August 2nd, 2021

What to do when Xbox controller won't stay on

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How to fix Xbox controller that won't stay on Asurion

Imagine this: You're playing Xbox® with friends and the game is getting heated when suddenly your controller stops working. You try reconnecting it, but it can't find a signal or is randomly turning off and on. What do you do?

Don't worry, at Asurion our experts help millions of customers resolve issues like this every day—on all their favorite devices. Here's their step-by-step guide on how to fix an Xbox controller that won't stay on so you can get back to crushing it at Call of Duty®.

Why your Xbox controller keeps disconnecting or turning off

There are many reasons why your Xbox controller may be having syncing or power problems. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Your controller needs new batteries.
  • The firmware in your controller needs to be updated.
  • Your controller is too far away from the gaming console.
  • There are too many devices connected to your gaming console.

How to fix an Xbox controller that won't stay on or remain connected

Follow these steps to troubleshoot your Xbox wireless controller.

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1. Turn your controller off and on

This step will clear out any mismatched signals.

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button for 5–10 seconds to turn your controller off.
  2. Wait a few seconds, then press the Xbox button to turn it back on.

2. Replace the batteries or recharge your controller

Dead or dying batteries can cause your controller to stop connecting.

  1. Tap the Xbox button on your controller. Navigate to the Home menu, then look for the battery icon in the top-right corner.
  2. If the batteries are low, remove the back casing from your controller and replace the two AA batteries. If it has a rechargeable battery pack, plug your controller into a power source and charge it until it's at full power.

3. Use a USB cable to connect your controller to the console

This will help you determine if your controller has a hardware issue. Using a USB to micro-USB cable, connect your controller to your gaming console. If you own an Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, Xbox Series X™, or Xbox Series S™ controller, you'll need to use a USB-C cable.

If your controller works with a wired connection, continue to step four. If it doesn't, contact one of our experts to get it repaired.

4. Update the software in your controller

Your controller uses a form of microchip software—known as firmware—to regularly communicate with your console. You'll need to periodically update it to make sure your device is working at its best.

How to update the firmware on your Xbox console:

  1. Keep your controller connected to your console with a USB cable. Make sure the cable is damage-free and firmly plugged in on both sides.
  2. Tap the Xbox button on your controller to open the Home menu.
  3. Go to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories. Then select the controller you want to update.
  4. On the Xbox Wireless Controller screen, select “…” to check the firmware version.
  5. If there's an update available, follow the on-screen instructions. If not, your controller is up to date.
  6. Let your controller sit for up to 5 minutes, as the update may take several minutes to complete.

How to update your firmware on a PC running Windows™ 10:

  1. Open the Xbox Accessories app on your PC (if you don't have it, download it here). Make sure your PC is running the latest version of Windows 10.
  2. Connect your controller to your PC using a USB cable or Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.
  3. If an update is available, a message will appear that says Update Required. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the update. If you don't see that message, your controller is up to date.

5. Wirelessly reconnect to your console

If your controller is on but still not connecting to your console wirelessly, it's time to pair it to your Xbox or PC.

How to connect your wireless controller on an Xbox:

  1. Turn on your Xbox console.
  2. Press and hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on.
  3. Press and release the Pair button on your Xbox console (the location of this button will vary with different models).
  4. Quickly press and hold the Pair button on your controller. The Xbox button will flash a few times, indicating that it's searching. Once connected, the Xbox button will stay lit.

How to connect Xbox wireless controller on a PC running Windows 10:

  1. Turn on your PC and sign in. If you're using an Xbox Wireless Adapter, plug it into your PC.
  2. Press and hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on.
  3. Press and hold the Pair button on your controller. The Xbox button will flash several times, indicating that it's searching. (If you're using an Xbox Wireless Adapter, press and hold the Pair button on your adapter first, then press and hold the Pair button on your controller until the Xbox button stays lit. Only continue to step four if you aren't using an adapter and your controller has built-in Bluetooth®).
  4. On your PC, click the Start button > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices. Then turn on Bluetooth.
  5. Click Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. Your PC will search for your controller.
  6. Select Xbox Wireless Controller or Xbox Elite Wireless Controller > Done.
  7. Once connected, the Xbox button on your controller will stay lit.

Xbox controller connection tips

Worried your Xbox controller will keep disconnecting? Try the following tips to avoid future issues:

  • Place your controller close to your console; most wireless Xbox controllers have a range of 19–28 feet.
  • Remove items like laptops, metal shelves, and cell phones from the area between your controller and your gaming system—they can cause signal interference.
  • Keep the number of controllers connected to your console to a minimum. If too many are connected, this can cause an issue called multiplayer lag. The maximum number of controllers you can connect to most consoles is eight.

Still having issues?

If your Xbox controller still won't stay on, you may be dealing with a hardware problem. For expert help with gaming console repair, visit the nearest uBreakiFix by Asurion store for a free diagnostic. We'll get you back up and running as soon as the same day.

Make sure your Xbox is protected

Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan that covers all your favorite home tech. With Asurion Home+, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 assistance for your whole family with any tech care need—for less than $1/day. Learn more about Asurion Home+ coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.

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