How to Replace Xbox One Hard Drive?

Written byLucienUpdated on May 15, 2024
Gerhard Chou
Approved byGerhard Chou

Table of Contents


In the ever-changing world of games, where digital worlds grow, and engaging experiences abound, storage space is essential for playing without interruption. The Xbox One, a mainstay of modern gaming, has a wide range of games and video options. As game libraries and sizes grow, the stock hard drive's flaws become clear. Replacing your Xbox One's hard drive is an option that provides you with more space and better speed.

This detailed guide aims to take the mystery out of the process by giving you the information and tools you need to change your Xbox One hard drive without any problems. Your game experience will be freed from the chains of limited storage space, and you will feel empowered.

replace Xbox One hard drive

Why Replace Your Xbox One Hard Drive?

The most common reason is to make more room for storage. The Xbox One's built-in storage may not be enough as game files grow. If you get a bigger hard drive, you won't have to worry about running out of room for your games, downloaded content, and multimedia files.

Changing the hard drive in your Xbox One can also improve its performance. Games may take longer to load, stutter, or crash if your hard drive is old or starting to fail. Getting a newer, faster hard drive can fix these problems and make gaming run more smoothly overall.


Get the following tools and materials together before you start the repair process:

  • New Hard Drive: Ensure you have a new hard drive that works with your Xbox One. Microsoft suggests using a 2.5-inch SATA hard drive with at least 256GB of space and no thicker than 9.5mm.
  • USB Flash Drive: You'll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of space to make a system update file for your new hard drive.
  • External Hard Drive (Optional): If you want to move your old files to the new hard drive, you will need an external HD with enough room to hold your Xbox One content.
  • Torx Screwdriver: To open the Xbox One's case, you'll need a Torx T8 screwdriver because it's held together with Torx screws.
  • Phillips Screwdriver: You'll also need a tool to remove the hard drive bracket.
  • Computer: You will use a computer to get the necessary system update files and prepare the new hard drive.

Why Replace Your Xbox One Hard Drive?

Steps to Replace Xbox One Hard Drive

Step 1: Back Up Your Data.

It's important to back up any important data before changing the hard drive in your Xbox One so you don't lose it. These steps will help you save copies of your games, apps, and settings on a separate hard drive:

  • Hook up your portable hard drive to your Xbox One.
  • Go to System > Storage in Settings.
  • Choose to move files to the internal hard drive.
  • Select the files you want to save, then pick "Copy selected."
  • Remove the external hard drive and turn off your Xbox One when you're done backing up.

Step 2: Prepare the New Hard Drive.

You must format and make a system update file on the new hard drive before you can load it. Do these things:

  • Use a SATA-to-USB adapter or case to connect the new hard drive to your computer.
  • Get the system update file for your Xbox One from the Microsoft website and save it to your computer.
  • Use your computer's disk management tools to set up the new hard drive with the NTFS file system.
  • Place a folder called "$SystemUpdate" in the hard drive's main directory after formatting it.
  • Add the "$" file to the "$SystemUpdate" folder.
  • Once the new hard drive is ready, safely remove it from your computer.

Step 3: Open the Xbox One Console.

You must remove the Xbox One's top case to get to the parts inside. Do these things:

  • Lay your Xbox One down on a stable, flat surface so the front faces you.
  • To take out the screws that hold the top case in place, use a Torx T8 screwdriver.
  • Take care to remove the case and set it down.
  • Once you remove the Xbox One's top case, you can get to its internal parts.

Step 4: Remove the Old Hard Drive.

Find the Xbox One's hard drive and follow these steps to take it out:

  • Take the hard drive's SATA and power cords off of it.
  • To take out the screws that hold the hard drive bracket in place, use a Phillips screwdriver.
  • Take the bracket and hard drive out of the Xbox One.
  • Put the old hard drive away so you can recycle it or throw it away.

Step 5: Install the New Hard Drive.

Now that the old hard drive is out of the way, the new one can be put in. Do these things:

  • Make sure the new hard drive is lined up correctly before putting it into the hard drive bracket.
  • Use the Phillips screws to attach the new hard drive to the base.
  • The new hard drive must be hooked up with SATA and power cords.

Step 6: Keep the system software up to date.

You'll need to update the system software on the new hard drive before putting your Xbox One back together. Do these things:

  • Put the system update file on a USB and plug it into one of the USB ports on your Xbox One.
  • Please turn on your Xbox One. It will find the system update file on the flash drive and start the update process independently.
  • Just do what it says on the screen to finish the system update. It might take some time.
  • After the system update is done, your Xbox One will restart itself.

Step 7: Reassemble Your Xbox One.

Now that the system software has been updated and the new hard drive has been loaded, it's time to put your Xbox One back together. Do these things:

  • Put the outside case back on top of the Xbox One.
  • Use the Torx T8 screwdriver to tighten the screws that hold the case together.
  • When you turn on your Xbox One, make sure everything works right.

If you want to clone data from old hard drive to new hard drive for Xbox One, you can try disk cloning software - such as Donemax Disk Clone.

Windows 11 Disk Cloning - Donemax Disk Clone.

  • Clone hard drive for Xbox One.
  • Clone HDD, SSD and external storage device.
  • Create bootable clone for Windows and macOS.

Then choose Disk Clone mode, select the old hard drive as the source disk and select the new hard drive as the destination disk, click on Clone button to clone all data from the old hard drive to the new hard drive.

Donemax Disk Clone


Now that your new hard drive is fully integrated into your Xbox One, you can play many games. Goodbye to storage problems and hello to more space and faster speed. As of now, you can watch the newest blockbusters or old favorites with peace of mind, knowing that your console is ready for the demands of your digital travels. You've learned how to replace hardware by following this guide and giving yourself the tools to customize and improve your game experience. With your updated Xbox One, you can enjoy the next generation of games and keep the adventures going without stopping.

Contributing Writer


Lucien is a writer and a chief programmer of Donemax software who has worked in the company for 5+ years. He has written much of the content on the site and devotes to providing troubleshooting and solution for Windows and Mac users including disk cloning, data recovery, migration, eraser, error fixes.

Gerhard Chou
Editor in chief

Gerhard Chou

In order to effectively solve the problems for our customers, every article and troubleshooting solution published on our website has been strictly tested and practiced. Our editors love researching and using computers and testing software, and are willing to help computer users with their problems