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Xbox One controller buttons jammed? Here's how to fix it

Xbox One controller with jammed buttons

There's nothing worse than a sticky controller upending an epic game of Fortnite® or Roblox® on Xbox One®. When a button won't respond quickly enough, it's nearly impossible to play your best. Luckily, fixing it is easy, and we can help.

At Asurion, we teach millions of people how to repair, troubleshoot, and get the most from their tech and appliances. Whether you're looking to fix a lagging Xbox One, stop annoying spam texts, or learn about wireless mesh networks, we keep the devices you rely on most working all day, every day. Before you buy a new controller, check out our tips for fixing jammed game controller buttons on Xbox One.

Why are my buttons sticky?

The most common causes of sticky gaming controller buttons are dirt, dust, oil, and sweat from your hands. Another culprit: game-time snacks. Dropping crumbs or splashing liquid around your controller can contribute to the buttons getting sticky, too.

How to clean your Xbox One controller buttons

Want to remove the gunk from your controller buttons? You won't need more than a couple of household items—and some patience.

Clean with cotton swabs and alcohol

If you just spilled something on your controller, or you noticed a sticky button for the first time, you likely have a minor mess. Gather some cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol, then follow these steps:

  1. Unplug your controller.
  2. Dampen the cotton swab with rubbing alcohol, dabbing off any excess.
  3. Rub the cotton swab around the sticky button. Be sure to clean inside the crevices.
  4. Once you've cleaned around the button as much as possible, press it a bunch of times to work the rubbing alcohol into the crevices and loosen any debris left behind.
  5. If the button still sticks, repeat this process.
  6. Let the controller dry.

Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, and you won't use enough to damage the controller's internal circuitry. But remember, never apply liquids directly to your controller, and don't clean it with water, as it can cause internal damage.

If your sticky situation requires more umph, you'll have to clean your Xbox One controller from the inside out. That means opening it up and removing the motherboard, which may void your warranty. That's a sophisticated job that requires the proper equipment, so it's best to schedule an appointment with an Xbox controller repair pro. They'll be able to diagnose the problem and get your controller back up and running fast.

How to prevent jammed controller buttons

Want to avoid this issue in the future? Follow these steps to keep your controller buttons squeaky clean and responsive.

  • Don't eat and play. As tempting as it may be to snack and game, keep food and beverages away from your controller. You'll be less likely to spill crumbs or liquids that can create problems with your buttons.
  • Wash your hands. Oils from your hands can cause stickiness on your controller, so make sure your hands are clean before you play.
  • Keep your storage area dust-free. When you're not using your controller, place it in a clean, dust-free space to increase its longevity.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

Don't let a glitched controller mean game over

The Asurion Home+® protection plan offers peace of mind for all of your eligible home tech, including your favorite gaming systems, for less than $1 per day. From graphical glitches to faulty drives, we cover your video game console and original controller from the unexpected breakdown—no matter where or when you purchased it. Learn more at

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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