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 Live 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 1
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When set up a part of a Wi-Fi home network, Xbox One communicates with a broadband router (or other network gateway) device to reach the Internet and Xbox Live. 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

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

This error appears when an Xbox One can communicate with the router via DHCP but does not receive any 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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 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 are not plugged in

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 will not work

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

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

We are not sure what is wrong

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.