How to Copy Xbox 360 Games to Your Hard Drive

by Michael on May 9, 2009 · 12 comments

Have you ever wanted to copy an Xbox 360 game to the system’s hard drive? Well, ever since Microsoft unveiled the “new Xbox experience” during the fall of 2008, it’s been possible. Read on for step-by-step instructions.

Copying Xbox 360 games to your hard drive

  1. Go to the Xbox dashboard
  2. Select “My Xbox
  3. Highlight the game window and press “Y
  4. Choose “Install to Hard Drive” and hit “A

That’s it. Once the game is installed, you can play it from the hard drive by hitting “Y” from the game window in “My Xbox” and then selecting “Play from Hard Drive. Note that the game disc still has to be inserted or you won’t be able to play. Given this limitation, what’s the point?

Well… I can think of three major advantages to installing your games on your Xbox 360 hard drive:

  • Load times will be reduced, not just when launching the game, but also during major scene changes.
  • There will be less wear and tear on the optical drive, as it won’t need to spin during gameplay.
  • Having the game on your hard drive offers some protection against scratched discs. As long as your Xbox can mount the disc, you’ll be able to play. This is true even if there’s a scratch that would otherwise cause the game to error out during gameplay.

It only takes a few minutes per game so, assuming you have enough hard drive space, there’s no real downside.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

John Lott June 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

maybe i’m missing something in your instructions, or just over looking something but when I’m at the xbox dashboard and have selected my xbox ,what game window are you talking about? (the 1st one that show disc reading, or the second one that show game library) in any case i press y and nothing happens and do not get any options to save game to hard drive. right now i have the 20 gb hard drive and am thing of getting the 120 gb, but want to make sure i know how and can save my games to the hard drive before upgrading




JnC June 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm

i am having the same problem only I do not see a window or panel that denotes MY XBOX Is this a version problem? Or is it a what???


Marcus Austen July 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

This only relates to the updated dashboard i.e. not the one with the blades. This is updated when you Join Xbox Live.

Have to say this is an awesome tip i never would have found this on my own and it will keep the Disc Drive noise down too ;D


Muhammad Yusus December 8, 2009 at 2:02 am

my xbox 360 get banned from microsoft. and all of my games cannot be install to hard drive.. can you give me solotion.. thanks…


josh July 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm

thanks for reminding me how you do this, I’m gonna go copy one right now


haphazard2007 October 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Thanks man.


tristan(: November 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm

guys this is how when u put in the disk it should show reading… then u jus keep it till it says play game? press Y for game details then wait for install game to harddrive to show up then jus press that and put it to ur harddrive


Cezz November 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Great Tutorial, I managed to copy over COD Black Ops to reduce disk noise and to protect this ever so expensive disk.


Newest Dashboard when you press (Y) you then get two options Play Game and Install Game… Installing game makes this much quieter and loads much faster.


sam August 16, 2011 at 12:14 am

i wanted to save nba nk11 but it has a scratch on it so it wouldnt let me finish saving it wat should i do


byronmoor21 September 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm

can you play the game with out the disc after u copy it?


dan April 12, 2012 at 4:05 am

the onlything it does when i hit y is open the drive,,,why cant i save it?


Mason June 21, 2012 at 12:37 am

on the newest dashboard go to xbox home and highlight the game then press X install will be on the list of options.


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