0

The Xbox One error page recommends power cycling the router to deal with this issue. This can fix temporary glitches where the router is not correctly sharing its local Domain Name System (DNS) settings. However, the issue can also be caused by outages with the Internet provider’s DNS service, where router reboots won’t help. Some people recommend configuring home networks to use third-party Internet DNS services to avoid this scenario.

Plug in a Network Cable

Xbox One

dronepicr  / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

This error message appears when Xbox One is configured for wired networking but no Ethernet cable has been detected in the console’s Ethernet port.

Unplug the Network Cable

Xbox One

Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 

If an Xbox One is configured for wireless networking and an Ethernet cable is also plugged into the console, this error appears. Unplugging the cable avoids confusing the Xbox and allows its Wi-Fi interface to function normally.

There Is a Hardware Problem

Router and Signal graphic

A malfunction in the game console’s Ethernet hardware triggers this error message. Changing from a wired to wireless network configuration can work around this issue. Otherwise, it may be necessary to send the Xbox in for repair.

There Is a Problem With Your IP Address

DNS cloud showing major public DNS providers and IP addresses

If an Xbox One is set with a static IP address that the home router can’t use (typically because it is out of the router’s IP range), this error message can occur. The Xbox One error page suggestion to try to change the Wi-Fi channel number applies when the Xbox is using dynamic (DHCP) addressing. A scenario where the Xbox accidentally connects to a neighbor’s router, obtains a different IP address, then reverts its connection back to the correct home router, can trigger this same error. 

You're Not Plugged In

A person connecting an Ethernet cable to a wireless router

Ahmad Hairi Mohamed / EyeEm

This message appears when using a wired connection where the Ethernet connection is not functioning properly. Re-seat each end of the cable in its Ethernet port to ensure solid electrical contacts. Test with an alternate Ethernet cable if needed, as cables can short or degrade over time. In the worst case, though, a power surge or other glitch may have damaged the Ethernet port on the Xbox One (or the router on the other end), requiring the game console (or router) to be professionally serviced.

Your Security Protocol Won't Work

Woman's index finger touching the interface of security padlock with electronic circuit

Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images

This message appears when the home router’s choice of Wi-Fi security protocol is incompatible with the flavors of WPA2, WPA or WEP that Xbox One supports.

Your Console Is Banned

caucasian hand with do not enter symbol written on palm
Malte Mueller/ Getty Images

Modding (tampering with) the Xbox One game console can trigger Microsoft to permanently ban it from connecting to the Xbox network. Other than contacting the Xbox Enforcement team and repenting for bad behavior, nothing can be done with that Xbox One to restore it on the network (though other functions may still work).

We're Not Sure What's Wrong

shrugging boy

Via Getty Images / Ismailciydem


Thankfully, this error message comes up rarely. If you receive it, try to find a friend or family member who has seen it before and has a suggestion for what to do. Be prepared for a long and difficult troubleshooting effort involving customer support plus trial and error otherwise.

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