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xboxhome“Xbox, Watch TV.” “Xbox, Go to Forza Motorsport 5.” “Xbox, Mute.”

These are just a few of the phrases you can say in your living room that Microsoft’s newest console will recognize.

With the Xbox One, Microsoft is making a big bet on voice commands — significantly expanding the vocabulary of words recognized by the new Kinect sensor to let users navigate to different parts of the experience by saying “Xbox,” and then a command.

In the video above, I run through some of the more basic Xbox commands. I’ve been testing out the console for a few days now and feel comfortable navigating with my voice. The learning curve is a little steep, but once you get it down, it’s often easier than using a controller or remote.

xboxoneAs you’ll see in the video, sometimes the console has a little trouble picking up your voice, especially if you aren’t being clear. “Xbox Watch TV,” and “Xbox Bing,” sound alike, as do “Go to Store,” and “Go to Internet Explorer.” But for the most part, I’ve been impressed with the Kinect’s ability to hear my voice.

My colleague Todd Bishop and I last night wrote about our personal experiences this week with the Xbox One. The consensus: For the most part, we’ve found that the new Microsoft console lives up to the company’s promise — if you take the time to properly configure the machine and learn the voice commands for navigating the interface quickly.

Here’s a rundown of the basic Xbox One commands. Important to note that each app can also have specific commands built-in. For example, on the Internet Explorer app, saying “Scroll up,” or “Scroll down,” will do so.


“Xbox on” — Wakes up Xbox One, turns on television and cable/satellite set-top box

“Xbox turn off” — Puts Xbox One to sleep/off, can turn off television and cable/satellite set-top box after user says “yes.”

“Xbox” — Shows menu of global voice command options and beings listening for next command

“Xbox select” — Shows voice command options for everything on the screen that is supported. Shows channel shortcuts during full screen TV viewing.

“Stop listening” — Stops Kinect from listening or cancels voice commands if Kinect is triggered during casual conversation

“Xbox help” — Shows help menu with available options

“Xbox use a code” — Triggers Kinect code scanning for QR codes for game downloads.

“Xbox show notification” — Shows on-screen notification(s)


“Xbox sign in/out,” or “Xbox sign in as [person]” — Signs in/out an Xbox Live member


“Xbox record that” — Records the previous 30 seconds of gameplay, which you can edit and add voiceovers or picture-in-picture video recording with Kinect. You can share these clips only with Xbox Live friends for now.

“Xbox start a party” — Launches the Party app in Snap mode


“Xbox volume up/down, Xbox mute/unmute” — Controls volume of TV set or AV receiver, if you’ve enabled it in the settings


“Xbox go home,” or, “Xbox show my stuff” — Returns to Home dashboard

“Xbox go to [activity]” — Launches specific games, TV shows, apps, notifications and sections of the dashboard

“Xbox show menu” — In full screen, shows menu for whatever is on the screen. In Home, shows menu for whatever is in the current window.

“Xbox go back” — Returns to previous screen or menu option

“Xbox Snap [app]” — Launches activity in Snap mode

“Xbox unsnap” — Unsnaps activity in Snap mode

“Xbox switch” — Switches control of the activities in Snap mode and Fill mode


“Xbox Skype [person],” or “Xbox call [person]” — Launches Skype call to a person from your Skype favorites list on your Xbox One

“Xbox answer/answer without video” — Answers incoming Skype call

“Xbox hang up” — Ends Skype call

“Xbox send message” — Sends message to your Xbox Live friends


“Xbox watch TV” — Launches cable or satellite TV from set-top box

“Xbox watch [channel]” — Changes cable or satellite TV to specific channel when channel shortcuts are showing

“Xbox show guide,” or “Xbox OneGuide” — Launches OneGuide for cable or satellite TV subscribers.


”Xbox play/stop/pause/fast forward/rewind/faster/ slower/skip forward/skip backward/next song/ previous song” —` Controls for media playback, play and pause. Also works on both music and video

“Xbox play [music/video]” — Launches video and music playback


“Browse to [website]” — Browses to a specific website when in Internet Explorer

“Xbox Bing [item(s)]” — Launches Bing, then searches for specific item(s).

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