My Xbox Won't Read Discs

Updated February 21, 2017

After prolonged use, your Xbox 360 may fail to read discs properly, rendering your system inoperable. This can be caused by faulty components, software glitches, a dirty lens, or dirty or scratched discs. With a few basic household items, you can troubleshoot, and possibly fix, your disc reading problem, saving time and money over taking the console in for repair.

Unplug your Xbox 360, and disconnect all cables attaching it to other equipment. Plug it back in, and reconnect all cables firmly. Turn on your console, and insert a game disc. Any error with your Xbox 360 should first be treated with a system reset and cable reconnection to rule out software and connection issues.

Using the disc cleaning kit, clean the game disc you are trying to play. Using the cloth and solution, rub the disc from the centre to the outside in a smooth motion. Do not press hard on the disc, and do not rub it in a circular motion. These actions may damage the disc. After cleaning, let the disc dry completely, and put it back into your Xbox 360.

Place the lens cleaning disc into the Xbox 360 disc tray. Close the tray, and allow the cleaning process to begin automatically. The Xbox 360 will spin the disc, and brush the lens free of dust. When the procedure is finished, remove the cleaning disc and insert a clean game disc.


If your Xbox 360 still isn't reading discs, it may have a bad motor or laser, or the lens may need manual cleaning. It is strongly recommended that you have a professional service your console. You can take apart the Xbox and service it yourself, but keep in mind that your warranty will be void if you do this, and you may damage your Xbox permanently.

Things You'll Need

  • Compact disc cleaning kit
  • XBOX360 laser cleaning kit
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About the Author

Ken Parelius has been writing professionally since 2009. He enjoys teaching, which inspires him to write instructional articles for various websites. He is also a freelance copywriter who creates website content for local businesses. He attended McHenry County College for business management.