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Make the Xbox respect your authority with our guide to Xbox One voice commands

Well, the wait is finally over. Microsoft has finally launched the Xbox One as promised, a mere week after Sony launched its coveted next-gen PlayStation 4 and directly on the cusp of the holiday shopping season. The console is powerful and flexible as DT’s own Adam Rosenberg outlined in our Xbox One review, and comes equipped with an intuitive set of voice commands engineered to work hand-in-hand with the console’s bundled Kinect. The peripheral also touts a few motion controls, but most users would probably rather speak their mind than perform a bunch of cumbersome, yogi-like maneuvers to navigate the dashboard.

While you could sock away your Kinect after the device’s initial setup, you’ll be doing yourself a huge disfavor. Voice commands allow users to do everything from turning on the console and recording gameplay footage, to sending messages and launching apps in Snap mode, all which can be done by simple saying “Xbox” followed by the appropriate voice command. It’s incredibly useful and quick, even if it is somewhat limited at launch and requires you to say the exact phrase.

Here’s a quick-hit list of the Xbox One voice commands as outlined by the good folks at Microsoft. Also, check out our Xbox One tip guide for some additional tips to make the most of Microsoft’s new offering.

System commands

Command Function
Xbox on Wakes up Xbox One, turns on television and cable/satellite set-top box
Xbox turn off Puts Xbox One to sleep/off, can turn off television cable/satellite set-top box
Xbox Shows menu of global voice command options and begins listening for the next command
Xbox select Shows voice command options for everything on the screen that are supported. Shows channel shortcuts during full screen TV viewing.
Stop listening Stop Kinect from listening or cancels voice commands if Kinect is triggered during casual conversation
Xbox help Shows help menu with available options
Xbox use a code Triggers Kinect code scanning for QR codes
Xbox show notification Shows on-screen notification(s)


Command Function
Xbox sign in/out Signs in/out an Xbox Live member
Xbox sign in as [person] Signs in/out an Xbox Live member


Command Function
Xbox record that Records the previous 30 seconds of gameplay
Xbox start a party Launches the Party app in Snap mode


Command Function
Xbox volume up/down Controls volume of TV set
Xbox mute/unmute Controls mute function of TV set

Navigation and Multitasking

Command Function
Xbox go Home Returns to Home
Xbox show my stuff Returns to Home
Xbox go to [activity] Launches specific games, TV shows, apps, notifications and sections of the dash
Xbox show menu In full screen: shows menu for whatever is one the screen. At Home: shows menu for whatever is in the current window
Xbox go back Returns to previous screen or menu option
Xbox Snap [app] Launches activity in Snap mode
Xbox unsnap Unsnaps activity in Snap mode
Xbox switch Switches control of the activities in Snap mode and Fill mode


Command Function
Xbox Skype [person] Launches Skype call, must be a person from your Skype favorites list on your Xbox One
Xbox call [person] Launches Skype call, must be a person from your Skype favorites list on your Xbox One
Xbox answer/answer without video Answers incoming Skype call
Xbox hang up Ends Skype call
Xbox send a message Send a message to your Xbox Live friends


Command Function
Xbox watch TV Launches cable or satellite TV from set-top box
Xbox watch [channel] Changes cable or satellite TV to specific channel when channel shortcuts are showing
Xbox show guide Launches OneGuide for cable or satellite TV subscribers
Xbox OneGuide Launches OneGuide for cable or satellite TV subscribers

Transport Controls

Command Function
Xbox play/stop/pause/fast forward/rewind/faster/slower/skip forward/skip backward/next song/previous song Transport controls for media playback, play and pause also work for gameplay
Xbox play [music/video] Launches video and music playback

Bing and Internet Explorer

Command Function
Browse to [website] Browses to the specific website when in Internet Explorer
Xbox Bing [name] Launches Bing and searches for the specific item(s)

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