Feature Article

What To Do Before Getting An Xbox Series X/S

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Xbox One owners have some things they should do before upgrading to an Xbox Series X/S.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are out. If you've managed to get your hands on one (every time there's an Xbox console restock they sell out almost immediately) or if you have one on the way, there are a few important things you should plan for before you set it up--provided you already own an Xbox One. Below, we've highlighted a list of key tasks you should make sure to check off your to-do list before setting up your new console.

This guide will ensure you come prepared to jump into the next-gen experience and--if nothing else--it'll help pass the time and make the wait for your new console feel a little shorter. Be sure to also give our Xbox Series X review a read to see what awaits. You can also read our Xbox Series S review if you're curious about that system, or look at all of our hardware and games coverage in our Xbox Series X/S review roundup.

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Move Your Games To External Storage

Perhaps the most obvious and straightforward thing to do is to get your existing games ready. Microsoft has placed a great deal of emphasis on backwards compatibility, and you can expect quicker load times for virtually everything, along with performance and frame rate improvements and Auto HDR functionality for games on a case-by-case basis. There are a number of new games coming out during launch week, but you may want to also check out how much better your existing games are or simply continue playing something you've already been enjoying on Xbox One.

Fortunately, the process for doing so is quite simple if you have a supported external storage device. You can move your Xbox One games from the internal drive to an external one, and then plug that into your Xbox Series X/S to begin playing them immediately. On the other hand, you could download them again on your new console, but that's likely to take a long time and can be rough if you have a bandwidth cap.

Moving games to external storage can still be a time-consuming process, particularly if you have a big game collection. But as we've highlighted below, moving them is quite easy. In fact, it may only take you a few minutes. If you have larger games, the process can take a little longer. However, it is nowhere near as slow as downloading them again.

How To Move Xbox One Games To External Storage:

  1. Press the Guide button, scroll over to Profile & System, and select Settings
  2. Go to System, select Storage
  3. Select the Internal drive and then choose Move Or Copy
  4. Verify the top of the screen shows you transferring to the correct external storage
  5. Check off any games you want to move and then choose Move Selected

Another thing to do as part of this process is download any games now that you might want to try on the new console. That way, you can ensure everything is ready to go on your external drive in advance.

Manage Your Saved Screenshots And Videos

While screenshots and videos can be uploaded to Xbox Live or social media, it's possible you ran out of cloud storage or otherwise have been hoarding your favorite moments on your console. If you're planning to sell or even just unplug your Xbox One to make way for the new console (which makes sense, because it can play all your non-Kinect Xbox One games), be mindful of any memories you might be leaving behind.

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Take some time to look through screenshots and videos you have that you might want to preserve, whether it's by uploading them to OneDrive or sharing on social media. Unfortunately, you can't export screenshots to a USB drive, so OneDrive may suffice for storing those things--just be prepared for some long upload times if you've been taking 4K HDR screenshots.

Download The Xbox App

You might already have the Xbox mobile app, which was recently revamped, but if not, you should grab it before setting up your Xbox Series X/S. With the app, you can immediately pair the new console and handle the setup process seamlessly, letting you transfer your Xbox One settings without having to actually do anything manually. That'll let you jump into the games (or, perhaps more likely, downloads/installs) more quickly.

Double Check Your Sign-In Credentials And Two-Factor Authentication

Do you know the password to your Microsoft/Xbox account? I sure don't. You'll want to make sure that you have this (and any two-factor authentication you use on the account) in order before launch day, so you're not stuck waiting on a "forgot my password" email. With countless people trying to get in on the same day, it's possible Microsoft's services could be slowed down, so ensure your account is straightened out and ready to go before booting up the console.

Prepare The Space

Xbox Series X may not be quite as large as the PS5, but it's still a big console. While you'll likely be able to fit the Series S anywhere you typically store your consoles thanks to its compact size, the Series X could prove more difficult--particularly if you've decided you want to stand it upright. We've known for quite some time what the dimensions of both consoles are, but now's the time when it's actually going to matter, as you don't want your console jammed into too small of a space where it can't ventilate properly. Grab a tape measure or, if you're really looking for a way to kill some time, build your own cardboard/paper version and see if they'll fit in your entertainment center. If not, it's not too late to learn some woodworking skills.

  • Xbox Series X dimensions: 15.1cm x 15.1cm x 30.1cm
  • Xbox Series S dimensions: 6.5cm x 15.1cm x 27.5cm

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Chris Pereira

Chris Pereira is GameSpot's editorial manager. He's been writing about games for a very long time and is very old. Please don't be loud. He likes Twin Peaks, The X-Files (before it was bad), I Think You Should Leave, Remedy games, and serial commas.

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