My Xbox Won't Play a Disc

By Alexandra Bee

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Xbox

  • Game or DVD

Discs that are dirty or scratched may not read, so it's important to check them thoroughly before taking apart your Xbox console.
i compact discs image by MichMac from

At some point or another, gaming consoles tend to run into a problem, whether it’s a simple fix or a complete mess. It can be frustrating trying to get your games to run smoothly. Learning your way around your Xbox console and how it works will benefit you in the future—should any other issues arise. The Xbox console may not be working for many reasons, but a frequent one is the disc will not play.

Basic Fixes

Clean the disc you are trying to play on your Xbox console. Be sure to note if there is an excessive number of scratches or dents on your disc. This will prevent the the game or data from being read.

Try playing another game disc or DVD to test the Xbox. If this game or DVD loads, try another. If these discs work but your original does not, this is a signal your disc is the problem, not your Xbox.

Turn off your console and unplug your Xbox power cord. Remove any memory cards, external hard drives, or USB flash drives. Plug in the power cord and turn your Xbox back on to attempt to play the disc again. If your disc plays, it was a faulty drive error. You must replace the original external drive or memory card and transfer your data to the new drive.

On The System Fixes—Clear Your Cache

If your Xbox is not reading multiple game discs, clear your system’s cache. On your main Xbox screen, go to “My Xbox” and select “System Settings”.

Select "Memory" from this screen.

Highlight your main storage device (or the storage device you are using to play your games) and press “Y” on your Xbox controller.

Choose “Clear System Cache” to clear the game cache in your system, freeing up space and removing old unnecessary files and data. This should solve the multiple disc-reading errors your Xbox may be experiencing.

If these steps do not fix your Xbox, Microsoft offers a support center for requesting a repair. These services usually cost money and require you to ship your Xbox to Microsoft for 4 to 6 weeks for a repair. This can seem too long for some.


Try multiple times before giving up, as all electronics can take some time to fix.


Be sure to unplug your Xbox from all power sources before working with any part of the hardware or even external drives.