How to Fix XBox 360 Overheating Problems

Written by tyson cliffton
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How to Fix XBox 360 Overheating Problems
Use a paper towel to clean off the back of your Xbox 360. (square towel image by Karin Lau from

Almost everyone who owns an Xbox 360 lives in fear of the Red Ring of Death. The Red Ring of Death occurs when three of the four lights on the Xbox 360 power button show up red instead of green, and your Xbox 360 refuses to load. If this happens, either your Xbox 360 has managed to severely overheat or you have a bad power supply. You can't prevent a bad power supply, but you can take steps to keep your Xbox 360 from overheating.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper towel
  • Flashlight

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  1. 1

    Keep your Xbox 360 off of the carpet. By keeping your Xbox 360 on the floor, you are putting your Xbox 360 at risk of both sucking up dust and cutting off the air flow to cool your system.

  2. 2

    Store your Xbox 360 in a well-ventilated area. Ideally, your Xbox 360 should be in a room where the air is circulated, and where there is as little humidity as possible.

  3. 3

    Clean your Xbox 360. Take a paper towel and wipe some of the dust and debris from the backside of the console around the fan. However, be careful not to push any debris into your Xbox 360 console.

  4. 4

    Give your Xbox 360 an occasional break. It's not a good idea to play your Xbox 360 in 12-hour stints, especially if you are playing games that draw heavily on the graphics processing unit. A good signal to power your Xbox 360 down is if the fans start making a loud whirring noise.

  5. 5

    Stand your Xbox 360 upright. This allows the vent on the bottom part of the Xbox 360 to breathe more easily and keep cool.

  6. 6

    Acquire a newer model of the Xbox 360. The original models of the Xbox 360 have a roughly 30 per cent failure rate; newer models have roughly a 10 per cent failure rate. Newer models are generally considered models produced after July 2008. To see if you have a newer Xbox 360 model, flip your Xbox 360 upside down and shine a camera inside of the vent. If you can see faceplates covering the processor units, you have a newer model.

Tips and warnings

  • If your Xbox 360 does fall victim to the Red Ring of Death, don't panic. Microsoft extends the traditional one-year warranty to three years for all Xbox 360 models if the Red Ring of Death appears, and repairs your console free of charge. To start the Red Ring of Death repair process, click the "Microsoft: Repair Your Console" link in the References section of this page.

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