Xbox Series X Overheating Message: Why and How to Solve

So you’re getting an overheating message on your Xbox Series X and you want to know how to fix it.

It’s very frustrating when the Xbox Series X overheats because it will either not start at all or force a shutdown when you’re in the middle of a game.

Let’s explore some potential solutions.

How to Fix Xbox Series X Overheating

The most common reason for the Xbox Series X overheating message is it’s not getting enough airflow. Clean the vents, make sure none of the vents are blocked, and make sure there’s plenty of clearance around the console.

Keep the Xbox upright in a horizontal position. If you continue to see the overheating message, plug the Xbox Series X directly into a wall outlet.

Improve Airflow

The Xbox Series X has a large heatsink that needs a steady supply of air to cool the hardware. The intake fans are at the base of the Xbox Series X and the exhaust is at the top of the device. Make sure there is plenty of open space around your Xbox so that cool air can circulate.

Do not put the Xbox Series X in a cabinet or other enclosure, it should be sitting in the open. If your Xbox Series X is in a cabinet, it could be recycling hot air.

Unless your environment is unusually dirty or you have pets, the Xbox Series X fans shouldn’t collect much dust. It’s still a good idea to use a brush or vacuum cleaner on the vents. Clean the bottom of the console too.

Another tip is to place something under your Xbox Series X to raise it a few inches because the intake fans are at the bottom of the console. Lifting the console will allow the intake fans to work more efficiently.

If the intake fans below the Xbox Series X are blocked, it can quickly overheat. For that reason, don’t place your Xbox on any cloth material, it should be on a flat and hard surface.

What happens when your Xbox is overheating even when out in the open with proper ventilation? Let’s take a look at some other solutions.

Use a Wall Outlet

The reason to use a wall outlet to power your Xbox Series X is that some extension cords or surge protectors don’t provide enough wattage for the console. This is often the solution for when your console randomly shuts down.

Your extension cord could also have too many devices connected to it and it’s reaching its maximum wattage. For some people, connecting the Xbox Series X directly to a wall outlet fixed the overheating issue.

Unplug Xbox, Leave it for a Couple of Hours

Unplug your Xbox Series X from the outlet and leave it completely shut down for at least a couple of hours.

Leaving the Xbox without a power source will force any residual electricity from the device and also cool it down.

Don’t Use Quality Mode

On certain games, the quality mode can stress your Xbox Series X too much and cause it to overheat. Certain next-gen features like ray-tracing can be extremely demanding on hardware. You could also try lowering the resolution. It also depends on how the game is optimized, some games have terrible optimization.

If you find that your Xbox Series X overheats on certain games, it’s likely a game-optimization issue. In that case, you can’t do much besides waiting for game developers to patch it. Launch-day game builds are usually not very well optimized and have stability issues.

Double-check Fans

Although very rare, the main fan on your Xbox can break, which will cause it to overheat within minutes. To quickly check if the fan is working you can feel above the Xbox. If you feel warm air coming out, the fan is working as intended. You can usually hear the fan spinning too.

Contact Microsoft Support

There’s a chance you might have received a defective unit or the main fan on your Xbox Series X is broken. In that case, there’s not much you can do besides contacting Microsoft’s support.

Most new Xboxes have a 1-year warranty. If under warranty, there’s a good chance you can get your Xbox repaired or replaced, free of charge.

Should You Buy an Xbox Series X Cooling Fan?

No. I do not recommend buying an Xbox Series X cooling fan because they can interrupt the designed airflow of your console.

Unless your Xbox fan is broken, the default ventilation should be more than enough. External Xbox cooling fans can sometimes make the Xbox overheat because they divert the airflow to the wrong location.

You do not need external Xbox Series X cooling accessories. Most of the time, they don’t even lower the temperatures.


9 times out of 10, the overheating message on the Xbox Series X is due to an airflow issue. Keep your Xbox Series X out in the open, in a horizontal position, and make sure none of the fan vents is blocked.

If you continue to see an overheating message, the problem is either a software glitch or a hardware issue. It could also be due to poorly optimized games that use advanced graphics settings such as ray-tracing.

When all else fails, contacting Microsoft for support is your best option. If you bought your Xbox Series X within a year, you should be able to get a free repair or replacement because you’ll be under warranty.

Photo by Billy Freeman on Unsplash

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About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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