How to Update Xbox 360 without Internet or Xbox Live

Got an Xbox 360? I’ve had one for a pretty long time and I love it! Like all game consoles, there are occasional updates to add new features such as social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, etc or the ability to play different types of files.

In order to get these firmware updates for your Xbox, you normally would download them from Xbox Live. Xbox Live has two types of offerings, free and Gold Membership.

The free version gets you free game demos, game add-ons, games on demand, arcade games, avatars, and voice/text chat. The Gold Membership gives you Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, streaming Netflix, video chat, and Xbox Live parties.

update xbox 360 without internet

In either version, you get firmware updates for your hardware to increase performance or update certain software features. With Xbox Live, when you sign in using your Gamertag, you are automatically notified of any new updates.

However, what if you do not use Xbox Live? How do you update your Xbox 360 without an Internet connection or a very slow Internet connection?

There are two ways to do this: either copy the update to a USB flash drive or download the update to your computer and then update your Xbox 360 console.

Method 1 – Download Update to Flash Drive

First, connect up a USB flash drive to your computer and make sure it has enough free space on it. Also, make sure it’s formatted as FAT32 and not NTFS.

Next download the latest update for the Xbox from here:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/1/8/d181ee58-de70-4484-936b-0e9161ccd6b2/$systemupdate_fall09_8955.zip

It’s about 83.5 MB. Make sure you keep the name of the zip file as $SystemUpdate_Fall09_8955.zip. Once downloaded, go ahead and extract out the zip archive to the root of your USB flash drive.

Now all you have to do is take the USB stick over to your Xbox console, plug it in and then turn on the console. It will automatically start the update program. At the prompt, select Yes, update now.

When you see the Xbox Dashboard, that means the update has been completed! Pretty easy eh!

Method 2 – Copy Update to Disc

The second way is to simply download the update from the Xbox.com website and then burn the update onto a disc. Then just pop the disc into your Xbox console and the update will start automatically.

This method is useful if you have no access to the Internet. You can then burn a disc and give it to a friend or burn a disc at the office and apply the update at home, etc.

Those are basically the only two ways to update an Xbox that is not connected to the Internet! If you have any problems, post a comment here and I will try to help.

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  1. Jules says:

    GREAT TUTORIAL! I borrowed my friends Xbox 360 and he hadn't updated it in forever. I have a slow Internet connection, so I followed your tips and downloaded the update at my office. Thanks!

  2. seema210 says:

    Downloaded $SystemUpdate_Fall09_8955.zip file through broad band connection.

    1. Unzipped update file
    2. Copied $SystemUpdate file onto pen drive fat32
    3. Inserted the pen drive in xbox 360
    4. Restarted xbox 360
    5. XBox 360 should start update automatically
    6. Not showing update file

    Please help for updating xbox 360!

  3. devon says:

    Seema210… the $SystemUpdate file has a group of files in it… I haven't tried yet but I believe you really need to extract the actual files themselves to the drive (i.e. the individual files)…

  4. heroicslug says:

    I don't have a HDD on my 360. Question: Will this still work, or do I need a hard drive/memory unit? Obviously I have a flash drive, but I mean Xbox 360 memory card.

  5. pentanol says:

    I tried both the memory stick and the CD, but the console is not recognizing the files. Is there a fool-proof way to force the system to run the update files?

  6. dude says:

    I am unable to update my XBox using your method. What do do?

  7. Jeremy says:

    how to update xbox 360

    REQUIREMENTS:

    1. A XBOX 360 HDD OR MEM UNIT.

    2. THE LATEST UPDATE.

    PROCEDURES

    3. AFTER DOWNLOADING EXTRACT THE UPDATE FILES TO THE ROOT OF THE DRIVE THAT MEANS THE TOP MOST LEVEL OF YOUR FLASH DRIVE.

    4. CONNECT THE FLASH DRIVE TO A USB PORT OF YOUR XBOX 360 THEN TURN ON AND CHOOSE YES TO START THE UPDATE.

    5. AFTER THE UPDATE THE XBOX 360 WILL RESTART AFTER THAT THE NEW DASHBOARD WILL APPEAR.

    6. YOUR DONE.

  8. Houseofari says:

    I do not have an internet connection nor do I have a hard drive. I have downloaded the above mentioned update, but how do I update a game? I have downloaded a fifa update (freeze bug!) with a very weird numeric extension and I know I should put this on a Hard drive to work (partition 3 bla bla), but since I don't have one, can I autorun it somehow (usb or burn it on dual layer) or link it to the fifa .iso somehow and burn it again (yes, I burn dual layers etc etc).

  9. Jeremy says:

    You need the internet and at least a memory unit to update your XBox games.

  10. Hossam says:

    i do follow the steps and extract files into the root of the flash, plug it in the XBOX consol but xbox couldn't recognize nor show me any thing

    it show the dashboard as if there is no flash pluged in

    the root of the flash now contain numbered files along with "system.manifest"

    can any one help me?

  11. cool_boy2010 says:

    Thanks alot!!!

  12. Houseofari says:

    @ Jeremy,

    Thanks for your reply, but I meant that I do have an internet connection, it just isn't connected to my XBOX. The Fifa 10 update is named:

    TU_12K225S_000000O000000.00000000000G6

    How can I update my XBOX with this file? Or should it recognize it automatically?

  13. venom says:

    guys the USB flashdisk update for the xbox360 really works…

    download the latest file update (april 2010): http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/D/8/1D8C

    after download is finished extract the zip file in your usb flashdisk

    note: the usb flashdisk must be FAT32 formated

    note: just name the root folder as "$SystemUpdate" in the usb flashdisk

    plug-in your usb flashdisk on the usb slot of the xbox360 while console is on, the message will prompt, just continue the steps…your xbox360 will restart.

    now you can configure your usb flashdisk as a harddrive for your xbox360 console

    enjoy!

  14. silentA55A55IN says:

    I think that I can clarify things for everyone. After you extract the .zip file there will be a folder that says $SystemUpdate_Fall09_8955. After you open that folder there will be ANOTHER folder called $SystemUpdate. If you open THAT folder you will find the actual update.

    One reason that the xbox 360 won't recognize the update is because it is located in a folder within a folder. To fix this, simply copy the folder with the actual update within it ($SystemUpdate) to the root of your USB drive. Make sure there is only one folder with the actual update information in it. From my experience, it does not matter what USB device you use, as long as it is FAT32 formatted. I used my iPod.

    Hope this helps. :)

  15. Mikhail says:

    Thanks, bro. I needed this desperately, cause i have a 5 year-old baby, and I promised him I'll fix the box so he can play. Thank you so much men!

  16. safile says:

    1. Unzipped update file
    2. Copied $SystemUpdate file onto pen drive fat32
    3. Inserted the pen drive in xbox 360
    4. Restarted xbox 360
    5. XBox 360 should start update automatically
    6. Not showing update file

    Please help for updating xbox 360

  17. TJ88 says:

    Man, you are a GENIUS!!!!

    Thanks alot!!

  18. Joco84 says:

    I have tried it all, USB, made discs, tried multiple hard drives. Nothing! Nothing is working. I cannot get past a screen that says the disc is not being read. That is the only screen that it will show. I turn it on it goes to that screen no matter what I try!

    Help! I have not found anything online up to this point that was of any use for this particular problem. Thanks.

  19. DustyMeatcake says:

    hi i just bought my mates xbox off him he has deleted all the data off the hard drive therefore the newest update is not on there, so my xbox just keeps saying "please insert hard drive or update". would the CD method make it work ? thanks oliver

  20. AliReza says:

    I did what you said, but my Xbox doesn't recognize CD and just says "mixed media." What should I do?

    Thanks for your help!

  21. shay says:

    Hi!

    I tried to download the update to my USB stick (formatted to FAT32), but when I plug it into my xbox, it doesn't update automatically like it should.

    Also tried downloading it to a CD – same thing.

    The USB stick can be read (I can see the folder if I go into "view movies for instance"), but the update doesn't kick in. I don't have access to xbox live.

    Any ideas on how to get xbox to update with the system folder if it doesn't do it automatically?

  22. Seven Numbers says:

    I have the Internet connection, and when I test the xbox live connection it goes through and it gives me this message: Do you want to apply the update? Then, I select yes and it doesn't load.

    Any suggestions?

  23. wassay says:

    I tried doing this but the when I put the DVD-R into the xbox, it said mixed media disc and no such thing as an update came.

    Please help!

  24. bigsmoke616 says:

    My old xbox updated by itself without live internet or update disk. But, the next day when I turned it back on the update was gone. When it was on there, I made an avatar and had new backgrounds and dashboard, but, like I said, when I turned it back on it was all gone.

  25. matt says:

    It isn't working for the burning on the disk thing. I think that my dad is doing something wrong.

    Can somebody please help?

  26. TheFree33333 says:

    Will this include the patches for the games as well?

    EG Gta IV Update, Risen Updated.

    Or just a mech update?

    Thanks.

  27. UpInArms says:

    This post is over a year old and the linked update file is obsolete. For a current update file go here -> support.xbox.com/en-us/pages/xbox-360/how-to/update-xbox-360/system-updates.aspx.

  28. Neurojester says:

    Is there a way to copy game updates from one xbox to another? I am on a base in Afghanistan and the other guys can't update COD BO. I want to get them the update off mine, but it won't copy.

    Any suggestions?

  29. Jstn says:

    I bought my xbox 360 a year ago, can i use my usb modem or phone as a modem to connect to the internet, plz help… cause i really need 2 update it

  30. Aiman says:

    i usually update my X-box thru games but when i bought WE/PES 2012 my x-box cannot download the updates.

    i tried copied the updates from xbox.com but nothing happen.

    if anyone encounter same problem & have the solution for this, i would appreciate if the person inform me thru my email.

    Thanks

  31. RIthvyk says:

    hey man is it possible to do with the new 360 SLIM????

  32. silent1 says:

    Does update xbox 360 affect my console if I jailbreak my console to play with the pirated disk game?

  33. anthony says:

    so like does this work on game updates too?

  34. Shoulders says:

    My modded 360 gives me an e66 error and will not finish the update. Have been searching for days.. How do I resolve this issue?

  35. joel says:

    this was BS it did not work at all! this is what people should do if you do not have the internet. if you have the xbox elite buy a wireless abpater and look for someones wifi that they have open and update your xbox on xbox live. if you can't do that then take your xbox to a friends house and ask if they can update it for you.

  36. soldeir 9 says:

    im sure yous have friends..at least 1 with a good internet connection. bring your xbox 360 to their place n update it there (ask first),, they will probly say yes, if not,, kick them, call them a monkey and run away ;)

  37. Eng_Ali says:

    You guys are Brilliant I just followed exactly what you said and it’s piece of cake..!!

  38. Zac says:

    i Have the same problem. and on my computer it comes up as XEX file and i cant open them

  39. ace says:

    MY OLD XBOX HAS BE IN MY CLOSET FOR LIKE 4 YEARS . I brought it out and turned it on and it told me i had to update it with a disk that i dont have .what should i do

  40. Langa says:

    hi,

    I have been trying to update my xbox with a game and from a usb using the update I downloaded on the xbox support site, but it doesnt seem to work. Can you maybe advise on how to resolve this?

    thank you

    Linda

  41. problem solf says:

    I wanna ask something, i dont have xbox HDD and MEM unit can i still update with flash drive or cd/dvd method???? Thanks anyway

  42. Yashaswi says:

    Same problem.

  43. Kaltyan says:

    XBOX sucks..should not by microsoft products…I was trying to update using USB and it didn’t work…and support team could not figure out why.

  44. crystal says:

    I only have a smartphone. can I not download it and use my usb cord to install it to my xbox360 for the kinect ?

  45. lindsay says:

    hi there

    Can you help me with my Xbox Kenetic 360. I am trying to upgrade. When I want to watch movies from a USB stick it tells me I need to upgrade first buy Xbox live I don’t have internet at home so I have a computer at work where I can download can you help me please?

  46. shawn says:

    I’ve got a xbox360 slim which came with a 250gb hard drive. Someone has stolen my hard drive and now when I turn the console on, it has a error message that the disc needs to be installed in order to finish the update. I put the disc in and a 16gb flash drive and it still won’t do anything. I tried to download the update zip file onto a flash drive but I don’t think I did it right because it still isn’t working! Do the new slims have to have a hard drive to work?

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