How to Set Up a Xbox 360

Introduction

This guide will take you step-by-step setting up your Xbox 360 gaming console, no matter which version you have.
Tools You'll Need:
  • An Xbox 360
  • A television or monitor
  • A working internet connection if you want to connect your console to internet
Xbox 360 console.

1 Unbox / Placement

First, make sure you have all the pieces you need to setup properly.

Xbox 360 Console
Xbox 360 S console.
A/V Cable
Xbox 360 AV cable.Common HDMI cable. In many cases, you can use a regular HDMI cable instead
Power Supply & Power Cord
Xbox 360 power adapter.
Wireless Controller
Xbox 360 wireless controller. You will need 2 AA Batteries to power your controller

Next, choose a good place for your console.

  • Stable and Safe
    • Make sure your Xbox 360 won't tip over or have drinks spilled on it by accident.
  • Well-ventilated
    • The Xbox 360 gets quite warm while being played. This is normal, but if the console is buried under other things, it will overheat.

2 Connect Power

  1. Connect the power supply to the console.
  2. Connect the power cord to the power supply.
  3. Plug the power cable into the wall outlet.

Connecting the Xbox 360 console to power. Illustration.

3 Connect TV

Most modern TVs have HDMI ports, making the connection extremely easy.

HDMI

  1. Connect the HDMI cable to the back of your console.
    Xbox console with HDMI port highlighted
  2. Connect the other end of your HDMI cable to your TV or receiver.
    Back of TV showing HDMI Input with cable being plugged in

Composite

  1. Connect the composite adapter cable to the back of your console.
    Xbox console with Composite adapter port highlighted
  2. Connect the composite cables to your TV.
    Connecting composite AV cables to the rear of a television. Illustration
    • The video connection cable is Yellow, the connection on your TV is Yellow or Green.
    • The right audio is Red, the same as the back of your TV, but make sure it's labeled Audio.
    • The left audio is White, the same as the back of your TV.

Start Up Console

  1. Push the Power Button on the front of your console to turn it on.
    Power button highlighted on front of Xbox console
  2. The ring around the power button should turn green, and you should see the XBox 360 startup on your TV.
    Xbox 360 logo

? Do you see the Xbox Startup Screen?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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This guide will take you step-by-step setting up your Xbox 360 gaming console, no matter which version you have.
Tools You'll Need:
  • An Xbox 360
  • A television or monitor
  • A working internet connection if you want to connect your console to internet
Xbox 360 console.

First, make sure you have all the pieces you need to setup properly.

Xbox 360 Console
Xbox 360 S console.
A/V Cable
Xbox 360 AV cable.Common HDMI cable. In many cases, you can use a regular HDMI cable instead
Power Supply & Power Cord
Xbox 360 power adapter.
Wireless Controller
Xbox 360 wireless controller. You will need 2 AA Batteries to power your controller

Next, choose a good place for your console.

  • Stable and Safe
    • Make sure your Xbox 360 won't tip over or have drinks spilled on it by accident.
  • Well-ventilated
    • The Xbox 360 gets quite warm while being played. This is normal, but if the console is buried under other things, it will overheat.
  1. Connect the power supply to the console.
  2. Connect the power cord to the power supply.
  3. Plug the power cable into the wall outlet.

Connecting the Xbox 360 console to power. Illustration.

Most modern TVs have HDMI ports, making the connection extremely easy.

HDMI

  1. Connect the HDMI cable to the back of your console.
    Xbox console with HDMI port highlighted
  2. Connect the other end of your HDMI cable to your TV or receiver.
    Back of TV showing HDMI Input with cable being plugged in

Composite

  1. Connect the composite adapter cable to the back of your console.
    Xbox console with Composite adapter port highlighted
  2. Connect the composite cables to your TV.
    Connecting composite AV cables to the rear of a television. Illustration
    • The video connection cable is Yellow, the connection on your TV is Yellow or Green.
    • The right audio is Red, the same as the back of your TV, but make sure it's labeled Audio.
    • The left audio is White, the same as the back of your TV.

Start Up Console

  1. Push the Power Button on the front of your console to turn it on.
    Power button highlighted on front of Xbox console
  2. The ring around the power button should turn green, and you should see the XBox 360 startup on your TV.
    Xbox 360 logo
  1. Put batteries into your Xbox controller.
    1. Push the latch for the battery compartment.
      Xbox 360 wireless controller highlighting the battery compartment release button
    2. Place the batteries into the compartment, making note of their polarity indicated by the picture on the battery holder.
      Xbox 360 wireless controller battery compartment highlighting battery orientation.
    3. Clip your battery compartment back in.
  2. Press and Hold the center Xbox Guide button until the controller turns on.
    Xbox 360 wireless controller, highlighting the guide button
  3. Push the Connect Button on your console.
    Xbox console with the connect button highlighted
  4. Push the Connect Button on your controller.
    Connect button highlighted on the Xbox controller
  5. The ring around the power button will flash, then stop when your controller is connected.
    Xbox 360 S console highlighting the power button

If this screen comes up, your Xbox is already setup, and ready to use.
Xbox home screen

This will remove any and all data and settings from your console, and you will need to re-setup the device, as if you first purchased it.

Format Hard Drive

This clears the data, and makes sure the hard drive in your Xbox 360 is in good health.

The format can take a very long time, depending on the size and speed of your drive, as well as the type of format you choose.

  1. From the Xbox dashboard screen, choose Settings > System.
    Xbox 360 Settings menu, highlighting the System icon.
  2. Choose Storage.
    Xbox 360 System Settings menu highlighting the storage option.
  3. Highlight your Hard Drive or Memory Unit, then choose Device Options by pushing Y on your controller.
    Xbox 360 Storage Devices screen, displaying the available storage mediums on your Xbox.
  4. Choose Format.
    Xbox 360 Device Options menu, highlighting the Format option.
  5. You will receive a warning, reminding you that this erases all data on your device. Choose Yes.
    Xbox 360 Format Device warning prompt, highlighting the yes option.
  6. Your Xbox 360 will reboot and format the hard drive.

Initial Setup

  1. From the Xbox home screen, choose Settings > System.
    Xbox 360 Settings menu, highlighting the System icon.
  2. Choose Initial Setup.
    Xbox 360 System Settings menu, highlighting the Initial Setup option.
  3. Choose Yes.
    Xbox 360 Initial Setup prompt, highlighting the yes option.
  1. When you first start your Xbox 360, you'll be prompted to push the A button on your controller. Push A on your controller to continue.
    Xbox 360 initial setup screen depicting a controller.
  2. Select your language.
    Xbox 360 initial setup language selection screen.
  3. Select your country.
    Xbox 360 initial setup locale selection screen.
  4. Content controls allow you to restrict access to certain games and media based on age and content ratings. Parents can restrict access to more mature content. Select yes or no based on your preference.
    Xbox 360 initial setup content control options.
  5. Your console will attempt to automatically detect and setup your network setup for you.
    Xbox 360 attempting to automatically detect network connection settings.
  6. You will be prompted if you want to setup your network connection now.
    Xbox 360 initial Wi-Fi setup screen displaying a list of available networks.

If you do not want to setup your network connection now, choose Connect Later to complete setup.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

  1. If you're having problems finding your device, try pushing the Input button on your remote.
    Input button on remote.
  2. A menu should come up, giving you options to choose a different input.
    Input choices on television screen.
  3. Use the Up and Down buttons on your remote, then push the central OK button to select one.
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