Does Your Xbox 360 Keep Freezing?

Xbox 360 Keeps Freezing Help

The Xbox 360 freezing up is a common problem for console owners when playing games. I’ve had this problem myself in the past, and thought I’d try and help by offering these free tips/guides from my own experiences, as well as providing some information I have found through research.

Below is a list of things to check/try in order to help fix your Xbox 360 freezing problems.

1. Xbox 360 Freezing on Specific Games

This is probably the most obvious tip to check, but when worrying about the fate of your console it can be easy to bypass such things. The first thing to check when your Xbox 360 is freezing up is which game you are playing. Eject the disc and have a look at the back to see if there are any scratches, markings, dirt, or anything else that might be preventing your console from reading it properly.

Once cleaned, re-insert the disc and see how it goes. If the game freezes in the same place/area/timing as previously it could be due to an error on the disc, a glitch, or a corruption in your Xbox 360 cache or game save. There will be more on this later in the article.

If the game freezes in a different area/timing to before, it is time to try another game. I’d try playing about two or three more games to see what happens (to get an average result). If your other games cause your Xbox 360 to freeze then it could be a problem with your console hard drive or overheating. If it is only the first game that caused problems then it could either be a problem with your copy, or an issue with the game that requires for it to be patched. Check online forums (such as the one on xbox.com) to see if other people are experiencing the same issues, otherwise send your game back (stating the issue and how you’ve tried to resolve it) and get a replacement.

2. Is It Only Freezing Online?

This, admittedly, is also another simple yet common thing to check. However, I have added it to this “guide” as I want it to be as helpful as possible to everyone.

If your Xbox 360 is freezing only whilst playing online, then it is most likely down to your Internet connection rather than the console itself. Check that everything is setup correctly and that you are using filters for your broadband connection to prevent it getting affected by the phone line/phone calls. You may also need to check your firewalls and port forwarding settings.

3. Clearing Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive Cache

I’ve had this problem myself whilst playing Oblivion, although it was not only freezing in some places but also being very unresponsive and really slowing down when trying to talk to NPCs. Anyway, clearing the cache on your Xbox 360 is very safe and does not affect any of your game saves, profiles, demos, videos, etc (although it does delete some downloaded game auto-updates, which will be easy to download again afterwards). It is mainly temporary data that is stored in order to make certain areas of games load faster. These can sometimes corrupt, making your Xbox struggle when trying to read them and eventually just freezing up.

To clear your Xbox 360 cache you need to do the following:

“a. Locate the System section of the Xbox 360 Dashboard. b. Select Memory, select Hard Drive, and then press Y to view the device options screen.c. On the Xbox 360 Controller, press the X button, press the X button again, press the left bumper, press the right bumper, press the X button, and then press the X button again.d. You will be prompted to confirm system maintenance, select Yes by pressing A.”

Source: http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-360/system/xbox-360-screen-freeze

4. Xbox 360 Overheating?

Overheating is unfortunately an extremely common problem. The console’s fans whurr so loudly that you’d think it would be fine, but whilst drowning out a lot of the sound from your games you need to ensure that it is in a well ventilated area. Try to make sure that there is nothing surrounding it and that it is not too close to a heat source.

5. Check Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive

Not only can the cache corrupt from time to time, but also the Hard Drive itself. When most Xbox 360s start freezing most people cry out “Red Ring of Death is coming!”. But that’s not always true. This is what the problem was with my console, and I have not yet had the dreaded Red Ring of Death.

I was told by Microsoft technical support to try removing my Xbox 360 hard drive whilst the console was switched off and playing for about a week to see if I was still receiving freezes (as my Xbox was freezing randomly. Sometimes every two minutes, and others only once every 2 hours or so). I managed to purchase a memory card (or memory unit as they like to call it) quite cheaply so I could still play games and earn achievements.

A week passed and my Xbox 360 didn’t freeze once! I was over the moon. After calling Microsoft technical support again they suggested that I transfer all my data to my memory unit and formatted the Hard Drive (you can do this by connecting the hard drive whilst the console is switched off and then turning it on and going to the system menu). After the formatting I had to re-download all my Xbox DLC which was a little frustrating, but I didn’t need to pay for any of it again as it keeps track of your downloads/purchases on your account.

Other Tips

  1. I’ve read that using a circuit breaker can cause problems with the Xbox 360 console. Apparently that big ugly grey box attached to the console’s plug has one already built in, and adding it to a circuit breaker can limit the amount of power being sent to your Xbox.
  2. I think that all Xbox 360s come with a 3 year warranty. If none of my tips have helped you at all, try giving Microsoft technical support a call and arrange for them to take a look at your console.
  3. Don’t open up your Xbox 360 and try to rectify the problem yourself. This can/will void your warranty. Whilst it hurts to be without your console for a week, it’s better to let Microsoft take care of it so that you are covered for the future as well.

Leave a Comment Below

Please let me know if this has helped any of you. I am always interested in visitor feedback to understand what people like about this blog. Please also feel free to submit your own tips on fixing Xbox 360 freezing problems.

Matt has been hooked on games since he received his first console (a SEGA Mega Drive) for his 7th birthday. He now spends most of his time on the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS, but will use any excuse for a retro gaming night.


Posted on March 10, 2009 | Last modified: 14th September 2015