Your gamepad won’t work? Here’s four things you can do to fix it

By: Elsie Otachi
4 minute read
fix gamepad

Gamepad won’t work? We’ve got the remedies.

A gamepad makes for the ultimate immersive gaming experience, so when yours isn’t working, the frustration is real.

Before you dismiss the issue as a hardware related one, or other underlying cause, try the following:

  • Connect the gamepad to another computer
  • Connect the gamepad to another USB port
  • Connect a different gamepad to your computer

If you’re still having trouble with your gamepad not working on Windows, here are tried solutions to help you navigate and resolve the issue.

How to fix gamepad issues on Windows 10

Solution 1: Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

If you’re experiencing problems with a recently installed device or hardware on your computer, then run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve the issue. This checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting

fix gamepad won't work

  • Click View all option on the left pane > click on Hardware and Sound
  • Select  Hardware and Devices > go to Advanced
  • Click Run as Administrator

fix gamepad

  • Click Next

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues.


Solution 2: Reinstall USB drivers to fix gamepad not working

Reinstalling USB controllers solves the issue when your external USB drive has either become unstable, or has been corrupted.

Take the following steps to resolve the issue:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Device Manager
  • Find Universal Serial Bus controllers and click to expand it

fix gamepad

  • Right click on the device
  • Click Uninstall
  • Rinse and repeat for all other problematic devices
  • Reboot your computer

Once you do the above, Windows will automatically reinstall USB controllers on your PC, and it will run the devices properly.


Solution 3: Remove ghost devices to fix gamepad not working

If the issue is with your Device Manager, follow these steps in the order given, to remove ghost devices:

  1. Check Device Manager
  2. Restart your PC in Safe Mode
  3. Remove duplicate devices

Check Device Manager

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Choose Control Panel
  • Double-click System
  • Click Device Manager tab
  • Click the + sign next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list
  • Expand Sound, video and game controllers list
  • Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers list
  • Make note of all entries under all the expanded lists
  • Click Cancel to close Device Manager

Restart PC in Safe Mode

Follow these steps to boot in Safe Mode:

Safe mode starts up your computer with limited files and drivers but Windows will still run. To know whether you’re on Safe mode, you’ll see the words at the corners of your screen.

If the gamepad issue persists, check whether it occurs while your computer is in Safe mode.

How to get your computer into Safe mode

There are two versions:

  • Safe mode
  • Safe mode with Networking

The two are similar, though the latter includes network drivers and other services necessary to access the web and other computers in the same network.

Follow these steps to start your computer in Safe Mode:

  • Click on Start button
  • Select Settings – the Settings box will open up
  • Click Update & Security
  • Select Recovery from the left pane
  • Go to Advanced startup
  • Click Restart now
  • Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options
  • Go to Startup Settings and click Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

A quicker way to get into Safe Mode is to restart your computer then do the following:

  • From the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Startup Settings>Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

If the gamepad problem isn’t there while in Safe mode, then your default settings and basic drivers are not contributing to the issue.

Do the following to exit Safe Mode:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Run
  • Type msconfig
  • A pop up will open
  • Go to the Boot tab
  • Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option box
  • Restart your computer

Remove duplicate devices

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Choose Control Panel
  • Double-click System
  • Click Device Manager tab
  • Click the + sign next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list
  • Expand Sound, video and game controllers list
  • Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers list
  • Delete all duplicate entries under all the expanded lists
  • Click Cancel to close Device Manager
  • Restart your computer in normal mode (not Safe mode)

Solution 4: Contact your gamepad device’s manufacturer to resolve the issue

As a final resort, you can contact your gamepad’s manufacturer for more on how to resolve the issue.

Let us know in the comments section whether these steps, and solutions worked for you.

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