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Xbox Controller Won’t Connect

David William



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The Xbox is one of the sleekest, comfortable, and reliable controllers. But sometimes it might not function as you would expect. One of the most common hiccups with the Xbox controller – and any wireless device, for that matter – is failing to connect. While there are a number of reasons why your Xbox controller won’t connect to the console, the issues are usually easy to solve.

In this guide, we highlight some of the potential issues affecting your Xbox controller, thus preventing it from connecting to the console, and how to fix them.

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Syncing Problem 

Xbox controllers are supposed to be synced with the console; otherwise, it will not connect. Here is how to sync the two: 

  1. Switch the console on. 
  2. Press and hold the sync button on the console and controller until they pair. The syncing button in the control is located at the top near the USB port. 
  3. Once the pairing process is complete, the Xbox box button will stay lit. 

Wireless Interference 

Your Xbox controller might be experiencing wireless interference from other gadgets or physical objects disrupting the connection. You can solve this by ensuring there are no other wireless gadgets or obstacles interfering with the connection. Also, try to move closer to the console in order to establish a strong connection. If the control is still not connecting, you should consider establishing a connection using a USB cable. The wireless Xbox controller usually comes with an option to connect to the console using a USB-C cable. If it is still not connecting, it could have something to do with the software. 

Software Problem 

Xbox controllers, just like the console, need regular software updates. To initiate a software update on your controller, follow the steps below: 

  1. Connect one end of the USB cable to your controller and the other end to the console.
  2. You should see an on-screen instruction to update your controller automatically appear. If it doesn’t appear, click the Xbox button to access the guide. 
  3. Choose Profile & system and then Settings.
  4. Select Devices & connections and then click Accessories to choose your controller.
  5. Click “…” and access the up-to-date system version for the controller. If you see “Update,” click Firmware version and follow the on-screen instructions to update the controller firmware. 
  6. Disconnect the USB-C cord and try to connect the controller wirelessly. 

PC Pairing Problem 

Sometimes, your Xbox controller may fail to connect to your personal computer for whatever reasons. To solve this, start by checking the version of Windows your PC uses. Accessing this information is easy. Just type the words “PC info” in the search bar at the bottom left of the screen of your computer and click Enter. An “About” window should appear. Simply scroll down and select “Windows specifications” to see you’re the version of Windows you are using. 

You need this piece of information because it will determine how you troubleshoot your Xbox controller issues with your PC. 

For Windows 7 and 8.1 

In case you are using Windows 7 or 8.1, they will download the required files automatically for your Xbox control to function once you connect it with a USB-C cable on your computer. 

For Windows 10

With Bluetooth 

You can pair your Xbox controller with your PC operating on Windows 10 using Bluetooth. To do this, you can follow the steps below: 

  1. Make sure your controller is on, and then press and hold the Pair button on your controller. Doing this will cause the Xbox button to start flashing promptly. 
  2. Click the Start button on your computer, then go to Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth and other devices and turn on Bluetooth. 
  3. Click Add Bluetooth or another device and then choose Bluetooth. Your computer should begin searching for the controller. 
  4. Choose Xbox Elite Wireless Controller/Xbox Wireless Controller and then click Done. 

Without Bluetooth 

You can still pair your Xbox with a PC without using Bluetooth. This means you will need a USB cable to achieve this. The process is pretty straightforward – just connect one end of the cable to the PC and another to your Xbox controller. Once the two are connected, your computer will automatically find your controller. Sometimes it won’t, in which case, click the Xbox button to turn your controller back on. If you are using your Xbox with a PC or console, you may experience multiple controller issues. 

This happens when you have more than one controller paired with your PC or console, causing confusion about which controller should be active. Turn off or disconnect other controllers and see if the issue continues. There are many other reasons why your Xbox controller won’t connect –either to the console or computer. If you try these troubleshooting steps and still your controller won’t connect, it might be time to seek help. 

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