Is your Xbox One controller not working, or are you having problems with an Xbox Series X|S controller? This is an annoying problem that many Xbox owners face. While wireless controllers are more convenient than wired controllers in previous systems, but they have their own issues.
This troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix your Xbox One controller if it keeps flashing or won’t connect, sync, or even turn on properly. You’ll be back to gaming by the end. While this article focuses on the Xbox One, most of these tips apply to the Xbox Series X and Series S, as the controllers and system interfaces are nearly identical.
1. If Your Xbox Controller Is Not Connecting
If you can’t get your Xbox One controller to attach to your console, you should first check for a some common problems.
Do you already have eight controllers connected to your console? The Xbox can support up to eight controllers, though you probably won’t use that many. You can no longer connect any more controllers after this point.
To disconnect one or more of them, hold the Xbox button on the controller and select Turn controller off from the resulting menu. Then try connecting the new controller again.
Remember that you can only set a controller with one Xbox system at a time. If you go to a friend’s house and pair your controller with his Xbox, you’ll have to pair it with yours again. This also applies if you connect your Xbox controller to a PC and try to use it on your console again.
For more information, see the section below titled “If Your Xbox One Controller Is Blinking.”
2. If Your Xbox One Controller Keeps Disconnecting
What if your Xbox controller keeps connecting but then disconnects? This can ruin an otherwise enjoyable gaming session and is extremely inconvenient.
Remember that the Xbox One and Series X|S controller will automatically disconnect after 15 minutes of inactivity as part of its standard battery-saving feature. This won’t usually happen while playing games, but it may happen if you primarily use your Xbox One as a media center.
Every once in a while, you’ll need to move a stick or press a button. Otherwise, you must reconnect the controller by pressing the Xbox button later.
However, if you’re having a problem with your Xbox controller disconnecting, it likely happens much more regularly than every 15 minutes. If this is the case, you can try a few troubleshooting steps.
When you have this problem, you must confirm that the batteries in your controller are fully charged. Find the battery icon in the top-right corner after tapping the Xbox button to return to the Home menu. If the batteries are low, replace or charge them as needed.
Interference can also cause frequent disconnects to happen. According to Xbox Support, the wireless range of the Xbox One controller is approximately 19-28 feet. Try moving closer to your console if your controller can’t stay connected.
Remove any objects in the way of the controller and console, such as laptops, metal shelving, and the like. If your Xbox is inside an entertainment center, try moving it outside for a better connection.
If the Xbox button on your controller flashes when you push it, you get access to special features or light up, your controller isn’t paired to a console. As previously mentioned, this can happen when you pair the controller to another system and are not within range of it. However, it can also happen as a result of various glitches.
To connect your Xbox One controller again, follow our Guide on how to sync an Xbox One controller with your console.
Try using a USB cable to pair your controller if it doesn’t pair using the buttons. Connect the other end of the cable to your controller and plug the cable into a USB port on your console. Next, hold the Xbox button on your controller for a few seconds. You should now be able to separate your gaming system’s console and controller the console and use the controller normally.
If this does not resolve the problem, restart your console. To completely turn off your system, press and hold the Xbox button (the power button) for 10 seconds. To turn it back on, press it again. You should be able to pair your console and controller without flashing after both devices’ power cycles.
Your controller may have a hardware problem if it keeps blinking and turning off after this.
Test your controller with a friend’s Xbox or another device, such as a PC, or try a different controller with your console to see if the problem persists.
If the controller doesn’t connect under any circumstances, contact Xbox Support. Meanwhile, you can press and hold the Xbox button on your controller for several seconds to turn it off. If it keeps flashing while you’re troubleshooting, this can help save battery life.
4. If Your Xbox One Controller Won’t Turn On
You shouldn’t worry if your Xbox controller isn’t turning on. This is another common problem with alike solutions to the previous one.
If your Xbox One controller doesn’t turn on, ensure the batteries aren’t dead. The controller will not turn on at all if the batteries are low. Remove the back cover, replace the two AA batteries, and try again.
You can also get rechargeable batteries by purchasing the Xbox Rechargeable Battery kit. This kit includes a USB-C cable used by the newer Series X|S controllers. You must connect a micro-USB cable to charge an Xbox One controller instead.
If changing the batteries doesn’t work to fix power to your Xbox controller, try this:
- By pressing and having the power button on the front of the system for 10 seconds, you can completely turn off your Xbox One.
- Unplug the power cable from your console and leave it unplugged for a few minutes.
- Connect your controller to the system using a USB cable you are familiar with (try others if the first doesn’t work).
- Use the power button on the system to turn your Xbox back on after plugging it in. Before the Xbox starts up, don’t press anything on the controller.
- To test whether it’s working, try pressing the Xbox button on your controller now.
General Xbox One Controller Connection Tips
Specific Xbox controller problems have already been discussed. If your Xbox controller is still not operating after going through these steps, here are some additional general solutions.
Update the Xbox Controller Firmware
Your Xbox One controller has its firmware, which occasionally receives updates. While it does not receive these updates frequently, corrupted or outdated firmware may cause connection issues.
If your controller works, you can update it by tapping the Xbox button to open the Guide while your system is on. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories.
To check for updates, select your controller, click the three-dot button, and click Firmware version.
Remove Connected Xbox Accessories
Sometimes Xbox One accessories, whether attached to the controller or console, can cause connection problems.
If you have keyboard, external hard drive or other similar peripheral connected to your Xbox, try disconnecting it and reconnecting your controller. If your controller has a Stereo Headset Adapter, do the same.
Make sure you’re using a high-quality USB cable if you’re attempting to sync your Xbox controller with one. Low-quality or damaged cable may not work properly.
Try Connecting Another Controller to Your Xbox
As with most troubleshooting, you can try different devices to help narrow down the source of the problem. Try connecting a different controller to your Xbox system that you are aware of.
Verify that its batteries are also charged.
If that controller works properly, the problem is with the original controller. However, if both have problems, the problem is most likely with your console. You might need to contact Xbox Support in this situation.
Reboot Your Xbox One
We noted it above, but it bears repeating: when troubleshooting controller issues, reboot your console. By ruin, simply tapping the power button on the front of the system puts it into sleep mode, which isn’t a proper power cycle. For a complete shutdown, hold it for at least 10 seconds.
You can also go to Settings > General > Power mode & startup and select Full shutdown if your controller works. When an Xbox One controller isn’t working, a quick reboot is all that is required.
Try Connecting With a USB Cable Permanently
If you find that using a USB cable solves your Xbox controller connection problems, your best bet is to use your controller as a wired device to avoid future problems. You can purchase a long cable, such as the 15-foot MATEIN micro-USB cable, to avoid worrying about sitting too far away from your system.
This isn’t the world’s end, but it’s better than buying another controller.
What If Your Xbox One Controller Is Still Not Working?
If nothing else works, go to the Xbox device permission page. Sign in with your Microsoft account, register your console if you haven’t already, and then follow the instructions to replace your controller. If Microsoft refuses to replace it, you’ll have to look for a deal on a new controller.
Hopefully, one of these tips solves your Xbox One controller problem. If your controller won’t connect, keeps flashing, or won’t turn on, one of these tips should get you back in the game.