Although there are still physical discs, the Xbox One stores all of your game data on the hard drive. In most cases, the CD is only used to verify that you actually own the game. While this is convenient for maintaining updates, it makes transferring your games easier and saves a tedious process (the memory card days are over). Fortunately, Microsoft anticipated this problem and added several ways to transfer your data between Xbox One systems.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a new Xbox One system or if you’re upgrading to an Xbox One X. The process is the same. Below are two methods: one that uses a hard drive and one that uses the network. Using a hard drive is the preferred method as you can automatically apply all of the previous system settings to your new console, but you will need an external hard drive (here are our recommendations). Network transfer is easy, but you have to manually apply the system settings afterwards.
How to transfer using an external hard drive
: Connect your storage device and format it
Since an Xbox One is practically a Windows PC under the hood, it’s no surprise that the console works well with external storage devices. For our purposes, you need a hard drive on which at least 256 GB is stored and which is connected via USB 3.0. Before we begin, be aware that formatting your drive for storage will erase all of the data currently stored on it. So make sure you back it up beforehand.
When you plug in the drive, a popup will ask if you want to use it for media storage or as a general storage device. Choose Format storage device and press A to prepare the drive for backing up your games and data. You will be asked to name the drive and whether you want to use it as the default storage destination for new games and data. Since we are using it for broadcasting, you can just leave it as it is. A notification will appear when the drive is formatted.
Step 2: back up your games
While your drive is formatted, connected, and ready to use, press the Xbox button on your controller. The pop-up mean follows Settings> System> Storage. Highlight your internal storage on the right and choose transfer. This will bring up a menu with all of your games. Make sure the target device is the external drive just mentioned, then select the games or apps you want to transfer (or Choose all if you want to move everything). Press Copy selected if you want to keep everything installed on the original Xbox One, or Move selected when cleaning the house.
One thing you should know, if you’re moving a lot of games, especially large AAA titles, this process can take a long time.
Because this process is the same as using your drive as a permanent extension, you also save data transfers. However, they are also automatically backed up to the cloud when connected to Xbox Live, whether or not you have oneor not.
Step 3: Save your settings
When your games and apps are in the square, it’s time to roll over your general settings, including your profiles, settings, and themes.
Navigate back to the settings and select Save & transfer, then Save my settings, and finally Secure the device.
Step 4: set up your new console
That’s all you need from your old console. Before turning on your new console and starting the initial setup, connect your external drive to a USB port. The console should recognize it and ask you to copy your settings, which will save a lot of time. Choose save settings and follow the setup instructions.
Step 5: install your games
From here you can continue to use the external storage device for your games. However, if you’d rather use the console’s internal storage, you can copy everything back to your new system as described above. For reference:
Press the Xbox button, then follow Settings> System> Storage. This time mark the memory of your hard drive and choose transfer. Press Choose all to broadcast your games and make sure your target device is reading Intern. Press Move selected to transfer all of your games to the new Xbox and delete them from the hard drive. Press to save the games to disk Copy selected. Note that you don’t need to keep two copies of your games. So we don’t recommend copying them unless you want to erase the external hard drive later.
Step 6: (Optional) wipe your old Xbox clean
If you sell your old console or give it to a friend, you will likely want to erase everything so the new owner has a ready-to-use experience the first time they start. Our guide to factory reset Xbox One provides step-by-step instructions for this process.
How to transfer over a local network
If you have both your old and new consoles at the same time and can both connect to your local network, you can stream games and apps without using an external device.
Step 1: set up your new console
Since this process requires both consoles to be set up and running, you’ll need to go through the initial setup process on your new Xbox One instead of transferring your settings. Turn on your Xbox One and follow the instructions. Make sure you connect the Xbox One to your local network.
Step 2: Enable network broadcast
Once your new Xbox One is ready, press the Xbox button and navigate to the settings Menu. Then follow Network> Network Transfer. Check Allow network transmission. Return to your old Xbox One and follow the same steps.
Once both consoles have been set up, it’s time to broadcast. Use the new console – the one you want receive the data – select the old console from the network transfer menu. You will see the same transfer interface as above, which allows you to send some or all of the apps and games stored on the old console to the new one.
Note: We recommend using a wired connection for both devices whenever possible. When you take Wi-Fi out of the equation, the process becomes a lot faster.