The Xbox May 2021 Update is now available with better Quick Resume and passthrough audio

Xbox home screen with a Quick Resume group pinned and showing multiple games

Microsoft is back at it with another monthly update for the Xbox family of consoles, and as usual, this one brings some notable improvements that should make your experience that much better. These updates are available for both the Xbox One and the recently-launched Xbox Series X|S, and there's also some updates related to Xbox apps on other devices.

First off, one of the more notable improvements is in Quick Resume, which is a feature only available on the Xbox Series X|S. This feature lets users quickly jump between different games without having them load all over again, and Microsoft says this update makes the feature more reliable and faster. What's more, games that support Quick Resume will have a new tag next to them to make them easier to identify, and there's also a new group in your games library that lists all the game currently stored in Quick Resume so you can launch them more quickly.

Xbox console showing the My Games and apps menu with a Quick Resume group at the top

Next is support for passthrough audio for media apps such as Disney+, Apple TV, Plex, and Vudu. This setting allows audio decoding to bypass the console and head straight into your HDMI-connected speakers for better audio quality. You can enable audio passthrough in the Xbox console's sound settings, and the guide will show an indicator when you use an app that supports passthrough audio if the feature is enabled.

Volume and audio output settings page on an Xbox console with the passthrough option highlighted

Another update has to do with parental controls, and it allows children to request access to multiplayer games on a per-title basis. The Xbox Family Settings app allows parents to disable multiplayer features altogether, but now parents can enable it for specific games if they deem them more appropriate. Other smaller updates include a new dynamic background called Motes, and for Xbox Game Pass users, the spotlight section of the Game Pass hub will now automatically play trailers for games when you focus on them, without having to open the game's page.

Screenshots showing how to request and grant permission for multiplayer games on Xbox

Aside from console-specific features, Microsoft also announced today that the Xbox app for Android and iOS can now notify users when their friends are online, The achievements page has been updated with new game stats such as time played, and finally, the performance and reliability of sending messages in the Xbox app has been improved.

Finally, Microsoft also announced today that the Xbox One SmartGlass app for PC will be discontinued in June, meaning you won't be able to download it and no new updates are planned. Microsoft recommends using the Xbox app for messaging friends and managing Game Pass downloads.

There are some known issues in this update, which you can find below:


  • There’s an issue in which the audio mixer may not be adjustable.


  • Some people have reported that the icon for disc-based titles isn’t appearing on the dashboard.

My games & apps

  • Some games might appear with an incorrect “Trial” tag in My games & apps.
  • Some players may experience My games & apps closing unexpectedly when viewing shrinkable games.


  • Some media apps such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime might show HDCP playback errors when you attempt to view 4K content. To resolve this, go to Settings > General > TV & display options and toggle your Resolution off and back on to 4K UHD.
  • Various media apps are showing black screens when playing videos. If you experience this, please report a problem.

Profile color

  • The incorrect profile color may appear when turning on the console.

The update should now be available to download, and you can either get it right now or wait for it to install by itself. Microsoft releases new updates with notable improvements every month, and it's worth keeping an eye out for them.

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