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If your controller is not functioning and it is not a hardware issue like faulty analog sticks, the problem is likely caused by one of these common problems.
The Controller Will Not Turn On
The controller does not turn on when fully charged.
The Controller Was Disconnected During a Firmware Update
- Note: A USB cable must be used. The wireless will not work.
- Tip: If you have problems getting the controller to turn on, remove the batteries for 15 minutes as this is known to help.
- Important: A functional controller is required to do this on a console.
If your controller was disconnected during a firmware upgrade, it will not function until the firmware is recovered. To do this, the controller will need to be re-updated as the controller will be in a soft bricked state.
Plug your controller into an Xbox One console or a PC. Whichever option you choose dictates the next steps.
- Step 1: On the console, navigate to Devices and Accessories.
- Step 2: Find the controller. It should say Update Required if the correct controller is selected.
- Step 3: Re-run the firmware update.
Note: Windows 10 is required. If you have a newer build, a Microsoft account is not required. For older versions, this is (generally) the case. If you have an old version of Windows 10 - and cannot upgrade to the latest build to remove the account requirement, make a new account or convert a disposable one.
After you have confirmed your system runs Windows 10, you can begin the controller recovery process.
- Step 1: Install the Xbox Accessories application.
- Step 2: Once Xbox Accessories is installed, plug the controller in. It should turn on and say Update Required if your controller is visible to the PC and Xbox Accessories.
- Step 3: Click Update Required and allow the firmware to reinstall.
If you followed these steps correctly, your controller should be functional again.
The Controller Does Not Function on the Computer
When the controller is plugged into the computer using a USB cable, the controller does not function.
The Controller Drivers Are Not Installed
In Windows 7 and 8.x, the Xbox One controller is known to fail automatic driver installation. This issue is well documented and is caused by the lack of drivers bundled with these operating systems. The issue is made worse by the fact that Windows Update is somewhat notorious for detection issues in some situations. The standard controller offers two driver options:
Note: An administrator account is required to correct this problem. Standard and Limited users will need to know the system admin password..
Note: This option is recommended for the Model 1708 controller due to newer drivers being released, and the age of the .exe driver from 2012 causing incompatibilities.
- Step 1: Plug in the controller. If the automatic driver installation fails, go on to the next step.
- Step 2: Open Device Manager and find the controller. This is typically located under Xbox Peripherals (Legacy) in Windows 7 and 8.x systems.
- Step 3: Select the Driver tab.
- Step 4: Click Update Driver.
- Step 5: Try using Search automatically for updated driver software. If this doesn't work, go to Step 6.
- Step 6: If this did not work, download the driver from Microsoft. Put this in a place you can easily find it on your computer. Once it is downloaded, select Browse my computer for driver software and manually select the driver.
If you did this correctly, your controller should now work.
IMPORTANT: This driver is no longer hosted by Microsoft. A 3rd party link has been provided.
This fix is easier for inexperienced users to understand, but the driver is from 2012. This method is ONLY recommended as a last resort due to the age of the driver, and it may not carry over to a system with Windows 11. NOTE: Users who use this driver may be forced to install the latest version if they use a Model 1708 or 1914 controller. However, it is not required unless your games have problems.
The driver can be found here: TechSpot (64-bit)
Controller Won't Connect to Console
I want to navigate my Xbox One, but my controller refuses to connect or will not stay connected for long.
Your batteries may be low. If the batteries are low, the controller's wireless signal strength may be weak and therefore will not connect to the console. Replace the batteries in the controller or recharge your battery pack.
Tools required: None
Another Wireless Device Is Interfering
A conflicting signal may be responsible for connectivity issues. Consider turning off nearby wireless devices and reconnecting the controller.
Bluetooth connection issues
Note: Bluetooth is a Windows 10 only feature. It does not work in in Windows 7/8.x.
If you are using your controller over Bluetooth and you are having issues and it is not a signal problem, this can be caused by a chipset incompatibility. This is rare but should be considered. This can be tested by using a quality USB adapter.
If you have tried a different Bluetooth device, it is a software or connection problem at the driver or controller level.
Too Many Controllers Are Connected
Make sure you do not have more than eight controllers connected. The Xbox One console is limited to a maximum of eight connected controllers.
If you set down your controller for longer than fifteen minutes and then come back to an unresponsive controller, you may need to turn the controller back on. This is a power saving measure found on later model controllers.
Controller Is Out Of Range
Your Xbox One Controller signal has a range of 30 feet (9.1 meters). Make sure you are within this range.
Controller Is Not Synced
If you sync your controller to another device, you will need to re-sync it back to your console. To do this, turn the Xbox One console on and hold the Sync button on the side of the console in until the light on the console rapidly flashes. Once you do this, press the Sync button on the controller. Your controller should be connected within 5 to 10 seconds.
Mic Preventing Connection
Some people have reported that the controller will not connect with the headset mic plugged in. Unplug the mic, and reconnect. You may have to sync the controller again if this happens. Plug the mic back in after establishing a connection.
If you are using the internal headphone jack, it may be damaged or you are using incompatible headphones. Try unplugging your headphones and then plug them back in. If you continue having problems, try using a different pair of headphones.
If you continue having problems, the internal headphone jack should be replaced.
Tools are not required if you use the Xbox One headset adapter to fix the issue.
Controller Will Not Turn On
No matter how many times I try to connect or sync my controller, it will not turn on.
Your batteries may be low. If the batteries are low, the controller's wireless signal strength may be weak, which may prevent connection to the console. Change the batteries in the controller. If you are using batteries that drain too quickly, try using NiMh rechargeable batteries or high quality Alakaline batteries.
Tools required: None
Low Battery Pack
Your battery pack may be completely drained. Plug the controller into the console using a MicroUSB cable. To check on the charge status of your battery, press the Xbox button and your current charge level will be displayed.
If the pack will not charge (or drains quickly), replace the battery pack.
IMPORTANT MODEL 1914 NOTE: If you purchase a battery and cable for Model 1914 controllers and the MicroUSB cable is included, the batteries from the previous runs will work, but you will not be bundled USB cable due to the switch to USB-C. This cable issue has been remedied with newly manufactured battery pack bundles, but this also means you need the old cable for pre-1914 controllers if you replace a worn out battery.
Tools required: None
Defective Charge Cable
Your charging cable may be defective and will not charge your controller at all. If this is the case, you will need to buy a new cord. While you can purchase an official Xbox cable, any MicroUSB cable will work to replace the damaged cable.
Tools Required: None
One or more of the buttons on my controller takes longer than usual to pop back up.
Dirt Build Up
There could be minor dirt build up or your controller has sugary drink residue within your controller. Look at our Buttons Replacement Guide so you can get to get to your buttons for cleaning.
Replacing the switches themselves requires replacing the main board. However, if you are able to solder and can source out a damaged board or replacement buttons, the problem can be repaired without a new board. This is cheaper, but is time consuming compared to a board replacement.
I cannot properly navigate my Xbox One.
Residue Build Up
Your thumbstick may be sticking or not rotating properly. Check out the Thumbstick Replacement Guide so you can get to your thumbsticks and clean or replace the thumbsticks.
Part: Thumbstick cover
If this does not fix the problem, the thumbstick mechanism may be faulty meaning you should replace the secondary board. However, if you are comfortable with through-hole soldering the analog sticks can be replaced without a new board and frame. This is more time consuming but it is a cheaper fix.
It is possible that you have been gaming a little too hard and one or both of your thumbsticks are bent or broken. Look at our Thumbstick Replacement Guide to see how you can get back to your hardcore gaming habits in no time.
Part: Thumbstick cover
If cleaning or replacing the thumbstick covers does not fix the problem, the thumbstick mechanism may be faulty meaning you should replace the main board. However, if you are comfortable with a soldering iron, you can replace the analog sticks without a replacement board.
Controller Won't Vibrate
When I am playing games, my controller refuses to vibrate.
Vibration Setting Not Enabled
Make sure your vibrations setting is enabled. This can be done in the settings of the game you are playing.
If your batteries are low, the controller may not vibrate in an effort to save the remaining battery life. Replace the batteries or charge your controller.
Tools required: None
Vibration May Not Be Supported
Try using another controller on the game that you are playing. If the controller is still not vibrating, the game most likely does not support this option.
The vibration Motor is Defective
If you have tried everything above and your controller still refuses to vibrate, there may be something wrong with the vibration motor. Get ready to grab a screwdriver, you're going to need it for the Trigger Rumble Motor Replacement Guide.
NOTE: Steps in this guide require soldering.