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xbox keep switching off

XBOX Keep Switching Off?

Does your Xbox keep switching off during gameplay? Does the fan speed up as though it’s struggling for air? These point to a over heating problem with your Xbox. There are a couple of reasons for this, read on to find out why your Xbox keep switching off when in the middle of a game.


Firstly, check to see if your Xbox has enough airflow around it. If it’s stuck in a cupboard or has stuff stacked on top of the air intake, it won’t be able to breath! Remove anything from the top casing or pull it away from the side if you have it standing upright. The intake is the large vented area on the upper case. This is where cool air is sucked in by the fan, brought through the radiator and expelled as warm air at the rear.

Known Issues

Second, check the game that you’re playing for any known issues. At Cannock Computer Services we had a customers Xbox that kept switching off while he was playing World of Tanks. We had it all cleaned out and serviced it using our high quality thermal paste but they still reported issues with this particular game. On further investigation we discovered he was not alone. A number of online forums were filled with the same comments about World of Tanks overheating their Xbox. In this case, it is up to the game developer to release an update to resolve this.

Xbox keep switching off still? Read on to find out how Cannock Computer Services can help.

If after following the advice above, and your Xbox keep switching off is still frustrating you, Cannock Computer Services can help. If you have enough airflow and you’re playing a game that has no known issues with overheating the GPU, it likely needs a service. The GPU in the Xbox is the main chip that is responsible for creating the visual effects you see on-screen. This GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) generates a lot of heat during normal gameplay and needs efficient airflow to keep it cool. If you can’t keep it cool, it get’s hotter and hotter until it says “no I’m too hot!” and switches off to protect itself.


The design of the Xbox cooling system uses air to keep it cool. Air inherently has one major flaw. DUST! The air in our homes is full of the stuff. When the sunlight streams in through a crack in the curtain it shows up the dust floating in our air every day. Even the cleanest of homes have large quantities of dust, so you can’t avoid it. As the Xbox draws in cool air to run it over the fine blades of the radiator it also brings in dust. This dust then starts to build up over time so air can no longer efficiently pass through the radiator. Instead of cooling the GPU it creates a nice warm blanket over the GPU.

xbox keep switching off due to dust buildup.
This image was taken from a customers Xbox that reported his Xbox keep switching off after about 10-15 minutes of gameplay.

Thermal Paste

There is also the issue of Thermal Paste. In order to transfer the heat generated by the GPU to the Heat Sink, Thermal Paste is applied. This specially developed, thermally conductive material allows the heat to dissipate from the GPU to the copper heatsink above. The radiator moves the air flow generated by the fan and exhausts the hot air out of the Xbox. We recommend that the Thermal Paste is replaced every 3-5 years but this depends on usage. If you’re using your Xbox for hours at a time and playing graphically intensive games, the Thermal Paste will dry out much quicker.

xbox keep switching off due to dried out thermal paste?
This is the GPU and the dried out mess you see is the Thermal Paste applied by the factory.

At Cannock Computer Services, we completely strip down the Xbox into it’s component parts. Everything is thoroughly cleaned using IPA (99% isopropyl alcohol). We then apply a high quality, fresh Thermal Paste to the GPU and reassemble. After fully testing the Xbox to ensure everything is working as it should, we hand the Xbox back to the customer usually within 24-48 hours.

xbox keep switching off all clean.
A nice clean GPU ready for fresh Thermal Paste!

Our full Xbox service, including local pickup and delivery and 12 months complete satisfaction warranty is available for just £60.

Contact us using the Contact Form and one of our technicians will be in touch to arrange your Xbox Service.