On 30 January 2019 Xbox One owners are reporting seeing a black screen after their console boots up, and issues saving games. It follows an Xbox Live issue, and Microsoft says it is currently attempting to fix “Xbox One console startup, title update, and sign-in errors.”
If this is what you’re seeing right now, there’s no need to panic: the problem is with the software and not your console. If you’re unable to start up the console try unplugging it from the internet (if you’re using an ethernet cable) to avoid connecting to Xbox Live. If you’re using Wi-Fi, rest assured Microsoft is working on a fix.
If the black screen you’re seeing is not related, we’ve outlined some tips on fixing the Xbox One Black Screen of Death below.
What is the black screen of death?
The so-called ‘black screen of death’ has struck users of multiple Xbox One models (both the original and the Xbox One S), and primarily affects the console’s main dashboard.
Windows Central’s Jez Corden was one of the first to report experiencing the error, but plenty of others have discussed it since on Reddit and other discussion boards.
It sees the console’s home screen fair to load up, either remaining blank or repeatedly fading to black. That makes it difficult to navigate the console or open games or apps, and is just all-round frustrating too.
How do you fix it?
Fortunately, there are a few potential fixes, so you can work through them and hope that at least one does the trick.
RT + Y
The first thing to try is the simplest, and comes from Reddit user Stefvr. He said that he pressed RT and Y “straight after it started moving around my pins,” and that this returned his console to full functionality.
Don’t just take his word for it either – multiple other Redditors chimed in to confirm the fix. That’s why we recommend trying it first – and it doesn’t hurt that it should only take a few seconds to test out.
One solution recommended by Windows Central is to open the guide, press ‘Home’, and then immediately navigate away from the main dashboard to another tab.
Here’s an unexpected solution: visiting the Xbox Store. Redditor ShizuoHeiwajima08 found this unorthodox fix, but several other users confirmed it works (though we’re still not sure why).
First up, hit the guide button and go to the store. Immediately press A on whatever is the main banner at the time, and then you can go back to the home screen, hopefully to find it intact and functional.
Getting slightly more drastic, your next option is to try a hard reset. To do that, hold down your Xbox One’s power button until it turns off. The console will then go into a full reboot cycle and the dashboard should work once it loads.
Be warned though, as some people have reported the blank screen returning after the next time they turn their console on and off the normal way, so this may not be a permanent solution.
If none of the above have worked, there’s one final option: the console’s offline mode. The black screen of death seems to be caused by problems connecting to Microsoft’s servers, so ignoring them entirely could help avoid the issue.
You can set your console to offline mode by disconnecting from Xbox Live via the Wi-Fi settings, which will leave you without any online functionality, but hopefully with a working dashboard.
If you reboot your Xbox One while the console in offline mode, then reconnect after it has finished rebooting, apparently that has fixed the problem for some users too.