Xbox controller won't connect

Simple Steps to Resolve Xbox Controller Connection Issues

Wireless Xbox One controllers are fantastic, but losing connectivity during a game kills the enjoyment.

The excellent thing is that the majority of issues that cause an Xbox One controller to not connect or won’t stay connected are simple to resolve.

Even in the worst-case scenario, a micro USB connection can be used to convert your wireless controller to a wired controller. Sometimes the Xbox One controller won’t connect with the USB either. But its solution is different.

Have you ever faced Xbox controller connection issues?

This is a bothersome problem that many Xbox users face. While wireless controllers are more convenient than cable controllers of previous generations, they nevertheless have their own set of issues.

In this troubleshooting tutorial, we’ll guide you on how to fix your Xbox One controller that won’t connect, sync, or even turn on.

By following these instructions, you’ll be able to get back to gaming. Because the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Series S are so similar, the majority of these solutions also apply to all of them.

When an Xbox controller not connecting, one of the following symptoms is commonly observed:

  • On the controller, a ring light flashes and never stays stable.
  • You can’t use the controller to operate games or menus.
  • On your screen, the message “Please reconnect the controller” displays.

These difficulties may happen when you initially turn on your controller or when playing a favorite game.

Related: How To Fix PS5 Wi-Fi Connection Issues in 10 Successful Steps?

Xbox Controller Doesn’t Connect

Look into a few common issues if you’re experiencing difficulties in connecting your Xbox One controller to your Xbox.

Examine whether your Xbox One controller is within its operating range. The Xbox One controllers are wireless, but each wireless device has a maximum distance it may go before losing connection.

An Xbox One controller has a maximum range of roughly 19 feet; however, putting items between the console and the controller can significantly limit that range.

Do you already have eight controllers connected to your gaming system?

Although you’re unlikely to use all eight, the Xbox One can support up to eight controllers. You won’t be able to connect any more controllers beyond this point.

If you already have eight controllers attached, you must disconnect at least one of them. An Xbox One may only have eight controllers attached at any given time.

If you try to sync more controllers, it will not work. Choose a controller you no longer want to use, click the Xbox button on that controller, and then choose Controller off on the TV screen. Then, connect the new controller.

Remember that a controller may only be linked with one Xbox One system at a time. If you take your controller to a friend’s house and attach it to his Xbox, you’ll need to pair it with yours once again.

The same issue happens when you connect your Xbox One controller to a PC and then try to use it on your console. See the section below under “Xbox Controller Is Blinking” for more details.

Xbox Controller Keeps Disconnecting

What if your Xbox controller connects and then disconnects?

If your Xbox controller won’t stay connected with a proper link to Xbox, it may ruin an otherwise great gaming session and is quite annoying to deal with. 

Remember that if you don’t use the Xbox One controller for 15 minutes, it will automatically disconnect as a battery-saving function.

This will not occur when playing games, but it may occur if you use your Xbox One primarily as a media center.

You’ll have to move a stick or press a button every 15 minutes. If you don’t press the Xbox button, you’ll have to reconnect it afterward.

If your Xbox controller continues disconnecting, it’s most certainly happening far more frequently than once every 15 minutes. If this is the case, there are a few troubleshooting steps you may do.

If you encounter this issue, check sure your batteries are completely charged. Press the Xbox button to return to the Home menu, then look for the battery icon in the top-right corner.

If they’re running low on battery, replace or charge them as needed. If your controller abruptly disconnected when you were not near the console, try getting closer and resyncing.

If you move away and it loses connection again, try eliminating any obstructions or just sitting closer to your Xbox.

Interference might also result in frequent disconnects. According to Xbox Support, the wireless range of the Xbox One controller is 19-28 feet.

If your Xbox controller won’t stay connected, get closer to your console.

Laptops, metal shelves, and other similar items should be moved out of the way of the controller and the console. If your Xbox is in an entertainment center, consider moving it outside to enhance your connection.

Related: Xbox One Won’t Turn On? 9 Simple Methods to Fix It

Xbox Controller Is Blinking

Many folks are wondering why their Xbox controller is blinking.

If the Xbox button on your controller blinks or flashes, it implies your controller isn’t connected to a console or the Xbox controller lost connection. The Xbox One controller may sometimes flash and then turns off.

This can happen when the controller is attached to another device, as we previously discussed. It can, however, occur as a result of a variety of issues.

Replace the batteries in the controller. Weak batteries may cause the signal strength of your wireless Xbox One controller to decrease, resulting in connection issues.

When the connection is interrupted, the Xbox button on the controller may blink repeatedly, and the device may even shut off.

If your Xbox controller won’t connect wirelessly, try connecting it to a console through a USB cord. Simply plug the other end of the cable into a USB port on your console, then press and hold the Xbox button on your controller for a few seconds.

If this does not resolve the issue, you should restart your console. To switch off your system fully, press and hold the power button on the front for 10 seconds. Then press it again to turn it on.

After a power cycle, you should be able to connect your console and controller without it flashing. If your controller continues to flash and turn off after this, it may have a hardware problem.

To confirm whether the problem remains, try using a different controller with your console, or test your controller on a friend’s Xbox or another device, such as a PC.

Contact Xbox Support if you are unable to get the controller to operate under any conditions.

You may turn off your Xbox by holding down the Xbox button on your controller for several seconds. If it simply blinks while you’re troubleshooting, this can help preserve battery life.

Xbox Controller Is Not Turning On

Don’t be worried if your Xbox controller won’t turn on. This is another common problem that also has solutions similar to the ones described above. 

Before you continue, make sure your Xbox One controller’s batteries aren’t dead. The controller will not turn on if the batteries are low. Replace the two AA batteries in the back cover before attempting again.

If you buy the Xbox One Play & Charge Kit, you can also obtain rechargeable batteries. If replacing the batteries doesn’t work, try this: To switch off your Xbox One, press and hold the power button on the front for 10 seconds.

Remove the power cable from your console and unplug it for a few minutes. Connect your controller to the system using a USB cable you’re familiar with (try another if the first one doesn’t work).

Reconnect your Xbox and turn it on by pressing the console’s power button. Before hitting any buttons on the controller, wait for the Xbox to boot up. Try hitting the Xbox button on your controller at this point to see if it works.

Related: How To Troubleshoot PS4 Won’t Turn On Problem in 11 steps?

Connection Tips for Xbox Controller

We’ve already covered some of the most frequent Xbox controller problems and remedies. If your Xbox controller is still not working, try some of the simple fixes listed below.

1. Perform Xbox Controller Firmware Update

Your Xbox One controller has software that is updated regularly. While these upgrades are not performed regularly, damaged or obsolete firmware may cause disconnection issues.

If your controller is still operational, open the Guide by clicking the Xbox button while your system is powered on.

From the drop-down menu, choose Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories. To check for updates, first pick your controller, then the three-dot button, and finally the Firmware version.

2. Interference with Other Wireless Devices

Eliminate sources of wireless interference if at all possible.

Because your Xbox One uses the same band of wireless frequency as many other devices in your house, even appliances like your microwave might cause interference.

Turn off all other wirelessly connected devices, including phones, computers, tablets, and even your Wi-Fi router. Microwaves, fans, and blenders, for example, should be turned off.

If that isn’t an option, try to keep such devices away from your Xbox One.

3. Disconnect All Accessories

Accessories to the Xbox One, whether connected to the controller or the console, can occasionally create connectivity issues.

Temporarily remove your headphones. In certain cases, a headset or microphone may prevent your Xbox One controller from syncing properly. Remove and reconnect any headsets or microphones that are attached to your controller.

You may be able to plug your headset back in after a successful connection, or there may be a problem with the headset that prohibits you from doing so.

If your Xbox is connected to an external hard drive, keyboard, or other similar devices, unplug them before reconnecting your controller.

Do the same with the Stereo Headset Adapter if your controller has one. If you’re syncing your controller using a USB cable, make sure it’s a high-quality cable. Cables that are of low quality or have been damaged may not function efficiently.

4. Check with Another Controller by Connecting to Your Xbox

As with any troubleshooting, checking multiple devices can help narrow down the source of the problem. Connect a different controller that you know works for your Xbox system.

Check to verify if its batteries are charged as well. If that controller is functioning properly, the issue lies with the original controller.

However, if both are experiencing problems, the problem is most likely with your console. In this scenario, you should get in touch with Xbox Support.

5. Reboot the Xbox

While troubleshooting controller issues, always rebooting your console is a good idea.

By default, pressing the power button on the front of the system puts it into sleep mode, so make sure you hold it for at least 10 seconds to execute a complete shutdown.

When an Xbox One controller fails to function properly, a simple reboot may be all that is necessary.

6. Use a USB Cable for the Connection

If using a USB cable solves your Xbox controller connection issues, your best option is to use your controller as a wired device to avoid future issues.

You may use a longer micro-USB cable, which is available on Amazon, to avoid sitting too close to your gaming console. This isn’t ideal, but it’s preferable to purchasing a new controller.

If your Xbox One controller won’t connect to the USB or does not work with the USB connection, you must try the solutions mentioned below.

Do You Still Have an Issue with Your Xbox Controller?

Hopefully, one of these solutions resolved your Xbox One controller problem. If your controller doesn’t connect, keeps flashing, or won’t turn on, try one of these fixes to get back into the game.

Now that you have a functional controller, you may return to enjoying the best of what Xbox has to provide.

If your controller still does not function after attempting all of the above methods, there may be a physical issue with your console or controller.

You may narrow it down further by connecting your controller to another Xbox One. If it works normally, the problem is with your Xbox One system, not the controller.

If it still won’t connect, you’ve got a faulty controller that has to be replaced. If nothing else works, go to the Xbox device support website.

If you have registered your console and logged in with your Microsoft account, you can change your controller by following the procedures provided there.

If Microsoft refuses to replace it, you’ll have to look for a new controller elsewhere.

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