How to fix Xbox One error 8027025A: Game “took too long to start”


Update: First, read all through this and decide if you want to potentially cancel a download that’s already in progress. If not, maybe try this other fix — designed to help unstick Xbox One downloads — first!

Original story: After a long day of work, you’re ready to sit down and enjoy some gaming time. You sign into your console, hover over the Overwatch pin and hit A.

Then you wait. And wait. And wait.

After a minute or two, the game’s splash screen crashes back to Home, and you’re presented with error message 8027025A. It tells you, for some reason, your game “took too long to start”. Repeated attempts to launch the game result in the same error.

The error is real, and unfortunately, it’s happening to a lot of people. Our chats with Microsoft would suggest otherwise, with the publisher saying it’s not aware of users with this issue; a look on Twitter, however, tells another story.

Stevivor HQ’s two Xbox One consoles have both been affected by this error for the better part of two months. We’ve tried everything we could think of to fix the problem, from dropping out of the Preview Program, to ditching our external hard drives, to the worst-case scenario of a factory reset each time the error popped up. Simply put, we were getting quite sick of the error. Then, we’ve stumbled upon a fix that seems to work every single time — and best yet, you don’t need to wipe your console to do it.

Our never-fail fix

Each time we encountered the 8027025A error on Xbox One or Xbox One S, we noticed that the affected console was in the middle of downloading a background update for another title. By heading into My Games and Apps and cancelling that update, the error disappeared and the game we wanted to actually play booted up without issue.

Here’s how to cancel a background install:

  • Navigate to My Games & Apps
  • Go to the Queue
  • Highlight an update, hit options and then Uninstall

The above kills the game in question entirely, which sucks, but it made it so we could actually use our Xbox One again.

Since discovering this issue, we’ve encountered the 8027025A error four times and have fixed it on the first attempt each time using this method. It does need to be said that the downloads and games launched are installing to or launched from an external hard drive attached to the console.

Is it a permanent fix?

Well, no. You have to cancel background downloads that affect game launches whenever the error occurs.

That kinda sucks.

Yes, it very much does… but until Microsoft acknowledges or fixes the issue, it’s the best we’ve got.

Let us know in the comments if this fix works for you — or if you’ve another remedy!