How To Transfer Your Xbox 360 Profile & Other Data To A USB Flash Drive

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xbox 360 usb flash driveDid you know that you can use any USB drive that has a capacity between 1GB and 16GB as a memory unit for your Xbox 360? Once formatted and prepared you can transfer profiles, game saves and other files from your hard drive onto your new memory unit.

There’s a variety of reasons this might appeal, with the obvious being easily portable profiles and saves. If you’re visiting a friend for a night of games or living in a house with multiple consoles, a portable memory stick you can carry around suddenly appears quite useful.

Best of all this takes virtually no time to do, and all you’ll need is a flash drive and your console.

Preparing Your USB Stick

This walkthrough will focus on moving your profile to a USB stick so you can login to Xbox Live, play games and earn achievements (as well as being able to re-download all content tied to your account). Don’t forget you’ll also need your save files if you want to continue your progress, unless of course you’re playing a multiplayer game that stores progress in the cloud.

Luckily the Xbox 360 takes much of the pain out of preparing your new memory unit and transferring data, though it is not possible to copy game saves and profiles – only move them. As your USB device will be detected as an Xbox 360 memory unit there’s no need to specify folders or destination paths, just choose transfer and go.
xbox 360 usb flash drive
First of all make sure that the flash drive you choose doesn’t contain any important files or folders as all data on the drive will be lost once your Xbox has formatted it. Once you’ve checked out the drive, insert it into one of the USB slots on the front of your Xbox.

Turn on your console but don’t sign in – you’ll need to be offline in order to transfer profile data after all. Select My Xbox from the vertical menu and scroll all the way to the right hand side where you can choose to modify your console’s preferences. Within this settings menu choose Memory, and your currently connected devices will be displayed, including an as-yet unprepared USB drive.
xbox 360 usb
Select the USB option and your console will report that the USB device has not yet been configured for use with an Xbox 360 and you’ll need to configure it. Agree to the configuration tool and choose Configure Now. Once complete your USB stick is ready to go.
xbox 360 usb

Transfer & Access

Back to the Memory menu and choose Hard Drive (assuming your main data is stored on the hard drive, which it usually is) to reveal your data. Profiles are stored in the Profiles folder and game saves appear underneath game content in Games. When you’re ready to copy something (you’re going to need your profile in order to play any of those saves, so best start there) choose Transfer.

In your Storage Devices list you should now see the USB drive listed as a Memory Unit. You are now free to transfer anything you like, provided you’ve got the space. Profiles can easily be copied quickly, but game saves will take longer as you will need to visit each game entry and extract the relevant file.
xbox 360 usb flash drive
Your USB stick will now allow you to log in to Xbox Live from any console once you have plugged it in. Whilst your profile (and any other information) is on this USB stick you cannot login without it.

Should you decide you need that USB stick back or you intend on using the same Xbox for a while then you can always transfer your content back. This is essentially the same as your initial transfer, only in reverse. Instead of transferring from your hard drive, transfer from your USB memory unit to your Xbox 360 hard drive. Game saves can get a little trickier here as you don’t want to overwrite any previous progress, so take care while overwriting files.

If it all goes wrong (you lose your memory stick, for example) then you can always recover your gamertag via the Xbox menu (hit the Xbox button and select Recover Gamertag).

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Conclusion

That’s pretty much all there is to taking your profile, subscription and saves with you. Soon Microsoft will introduce cloud saving, which will inevitably make the whole process that little bit simpler, too!

Have you tried this? Do you use your USB stick all the time? Has this helped you out? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (22)
  • Dat Cookie

    Hello, I’d like to know how to transfer game saves that I downloaded from pc and stored on a pendrive. I’ve already configured my pendrive for xbox, but the files doesn’t show up.

  • a helpfull random

    thats incorect. no transfer cable is needed. all u need to do is move all of ur save files to the usb and then move them from the usb to ur new system. just make sure its ben configured 1st, both consols are offline, and that when u plug in or remove the usb that ur console is completely unhooked. otherwise the back door program from ms wile try to wipe the usb do to prevent moding or cercomvintion of things that would make there products sutch as the transfer cable useless. ms loves there money u know lol.

  • jerry

    so can you transfer Call of Duty Black Ops 2 map pack to another Xbox that is yours but is not signed in an xbox live because I do not have internet at the other house

  • lolo

    Okay a buddy of mine let me download his account to download a map pack for zombies. Well I did all that and got it all downloaded n junk but when I go to go play it, it doesn’t pop up on the map or anything. Is there something in missing?

    • Tim Brookes

      Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. Items purchased from Xbox Live (e.g. games, DLC, movies) are available to everyone who uses that console provided the account which owns them is still active on that system.

      If your friend then went home and re-activated his account on his own Xbox, that would have revoked the licenses on your Xbox. It’s all about licenses see!

  • Shaw

    I bought a new 360 system a few weeks ago for my son. It has a 4 gb hard drive. I am already having problems with the memory. I installed a 16 gig USB stick and it works fine, but just tried to play Need for Speed rivals, and it says there is an HD update and it will only store on the system hard drive. I do not have enough space on the hard drive. Anyway, my question is I want to buy a 500 gig system and possibly return this one or sell it, can I transfer my sons minecraft world to the new system? if I lose this game he will be very upset. He’s spent many hours working on it. Can I just copy the saved minecraft file to a USB stick and then insert the USB in the new 360 and copy it to the hard drive?
    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Shaw

      Thanks you very much Tim. I am going today to buy a 500gb hard drive from best buy. I was going to a used game shop to get a used one. I will buy new now, as per your advice.
      Thanks
      Shawn

    • Tim Brookes

      You don’t need to return the unit at all, and in fact you can just buy a hard drive and expand the internal storage that way. I’d always recommend you buy a brand new hard drive for this purpose, it just isn’t worth the risk of having it die on you early.

      The back of your 360 will have a little door inside which is a slot for a hard drive. You’ll basically need to ensure you’re buying the right hard drive, but if you go to a store and tell them the model (e.g. Xbox 360 4GB Slim) they should be able to point you in the right direction.

      With storage, more is always better. I don’t think 500GB costs much more than the 250GB units, last time I checked anyway.

      Here’s some handy information: http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-360/accessories/add-remove-hard-drive#c17e0286c38f4ac59687e4f3e6436a63

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.