This problem prevents Xbox One users from changing the resolution to a value higher than 640 x 480. If the user goes to Display & Sound > Video Output, the only available Display resolution is 640 x 480, even though the TV or monitor is capable of higher resolutions.
What is causing the ‘Stuck in 640 x 480 resolution’ issue?
- The auto-detect feature is malfunctioning – In most cases, this issue will be caused by a firmware inconsistency that is not yet patched. When connecting your console to a new TV with the Auto-Detect feature enabled, your console may assume that the lower resolution is the only option available and hide all the other display modes. In this case, you can fix the issue by disabling the Auto-Detect feature and choosing HDMI manually.
- Firmware issue – A firmware issue originating in the temp folder of your console can also be responsible for the apparition of this issue. If this scenario is applicable, you can fix the problem by performing a power cycling procedure to clear the temp folders and drain the power capacitors.
- Unexpected console shutdown – If you recently experienced a power source or your console was forcefully turned off while an update was installing, it’s likely that some kind of system corruption ends up causing this problem. To fix it, you can perform a console reset (a soft reset or a hard reset).
- Faulty HDMI cable – As it’s been confirmed by several different users, this particular issue can also occur due to a faulty HDMI cable that is preventing your console from establishing the display capabilities of your TV. In this case, the only fix is to replace the HDMI cable with a different one (new or used).
Method 1: Disabling Display Auto-detect
If you’re encountering the issue after trying to connect this Xbox One console to this TV for the first time, there’s a big chance that the issue is being caused by a firmware inconsistency that wasn’t yet patched (even though the issue is more than 1 year old).
As it turns out, the issue is most likely caused bu the Auto-Detect feature that is supposed to pick the best video settings for you. But in reality, chances are it will not only select the worst resolution available, but it will also prevent you from changing to a higher resolution (unless you disable it first).
Several affected users have confirmed that they were able to fix the issue by accessing the Video Fidelity & Overscan in the Settings menu and override their recommended TV settings.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can do the same thing to boost your Xbox One resolution beyond 640 x 480:
- Press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the guide menu. Once you see it, use it to access the Settings menu.
- Once you’re inside the Settings menu, navigate to Display & Sound > Video Output > Video Fidelity & Overscan.
- Once you’re inside the Video Fidelity & overscan menu, look under the column listed as Display and you should see a TV connection with a drop-down menu. By default, it’s set to Auto-Detect (Recommended). To fix the issue, change it to HDMI, and then confirm that you want to override your TV settings.
- After you manage to complete and confirm the operation, return to the Display menu and change the resolution normally. You should now see the full list of available resolutions (not just 640 x 480).
If you followed this method and you were still unable to change the resolution on your Xbox One console, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 2: Performing a power cycling procedure
As it’s been confirmed by several different affected users, this issue can also occur due to some kind of firmware issue that is inhibiting your console’s ability to switch the TV resolution to higher tiers (even if your TV is perfectly capable of doing this).
On Xbox One, the vast majority of issues that originate from the firmware component can be ultimately resolved via a manual power cycling procedure. This operation will drain the power capacitors of your console, clearing any temporary data that might trigger this problem.
Here’s a quick guide on performing a power cycle on Xbox One:
- With the console fully turned on, press and hold the Xbox button on the front of your console (keep it pressed for 10 seconds or until you see that the front LED stops flashing).
- Once your Xbox One machine is turned off, wait a full minute before attempting to turn it back on.
Note: If you want to ensure that the operation is successful, you can also disconnect the power cable from the power outlet and wait a couple of seconds before plugging it back in.
- Start the Xbox One console again by pressing the Xbox button again (but this time don’t keep it pressed). Pay attention to the next startup procedure and see if you manage to spot the animation logo. If you see it, take it as confirmation that the power cycling procedure was successful.
- Once the next startup is complete, go to Display & Sound > Video Output and see if you are now able to adjust the resolution of your console.
If you’re still having the same issues, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Performing a soft/hard reset
As it turns out, this issue can also occur due to some kind of system corruption. In most cases, this issue will be caused by an unexpected console shutdown or by an interruption during the installation of a new firmware update.
Several affected users that were also encountering this problem have confirmed that they managed to fix the issue by doing a soft reset on the Xbox One console. This procedure will end up resetting any files belonging to the firmware and software components – but it will allow you to keep your data (installed games, connected Microsoft account and every user setting).
Here’s a quick guide on doing a factory reset on Xbox One:
- Make sure the Xbox One Console is fully turned on.
- On your Xbox One controller, press the Xbox One button to open up the guide menu. Next, make your way to System > Settings > System > Console Info.
- After you manage to get to the correct menu, select the Reset console option from the Console Info menu.
- From the next Reset console menu, choose Reset and keep my games & apps from the available options.
Note: If you want to do a hard reset instead, choose Reset and remove everything instead. But keep in mind that this operation will end up deleting everything (including every installed game, personal media like screenshots or video recordings)
- Wait until the process is complete, then restart your console if it doesn’t do so automatically. Once your console boots back up, attempt to change the resolution again by going to Display & Sound > Video Output and see if the issue is resolved.
If the same issue is still occurring and you’re still unable to adjust your display resolution, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 4: Changing the HDMI cord
As several different users have confirmed, this particular issue can also appear if you were dealing with an HDMI issue. Your HDMI cable may be faulty, so your console is unable to establish the display capabilities of the connected device (your TV or Monitor).
If this scenario is applicable, the only viable fix is to replace the faulty HDMI cable with a new one that doesn’t have the same problem. You likely have a spare HDMI cable laying around in the house – and even if you don’t, you can probably take one from a different device just to test to see if you indeed dealing with an HDMI issue.