Have an Xbox 360 that has stopped working? It is vital to understand the meaning of those flashing red lights on your console. Without it, you won’t know if the problem is a simple fix you can do or if you will have to send it in for repair.

Of course, when your Xbox is working properly, all the lights around the power button should be green. When the Xbox is not working properly, one or more of those lights should blink red. Each combination of flashing red lights indicates a different problem.

The following is a list of the red light error codes and what they mean:

1.) A single red light. This indicates a hardware failure. After turning off the console, the cables should be disconnected. Reconnect the cables and turn your Xbox back on. Repeat this procedure for the hard drive. That is, turn off the console, disconnect and reconnect the hard drive, then turn it back on. If you have a memory stick in your Xbox, remove and reconnect it after the power has been turned off. Then turn it back on.

This course of action will rule out problems due to improperly connected cables, hard drive, and memory unit.

2.) Two red lights. The console is getting too hot. Turn off your Xbox for a couple of hours to cool it down. Be sure to play in a ventilated space away from heat sources. These include things like a heater, electronics, or exposure to sunlight. Make sure the vents are not obstructed.

Keep in mind that you should avoid using your Xbox on shaggy rugs or the soft surface of your bed. The vents can be blocked by these types of surfaces.

3.) Three lights. The console or its power supply has a hardware problem. The complete troubleshooting procedure would be an article in itself. However, the short version of this is that the three red light condition can occur because the Xbox is not getting enough power or because it is overheating.

Starting with the 110 volt outlet on your wall, make sure the power cords are connected properly. If the power supply light is not green, the console is not getting enough power. Use the suggestions for the two red light condition to deal with overheating.

4.) Four lights. It has a loose AV cable. Reconnect the cable or replace it if necessary.

So there you have it. Explanation of red light error codes. The three red lights error is the most complex and is really beyond the scope of this article. However, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding more information about it online.

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