Check out these quick fixes for an undetected Xbox controller

By: Elsie Otachi
7 minute read
Xbox controller detected not working

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Any gamer knows without the Xbox controller, gaming experience would never have been the same.

So, if your Xbox controller cannot connect or maintain a steady connection to your Xbox console, the message “Please reconnect controller” appears to ruin your day. It can mean one of a few things:

  • The Xbox controller‘s batteries are weak
  • The Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery pack needs to be recharged
  • Another wireless device or router is causing interference
  • Metallic objects between the Xbox console and the wireless controllers are causing interference

If you’re having challenges with the Xbox controller not connecting or whether it’s detected at all, try out some of the known solutions below.

Xbox One controller detected but not working [FIX]

Solution 1: Restart your Xbox console

Turn off your Xbox and wait about two minutes or so before turning it on again. If the problem persists, try the next solution.


Solution 2: Make sure your system meets the requirements for Xbox Controllers for Windows

Check the following:

  • Confirm the version of Windows you are using This is important because the controller is designed to work with Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and later versions of Windows
  • That controller software is installed The controller requires a driver to work on a Windows PC. You can also download the driver from Microsoft website. For computers running Windows 7, the driver is downloaded and installed automatically when you connect your Xbox controller. In Windows 8.1, the driver is part of the operating system.

Solution 3: Update Xbox controller device drivers

Go to the Xbox controller for Windows and download its latest drivers, including critical, and/or important updates to Windows, by running a Windows Update.

How to run a Windows Update:

  • Go to Start
  • In the search field, type Windows Updates
  • Click on Windows Updates Settings from the search results
  • Click Check for updates
  • Install the latest Windows Updates

ALSO READ: The Xbox One Fall Update is now available for download


Solution 4: Use a powered USB port

If your controller is not working correctly, change it to a different, powered USB port. Unpowered ports may not provide enough power needed for the controller.

Do the following:

  • Plug the controller into a USB port on the back of your computer
  • Right-click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Select View Devices and Printers
  • Check your controller under Devices
  • Right-click the controller
  • Select Game controller settings
  • Check the controller status
  • Select Properties
  • Under Test tab, test the controller. In case of any issues, select Calibrate under Settings tab
  • For further issues, right-click the controller under Devices, then select Troubleshoot

For Windows 7 or earlier versions of Windows, use Device Manager to troubleshoot the problems. A conflict is marked with a yellow exclamation point.

Do the following:

  • Right-click Start
  • Select Run
  • Type cpl
  • Select Ok
  • Under Hardware tab, select Device Manager
  • When the controller is installed, you will see three entries in Device Manager: HID-compliant game controller, USB Human Interface Device, and a third entry under Microsoft Common Controller for Windows Class called Xbox 360 Controller for Windows
  • If there’s a yellow exclamation point next to any of the three, there’s a problem with the installation. If the exclamation point is with any of the three, unplug the controller. Hardware conflicts with the controller may cause the problem, but the yellow point will no longer appear after unplugging the controller in this case.

To resolve controller issues under Device Manager, do the following:

  1. Use troubleshooter
  • Go to Device Manager
  • Double click Xbox 360 controller for Windows
  • Select Troubleshoot and follow the instructions
  1. Remove then redetect your controller
  • Right-click Xbox 360 controller for Windows
  • Select Uninstall
  • Under Action menu, choose Scan for hardware changes
  1. Try updating the driver
  • Double click Xbox 360 controller for Windows
  • Click Driver tab
  • Select Update Driver

ALSO READ: Troubleshoot Xbox One wireless controller not working on Windows 10


Solution 5: Use a wireless gaming receiver

If you’re experiencing trouble with your Xbox controller, the issue could be that a wireless connection because the controller connects over wireless.

The Play and Charge kit only connects to the actual battery, so you’ll need an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver so you can connect your existing wireless controller.

Ensure the battery pack is correctly connected to your controller and plugged into one of the USB ports on your Xbox console.


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This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).


Solution 6: Replace batteries or recharge the battery pack

If you don’t have a rechargeable battery pack, get fresh AA batteries and insert them like so:

  • Press the tab on the AA battery pack
  • Pull down to detach the pack from the Xbox controller
  • Insert two fresh AA (LR6) batteries
  • Slide the AA battery pack into the Xbox controller, then push to close

If you have a Rechargeable Battery Pack, do the following:

  • Remove the battery pack, then reattach it your Xbox controller, making sure you attach it correctly
  • Press and hold the Guide button on the controller
  • The battery meter will indicate your current battery strength level in the upper left corner. If it is low, recharge the battery pack.

Solution 7: Check the USB ports on your Xbox console

  • Plug in your charge cable to each USB port on your Xbox console, one after another
  • If the Xbox controller works in one port but doesn’t work in another, try a different accessory in the port that didn’t work with the controller
  • If the USB port doesn’t work with any of the accessories, then your Xbox console needs repair, in which case you can contact Xbox Support.

If the ports work but you still experience connection problems with your Xbox controller, try the next solution.

ALSO READ: Xbox One X users ask for a new controller from Microsoft


Solution 8: Turn off vibration feedback on the Xbox controller

The Xbox controller takes longer to charge, draining the battery pack faster.

If you get vibration feedback while charging, here’s how to turn it off:

  • Press Guide button on the Xbox controller
  • Choose Settings
  • Select Preferences
  • Select Vibration
  • Select Enable Vibration and uncheck the box

Solution 9: Test with a different Xbox controller

If you can get another controller, try to see if it works. If it does, then your other Xbox controller – the one that cannot connect – is faulty. If not, there’s probably an issue with your Xbox console.

Using a different Xbox controller will help you know whether the issue is with your own controller or your Xbox console.


Solution 10: Reorganize your play space or move the Xbox console to a different place

If you’re using multiple Xbox controllers and this issue comes up, try to rearrange your play space or move your Xbox console to a different location. Since the controller works within 10 meters of your Xbox console, it’s important to be aware of any objects placed between the two devices. As such, it’s important to may reduce this range by being aware of all objects, but especially those that use wireless technology that can cause interference.

Remove or relocate objects or devices like microwave ovens, cordless phones, wireless routers, metal dividers, shelves, doors, entertainment center cabinet, or chrome faceplates.

READ ALSO: 3 best Xbox One USB external storage devices to use


Solution 11: Resync the Xbox controller with the Xbox console

Your controller may have lost connection to the console. You can reconnect either with the console’s connect button or by using a USB-to-micro USB-cable.

How to connect your controller using the console’s connect button:

  • Turn on your console
  • Insert batteries
  • Press and hold the Xbox button to turn on the controller
  • Press and release the Connect button
  • In 20 seconds, press and hold the black connect button at the back of your controller till the Xbox button quickly flashes a few times. This indicates it is searching for your console and gives a solid light when connected.

How to connect your controller using a USB-to-micro USB-cable

If you have a micro-USB cable or the Play and Charge kit, connect your controller to your console by connecting the cable between the two devices. The controller also acts as a wired controller without inserting batteries.


Solution 12: Disconnect controllers and headsets

If all the lights around the power button are green and the controller has four green, flashing lights, then the controllers are connected to the console.

Do the following:

  • Press and hold the Guide button for three seconds, then turn the controller off to disconnect wireless controllers
  • Turn off the headset to disconnect wireless headsets
  • Unplug the wired controller/headset cable from the console to disconnect it

Solution 13: Test the controller on an Xbox 360 console

To eliminate hardware issues, try the controller on an Xbox 360 console. If the problem persists, contact Xbox Support.


Solution 14: Replace your Xbox controller

If you cannot completely resolve the issue, you can get a replacement from the Device Center. Select your Xbox console, select Accessories from the list, and then register your console (if you’ve not done so already).

Let us know in the comments section if you have any further queries.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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