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.

Leave a Comment

  • Martin

    While playing carrer mode on nba 2 k 13 after playing one game and going to guit to play the next one it freezes. i just baught my conosle on sunday its only been a few days now. how can i resolve this problem.

  • Orlando w

    Hi my Xbox360 system keep on stopping the game from playing keep on happening about 2 or 3 minute

  • Orlando w

    Hi Please help me my game keeps on freezing on my xbox 360

  • wyatt

    My xbox is fine and like brand new until i try to login to xbox live? And when i finnaly do its super slow

  • eric boutin

    i had freezing problems too on the slim model. sometimes it freezes while playing and not only in one game. it happened in nhl 13 and tiger 13 because those are the games i play the most. looks like having a fan doesnt change much because i have a side fan and it freezes anyway. i think that this 360 console was not well made and does overheat from time to time which causes the system to crash. lets hope the xbox one wont do that. its too bad that a product from such a big company has so much problems with overheating.

  • Mike

    My xbox freezes when i am trying to play a game like when i play gta 5 in the first missons with those 2 cars, when i drive a lil bit it start freezing. also with my black ops 2 when im trying to play campaign or zombies it starts freezing this is kinda with every game please help. (sorry for my bad english im from holland)

  • anon

    if u have a white xbox give up, throw it away, its out of date and useless for any games released in 2013

  • RJ

    when i turn on my xbox, it imediatly freezes. the furthest we got was 10 minuites into a game untill it froze. now it gets to the sphere and the x intro screen and freezes there. nothing i do helps. any suggestions, or am i skrewed?

  • Jamie

    I have the new shape xbox 360. When playing gta v online I am having a problem with freezing. I’ve checked the disc and it is in pristine condition with not a single mark or scratch on it. I have noticed that on the xbox home page where the tab that shows what game is in the xbox with a picture of the game on it, there is now a picture of a white disc on the picture. Have you ever come across this or know what it means? Thanks.

  • Kevin

    Ok so I just got my new Xbox 360 E and skyrim doesn’t work I even went to buffer it and it still doesn’t work and after that minecraft starts to not work either.Please help me find a Solution and if u can tell me more things to prevent my games from freezing.

    Kevin A.

  • Angelina

    My xbox is stuck on wide screen and i cant do multiplayer in minecraft, it keeps freezing and i cant afford to get a new one

  • Matt

    Hiya, my 360 (White) is playing perfectly for about 3 minutes and then freezing, have tried all the “fixes” you suggested plus the graphics chip has been re x clamped and thermal pasted etc (today) and no joy.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.
    ps it was bought 2nd hand so no guarantee plus it’s probably more than 3 years old.
    thinking of using a big hammer!
    only bought a 2nd hand one as too skint to get a new one.
    Many thanks :)

  • Aaron

    Just got the dead island off the games with gold thing and every time I try to load into chapter 7 from the sewers it freezes only thing I haven’t done is re-download the game any suggestions or should I just get it over with?

  • Matt

    Hey Aaron. Sounds like it could be due to your cache. You’ll need to clear it.
    Have you also tried loading an earlier save? I’d also try deleting the game and re-downloading it fresh if neither of those work.
    Good luck :-)

  • drewy baker

    Hello I would like some help I downloaded this new game called dishonored its a free xbox gold game and I have got to a certain part in the game in this building as I leave to go onto a different area it loads it up and after 3 to 4 seconds of loading it freezes and it keeps happening everytime in the same area do you have any ideas on how to fix it?

  • http://www.gxpblog.com/ GXPBlog

    It sounds like it may be a problem with the Xbox 360 cache. I would recommend clearing that if you haven’t already? (step 3 of the guide above)

  • drewy baker

    I did as you said and cleared the cache but it still keeps on freezing at that certain point

  • http://www.gxpblog.com/ GXPBlog

    In that case all I can think of is that the game download may have a corrupt file somewhere? I’d try removing the game (keep your saves!), clear cache again, restart console, then re-download/install the game. Other than that I don’t really know. I’d recommend trying the dishonoured website/forums if that last attempt doesn’t work?



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Posted on March 10, 2009 | Last modified: August 21, 2014