Q: For Xbox 360 with cloud-based storage enabled, when does the local cache of the cloud content synchronize with the cloud storage?

A: The new cloud-based storage for Xbox 360 is a great mechanism for synchronizing game saves and small data sets between all your Xbox machines, avoiding the need to carry around a USB key. Each Xbox also has a local cache of the Xbox cloud content.

The actual synchronization of the local content to the cloud occurs at two times: when you are signed in and on the Dashboard view, and when you power off the console while signed in. (You might have seen that after you turn off the Xbox, it stays on for a little while and the ring blinks occasionally, which is the syncing.)

The "Synching save games" which you might see when starting a game is just checking for new games to download but doesn't upload. Use the Active Downloads Guide UI to check the Save Game synchronization, by doing the following:

  1. Press the Guide button on the controller (the big X button in the center).
  2. Select Marketplace.
  3. Select Active Downloads, which shows whether a sync operation is in progress. (See the screen shot below.)

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