If your PS4 controller won’t connect all of a sudden, you don’t necessarily need a new one to resolve the issue. This troubleshooting guide shows you the possible solutions that you need to try first before deciding on whether or not to junk a misbehaving controller.
Causes why your PS4 controller won’t sync or connect
There are a few reasons that can be blamed for the PS4 controller syncing issue.
Bluetooth signal interference.
Sony’s PS4 uses standard Bluetooth connection to sync wireless controllers. If you have a number of Bluetooth devices connected to your PS4 and you’re having trouble connecting or your controller won’t connect at all, you may have a signal interference issue at hand.
Wireless devices that use Bluetooth to connect are typically designed to handle possible signal interference from other devices but connection problems may still occur. You should try to disconnect other Bluetooth devices such as tablets, headsets, smartphones, PCs, etc., to see if any of them is causing the problem.
If your battery on your PS4 controller is weak, it’s Bluetooth range may be shortened. At other times, the controller may not be able to maintain a good connection at all.
The same can happen if the battery is damaged or no longer holding a charge.
Controller firmware issue.
In some situations, the cause can be deep within the firmware of the PS4 controller. Since there’s no setting on your console to update the firmware of the controller, you are limited to resetting it instead. This is often an effective way to fix misbehaving PS4 controllers.
Troubleshooting a PS4 controller that won’t sync or connect
Below are the potential solutions that you can try if your PS4 controller won’t connect to the console.
- Charge the controller.
When troubleshooting a wireless PS4 controller, make sure that you charge to 100% first. This will make sure that you’re not dealing with a possible PS4 controller won't-turn-on or weak battery issue.
- Connect the controller and console with USB cable.
If you’re having trouble connecting a controller wirelessly, try using a USB cable instead to resync it. Here’s how:
-Get a known good working USB cable.
-Connect the controller to your PS4 with the USB cable.
–Press and hold the PlayStation button in the middle of the controller. This will clear the old connection setting and resync this controller to the console again.
- Re-sync controller at startup.
If the previous step hasn’t helped, you can try to check if re-syncing at startup will do the trick. Here’s what you need to do:
–Shut down your PlayStation 4.
–Connect your controller to the console using a USB cable.
–Press and hold the PlayStation or PS button on the center of your controller. This will prompt the controller to re-sync at startup.
- Perform a soft reset on the controller.
You’ll need another good working controller to do this. If you don’t have a second controller to use, just skip this solution and proceed to the next one below.
-Using the second controller that’s working, go to your PS4’s Settings menu.
-Select Devices from the drop-down menu.
-Select Bluetooth Devices.
-Find the wireless controller that’s not working in the list of devices and select it. An active controller should show a green dot while inactive ones will have a white or grey circle.
-Press the Options button on your controller, found to the right of the touchpad. This will bring up a new menu.
-Select Forget Device. This will disconnect the inactive controller from the console.
-Turn off the PS4 console.
–Re-sync the controller at startup like what we did in Step#3.
- Do a hard reset on the controller.
If you can’t perform a soft reset on the controller, then you have no other option but to perform a hard reset. For this to work, you’ll need to use a paper clip or a similar object. You’ll have to use the unfurled paper clip to press the tiny reset button.
-Turn off the PS4 console.
-Find the small hole where the reset button is. It’s under and near the left trigger (LT) button.
-Insert the paper clip in the hole and push the reset button for about 5 seconds.
-Connect the controller to the PS4 again and see what happens.
Some PS4 users who had a wireless controller syncing issue in the past reported that they were able to resync their controllers with the steps below. The only difference that we notice with this procedure is that you disrupt the boot up process of the console first. This is not a safe procedure and may potentially corrupt the software if done repeatedly.
If the above solutions have not helped at all, then definitely try this possible workaround to fix controller that won’t sync or controller that’s not working :
–Power on the console.
-Once the console has started booting up, turn it off by unplugging it from the wall outlet or surge protector (if you’re using one). Don’t unplug the power cable from the back of the console.
-Once the PS4 restarts, it’s going to rebuild its cache or system files. You should try to connect the controller again and see what happens.
What happens if your PS4 controller won’t connect up to this point?
If this guide won’t work and none of the solutions have helped, you should consider getting a replacement. If the console and controller are still within the warranty period, contact Sony or visit your retailer to get a free replacement.
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