Xbox February 2023 update new features

The February update for Xbox consoles brings new features and changes, and here's all you need to know.

Xbox Series X and S (source Microsoft)
Xbox Series X and S (source Microsoft)
  • The February 2023 update for Xbox rolls out.
  • The update brings carbon awareness changes for downloads.
  • You can now use Google Home as the remote and hide game art in Home.

Microsoft releases the February 2023 update for Xbox Series X and S consoles with the features and improvements and some changes for the Xbox One.

According to the official changes, the Xbox February 2023 update brings changes to save energy and reduce the carbon footprint when downloading games and updates. You can now disable game art from the home background. It’s now possible to use the Google Home app as the remote control for the console, and this update ships a few other changes.

Xbox February update new features

In this release, the company rolls out changes to the download mechanism to make sure that Xbox Series X, S, and One download games and system updates when the electricity comes from lower-carbon sources to save energy and lower the carbon footprint. Electrical grids supply power from various sources, including renewables and fossil fuels. In this update, Xbox will prioritize installing updates when more clean energy is being used, such as wind, solar, and hydro.

This feature is similar to carbon-aware changes for updates on Windows 11. Also, the new energy-efficient feature will only be available when the console is connected and regional carbon intensity data is available.

Furthermore, the February 2023 update makes the “Shutdown” option the default on all consoles to save even more energy (up to 20x when compared to “Sleep” mode). If you prefer the Sleep mode, you will have to change the setting manually using the active hours so that starting the console remains fast.

The Xbox update for February also enables the ability to use the Google Home app on Android devices as the remote control for the console. This is in addition to the voice controls that you can use with Google Assistant to manage your Xbox.

Google Home Xbox remote
Google Home Xbox remote (Source: Microsoft)

As part of the design changes, starting with this update, you will be able to hide game art in the background and display solid colors instead. The new option is available on Settings > General > Personalization > My background > Solid color and game art.

Xbox Home solid color
Xbox Home solid color (Source: Microsoft)

Furthermore, Microsoft is experimenting with different ways to improve the ability to “jump back” into a party. Once your console receives this update, you will need to go to the “Parties & Chats” tab in the guide and click on the “Party” or “Party History” button. “You’ll see a list of your previous parties, which you can use to restart one of those parties or create a new one.”

The Xbox February 2023 update is rolling out now to every console worldwide. However, if you can’t wait until it’s available to you automatically, you can force the update on Settings > System > Updates > Update console and tap the Start update button.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].