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Master Chief Collection freezing on Xbox One: How to fix

If you’re like me and have been craving to jump back into The Master Chief Collection, your nostalgic cravings may have taken a hit thanks to a number of frustrating, game-breaking bugs. One such bug is the game freezing on start-up on Xbox One, but I’ve figured out how to fix it.

Many Halo fans have wanted to jump back into The Master Chief Collection since the addition of Halo Reach back in late 2019. Perhaps one of the more underrated and less-talked about Halo games — at least behind the likes of Halo 3 and Halo 4 — the addition of Halo Reach to the collection has reignited interest in the value-packed compilation.

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The Master Chief Collection hasn’t had the best of life cycles: released back in November 2014, it was hampered by a number of in-game bugs, and, most notably, server and matchmaking issues that effectively rendered the game unplayable.

Given the fact that the game was initially being marketed as a system seller — and in many ways it should have sold consoles — it was a massive disappointment for Xbox fans, Microsoft, and 343 Industries, who had only recently taken over the Halo franchise from Bungie, starting with 2012’s Halo 4.

halo master chief collection xbox one

Since then, The Master Chief Collection has gone through a Battlefront 2-esque rival, with continued support, refinements and improvements working to improve the experience and offer the optimal Halo offering. The pack’s launch on PC has only further upped the ante for the title, alongside the launch of Halo Reach, which has long been in demand by the Halo community.

Now that The Master Chief Collection is available with Game Pass and in a much better state than it was last decade, you may feel inclined to jump back in on Xbox One. However, if you played the game in the past, you may find yourself struggling to even boot the game, reigniting frustrating post-launch memories of an unplayable game.

halo master chief collection xbox one

Freezing on Start Up

A number of players across numerous forums the internet over have noted since late 2019 a bug whereby the game lags on the opening screen.

As soon as the game prompts you to press start (or press the Menu button), the loading circle starts spinning, but then eventually locks, freezing the entire game with it, including the moving animations in the background. Strangely, the music continues as normal, leaving some to believe the game hadn’t actually froze, but was simply loading saves and syncing data.

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Unfortunately, that’s not the case: I left the game in that state for close to an hour, and nothing changed.

I then uninstalled and reinstalled numerous time, even changing the storage location across the internal storage, and two individual external HDDs. No dice, and the freezing continued.

halo master chief collection xbox one

Then, finally a revelation: occasionally, the game would ask me to login and then attempt to sync my save data. When it did this, it would progress smoothly — and for longer than normal — but then freeze again. On the occasions when it didn’t attempt to sync data, it froze almost immediately after I clicked the menu button.

That suggested to me an issue with my system and cloud saves, and so I bit the bullet, cleared the game’s saved data, and started again. Success! The game was loading, and I was off playing Halo 3.

halo master chief collection xbox one

How to fix The Master Chief Collection freezing on start up

This is fairly simple, but will involve you parting ways with any saves you had. Say your farewells and move on, because I haven’t come across another way to play The Master Chief Collection without doing this.

Step 1: Navigate to your My Games & Apps section

master chief collection freezing xbox one

Step 2: Navigate to The Master Chief Collection, press the Menu button, and select “Manage Game & Add-ons”

Step 3: Navigate to “Saved Data”, and then select your Gamertag profiles. Don’t click “Delete all”.

master chief collection freezing xbox one

Step 4: Click on “Delete everywhere”

master chief collection freezing xbox one

Step 5: Boot up The Master Chief Collection. It should now load as normal!

master chief collection freezing xbox one

And that’s it! It should all start working for you now. Let us know how you go and if you experienced any further issues in the comments below.

Jordi Lacerda

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

I mean, I have to delete my whole progress to make the game work? I just play the campaings, and had this problem in the middle of Halo 2. This just show the '''quality''' of 343's work.

Joost van Lankveld

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

I have tried the steps but unfortunately this did not work in my case. When I go offline and start the game its working properly but as soon as I connect to Xbox Live the game crashes. I have also tried to reset my xbox without any result. I connected another Xbox live account with gold and that account worked perfectly fine. Meaning that some how my account is corrupt and as soon as its online it crashes. Any suggestion?

Gaetano Prestia

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

That sucks :( When you boot it up, is it still asking to sync your save data? If it is, it may suggest that there is still some saved data someone that's being picked up by the game. A complete uninstall-reinstall may be your next best option. I just tried this method again and it worked for me. Sorry it couldn't get you through :(

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