What’s the Difference Between Shutdown and Sleep on an Xbox?

Xbox carbon aware initiative logo

Most of us remember to make an effort to turn the light out when we leave a room. But what about all our other appliances? Everything connected to a power outlet in your home is using up precious power. And with the price of electricity rising, Microsoft has offered an option to help you make your Xbox as energy efficient as possible.


There are two modes you can set your Xbox to when you’re not using it. Energy saving shutdown mode or sleep mode. Each has its pros and cons, but what are their differences?


What Is Shutdown (Energy Saving) Mode on the Xbox?

Shutdown mode is the most energy-efficient option and will use 20x less power than sleep mode. It also has many of the same benefits that sleep mode does. When your console is shut down, it will still install system and game updates. This is a massive plus because when you actually have a spare moment to play a video game, the last way you want to spend it is by watching updates install rather than actually gaming.

Image Credit: Xbox

You also save power, which saves you money in the long run. When your console is in sleep mode, it is still chewing up a lot of energy. The Xbox Series X is the most efficient, using around 10W of power while in sleep mode, while the Xbox Series S uses 13W. When your console is shut down, on the other hand, that usage goes down to 0.4W for the Xbox Series X and 0.5W for the Series S. That might not seem like a large difference, but it all adds up.

Nothing is perfect, however, and there are some cons to energy saving mode. Namely, the inability to use remote features via the Xbox App. It also takes longer to turn the console on. But even though you may have to wait around 45 seconds to dive back into your favorite game, everything you had on Quick Resume will still be waiting for you.

What Is Sleep Mode on the Xbox?

Maybe you throw caution into the wind, and the price of your energy bills is the last thing on your mind. If your time is more valuable than your money, you might want to use the console’s sleep mode instead. Since it was never really off in the first place, sleep mode has a near-instant start-up time. It will probably only take you around five seconds rather than 45 to get going.

A photograph of a black Xbox Series X controller next to a standard PlayStation 5 controller

You can also use remote features on the Xbox App. These features let you do all sorts of things, like launch games on your Xbox remotely. You can even install or uninstall games when you’re not home, so you know they will be there waiting for you when you get back. If you have Tony Stark mode, AKA voice commands activated, you can also turn your console on with your voice while it’s in sleep mode.

When you purchase your brand-new console, your Xbox will now shut down rather than sleep. You can change this at any time from within your settings. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide, head to Profile & Systems, open Settings, and look for Power Options in the General tab.

A photograph on an Xbox Series S controller displayed in front of an Xbox Series S console

While you’re there, you can also customize your power-saving modes by selecting whether you would like to install system and game updates while the console is off in both modes, along with some other handy features. Customizing settings like this is one of the first things you should do with your Xbox Series X to tailor your gaming experience to you.

Shutdown Mode Can Save You Money, While Sleep Mode Can Buy You Convenience

While sleep mode does offer some fancy features, like being able to turn your console on by talking to it and installing games remotely, it is most definitely less energy-efficient.

Both modes still offer Quick Resume and install updates when the console is off, so the best way to decide what mode is right for you is by weighing up how much you use these remote options. But supporting Microsoft’s initiative to be more carbon-neutral by utilizing shutdown mode is definitely the more economical choice.

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