August 2nd, 2021

How to reset a PS4 controller

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How to reset a PS4 controller

If there's one thing that can throw you off your game, it's a broken PS4™ controller. And like other common PlayStation® 4 issues—such as overheating, software crashes, or autoejecting discs—it can be extremely frustrating when you don't know what caused the problem or how to fix it.

Fortunately, when tech breaks, Asurion Experts know how to get things back up and running. They help millions of customers (and counting) every day, whether it's speeding up a slow laptop or finding the best gaming monitors and TVs. Has your PlayStation 4 controller failed you? Check out these tips for resetting your device so it works like it should.

Why is my PS4 controller not working?

Not sure how your DualShock® 4 controller became disconnected? Here are some possible causes, according to our experts:

  • The controller was recently paired with another device, like a different PS4 or PC.
  • The controller's battery is dead or nearly out of juice.
  • The controller is too far from your PlayStation and is no longer connected via Bluetooth®.
  • The Micro-USB cable that connects your controller might be faulty or disconnected.
  • The controller could have turned off due to the PlayStation's Power Save settings.
  • The PS button on the controller may be malfunctioning or broken.

How to sync a PS4 controller

Once you've determined that your controller isn't responding, there are several ways to reconnect it with your PlayStation 4. You can try re-pairing the controller with the console (a soft reset), or you can restore the controller to its factory settings (known as a hard reset). We'll show you how.

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How to soft reset your PS4 controller

To complete this type of reset, you'll need a second, working DualShock 4 controller to navigate the following steps.

  1. On your PlayStation dashboard, head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
  2. Select your inactive DualShock 4 controller from the list. It will be the one without the green dot next to it.
  3. Press the Options button on your working controller, then select Forget Device. This will remove the inactive, malfunctioning controller from your PlayStation's system.
  4. Press the PS button on your working controller, then select Power > Turn off PS4.
  5. Once your console is completely turned off, connect the malfunctioning controller to your PS4 with a USB cable, then turn the console back on.
  6. Press the PS button on your malfunctioning controller and log on to your PS4.

How to hard reset a PS4 controller

If your controller is still having trouble and won't sync to your PlayStation 4, it may be time to run a full reset on the controller. This will revert your controller to its factory default settings, but don't worry—it won't affect your saved game data. Here's what you'll need:

  • An unfolded paper clip or straight pin
  • A Micro-USB cable

From there, it's easy to learn how to reset your PS4 controller. Just follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your PlayStation 4. You may also want to disconnect it from the internet, which can sometimes interfere with your controller's setup.
  2. Unplug the controller, and flip it over.
  3. While it is upside down, locate the recessed reset button in the small hole near the controller's L2 button and use your paper clip or pin to press and hold it for at least 6 seconds.
  4. Release the reset button and wait a few more seconds. Then plug in the controller using the Micro-USB cable.
  5. Press the PS button. When the light bar on the controller turns blue, it should be paired, and you can log on to your PS4.

How to troubleshoot a PS4 controller in other ways

If resetting your DualShock 4 controller doesn't fix its issue, there are a few other methods you can try to resync your device, like using a different USB cable or playing in wired mode (if you have the 2016 revised model). Asurion Experts also recommend these troubleshooting tips:

Turn off and charge the controller

A PS4 controller only typically lasts eight hours on a single charge, but sometimes it can run out of juice much faster. Plug in your controller via its Micro-USB cable, and give it time to restore power. You should also make sure it's fully off when not in use. Don't know how to turn off a PS4 controller? It's easy to do:

From the controller:

Press and hold the PS button for about 10 seconds. Your controller will turn off immediately.

From the PlayStation dashboard:

  1. Press and hold the PS button for 2 seconds until you see the Quick Menu.
  2. Select Sound/Devices > Turn Off Device, then choose your controller from the list.
  3. You can also set a time limit in the Quick Menu for your controller to automatically turn off. Just select Set Time Until Controllers Turn Off and choose an option: After 10 Minutes, After 30 Minutes, or After 60 Minutes.

Restart your modem or Wi-Fi router​

Your internet connection could be to blame for your controller issues. Turn off these devices, and try to do a hard reset on your PS4 controller. If it successfully syncs to your PlayStation, try playing games without Wi-Fi.

Try a different device 

Test your PS4 controller with another device, like a PC or a friend's PlayStation, and see if you experience similar issues. You should also try connecting their controller to your own console to see if it works properly. If not, your PlayStation may be having trouble with its wireless connectivity. Can't remember how to connect a PS4 controller? Just turn on your console, plug in the USB cable, and press the PS button.

If your PS4 controller still isn't working properly, you may have a hardware issue. Stop by your nearest uBreakiFix by Asurion for fast fixes for all your gaming devices.

Make sure your PlayStation 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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