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,, streaming Netflix, video chat, and Xbox Live parties.

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. Just scroll down to the Copy to a USB flash drive section and click on the Download the Update file link.

It’s a little over 100 MB. Make sure to not change the name of the downloaded ZIP file. 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 link above 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.

Comments [0]

  1. 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. 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?

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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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