Taking control of your Xbox One - privacy, storage and power usage

How to turn Kinect off, disable auto Game DVR and more

The Xbox One is set to automate a number of features for fuss-free enjoyment, including automatic Game DVR and SmartGlass sign-in, but if you'd rather have more say over its activities, there a number of settings you can fiddle with. Here are seven tips to bear in mind.

1. How to manage your Xbox One storage space

There isn't really any way to manually manage your console's hard drive storage as you could with the Xbox 360. However, your Xbox One will notify you when your local storage (that is, anything that isn't stored on the cloud) is near full capacity. Some Blu-rays and discs will require you to download extra content, and you can choose to clear this via the Disc and Blu Ray panel in your settings menu. You can also delete individual games and apps at any time by pressing the Menu button on your controller whilst hovering over their panel in My Games & Apps and selecting the Delete option.

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2. How to set a different power mode

Your Xbox One has two different power modes, Instant-On and an Energy-Saving setting, which can be changed by going into your Settings panel, then Power & Start Up. Instant-On will allow you to turn the system on and off using voice commands, automatically downloads updates whilst you're away from your console, turns the TV and set-top box on along with the Xbox One, and enables much faster start-up times. You can disable any of these individual options by unchecking the box next to them in the Power & Start Up menu. Energy Saving mode will cut down on your power consumption, obviously, but the above features will be disabled.

3. How to turn Disc and Blu-Ray auto-play on and off

If you don't want the Xbox One to automatically load up a game or Blu-ray disc as soon as you load it into the drive, you can disable this in the Disc & Blu-ray sub-menu of the Settings panel. In the same menu, you can also turn the Resume Playback feature on and off, if you don't want a movie to go back to the last point played every time you load it up.

4. How to turn automatic game DVR on and off

If you don't want your Xbox One to automatically record a clip when you unlock an achievement (something certain games may do for certain achievements), you can turn off this feature by unchecking the box in your Preferences menu. If you've done something particularly cool and don't want to lose it, however, you can still quickly say "Xbox, record that" to capture your last 30 seconds of gameplay.

5. How to remove an Xbox Live account from your console

If you want to remove someone's profile from your sign-in options (say a friend signed in to your Xbox One as a one-off, for example), there's the option to delete an account from your console on the far right in Settings. The account will still exist elsewhere, of course, and you can choose to re-add it again at any time. If you're signing into a console that isn't your own, you can also make sure that any subsequent sign-in requires your Xbox Live password, just like you can on the Xbox 360.

6. How to limit the number of SmartGlass connections

In your Xbox One preferences tab, you can limit which Smartglass devices the console will connect to. The three options are any SmartGlass device, only those whose profiles are already on the console, or none at all. That'll teach your friend for trying to mess with your console remotely.


7. How to turn Kinect on and off

If you want to make absolutely sure that no-one in that multiplayer game of Battlefield 4 can hear you swearing at them, you can turn off Kinect-enabled chat by unchecking the appropriate box in the Kinect sub-menu in your Xbox One's settings panel. That'll ensure that you'll only be heard if you have a chat headset hooked up to the console. You can also disable the sensor entirely in settings (the white Xbox logo on the front will glow when it's active) or simply unplug it.

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