How to Play Xbox 360 on a Laptop with HDMI


how to play xbox 360 on laptop with hdmi

If you own an Xbox 360 and an older laptop with an HDMI port, you probably thought about playing your incredible collection of Xbox games using the laptop’s display. While Full HD TVs are not very expensive, they are also not very portable. Or perhaps you just want to make use of that old hardware lying around.

However, there is one issue that arises. Your laptop must have an HDMI input port, not an HDMI output port. 

Unfortunately, most laptops have HDMI out so that you can use the laptop with a TV, monitor, or another type of external display. If you do have an HDMI input port, here is how to play Xbox 360 on a laptop with HDMI.

Playing Xbox 360 on a Laptop Using an HDMI Input Port

If your laptop does have an HDMI input port, then the process is fairly straightforward. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how it is done:

  1. Turn off the Xbox 360 and make sure that all programs on the laptop are closed.
  2. Insert the HDMI cable into the Xbox HDMI port that is located on the back of the Xbox 360.
  3. Take the other part of the HDMI cable and plug it into the laptop’s HDMI input port.
  4. Turn on the Xbox 360 and you should see the Xbox 360 automatically start working on the laptop’s display.
  5. Enjoy your Xbox 360 games on your laptop display.

Do not worry if the laptop does not recognize the input automatically. There is a big chance that it will not work right away. You can try to fix this by rebooting both the laptop and the Xbox 360. You can try plugging the HDMI cable in only when both devices are off or vice versa.

You may have to find an option to turn on the HDMI input port, which is most likely located in the BIOS. Since all BIOSes are different, you can check how to do it for your specific model on the manufacturer’s website or try to find it yourself if you are feeling brave. To open the BIOS, simply shut down the laptop and then mash the BIOS button to open it when it is turning on. The most common BIOS buttons are F1, F2, F10, F11, F12, Esc, and Del. 

Fixing Sound Issues

how to play xbox 360 on laptop with hdmi

There is also a big chance that the image will work, but the sound will not. You can probably fix this in the laptop’s sound settings, which you can find in the Control Panel or the bottom right corner of the display. 

Here is how to do it:

  1. Click on the upward arrow in the bottom right corner of the Windows taskbar.
  2. Right-click the icon with the speaker.
  3. Open sound settings.
  4. On older versions of Windows 10, it will bring you right where you want to be. On newer versions of Windows 10, you can try choosing a different output device at the top of the new menu to see how it works.
  5. If the Xbox 360 is not shown, go to “Manage sound devices”. If the Xbox 360 has been disabled, enable and choose it.
  6. If you see it shown, but it is not working, you need to go back to the “Sound” menu and click on “Sound Control Panel”.
  7. Right-click on the Xbox 360 and click “Properties”.
  8. Go to “Advanced” and make sure that you check the box saying “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device”.
  9. Restart the Xbox 360 and the laptop and check if it works. If it does not, you may have to enable the sound output in the Xbox 360 settings.

Playing Xbox 360 on a Laptop Without an HDMI Input Port

If your laptop has an HDMI input, consider yourself lucky. Only a handful of laptops have been made with an HDMI input port. Most other laptops use an HDMI output port, which makes more sense because a laptop is an independent computer that can take advantage of a larger display to watch movies, listen to music, or play games. The most famous laptops that have HDMI input ports are some older Alienware laptops like the M18x and the Alienware 18.

If your laptop does not have an HDMI input port, then you can use an adapter or a capture device. Before even considering this, you must understand that there will be a significant delay between when you press something and when it actually happens in the game. This is due to the input lag that adapters and capture cards add.

Watching movies and playing music is not an issue, but you can already do that on the laptop directly. You are most likely here because you want to play some games. Try to find an HDMI to USB adapter that is made for gamers. Note that most of these devices are very expensive so you should probably only use one if you already own it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Stream Xbox 360 Games Wirelessly to My Laptop?

Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 does not support game streaming to Windows 10. You need to have a newer Xbox to do that. You cannot install Miracast or Spacedesk on your Xbox 360. 

See Related Topic: How to Remove the Hard Drive from a Dell Laptop

Can You Change HDMI Output to Input on a Laptop?

No, you cannot do that on almost all laptops. Some laptops have a single HDMI port for both the input and output, which are mostly gaming laptops, such as the Alienware 18. This is probably because most laptop manufacturers do not expect you to use the laptop’s display for such tasks.

The logic behind gaming laptops having HDMI input ports is that the manufacturers feel so confident about the displays they put in their high-end laptops that they think people will want to use them with a newer computer or gaming console. This makes more sense because some gaming laptops have very good high resolution, high refresh rate IPS displays that look like gaming monitors.

Are Capture Cards Worth It?

You should only get a capture card if you have to use it outside this usage scenario of connecting the Xbox 360 to your laptop. Otherwise, it is much cheaper and better to get a low-end Full HD TV or a monitor. Even if you use a capture card, the input lag will make all games unplayable and not very enjoyable.

Can You Use a Laptop as a Monitor?

Now that we established that your Xbox 360 will not be able to use the laptop as a monitor, let’s talk about using the laptop’s display in general. You can use programs like Miracast and Spacedesk to use the display by streaming it through another device that supports it, such as an Xbox One or another computer.


Unless you have one of those gaming laptops with HDMI input ports, you will not be able to connect the Xbox 360 to the laptop and use it as a display. Even if your laptop does have an HDMI input port, there is a big chance that you will have to do some troubleshooting with both the image and sound before it starts working properly.

While you can use a capture device that you already own to connect the Xbox 360 using an HDMI cable, the experience will not be very enjoyable due to the significant input lag. Unless you are planning to play a puzzle game, you will not have an enjoyable experience.

If you do not already have a capture card, do not buy it because it is very expensive. What you want to do instead is look for a cheap TV or monitor to connect the laptop. The reason why most laptops do not have an HDMI input port but only an HDMI output one is that the usage scenario is very rare and unexpected.

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About the Author Marcus

Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.

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