How to fix Windows 11 not recognizing your PS4 controller

by Cesar Cadenas
Cesar Cadenas
Cesar Cadenas
Cesar has been writing for and about technology going on for 6 years when he first started writing tech articles for his university paper. Since then, his passion... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you decide to hop over to PC gaming, you don't have to throw away your old PS4 controllers as you can use them on Windows 11.
  • However, there may be times when your controller won't be recognized by Windows 11.
  • This guide will show you steps that you can take to fix your PS4 controller not being recognized by your PC.
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There are many different ways that you can play video games on your Windows 11 computer. The classic mouse and keyboard, Xbox controller, or PlayStation 4 controller; all work in Microsoft’s latest OS.

But there have been reports that the PS4 controller may not get recognized on your Windows 11 PC. This may due to outdated Bluetooth drivers that don’t work or DS4 Windows not working properly.

What are some fixes to the PS4 controller not being recognized?

Your PS4 can connect to the PC via Bluetooth, but a lot of games don’t support that controller and prefer Xbox devices. That is why you download and install DS4 Windows, a third-party app that masks your PS4 controller as an Xbox one.

That way, you can use the PS4 controller however you please. But things are hardly ever that simple and some connectivity problems will arise. In those instances, you’ll have to run DS4 Windows as an administrator.

This guide will show you what you can do if your PlayStation 4 controller is not being recognized by your Windows 11 computer. Instructions are straightforward to follow.

How can I fix Windows 11 not recognizing a PS4 controller?

1. Update Bluetooth drivers

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon to bring up the search bar.
  2. Search for the Device Manager.
  3. Click on the entry that appears.
  4. In the Device Manager, search for the Bluetooth entry if your computer can connect via Bluetooth.
  5. Click it to bring down the drop-down menu.
  6. Right-click the entry that appears and a small window will appear.
  7. Select Update driver in that small window.
  8. A window will appear.
  9. Select Search automatically for drivers.
  10. Your Windows 11 computer will automatically download and install the drivers.
  11. If you have multiple entries, it’s recommended that you update the drivers for all of them.
  12. Then open the Settings menu.
  13. Select Bluetooth & devices on the left-hand side.
  14. Ensure that Bluetooth is enabled by clicking the switch On.
  15. Hold the Share and PS button on your PS4 controller until it starts blinking rapidly. This blinking means that it’s searching for a connection point.
  16. Then select Add device.
  17. Select Bluetooth.
  18. Select Wireless Controller.
  19. Your PS4 controller is now connected to your Windows 11 computer and there should be no issue.
  20. Conversely, you can go to the Windows Update tab in the Settings menu and click on Check for updates to see if there are new drivers.

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2. Install DS4 Windows

  1. In a web browser, search for DS4 Windows.
  2. Click on Download.
  3. In this new window, click the Download button.
  4. Open the file that was downloaded and click Extract all at the top of the File Explorer. You will need to extract the app.
  5. Select a location where to extract the file to.
  6. Click the Extract button.
  7. Open the folder that you extracted and double-click the Application file to install the app.
  8. Be aware that you may have to download .NET 5.0 Runtime. A small window will appear giving you the option.
  9. Download the file according to your PC’s bit version. In this example, the guide will select Download x64.
  10. Open the downloaded file and click Install to begin the installation process.
  11. After opening the DS4 Windows app, select where you want to save the files.

3. Update DS4Windows

  1. Issues with DS4 Windows may arise from compatibility problems.
  2. Go back to the directory where DS4 Windows sits.
  3. Double click DS4Updater.
  4. DS4 Windows will begin to automatically download and install any updates.
  5. After it’s done, a window will appear stating that it’s up to date.

4. Run as administrator

  1. You can also try running DS4 Windows as an administrator.
  2. Return to the DS4 Windows directory and right-click the app to bring up the context menu.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Click the Compatibility tab.
  5. Click the checkbox next to Run this program as an administrator.
  6. Click on the Apply button and then OK to save the changes.
  7. Now DS4 Windows should run just fine.

5. Re-enable Controller

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon to bring up the search bar.
  2. Search for the Device Manager.
  3. Locate and click on Human Interface Devices in the Device Manager.
  4. Locate the HID-compliant game controller and right-click the entry.
  5. Select Enable device in the small context menu. If it’s already enabled, click Disable device instead.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. After your computer restarts, open DS4 Windows.
  8. Go to the Settings tab.
  9. Click on Hide DS4 Controller.
  10. Reconnect your PS4 controller to DS4 Windows.
  11. Click on the Controllers tab to see if your controller is there. If not, uncheck Hide DS4 Controller in the Settings and check it again.
  12. What you can also do is uninstall the controller drivers as well.
  13. Right-click the drivers to bring up the context menu.
  14. But this time, select Uninstall device.
  15. A window may appear warning you of what you’re about to do. Select Uninstall.
  16. Restart your computer and connect your PS4 controller when it turns on again.
  17. Your Windows 11 computer will automatically check for missing controller drivers and install them.

What else should I know about Windows 11 and gaming controllers?

Gamers in the past have also had issues with their PS5 controllers not functioning properly as Windows 11 won’t connect to their device. Fixing PS5 controller connectivity is similar to the PS4 and shares similar steps.

DS4 Windows itself has had its issues as well. Majority of the time all you have to do is update the app by downloading the latest version. In other cases, you have to check the controller status on the Device Manager.

For Xbox controller owners, you may be interested in learning about what to do if your gamepad suddenly switches to player 2 on a PC. Solutions involve running the troubleshooter and deleting a specific driver.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions on other Windows 11 apps. Also, leave comments about guides that you’d like to see or information on other Windows 11 features or list guides.

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