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11 Essential Xbox One Tips For New Owners



Roughly two years after its launch, Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console is well on its way to mending a seriously broken relationship with gamers. Potential buyers demoralized by Microsoft’s decisions early on, turned to other consoles for their fix. A mix of smart marketing, exclusive games, new software and a plan to bring Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One are what Microsoft hopes brings users back this holiday shopping season.

Fix a frozen Xbox One game.

It seems that Microsoft’s plan is working. There are more people than ever purchasing an Xbox One entertainment console, according to the company. Two years in, there’s a lot of nuance to owning an Xbox One. Here’s some essential tips to get new Xbox One owners up to speed with the features of their new living room companion.

Create Multiple Accounts for Multiple People

How to Share Xbox One Games in 2015 (3)

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when setting up their new console in the living room is creating just a single account for it. One account for consoles meant for a single person are one thing. Don’t do this if the Xbox One is meant for an entire family. Parents should create a single account for themselves rather than create child accounts for everyone else that’ll be using the Xbox One. This helps prevent a lot of headaches down the road.

Use Your Microsoft Account

You’re going to need to create a Microsoft Account to setup your Xbox One. Be sure to use the same Microsoft Account that you use on the company’s other platforms. If you have an account or a Windows PC, simply use the username and password for those.

Mute Microphones & More From the Guide

How to Update Xbox One (3)

The new software that Microsoft rolled out for the Xbox One last month includes a new Guide that puts quick-setting changes a few button presses away. Press the Xbox logo on your controller twice quickly to open the Guide. Here you’ll find a list of all your friends, ways to create an Xbox One Party and settings for adjusting Chat Headset volume.

Get Xbox Live Gold

Getting the most out of your Xbox One console requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription. It’s a requirement for storing game clips online, playing with other Xbox One owners around the world and deep discounts on new titles.

Xbox Live Gold costs $9.99 a month or $59.99 year. GameStop, Target, Wal-Mart and more have pre-paid cards for purchase. You can also get the service directly through your console in the Store. You’ll only need to purchase Xbox Live Gold for a single account on your console. Everyone else on that console gets to use your subscription — even if you aren’t logged in.

Check For Status Updates

Sometimes, the influx of people trying to rush onto Xbox Live at the same time causes service issues. If something on your console isn’t working correctly for you, go to and check the service’s status. Any issues related to the service are posted there in real-time.

Snap An App

The Xbox One allows you to run a game or watch video with another app on the right side of your screen. With a Kinect sensor, triggering this is as easy as saying, “Xbox, Snap..” and the name of the app you’re trying to snap.

Double tap the glowing Xbox logo on your controller to open the Xbox Guide. Use the joystick to go to the last option available, labeled Snap. Select an app to snap to the side of your screen from this menu. You can unsnap an app by coming back to the Xbox Guide.

Use Triggers & Bumpers to Navigate Faster

How to Setup an Xbox One (2)

Trying to navigate quickly around the Xbox One interface? All of the menus on the home screen can be quickly navigated with buttons on the controller. To switch between Home, Community, OneGuide and Store press the RB and LB buttons on your controller. When at the bottom of a list of options, press the LT button to quickly go up. Press the RT trigger to quickly go down.

Watch This Week on Xbox Videos

Sometimes Xbox Live can feel very isolating. To connect with friends, see the latest status updates for the games that you follow head to the Community area. There’s also a video show there called This Week on Xbox to keep you abreast of the latest game releases, updates, features and sells.

Unlock Some of Your Games from the Xbox 360


With the Xbox One Backwards Compatibly Program, Xbox One upgraders can keep some of their Xbox 360 games going free of charge. Place a compatible Xbox 360 in the Xbox One and it unlocks a digital download from the Xbox Store that works on the Xbox One. Any game saves from the Xbox 360 version are transferred over with the download.

Read: Xbox One Backwards Compatibility What You Need to Know

Microsoft plans to keep adding Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program on a regular basis.

Install Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox One SmartGlass on iPhone

Microsoft’s Xbox companion apps are your gateway to the Xbox One whether you’re home or away. Available for iPhone and Android, these apps let you purchase games, read status messages, browse Achievement progress and control the Xbox One. It’ll even stream broadcast television for users with the Xbox One TV Adapters. Separately there’s the Xbox app for Windows 10 devices. This app includes everything that SmartGlass does, plus Party Chat and video recording for PC games.

Read: How to Use Xbox One SmartGlass

Setup TV Controls If You Have a Kinect

Besides video games, Xbox One lets you interact with your cable or satellite box using voice commands and a streamlined OneGuide. You’ll need to configure it with some details about your subscription, but it’s loads better than using the built-in guides from Comcast and other operators. What’s more, you’ll be able to watch television and still play your games.

Read: How to Watch Live Television on Xbox One

Good luck with your new Xbox One console.



  1. Steve

    12/25/2015 at 6:33 am

    Can you please expand on the “Create Multiple Accounts for Multiple People” – I am confused, should I or should I not set up multiple accounts? Can I set up “child” accounts under the main account?

    • Roland

      01/08/2016 at 2:38 pm

      Create your adult account first then go into settings and select family and add a “child” account.
      You will need to set security on your “adult” account to require a passcode to change any settings etc.

      Note setting a passcode is easy once you’ve learnt the mapping between the 0-9 numeric keypad and the handset keys (something that should of been mentioned in the article because on a small screen ie. 32″ or smaller 1080p TV, the on-screen display of the keys is very difficult to read).

  2. Christian

    12/25/2015 at 9:11 pm

    Yes. You should be able to but it would be considered a normal account not a child account. All you have to do is select your profile picture. Ther it should say something like add account. Select that. Then just add the information and your done

  3. Kerry

    12/26/2015 at 5:14 pm

    Why is it taking so long for the games to download? We have been waiting for Minecraft to download since 25/12.

  4. Tinajlowry

    12/28/2015 at 1:25 am

    0=9 my best friend’s half-sister makes $87 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for eight months but last month her check was $16467 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    find more info…. See More

  5. Brandon

    12/28/2015 at 6:14 pm

    How do you prevent a child from creating a new account. I set up child accounts but my son that is 12 is creating new accounts to play games that I have restricted on his child account. Is there a way to prevent new accounts from being created without a passkey?

  6. CAG

    12/29/2015 at 3:30 pm

    My son is also creating new accounts to bypass his restricted account. Can I stop this?

  7. Roland

    01/08/2016 at 2:29 pm

    Being the parent of a new owner Xbox One this christmas, what I have found (and the comments above indicate I’m not the only one) is the real lack of details of how to set up and use an Xbox in family mode with teen and child protected accounts.

    In the first instance this about setting up appropriate accounts, passcodes etc. particularly if you wish to use the Kinect “make it magic” sign-on’s.

    Secondly, there is the fun of the Xbox Live subscription, which makes services available to ALL users on the Xbox it is applied to, but only the gammer account to which it is applied gains access to the remote membership benefits.

    Currently, I’m having fun and games working out how a child account can invite and add friends because the method indicated in the Xbox help hasn’t worked for me.

    I anticipate my next step will be investigating the extent to which I can customise the UI, so that my stuff takes centre stage.

  8. Holly Lewis

    08/28/2016 at 6:59 pm

    I am so frustrated that we cant just put a game in we purchased a hard copy of and play! I mean why the heck does each kid need an outlook account? I am only one mom and cannot remember all these sign ins and passcodes etc!! If I buy a game at the store I expect to be able to come home, open it and play. I mean what if friends or family are over and want to play they have to create a fricking account too? I am so aggravated with spending $500 tonight and the last 3 hours trying to set it up and still haven’t played shit!

    • S

      12/19/2016 at 3:21 pm


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