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Xbox One Turns On by Itself – What’s Going On?

Posted by Arch on June 12, 2019
Xbox One turns on by itself - what's going on

A recurring issue plaguing Xbox One owners is that the device seems to randomly turn on. If you’re one of the users experiencing this, you’re in good company.

The Xbox One is otherwise a relatively reliable console but this annoying problem has yet to be completely resolved. The cause is difficult to pinpoint because there are so many parts involved, but a few solutions have proven to be successful. Let’s take a look at what those are and how to implement them.

Update Your Xbox One

When you’re dealing with electronics, page one of the vade mecum these days is to check for updates. Systems are built with updates in mind and these updates can be very frequent, so you may be overdue.

There’s not too much you need to do for this fix, the console updates automatically if it’s connected to the internet. Make sure you have automatic updates enabled and restart it to check for updates.

man playing

Clean Around the Power Button

The Xbox One comes equipped with a surface capacitive button. Without going into too much detail, this basically means that any conductor that touches the surface will activate a button press. The original design principle behind this is that it makes it resistant to dirt and grime which would accumulate on a traditional button.

Because the button activates by coming into contact with any conductor, this could potentially include your pet’s snout or tail, a child grazing it accidentally, or any number of other scenarios. Contaminant particles like dust and food can also cause the button to malfunction, so make sure to wipe it clean now and then. Also, make sure that the console is out of the way where it won’t be activated accidentally.

Check Your Controller

 The Xbox One, and in fact most modern consoles, can be turned on via their controller. You or someone in your home may be accidentally pressing the power button on the controller. Keep your controllers away from anything that might bump into it, or safely tucked away.

Another less likely scenario is that the controller is malfunctioning. To check for this, try removing the batteries when it’s not in use. If the problem persists your controlled is not causing it.

Kinect Issues

If you own a Kinect, it allows you to use voice commands to turn your console on. The Cortana virtual assistant has pretty good voice recognition software but it isn’t perfect. Cortana may be getting the wrong message from sounds around your device.

Try unplugging your Kinect from the console while it’s not in use. This will prevent Cortana from being able to turn on the console.

Disable the Instant-on Feature

The Xbox One has two operation modes, instant-on and energy-saving. The instant-on mode allows the console to activate much faster by entering a low-power standby mode rather than shutting down completely. This mode will also allow it to make automatic updates. If you have your console in instant-on, this could be causing the problem. Follow these steps to change it.

  1. Launch the guide by pressing the Xbox button.
  2. Choose System, Settings then Power and startup.
  3. Choose Power mode and startup, then make adjustment on the setting by choosing from the drop-down menu the appropriate Power mode.
  4. Select Energy-saving.

If you want to keep the instant-on mode enabled, you can disable automatic updates by following these steps. Since automatic updates can turn the console on, this could be your problem. If it persists, though, try the energy-saving mode.

Disable HDMI-CEC

That’s a big acronym but it’s a really a simple feature. The Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) allows certain devices that are linked via the HDMI port to communicate and perform remote control functions. This makes it easier to manage all your devices from a single controller.

Unfortunately, this also means that your TV may be turning on your Xbox One when you don’t want it to. To apply this fix, you’ll have to disable CEC from your TV’s end. Your TV will have proprietary CEC technology and the process to disable it will be different based on the brand. Visit your TV manufacturer’s website for help on how to do that.

Everything Happens for a Reason

These are the known problems that can cause your Xbox to come to life on its own. If you make sure that all the updates are current and there’s no one inadvertently turning it on, you’re halfway there. Cortana may also be getting confused but don’t be upset with her, she’s doing her best. Lastly, if you experienced a one-time event and you’re the superstitious type, you may even attribute it to cosmic rays.

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