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How to delete and re-install games on your Xbox One hard drive

Whether it’s with the arrival of the Destiny beta or sometime in the recent past, many Xbox One owners are reaching a point where they’ve maxed out the console’s 500GB internal hard drive. Stored data was self-managed by the Xbox One operating system at the console’s launch in November 2013, but one of Microsoft’s earliest system updates, back in February 2014, added the ability to personally manage data storage.

The thing is, it is a confusing process. To help you out, we’ve assembled this handy guide that runs through the steps of deleting and re-installing owned content. You’ll see that it’s very simple once you know which buttons to press. We’ve also included a video walkthrough of the delete and re-install process, which should clarify anything that may be unclear in the step-by-step below.

Step 1

Go to the console’s main dashboard, then highlight and select the My Games & Apps tile on the right side of the screen.

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Step 2

Highlight the tile of the game that you’d like to remove from your hard drive and press the Menu button on the controller. That’s the Start button, for those that haven’t let go of the Xbox 360’s Start/Back layout.

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Step 3

Select the Manage Game option from the pop-up menu that appears.

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Step 4

The next screen is divided into two parts. On the left, you see a tile for the game and an Uninstall button that includes text indicating how much space the item in question takes up. On the right you’ll see a listing of any save data for that game (again, along with how much space it uses). Save data is typically inconsequentially small, so you’re really concerned with the left side of the screen.

To remove the chosen game, simply click the Uninstall button. You’ll get a progress indicator pop-up as soon as you do, but it’s typically of the “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” variety, as removing games from an Xbox One is a quick process. You can also delete the save data if you want to by selecting the button on the right side of the screen.

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Step 5

If you want to re-install a deleted game, simply scroll all the way to right on the My Games & Apps screen, past the installed game titles. You’ll come upon a second menu listing all of your owned games that aren’t installed. Simply select the game you want to install and let the console do its thing.

Take note though: there’s no “re-install” option for deleted save data. Once removed, that data is lost forever.

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That’s it! Easy, right?

A video walkthrough…

Here’s a quick video that runs through the whole process of uninstallation and re-installation: