DNS Problems With an Xbox 360

by Travis Wampler ; Updated September 22, 2017

A DNS (Domain Name System) error is frustrating for owners of the Xbox who try to get online to play their favorite multiplayer game(s), watch streaming video or download the latest demos and updates. Luckily, DNS errors are a well-documented problem, and there are simple solutions to correct them.

Xbox 360 and DNS

The Xbox Support site attributes a DNS error to a number of network communication issues. In most cases, it’s the result of the DNS address servers, or the DHCP server, becoming unreachable through the ISP. It is also possible that the DNS values in the Xbox 360 dashboard are incorrect.

Physical DNS Error(s) on the Xbox 360

The Xbox 360’s DNS error is usually attributed to a local physical network issue. This can be caused by increased network traffic, a weak wireless signal or the loss of Internet connectivity. In order to correct a physical error, check your router for power and the availability of your Internet connection. If necessary, use an Ethernet cable to plug the Xbox 360 into the router, thereby eliminating the wireless connection. If you suspect a router issue, then bypass the router and plug the modem directly into the Xbox 360 via Ethernet. If all else fails, try a network restart by power-cycling the router, modem and Xbox 360.

Verify the Xbox DNS Settings

Another solution is to verify the Xbox 360’s DNS settings. To do this, locate “My Xbox” on the Xbox Dashboard and select “System Settings” followed by “Network Settings,” then “Configure Network.” Once you are on the “Basic Settings” tab, select “DNS Settings” and ensure “Automatic” is selected. If automatic is selected and DNS cannot be resolved, then manual settings will have to be installed.

Obtaining DNS Settings for Manual Entry

In order to manually enter DNS settings, you will have to obtain them from another network computer. If you are using Windows Vista, click “Start” and type CMD in the search box and press “Enter.” If you’re using Windows XP, then click “Start” followed by “Run.” In the Run box, type CMD. Once the command window opens, type “ipconfig/all” and press “Enter.” The network’s IP information will appear in the command window. Locate lines of text that contain “DNS Servers.” Write the two sets of numbers down. The first set (e.g.,192.168.0.1) will be input as your primary DNS, and the second set (e.g., 192.168.0.2) is your secondary DNS.

Manual DNS Entry on the Xbox 360

In the Xbox system’s “DNS Settings” tab, select “Manual” instead of “Automatic” DNS settings and select “Primary DNS Server.” Enter the first set of numbers you wrote down earlier. Then select “Secondary DNS Server” and enter the last set of numbers. Select “Done” and try connecting to Xbox Live again.

Router Firmware and System Compatibility

The router’s firmware may need an upgrade, or the router may not be compatible with the Xbox 360. Check the manufacturer's website for instructions on upgrading the firmware, and the Xbox Support site for router compatibility issues.

About the Author

Travis Wampler began his writing career along America's forgotten highway, Route 66. His research received awards from the Association of American Geographers. Wampler has written comprehensive plans and grants for city planning departments and agencies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in geography from Southwest Missouri State University and a master's degree in information systems from the University of Phoenix.