Three years into the life cycle of the Xbox One, storage space has become a valuable commodity. The base model’s 500GB drive doesn’t seem quite so spacious when your “Ready to Install” list is packed with AAA games that can take up more than 50GB, and almost double that if you’re downloading 4K-compatible games on an Xbox One X.
Unless you’ve invested in an external drive to increase your console’s storage capacity, you’ve probably experienced the feeling that comes when you’re forced to delete one of your games to make room for another. If not, the first time can be a harrowing — and confusing — experience. To help you out, we’ve assembled this handy guide on how to delete and re-install your content. It won’t make picking which games to eradicate from your drive any easier, but it will tell you which buttons to press to do so.
From the Xbox One home screen, press the Xbox button to bring up the dashboard, then select the “My Games & Apps” tile.
Highlight the tile of the game you’d like to remove from your hard drive and press the Menu button on your controller. (That’s the Start button, for most players.)
Select “Manage Game” from the pop-up menu that appears.
The next screen is divided into two parts. On the left, you’ll see each piece of content related to the game in question, listed under “Installed” or “Ready to install.” From the left side of the screen, you can also manage any saved data that exists for the selected game.
On the right, you’ll see some details about the game, including its file size and a link to the game’s page in the Xbox Store. You can choose to move the data if you have another storage device connected, copy it, or uninstall it entirely. Choose “Uninstall all,” and the game will be removed from your hard drive.
Reinstalling deleted games
If you want to re-install a deleted game, head back to the “My Games & Apps” screen. On the left, you should see “Ready to Install (X)”, with “X” signifying the number of games and apps you own that aren’t currently installed on your hard drive. Selecting a game or application will automatically begin the installation process, assuming you have enough space on your console.
You can also re-install games from the “Manage game” screen. To do so, select “Ready to Install” on the left. Afterward, install each piece of content individually or install all content for the specified game at once via the “Install all” option. Keep in mind that there’s no re-installing save data once it’s been deleted, however. Once removed, that data is lost forever unless you have connected to the internet prior to deleting the data, in which case it will be reinstalled from the cloud when you choose to reinstall or re-download the game.
Update: We’ve added new links and formatting to this post.