Is an Xbox One offline download even a thing? You might not realize it, but they are — you can download system updates with a USB flash drive. Plus, there’s the classic disc download for people tired of constant hotfixes, patches and updates.
Can You Download Offline on Xbox One?
Yes, you can download system updates and certain games while keeping your console offline. However, some parts of the process may need an internet connection. Even though you can only use it in some cases, it’s still super useful.
Why Use an Xbox One Offline Download?
You should use an Xbox One offline download if you prefer keeping your console offline, travel without internet, experience frequent outages or simply don’t want to max out your data cap. It’s pretty practical and can come in handy for those with slow connections or plan restrictions.
How Do You Put Your Console in Offline Mode?
If your Xbox isn’t already offline, you can turn the mode on in your settings. Press the Xbox button to pull up the menu, go to Settings, choose “General” and go to your network settings. From there, you just need to toggle the option to turn off your console’s internet connection.
Although you won’t be able to play Game Pass games once you turn the setting off, you’re still able to play any digital game you own as long as your home Xbox setup is correct. Even titles with multiplayer capabilities play fine without an internet connection. For example, Elden Ring has an offline mode you can enable.
How to Download Xbox One System Updates Offline
The offline system update (OSU) process involves transferring files onto your console using a USB flash drive. If you don’t have an internet connection at all, you can download them using public WiFi or at a friend’s house.
- Getting Started
You need a Windows computer with a USB port to install the files. While the name is a bit misleading — it says “offline” yet uses the internet — you won’t have to bring your console online at any stage.
It’s important to note your flash drive must have a minimum of 6 GB of free space to complete the download. You must also format it in New Technology File System (NTFS) since all modern Windows devices use Microsoft’s primary file system by default.
Do you need to know how to format it as NTFS? If your USB flash drive uses a different format than NTFS, you’ll need to navigate to your file explorer, find the drive and right-click it to bring up the options menu. Choose “format” and select “NTFS” from the drop-down menu. When you’re done, click “Start” to finish.
- Download OSU
The OSU you download depends on your operating system — OSU3 is for consoles using build 6.2.9781.0, while OSU2 is for everything else. You can download each OSU version on the Xbox support page with one click.
Go to “Settings,” “System” and “Console info” to check your Xbox One’s OS. You might also be able to press both triggers and bumpers at the same time to pull up the information. Get the right OSU and copy the update file — $SystemUpdate — to the root directory.
- Unzip the File
From here, right-click your file to unzip it and use “extract all” to get the files out. If your computer doesn’t have a feature to unzip by default, try downloading the free 7-Zip file manager — many people call it 7-Z — online. You can simply search in your browser to find the official download site.
- Restart Console
Once you have the files, power off your Xbox One and unplug it for 30 seconds. Initiate the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter by holding the console’s bind, eject and Xbox buttons together after you plug it back in. Keep holding them until you hear two start-up sounds play. The screen that pops up on startup has an “Offline system update” feature.
- Rinse and Repeat
After your console is done doing its thing with the Xbox One offline download, repeat the process in steps two, three and four with OSU1. You can find the files on the Xbox support page. Once you’re finished, restart your console.
How to Download Xbox One Games Offline
While you can download Xbox One games offline, you will have to use discs — it’s really that simple. They can be hard to come by in the age of digital downloads, but you can find what you’re looking for on the official Xbox store or in your local videogame shop.
Alternatively, you can have a friend download games on a hard drive and give them to you. It may take some careful workarounds since the “Home Xbox” system is so fussy, but it’s an excellent way to get great games if you don’t have internet.
This process works because the disc authenticates your ownership when you put it into your console. For this reason, you need to use the internet to update Series X and Xbox 360 titles to get them to work. A genuine Xbox One offline download is only possible with Xbox One games.
Can You Skip Some Steps?
People with particular OS versions can skip some steps because they only need to download OSU1. Check your console’s OS in your settings to find out if you do.
Here are the 11 OS versions:
- 6.2.11791.0 (xb_rel_1411.141114-2300) fre
- 6.2.12521.0 (xb_rel_1503.150305-1449) fre
- 6.2.12998.0 (xb_rel_1506.150601-2200) fre
- 6.2.13326.0 (xb_rel_1508.150810-2029) fre
- 6.2.13332.0 (xb_rel_1508.150903-2141) fre
- 10.0.10586.1006 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151107-2322) fre
- 10.0.10586.1016 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151118-2147) fre
- 10.0.10586.1024 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151203-1909) fre
- 10.0.10586.1026 (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151217-1035) fre
- 10.0.10586.1100 (th2_xbox_rel_1602.160210-2122) fre
- 10.0.10586.1194 (th2_xbox_rel_1603.160317-1900) fre
If your console has one of these, skip steps two, three, four and five and head straight to six.
How to Troubleshoot an Xbox One Offline Download
For whatever reason, the OSU method may not work for you at first. Double-check that the downloaded file matches your OS version and ensure you correctly unzipped everything. If everything here is correct, take a look at how you installed them on your Xbox One.
It’s important to use the Xbox Startup Troubleshoot method — and restart your console after each USB update — to make the process work properly. You can’t simply stick the USB drive in and hope for the best, although it would admittedly be much easier.
If you’re having trouble downloading from a physical disc, you likely have mechanical disc drive issues — they always seem to fail after a few years. The tray may be stuck because of some built-up dust or debris. In that case, you just need to carefully stick a thin object in to dislodge whatever’s holding it.
Alternatively, you have a broken part that prevents your console from even reading the disc. You can try to fix the issue yourself, but you will likely need a professional to fix severe problems. Luckily, you can take it to any electronic repair shop to get a new disc drive.
Start Your Downloads
Now you know how to download console updates and games offline. The process can take a while, but it’s pretty simple once you sit down to do it. You might even be able to skip most of the steps if you have a specific OS, which is great.
Follow Us On
Get the latest tech stories and news in seconds!
Sign up for our newsletter below to receive updates about technology trends