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Why Is There A Burning Smell Coming From My Xbox Series S?

Xbox consoles are designed with the best thermal management and safety features, but things can still go wrong. A burning smell is a serious indicator that something isn’t right. So what could be causing the burning smell coming from your Xbox Series S?

Dust build-up, overheating, and electrical damage are the most likely causes of a burning smell from an Xbox Series S console. However, some brand new consoles might also emit a faint burning smell when they’re first turned on, which is normal and should go away after a short time.

It’s normal for your Xbox Series S to get warm when you’re using it for an extended time. However, any burning smell should be taken seriously, and you should immediately investigate the source. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common causes of a burning smell coming from your Xbox Series S.

Possible Causes of a Burning Smell

There are several potential reasons why there might be a burning smell from your Xbox Series S, and we’ll discuss each one below. But before we do, it’s important to note that a burning smell can be a serious issue.

If you’re experiencing a burning smell, it’s highly recommended to take your console to a qualified technician for diagnosis and repair. A trained professional will be able to properly diagnose the cause of the smell and fix it without damaging your console further.

Now, on to the possible causes:


The most likely cause of a burning smell coming from your Xbox Series S is an overheating issue.

Gaming consoles like Xbox are high-performance devices that generate a lot of heat. And while the Xbox Series S has an excellent built-in cooling system that does a great job of dissipating heat, prolonged use or malfunctioning components can cause the console to overheat.

If your Xbox Series S is overheating, you’ll likely notice the console getting warmer than usual and the fan kicking into high gear in an attempt to cool things down. But in some cases, the overheating can be severe enough to cause damage to the console or even start a fire.

That’s why it’s so important to take action as soon as you notice any burning smell coming from your Xbox Series S.


Dust build-up can also cause the overheating issue mentioned above. When a thick layer of dust accumulates on the vents and fan of the Xbox Series S, it blocks the airflow and prevents proper heat dissipation.

As a result, the console overheats, leading to a burning smell.

Electrical Damage

Another potential cause of a burning smell from your Xbox Series S is electrical damage. While rare, it’s still a possibility, especially if your console has been damaged in some way or if it’s been exposed to water.

Defective power outlets or surge protectors can also cause electrical damage to your console.

New Console Smell

Another harmless but potentially annoying cause of a burning smell from your Xbox console is the “new console smell.”

It’s not uncommon to notice a faint burning smell when you first start using a new Xbox Series S. This is because plastic and other materials used in the manufacturing can emit an odor when they get heated for the first time. The smell should dissipate within a few hours of use and is nothing to worry about.

However, if the burning smell persists or gets stronger, it’s a sign that something is wrong, and you should contact Xbox support to get help.

How Can You Prevent the Xbox Series S From Overheating?

Like most problems in life, prevention is always better than having to find a cure. The same goes for overheating issues with your Xbox Series S.

Here are a few general tips to help keep your Xbox Series S running smoothly and prevent overheating:

  • Try to keep your console in a temperature-controlled room that’s between 41˚F and 95˚F (or 5˚C and 35˚C)
  • Avoid using the console in direct sunlight or near heat sources like fireplaces or radiators.
  • Always use the official power supply that comes with your Xbox Series S.
  • Avoid surge protectors or power strips. If you must use one, make sure it’s properly rated and has built-in circuitry to prevent power fluctuations.
  • If you notice your console starting to overheat, take a break from gaming and allow it to cool down completely.
  • Consider using a console stands and external cooling fans to elevate your Xbox Series S and improve airflow, especially if you’re a heavy gamer. We recommend the YUANHOT Cooling Stand (on Amazon).
  • Regularly clean your console and make sure the vents and fan on your Xbox Series S aren’t blocked by dust or other debris.
  • Never open your Xbox Series S or attempt to repair it yourself. This voids the warranty and can cause further damage.
  • Never expose your Xbox Series S to water. If it does get wet, turn it off immediately and unplug all the cables. Then, contact Xbox Support for further instructions.

Location and Positioning

The position and location of your Xbox Series S can have a significant impact on its performance and how well it dissipates heat.

Place the console on a level surface in an open area. It should also be at least 4-6 inches away from other objects like walls or furniture, to allow for proper airflow.

If you’re keeping your console in an entertainment center or TV stand, make sure it’s well ventilated. Avoid placing anything on top of the console that could block the vents and impact airflow.

The Xbox Series S can technically be placed in the horizontal or vertical position. However, it’s recommended to use the vertical position as it allows for better airflow and heat dissipation.

Lastly, avoid placing the Xbox on soft surfaces like carpets or blankets; they can impede airflow and contribute to dust accumulation.

How Do You Clean the Xbox Series S?

Microsoft recommends cleaning your Xbox Series S every 3-6 months or whenever you notice dust build-up on the vents and fan. Here’s another article about Xbox Series S cleaning tips to remove dust and to prevent overheating.

To clean your Xbox Series S:

  1. Turn off the console and unplug all the cables.
  2. Use a can of compressed air (on Amazon) to blow away any dust from the vents, fan, and other areas.
  3. You can also use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe down the console’s exterior. Dampen the cloth with water or isopropyl alcohol if needed, but avoid using any harsh cleaning solutions or chemicals.
  4. Once you’re done cleaning, allow the console to air dry completely before plugging it back in and turning it on.