How Long Can the Xbox Series X Stay On For?


Gone are the days of watching the loading screen (impatiently) for several minutes, waiting for your game to load on the console. With the Xbox Series X finally using an SSD and offering features like Quick Resume, you might wonder if you should ever turn your device off

The Xbox Series X can stay on until it’s disconnected. The console can stay fully powered or in its standby ‘instant on’ mode almost indefinitely. However, make sure the console doesn’t overheat by ensuring it has sufficient ventilation to allow the hot air to escape. 

In this article, you’ll learn how long you can keep the Xbox Series X on and whether it’s okay to leave it on all night. Also, you’ll pick up a few tips on how to avoid damaging your console while you keep it on for several hours.

Is It Okay To Keep the Xbox Series X On All the Time?

As the ongoing chip shortage made getting the Xbox Series X difficult, you want to take all the precautions necessary to ensure there are no issues with your console. Given the significant improvement in next-gen consoles, it might seem like they never need to be turned completely off.

You can keep the Xbox Series X on all the time without causing any damage. The Xbox is designed to run for a long time without rest so extended use is usually fine. However, this will drive up your electricity bills as it constantly draws power. It’s also important to consider proper ventilation.

Xbox Series X Power Consumption

Like every other electronic device, your Xbox Series X will draw power as long as it’s on. How much the console will consume depends on what you’re doing with the device. 

For instance, if you enable ‘Instant On’ on your device, you’ll experience all the next-gen benefits. Starting the console is instant, even when you turn off the device. 

You can also use voice commands to wake up your console. Finally, it allows you to update the firmware and download game updates in the background.

How does the Xbox Series X do this despite being off? Well, the device isn’t technically off when you enable this option.

Instead, it puts the console into a standby or sleep mode, reducing the total power draw. It’s quite similar to the sleep function in laptops and desktops. If you use the trackpad or keyboard, any device in sleep mode will wake up instantly.

According to Xbox support, the Series X will consume about 13W of power when you use Instant-On mode. Note that this is still lower than the 48W the console consumes while you’re navigating through the menu (not gaming). 

While gaming, depending on the video game and resolution, the Xbox Series X can draw over 200W.

Can You Leave Xbox Series X On All Night? 

Game updates can be large with some Warzone updates requiring over 100GB of free storage. Understandably you might not want to sit with it during this would prefer to leave your console on throughout the night to finish the download. Is this okay?

You can leave the Xbox Series X on all night by enabling Instant-On mode. In this power mode, the console will draw 13W as opposed to its minimum 48W while fully powered on. This makes this mode useful for downloading large-sized game and system updates without drawing as much power.

You can leave your console on throughout the night if you have large files to download and don’t want to interrupt your gaming session. However, remember to only do this where there is proper ventilation as the console still produces heat even on standby.

Preventing Damage on Xbox Series X in Instant-On Mode

While Instant-On Mode is a game changer, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your console doesn’t suffer damage. Here are two tips on what you should do with your device to keep it safe.

Ensure Ample Amounts of Ventilation

Microsoft’s engineers have done an excellent job managing the Xbox Series X thermals. 

Despite running a more powerful chip in a small form factor case, the device doesn’t thermal throttle. A large heat sink and a single fan work wonders for this device. 

Thanks to the console’s design, it draws cool air from the sides and bottom. The fan pulls the hot air and exhausts it from the top of the device.

Its excellent thermal management keeps the Xbox Series X silent, even after hours of continuous gaming. 

Because of its design, you must pay close attention to where you place it in your room. For starters, thermals aren’t different, whether you keep it vertically or horizontally. The device’s orientation doesn’t matter as the console vents its heat from the top.

Where you place the device determines whether it overheats or not. As hot air comes out from the top of the console, you need to ensure there isn’t anything restricting its flow.

For instance, if there isn’t sufficient clearance between the console’s exhaust and shelf, the hot air will recirculate back into the device. Over time, it’ll start to overheat. 

Xbox Support suggests 4-6 inches (10.16-15.24 centimeters) of space on all sides of the console. Avoid keeping any objects close to the device. Also, it would help if you never place it in a confined space as this will prevent the hot air from escaping.

If there isn’t sufficient clearance on your shelf, place the device so that the top portion of the console faces you. In this orientation, it blows hot air into the room.

Uninterrupted and Clean Power Supply

There are plenty of sensitive components in your Xbox Series X, such as capacitors and diodes. If the voltage fluctuates frequently, it can damage these parts. Also, avoid overloading your wall socket or extension cord. It can damage both your device and your socket.

If your device loses power during an update, it may corrupt your files. 

Conclusion

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There isn’t any limit to how long the Xbox Series X can stay on before you have to turn it off. Use the console’s Instant-On mode to keep it on overnight to finish downloading all the game and system updates. 

Regardless of if you use the console normally or in Instant-on mode, always ensure the device has plenty of ventilation and access to clean and uninterrupted power to avoid damaging its components. 

John Hammer

I'm John Hammer. Ever since growing up I've purchased and tinkered with all kinds of tech, gaming gadgets and software applications. To this day my curiosity has never left, and I continue to experience and dive in to the latest excitements of the consumer electronics industry.

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