How to Use Xbox Cloud Storage in 2021: Store and Backup Your Games

In this article, Cloudwards.net shows you how to use Xbox cloud storage, allowing you to play your games wherever and whenever you want.

Branko VlajinRobin Barber
By Branko Vlajin (Writer) & Robin Barber (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-02-15T16:31:17+00:00 Facts checked by: Andrea Babic

Microsoft’s Xbox has had many iterations over the years. The company has improved its hardware and software, and cloud storage has been a useful add-on since the Xbox 360. In this article, we’ll show you how to use Xbox cloud storage to improve the quality of your gaming life.

The Xbox Live service enables you to access cloud storage and save your game session to its servers. Though it’s a far cry from the flexibility offered by our best cloud gaming services, it’s still pretty cool and will allow you to play on your saves at a friend’s house without lugging your console along.

Xbox cloud storage also acts as a backup should your console give up the ghost, making it a decent gaming alternative to our best online backup providers. Read our article on the difference between storage and backup if you want to know more about the concepts involved.

  • Your Xbox One will automatically give you access to the cloud as long as you have an Xbox Live account and you are online. Although the Xbox One accounts for the extra space out of the box, the Xbox 360 does require 514MB of free storage to start using the cloud.

  • All Xbox Live accounts will get access to enough cloud storage to hold your game saves. This increases proportionally to the number of games in your library, so you’re unlikely to fill it up, and it automatically syncs whenever you exit a game to prevent data loss.

  • Microsoft doesn’t specify the amount of cloud storage you have on an Xbox One. However, as each game has an individual limit and you’ll only be putting saved games on there, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever run out of space.

  • The Xbox One automatically syncs the local and cloud saves when you exit a game. However, if the two files become desynced — a result of playing on a different console, playing offline or having a corrupt save — it will ask which one you want to use the next time you boot up the game.

How to Set Up and Use Xbox Live Cloud Storage

As long as you’re signed in to Xbox Live and have at least 514MB of storage space, your Xbox One will keep your saves synced to the cloud. However, to use cloud storage with your Xbox 360, you’ll need to set it up manually and move games to it.

Note that your save is cached locally while playing, then moved to the cloud when you exit the game. Even if you turn off your console, it will only shut down once the saved files are safely in the cloud.

However, if you disconnect from Xbox Live while playing, it won’t be able to store your data in the cloud until you go back online. To look at the status of your saved games transferring to the cloud, go to “games & apps” and then select “active downloads.”

  1. Go into your system settings

    To set up cloud storage on your Xbox, go to the “settings” tab on the Xbox dashboard and then select “system.”

    xbox cloud storage setup settings
    You can find storage options in the “system” tab.

  2. Go to “cloud saved games”

    In “system,” find the “storage” tab. This will give you a list of connected storage devices with “cloud saved games” as the final option.

    xbox cloud storage setup storage
    Select the “cloud saved games” storage device.

  3. Enable “cloud saved games”

    In “cloud saved games” you can select “enable cloud saved games.” This will reserve a local cache on your console and allow you to move saved games to the cloud. You’ll also be able to access your Xbox 360 cloud saves from your Xbox One console.

    xbox cloud storage setup enable
    Enable “cloud saved games” on this console to start using the cloud.

Managing Your Saved Game

Proper management will allow you to continue playing your game the way you want. Plus, using cloud storage should help you avoid mishaps, such as unintentional deletion or power loss.

Your Xbox will sync your save to the cloud whenever you exit a game, but you don’t need to worry about space, as each game on Xbox One has its own storage. As a user’s game library grows, the cloud does, too. In short, Xbox One users get unlimited cloud storage for saved files.

Moving to the Cloud

When you start a new game, you’ll usually see a prompt asking where you want to save your game. You can now select “cloud saved games” as the storage device. After that, every time you sign in to your profile and play the game, it will be saved to the cloud. However, if you want to store an existing saved game to the cloud, you’ll need to manually move it over.

1. Go into your storage settings

Open the dashboard, then select “settings,” then “system” and finally “storage.”

xbox cloud storage move games storage
Find the storage device that contains your save file.

2. Find the game you want to move

In the storage device that currently holds your save, click on “games” and then find the game you want to move over.

xbox cloud storage move games list
Select the game save that you want to move.

3. Move your game save

After selecting the game, click “move” or “copy” and then select “cloud saved games.” You can also delete the game file from here.

xbox cloud storage move games menu
You can choose to either copy or move the game file.

Plus, you can move, copy or delete saved games in the cloud as if you had stored them locally. To learn more about that option, click here. Now, you will be able to resume playing “Red Dead Redemption 2” on your friend’s Xbox.

Loading on a Different Console

Using your saved game on a different console is easy. Just do the following:

1. Turn on “cloud saved games”

On the new console, sign in to your Xbox Live profile. Then repeat the steps above to turn on “cloud saved games” for this console.

xbox cloud storage enable on a different console
Enable “cloud saved games” on the new console the same way as before.

2. Start the game with the cloud save

Open up the game you want to play and it should immediately sync your saved data. If it asks for a storage device, select “cloud saved games.”

xbox cloud storage start on a different console
Use the save file from the cloud when starting the game.

Deleting Saved Games

Deleting game saves on the Xbox 360 is done in the same place you found the file to move it, but on the Xbox One, it’s done in the “my games & apps” menu on your home screen.

1. Find the game under “my games & apps”

Press the Xbox button to open the guide. Then you can select “my games & apps” and scroll down to find the game you want to delete.

xbox cloud storage deleting files menu
Select “my games & apps” to open a list of your games.

2. Enter the “manage game” settings

With the game selected, press the menu button on the controller and select “manage game.”

xbox cloud storage deleting files manage game
Find the “manage game” option for the game you want to delete.

3. Find your saved data

Find the “saved data” option in “manage game” and select the data you want to delete.

xbox cloud storage deleting files saved data
Select “saved data” and choose your profile to open a list of options.

4. Delete the data

You will get three options here: “delete from console,” “delete everywhere” and “cancel.” Deleting it from the console will leave any data in the cloud and on other devices, deleting the data from everywhere will wipe it forever and canceling will leave your saves intact.

xbox cloud storage deleting files delete everywhere
Delete the saved data for your profile on this console.

Turning Off Xbox Cloud Storage

There are two options to disable Xbox One cloud storage for game saves. 

Turn Off Cloud Saves

The first option is to move saved games out of the cloud in the same way as before, then turn off cloud saves. 

1. Move your saved game back to local storage

Follow the previous steps for moving a game to the cloud, except the data will be in “cloud saved games” and you need to move it back to your local storage.

turn off xbox cloud storage move game
Move the game back onto your local hard drive so you can keep playing later.

2. Disable “cloud saved games”

In the “storage” menu, highlight “cloud saved games,” press the Y button on your controller and then select “disable cloud saved games” to stop your games from syncing to the cloud.

turn off xbox cloud storage disable cloud
Disable “cloud saved games” so your games will no longer sync.

Turn Off Cloud Saves for One Console

The second option is to keep saved games in the cloud and turn off cloud saves for a single console. 

1. Go to your primary storage device

You can find this by going into “settings,” then “system” and selecting “storage.” One of the options will be the primary storage device; normally, this is the internal hard drive.

turn off xbox cloud storage primary device
Find the drive where the “cloud storage console copy” file is kept.

2. Delete the “cloud storage console copy”

Under “system items” you’ll see the “cloud storage console copy.” You should select and delete this. There will be a prompt asking you to confirm that you want your saved games to remain in the cloud and for your console to stop syncing with any future updates to the file.

turn off xbox cloud storage system items
Delete the “cloud storage console copy” file to disable cloud saves on this console.

Problems With Xbox Cloud Storage

Like with all software, using cloud storage with Xbox might throw you an error. Below are the most common errors, as well as some easy fixes.

Game Not Supported

This means the game is not designed to be saved on the Xbox Live servers. Your only choice is to use the local cache.

We Couldn’t Sync Your Info With the Cloud

This pops up when you can’t connect to the Xbox Live servers and generally means there’s a problem with your internet connection. Look for a problem on your end. If you can’t find anything, contact your internet service provider.

Your Cloud Saved Games & the Saved Game Copies on Your Console Are Out of Sync

The Xbox One has detected two versions of your saved games and doesn’t know which to use. You’ll have to help your console by deciding which saved file you want to use.

Xbox One Network Problem

Issues in your Xbox One settings may cause network-related problems. To check for that, go to the Xbox Dashboard, select “settings” → “all settings” → “network” → “network settings” → “test network” button. The test result should show you the problem.

Final Thoughts

Now you’re armed with the knowledge you need to manage your Xbox cloud storage. By using it, you’ll be able to enjoy your gaming more, whether you’re playing on multiple consoles or at a friend’s house. However, you may want to check out our articles on the best VPN for gaming and the best VPN for Xbox One to keep your online activity safe and your ping low.

Have you saved your Xbox games to the cloud? Have you used the saves on a different console? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.