Xbox Series X|S Boot Time Reduced, But You May Never See It

The Xbox Series X and its budget-friendly counterpart, Xbox Series S, are known for their ability to boot up quickly due to their powerful solid state drives and state-of-the-art processing power. However, the boot-up speeds can differ vastly depending on whether or not you're using the Energy-saving mode or the Instant-on mode, the latter of which makes the Xbox Series X and S boot up in mere seconds. For those unaware, the former Energy-saving mode can be a remedy for Xbox Series X or S consoles that are overheating.

These two modes can differ in some pretty significant ways. For instance, running your Series X or Series S in the Instant-on mode can make bootup times negligible and keep your Xbox connected to the Xbox mobile app, which has its own set of remote features, at the cost of increased background energy use. Energy-saving mode differs in that it basically turns your console off when you're finished using it, though it retains the ability to download and install games and apps, and it can even take advantage of the well-received Quick Resume feature.

However, it takes a much longer time to boot back up while in Energy-saving mode. At maximum, you can expect a waiting time of around 45 seconds per boot, according to the official Xbox website, though realistically it only takes 20 to 25 seconds in most instances. While it's worth noting that the same update doesn't further decrease bootup times for Instant-on users, with the latest update, standard load times can be axed by a significant margin.

How to decrease the Xbox Series X and S bootup animation time

Thanks to an upcoming update that is now being tested via the Xbox Insider program, the Xbox's bootup time while in Energy-saving mode could be reduced to about 15 seconds. This preview goes by the name Alpha (2208.220720-2200), first released to the Xbox Insider program on July 22. The patch notes don't make a specific claim about the shortening of the Xbox bootup times while in Energy-saving mode, but Xbox Integrated Marketing Director Josh Munsee confirmed the feature on Twitter, saying it could reduce boot times significantly. 

That said, you won't get to enjoy the benefits of the update, including the shortened boot times while in Energy-saving mode unless you either wait for an official release or join the Xbox Insider program yourself. If you aren't already an Insider, the process for joining the Xbox Insider program is pretty simple and can be replicated in a few steps.

  1. Navigate to the Xbox Series X or S dashboard.
  2. Go to the Store.
  3. Search for "insider" in the search tab.
  4. Select the Xbox Insider bundle from the menu.
  5. Install the bundle.
  6. Confirm any additional windows that appear.
  7. Return to your dashboard.
  8. Go to the Xbox Insider Hub.
  9. Select the Previews option.
  10. Navigate to the latest preview build.

If you're using a Windows 10 or 11 PC, you can also join the Xbox Insider program by using the Microsoft Store app. Here, you'll follow the same procedure — search for "insider," then install the Xbox Insider Hub software onto your computer, which should allow you to participate in other previews — like back when Microsoft let Insiders try "Minecraft" with raytracing support before the general gaming public.