Which Types of USB Hard Drives Will Work on My Xbox 360?

By Alexander Poirier

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The Xbox 360 console allows you to store music, movies, game saves and full digital copies of games on its hard drive. If you wish, you can also connect an external USB drive to the system, in order to add a maximum of 16GB to its existing storage space. Only certain types of drives, however, are compatible.

USB External Hard Drives

The Xbox 360 is compatible with certain external hard drives that are formatted to the Windows FAT32 file system. Though you can connect any hard drive that is at least 1GB in size, the Xbox 360 can only use up to 16GB of the hard drive's storage space. There are no specific hard drive brands that are universally compatible with the Xbox 360 game console.

USB Flash Drives

The Xbox 360 is also compatible with USB flash drives formatted to the FAT32 file system. As with external USB hard drives, you can only utilize up to 16GB of the flash drive's available storage space, and the flash drive must have a minimum of 1GB of space available. Unlike with external USB hard drives, however, Microsoft manufactures a USB flash drive that is designed for use specifically with the Xbox 360 console.

Checking the Drive's Compatibility

To determine whether or not your USB drive will work with your Xbox 360 system, turn on the system and connect the USB drive to one of the system's USB ports. Scroll to the "My Xbox" section of the Xbox 360's menu and select the "System Settings" option. Scroll down to and select the "Memory" option, followed by the "USB Storage Device" option. Select the "Configure Now" option. The Xbox 360 will now check to see whether or not the drive can be used with the system. If the tests come back positive, the Xbox 360 will configure the drive and the device will be ready to be used with the system.

Using the Drive

Connect the USB storage device to the system. Scroll to the "My Xbox" section of the Xbox 360's menu and select the "System Settings" option, followed by the "Memory" option. Select the system's main storage device from the "Memory" menu and highlight the files you want to copy onto the USB storage device. Press the "A" button, select "Copy" or "Move," and select the USB storage device from the menu. Whenever you start a game, you will be asked which storage device you wish to use; if you wish to save the game's data to the USB storage device, select it when prompted.