10 Useful Xbox One Settings You Should Know About
There are a wealth of Xbox One settings worth exploring. Whether you want to unlock more functionality or fix annoying defaults, it’s worth taking a trip into the Xbox One settings menu every once in a while.
Microsoft has added more settings through updates over the years, so you may have missed some of these even if you’ve had the system since launch. Let’s take a look at the settings you should change to make your Xbox One experience even better.
To get to the Xbox One settings menu, press the Xbox button on your controller while on the home screen to open the Guide. Then press RB to navigate to your profile icon and choose Settings.
1. Mute the Xbox One Startup Chime
By default, your Xbox will make a little chirp when you turn it on. This is nice if you need confirmation that you powered it on successfully, but that’s probably not the case most of the time. If you often play at night and want your system to stay quiet, you can disable this chime.
Head to Settings > General > Power mode & startup, then choose Startup chime. You can turn it on or off, or Only with power button or voice.
The last option makes the most sense: when using the power button or voice methods, a quick confirmation that you touched the right spot or that the Xbox heard you are useful. When you want to keep quiet, just turn on the system by holding the Xbox button on your controller.
2. Appear Offline on Xbox Live
Sometimes when playing an online game, you don’t want friends inviting you to a party or another game. For those times, you can (appear to) go offline and play in peace.
To do so, open the Guide, then use RB to scroll to the menu with your profile picture. Select your username and on the resulting menu, choose Appear online and you can change it to Appear offline or use Do not disturb.
Appear offline simply makes it look like you’re away. However, Do not disturb will suppress party invites and other notifications, as well as displaying that status to your friends.
3. Disable Disc Auto-Start
By default, when you insert a disc—whether a game or a movie—your Xbox will immediately start playing it. This is useful if you switch media frequently, but when a disc automatically starts and you don’t want to play it, you have to wait for the game to start just to quit it.
If you want to only start discs when you choose, navigate to Settings > Devices & streaming > Disc and uncheck Play disc automatically. You’ll then have to start discs from the home menu.
4. Remap Xbox Controller Buttons
Most games let you select from a variety of control schemes to suit your needs. For games that don’t offer this flexibility, or if you want to swap a few buttons for a tactical advantage, you can change button mapping natively on your Xbox.
Browse to Settings > Ease of Access > Controller > Button mapping. Here, select a button to remap, then a button to map it to. So if you select A in the first box and B for the second, pressing A will input B, and vice-versa.
If you prefer, you can instead press and hold a button to remap, followed by the button you want to map it to. Repeat this for everything you’d like to remap; the Xbox controller on the right side will update to keep track of your changes.
You can also specify if you’d like to swap the sticks, look inversion, or triggers here. These could be helpful for left-handed people, for instance. To set everything back to how it was, simply select Restore to default.
Remember that this changes the buttons at the system level, so games don’t know you’ve edited the controls. If a game tells you to press LT and you’ve swapped LB and LT, you have to translate that. Button changes remain in effect until you remove them and apply to all games as well as the Xbox menu.
5. Add a Passcode for Sign-In and Purchases
If you have young children or mischievous roommates that you’d prefer to keep out of your Xbox, you can require additional information to sign in.
You’ll find the applicable options at Settings > Account > Sign-in, security & passkey. On the left side of this screen, you’ll see your current level of protection. Select Change my sign-in & security preferences to make adjustments.
You can select from several levels of security here, with a few extra available if you have Kinect.
No barriers is the least secure option and allows anyone to turn on your Xbox, sign into your account, and spend money without any restriction. One level up is Ask for my passkey. With this, your Xbox will ask for a passcode when you try to sign in, change settings, or buy games.
If a passkey isn’t secure enough for you, you can choose Lock it down, which requires your Microsoft account password to make any changes. We don’t recommend this, as a PIN is enough for most people. Furthermore, you may be tempted to make your Microsoft account password weak if you have to type it every time you sign into your Xbox.
To fine-tune these login settings, scroll all the way right and choose Customize. Here, you can select individual options for each sensitive action on your Xbox. Want to require a passkey for purchases, but not for changing settings? You can lock everything down just the way you need it.
6. Stop Certain Xbox Notifications
By default, the Xbox One likes to notify you about every little occurrence on your system. While it’s nice to make sure you don’t miss important events, those popups can get in the way of your gaming and distract you. To turn some off, head to Settings > Preferences > Notifications.
You can turn off all notifications by unchecking the Notification banners on box. To fine-tune them, choose Xbox notifications to change what the system sends you. You can disable popups for Achievements, Clubs, Friends, Activity Feed, and more here.
Click App notifications to turn off notifications from installed apps, if applicable. Default notification position lets you move banners to a place where they won’t get in the way. Finally, choose Notification timing to decide if expired notifications should stay in the Guide and choose how long notifications stay on your screen.
7. Customize Your Home Background
The Xbox One gives you several options to customize your system’s look. Go to Settings > General > Personalization > My color & background, where you can change these to your liking.
The color is self-explanatory; you can change your Background to a solid color with art from recently played games, a screenshot or custom image, or art from Achievements you’ve earned.
This menu also lets you change the transparency of tiles on the home screen so you can see everything more clearly.
8. Adjust the Xbox One Chat Mixer Balance
Sometimes when you’re in a party, you need to hear your friends over the game audio. Other times, the game audio is what’s most important. If you feel like this balance is off, go to Settings > General > Volume & audio output > Chat mixer.
There, you can select how much a game’s audio will drop when you’re in a party. The options are to reduce game audio by 80% or 50%, mute it entirely, or do nothing.
9. Stop Sharing Everything You Do
If you aren’t a social player, you can keep your Xbox from sharing information with others. Head to Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety to find these options.
Choose Xbox Live Privacy to decide what your system shares about most aspects of your playing. It features preset levels for a child, teenager, and adult; click View details & customize to set everything up manually.
You’ll find a wealth of settings to tweak here. They include who can see your real name and profile, if you publish activity about games, whether you can share content to social networks, and more. Have a look here to make everything as private as you like.
To see which apps use your data, select App privacy to turn off permissions for Location, Microphone, and the like. Finally, check the Message safety section to enable filtering for messages you receive.
10. Get a Reminder to Take Breaks
When you’re enjoying a game, it’s easy to play for hours without stepping away. To help with this, your Xbox One includes a feature to remind you to take occasional breaks.
To enable it, visit Settings > Preferences > Break reminder. You can choose to get a reminder at a minimum of every 30 minutes, or a maximum of every two hours. The timer starts when you sign in, but only displays when you’re playing a game.
Scour the Xbox One Settings Menu
The Xbox One settings menu hides a lot of useful tweaks that aren’t obvious at first glance. Hopefully you can get even more out of your console after adjusting these options to your liking!
Image Credit: Barone Firenze and Naschy/Shutterstock
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