Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

Making Xbox One Web Browsing More Practical

Although you can browse the Internet from your Xbox One console, doing so might not always be a great experience. The screen resolution can make Web pages difficult to read, and entering URLs or filling out web forms from an Xbox Controller can be a tedious process. This article shows you how to vastly improve the experience of browsing the web through your Xbox One.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

When I first found out that Xbox One was going to include a full-blown copy of Internet Explorer, I was thrilled. Often, my wife and I sit in the living room late at night watching YouTube videos or browsing the web trying to research our next adventure to some far-off place. Normally, we use a laptop or a tablet, but the idea of doing it on a large screen intrigued me. In my mind, using the Xbox for web surfing would be a great way to reduce eyestrain, while also eliminating the constant problem of my cat trying to take a nap on the keyboard while we surf the web.

I have to admit that when I launched Internet Explorer on my Xbox One for the first time, the experience was disappointing. The video resolution really wasn’t very good, and it was a pain to enter long URLs or to fill out web forms using an Xbox controller. Thankfully, I have found a few workarounds that have made the experience better. I want to share with you some of my tips and tricks for making web browsing on the Xbox One more practical.

The Video Resolution Problem

The first problem that I had to address was the video resolution problem. After all, there really wasn’t much point in using the Xbox One as a web browser if the resolution was so poor that the screen was difficult to read. Thankfully, this ended up being a relatively easy problem to fix.

My display resolution ended up being the result of using an older TV. My TV supported 1080i resolution, but not 1080P. Xbox One doesn’t support 1080i. Because Xbox One could tell that my television wasn’t capable of displaying 1080P resolution, it defaulted to using 720P. My solution was obviously to use a different TV, but I still had to manually adjust the display resolution.

To check your display resolution, go to the Xbox Home screen and click Settings. Next, click Display and Sound. The Display and Sound screen includes settings for adjusting your display resolution.

Voice Commands

Another thing that inhibited the practicality of browsing the web through the Xbox One was that entering URLs through an Xbox controller was a tedious process. Fortunately, Xbox Kinect can help with that to some degree.

As you probably already know, Kinect is designed to accept voice commands. There are two main commands that you can use with Internet Explorer.

The first of these commands is “Browse To.” Simply say this command and then save the name of the website that you want to go to. This command tends to work best when you are going to a well-known website such as Google or Amazon.com. Kinect is probably going to have trouble understanding less common URLs. 

The other voice command that you can use is “Xbox Bing.” Simply say this command, followed by the phrase that you want to search on, and Xbox One launches Bing and searches for your query. Again however, you have to experiment with this technique because accuracy might be a problem when it comes to performing less common searches by voice. More important, the Xbox Bing command searches only for movies, music, and games. It is not a generalized web search. For that you must manually visit a search engine site.

The Missing Keyboard

Using voice commands can help make web browsing easier in certain situations, but it doesn’t work for everything. There are some URLs that you just can’t verbalize in a way that Kinect can understand. Furthermore, you can’t use voice commands to do things like update your Facebook status, post a comment on a video, or fill out a web form. Fortunately, you do not have to use the Xbox controller to hunt and peck your way through long strings of text.

A better alternative is to use Xbox Smart Glass. Smart Class has been around since the days of Xbox 360, but it has gotten a bit of a makeover with the Xbox One. (Just make sure to use the Xbox One version of the app.) In case you are not familiar with Smart Glass, it is an app that you run on your laptop or mobile device. The Smart Glass app allows your device to act as a second screen for Xbox One.

Smart Glass’s actual functionality varies depending upon what it is that you’re doing. For Internet Explorer, however, smart glass turns your mobile device into a keyboard. The keystrokes made on your mobile device instantly appear onscreen on the Xbox One.

Your mobile device doesn’t automatically turn into a keyboard when you open Internet Explorer. To use your device as a keyboard, open Smart Glass on your mobile device and sign in if necessary. Next, launch Internet Explorer on your Xbox One.

At this point, Smart Glass should display the Xbox One home screen. Internet Explorer should appear in the Recent tile. If you look closely at this tile, you can notice a remote control icon in the lower-right corner of the tile. Tap this icon. An Internet Explorer dialog box now appears. This dialog box provides three options: Remote, Detach, and Pin. Tap the Remote option. You are all set to go with using your mobile device as a remote keyboard.

Incidentally, the Xbox One Web browser hides the Internet Explorer address bar whenever possible. To reveal the address bar (so that you can type a URL), you must press the View button on the Xbox One controller or the View icon on your Smart Glass-enabled device.


By correcting the display resolution and by using a mobile device as a wireless keyboard, it is actually practical to use Xbox One for casual web surfing. My experience has been that Xbox One renders Web pages just as quickly and accurately as my PC does.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020