New Xbox One update adds light theme and notification changes for Alpha ring

Microsoft has unveiled a new Xbox One update on its way to members of the Xbox Insider Program, introducing both new features and bug fixes to those in the Alpha Preview. While the Fall Creators Update isn't scheduled for public release until later this year, recent builds continue to debut new additions for those on pre-release rings.

In recent builds of the operating system, a focus has laid with redesigning the Xbox One's user interface (UI) and incorporating the newly unveiled Fluent Design System. Continuing to build on the feature set of the console, today's update will introduce a new "Light theme" makeover for the dashboard inspired by Fluent Design, alongside improvements to how notifications are displayed.

The biggest addition in today's update is the long-awaited Light theme, which was first teased early last month. Following recent moves to improve the customizability of the Xbox OS, the new reskin of the dashboard will allow users to change up the color scheme of the UI, utilizing more whites and light grays. However, as a controversial choice which mostly comes down to personal preference, the original "dark theme" will still be enabled by default. The option to enable the white theme will be available in the Settings app shortly after the build has rolled out, at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET on September 6.

Changes have also been made to how notifications are displayed, in a move to streamline how they can be consumed. While all notifications were previously dumped in the Action Center, these will now be sorted into their corresponding tabs on the Xbox Guide. For example, game invites will now be accessible via the Multiplayer tab, and achievement pop-ups can be accessed through Achievements.

Today's update also brings fixes to the Movies & TV app, as well as other video playback apps, fixing a previous bug that caused black screens when fast-forwarding. However, several issues are still present, affecting the Light theme, sign-in screens when using certain languages and other issues with third-party applications. Here's a breakdown of the full changelog, as provided by Microsoft.


OS version released: rs3_release_xbox_dev_1710.170831-1900

Available: 6:00PM PDT 9/5 (1:00AM GMT 6/9)


Light and Dark Themes

  • We are adding new themes to the dashboard. In addition to the current theme, you'll be able to select a new light theme. Please note that this setting will not be enabled till 9.00am PDT 9/6/17 as we need all Alpha users to be on this new build. After 9.00am on 9/6 simply reboot your console to see the setting. 1. Navigate to Settings > Personalization > System personalization > System theme. 2. Select Light.

Notifications enhancements

  • Game invites are moving from Action Center to the Multiplayer tab of Guide and Recent Achievements will now be in the Achievements tab. This makes it easy to see at a glance if you have new invites or Achievements when opening the Guide, and makes accessing those notifications faster, now that other system notifications aren't in the way


Movies & TV and Misc Media Apps

  • Black screens during movie playback have been fixed as has Fast Forward.


Light Theme

  • There are some known visual contrast issues in messaging, the entertainment twist and the Mixer twist – you may see white one white. Fixes will be coming soon.


  • When using Arabic or Hebrew language and signing in with a profile using the "Lock it down" security preference, the sign-in screen which requests Microsoft account e-mail address and password is distorted. This does not affect the profile if it is set to use the "Ask for my passkey" or "No barriers" security preferences. Workaround: Set the console to use another language, sign-in, and set the profile's security preference to "Ask for my passkey" or "No barriers". Alternatively, you can still type in your password as normal using the virtual keyboard though the screen is distorted.


  • When using Hebrew language, Netflix fails to launch.

Minecraft Better Together Beta

  • Other games fail to launch after launching the Minecraft Beta. Workaround: This occurs if the Minecraft Beta is the first game launched after powering on the console; launch another game before Minecraft to avoid this issue. If you are stuck in this state, hard reset your console.

Blu-Ray Player

  • 3D Blu-Ray content plays in 2D.

Game Hub

  • Game Hub isn't accurately tracking Gamerscore and achievement unlocks for certain games.

Are you planning to use the light theme on Xbox One going forward? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • All I want to see is USB Webcam support. Hope this comes in the Fall Creators Update.
  • It's coming babez
  • Will i be able to broadcast to Mixer with a USB Camera instead of buying a Kinect since you mentioned USB Camera 
  • +1
  • MS do focus not to make UI look light but make UI work light. Xone users always complain UI is too heavy and complicated.
  • Trying to think of why anyone would want light theme... Maybe if the brightness on your TV got stuck on a too low setting? Or if you enjoy eyestrain?
  • Seriously? Have you never used a 360?
  • Seriously have not.
  • Seriously, and you have?   The 360 is exactly why I DON'T want a light theme  I still remember the first time I was forced to view that new design and the first time that I had to look into the sun at 2 am to check an achievement. As long as its a choice this time, I couldn't care less what color everyone's screens are.  
  • As soon as I saw these photos a little voice in my head said, "damn I wanna try that". Switches it up a little
  • I think you're just making stuff up with this statement. " However, as a controversial choice which mostly comes down to personal preference, the original "dark theme" will still be enabled by default". What controversy are you referring too?
  • Well, there's always people saying they hate the idea of a light theme and vice versa. Even looking at these comments/people on social media, the introduction of the light theme seems to be a polarizing topic haha
  • Sorry Matt, not buying it. Words have meaning. There is no controversy over the Dark Theme being the default.
  •   I hope windows 10 Also brings light theme to taskbar start menu and action center like the Fluent design introduction video
  • I actually found it cool to have every notifications in the same section.... Hm. We'll see how this goes
  • I want them to bring some of these things to delta ring
  • Just can't get behind that horizontal guide. Vertical looks so much better.