It’s very frustrating when the Xbox One controller keeps disconnecting when you’re playing a game. It can easily make you lose a competitive match.
Is there any way to fix it? I struggled with my Xbox One controller randomly disconnecting and I found some helpful solutions. Unless you physically damaged the controller, you should be able to stop it from disconnecting all the time.
Let’s take a look.
Xbox One Controller Disconnecting Fix
To fix an Xbox One controller disconnecting check the batteries, update the controller’s firmware, and unplug the power from your Xbox for a few seconds to force a power cycle.
I’ll expand on these steps in more detail below.
Check the Batteries
In most cases, your Xbox will warn you when the battery level on your controller is low. But sometimes the warning won’t appear, and your controller will randomly die on you.
I suggest replacing the batteries with a fresh pair. It’s the easiest solution. Occasionally, simply removing the batteries and placing them back in can get your controller working again.
Update Xbox One Controller Firmware
Most of the time the firmware on your Xbox One controller will automatically update. For example, when you buy a new Xbox, an alert will pop up saying the controller needs to be updated. However, there are times when you need to manually check for a controller update.
Note: The user interface on all Xboxes is the same.
How to Update an Xbox One Controller on Xbox
- Tap the Xbox button on your controller
- Navigate to Settings on the far right
- In the Settings menu, scroll down to Devices & Streaming
- Select Accessories
- Select the three-dots
- Choose Firmware version
- If an update is available, it will be downloaded and applied
- The light on the controller will blink a few times before reconnecting
How to Update Xbox One Controller on PC
- Download the Xbox Accessories app from the Microsoft Store and open it
- Connect your Xbox One controller to your PC with the Micro-USB cable
- An Update Required button will appear in the Xbox Accessories App
- Let the update finish. Make sure not to disconnect the controller
- A green tick mark will appear when your controller is updated
Updating the Xbox One controller firmware will usually fix disconnection issues. It’s always a good idea to use the latest firmware update on your controller.
Is your controller still disconnecting even with the latest firmware update? There are still a couple of other possible solutions.
Restart Your Controller
To restart your Xbox One controller hold down the Xbox button for six seconds until the light turns off. Wait a few seconds before pressing the Xbox button again to turn the controller back on.
Fully Restart Your Xbox
Many people forget to fully shut down their Xboxes. Most of the time, Xbox is left in standby mode. Leaving an Xbox turned on for long periods of time will not damage it, but fully restarting it from time to time can fix common issues.
To restart an Xbox, hold down the Xbox button on your controller, and select Restart. Another way to restart your Xbox is to hold down the Xbox button on the Xbox until it starts blinking and turns off completely. Then press it again to turn it back on.
Power Cycle Your Xbox
To power cycle your Xbox, unplug the power cable from the back (no need to unplug the HDMI cable) and wait at least 10 seconds. Reconnect the power cable and press the power button on your console.
Unplugging the power cable and waiting 10 seconds will force the power supply to reset. You can also press the power button a few times while the cable is disconnected to drain any leftover electricity.
If 10 seconds doesn’t fix the problem, I recommend leaving the Xbox unplugged for a full 60 seconds.
Remove USB Devices
Occasionally USB devices can cause strange problems with your Xbox, such as disconnecting the controller and whatnot. Many people have external hard drives connected to their Xboxes that can interfere with the controller connection.
As a test, I suggest disconnecting any external USB devices from your Xbox. The only things you want to be connected are HDMI and the power cables. See if your controller works fine when the USB devices are disconnected. You could also try reconnecting the USB devices to a different USB port on your Xbox.
Reset Your Xbox
Don’t worry. When you reset your Xbox there will be an option to keep your games and apps. The only settings that will reset and the system files. To reset your Xbox, open Settings, System, Console Info, and Reset.
You’ll be given the options to reset the console completely or reset and keep your games and apps. I recommend keeping games and apps because they can be a pain to download again. After the reset, you will need to sign in to your Microsoft account again.
Make Sure Nothing is Blocking the Xbox
Many people place their Xbox behind their TVs or in a compartment but that’s not a good idea. Besides the possibility of overheating your Xbox, if the Xbox is hidden, the signal to your controller will be weak.
Even placing objects on top of the Xbox can interfere with the wireless signal. Ideally, your Xbox should be out in the open, with plenty of space to breathe, and nothing in front of it. It’s best if the controller has a direct line of sight to your Xbox.
When All Else Fails
When all else fails, the problem could be that something inside the controller is damaged. If you dropped the controller or threw it across the room in a rage, that could be the issue. There’s also the possibility that you got a defective unit, although that’s very rare.
Either way, if your controller is under warranty, you can request a controller replacement from Microsoft. You’ll have to enter your controller’s serial number to check the warranty. You should be able to get a free replacement. The Xbox Steel Series Controller also includes a warranty.
Finally, when you’re certain the controller is at fault, your best option would be to buy a new one.
The Bottom Line
Unless your Xbox One controller is broken, you should be able to stop it from disconnecting using the steps outlined in this post. For me, and many other people who struggle with this issue, power cycling the Xbox did the trick.
Xbox’s official support recommends leaving the console unplugged for 10 seconds but I think you should leave it unplugged for 60 seconds. It will almost always get your controller to stay connected.
How did you get your Xbox One controller to stop disconnecting? Leave a comment below