How do I deal with an E203 error on an Xbox One?

E203 error on Xbox One
Update hell: work out how to beat the E203 error

Has your Xbox One updated recently? Now looking at nothing more than an E203 error screen? Yep, you and me both. And Microsoft’s advice on dealing with this error is about as much use as a windscreen wiper on a submarine.

E203 error on an Xbox One

As you can see from the screenshot above, the error message gives you two options: restart this Xbox or troubleshoot. Restarting the Xbox simply forces the update process to run again, but that didn’t fix the problem in my case.

Naturally, the next step is to choose troubleshoot, and here the options are misleading. There are options to (once again) restart or turn the Xbox off, which are self-explanatory. Then there’s the offline update, in which you use your PC to download the Xbox update to a USB stick and then attempt to install from that, which is a massive faff and requires a USB stick with at least 4GB of free space.

The final, horribly misleading option is to ‘Reset the Xbox’. Now, like me, you might think this would immediately wipe the system and send it back to the same state it left the factory, taking all your installed games and saves with it. However, there are two further options once you select reset. The first allows you to keep all your installed games, apps and saves; the second wipes the lot. I’d consider the second the nuclear option if the first doesn’t work.

Thankfully, the first reset option worked in my case, bringing the console fully up-to-date with the latest Xbox dashboard, which is a big improvement on the last version. You still have to re-enter your Xbox Live account details and go through several other configuration steps, but it’s nothing like as bad as wiping the console and starting from scratch.

One final tip: when you reach the E203 error screen, you might find you have trouble selecting from the different options. That’s because this screen bizarrely disables the directional¬†analog stick. Use the D-Pad in the bottom left of the controller instead.

Now read this:¬†why does my Xbox get warm even after it’s switched off?


About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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