FIX: Joystick not working / recognized in Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Joysticks are especially good when you're playing simulator games but if your system doesn't recognize it, you're back to using the keyboard and mouse combination.
  • There are a lot of possible reasons why that happens but the usual suspects are the drivers.
  • If you want to learn more about the old gaming stick, check out our Joystick page.
  • Out Tech Troubleshooting Hub is the best place to look for solution to your PC problems.
Computer doesn't recognize joystick

If you’re a gamer, you need a good joystick, but sometimes the computer doesn’t recognize it.

This can be an issue and force you to play your favorite game with mouse and keyboard. However, there’s a way to fix this problem.

Pls help, I don’t know why but all of the sudden i can’t use my joystick anymore. i’ve tried plugging it into another pc,and it worked juz fine.and I also realize that i’m having the device descriptor request failed problem and i have no idea how to fix it.

What can I do if the USB joystick isn’t recognized?

1. Update your drivers

  1. Download the latest driver for your joystick from the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Right-click the setup file and choose Properties.
    properties context menu computer doesn't recognize joystick
  3. Now, click on the Compatibility tab and check Run this program in compatibility mode for.
  4. Select the desired version of Windows from the drop menu.
    compatibility computer doesn't recognize joystick
  5. Start the installation. Once you install the required drivers, restart your PC and check if the issue is solved.

If you want to update all drivers on your PC with a single click, you can try using a third-party tool such as DriverFix to update outdated drivers automatically.

Even a child could learn how to use it but first, you will need to download and install the tool. DriverFix will start instantly to search for driver issues after you start it.

Leave it to work because in a few minutes it will show you a list of recommended drivers for installation.

DriverFix automatically update driversIf you check the Select All box from the top of the list you will install all of them at once but you can also install the drivers one by one by selecting their corresponding boxes from the left.

Of course, you also need to click on the installation button from their left.

DriverFix

DriverFix

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2. Troubleshoot your device

  1. Open Control Panel and go to the Troubleshooting section.
  2. On the top corner of your screen, choose View All.
    view all computer doesn't recognize joystick
  3. Select the Hardware and Devices option then follow the instructions on the screen on your PC to run the troubleshooter.

3. Remove the duplicated devices

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
    device manager computer doesn't recognize joystick
  2. Expand the Video and Game Controllers list and remove any duplicate devices on the list.
  3. Go to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers list and remove any duplicated entries.
  4. Close the Device Manager and restart your computer.

4. Perform a Clean Boot

  1. Sign in to your computer as an administrator.
  2. Open the Run window and type msconfig.
    run window computer doesn't recognize joystick
  3. Then, browse to Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click Hide all Microsoft services check box, then Click Disable all.
    disable all services can't recognize PC joystick
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, open Task Manager.
  5. Right-click each startup item, and select Disable.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration window, click OK.
  8. Restart your computer and see if the issue still persists.

There you go, these are few simple and easy steps that can help you if your computer doesn’t recognize the joystick. Be sure to try all of our solutions and let us know in the comments box which solution worked for you.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2019 and was revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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