How To Fix Xbox One Controller Won’t Sync | Won’t Connect

Are you having an issue with your Xbox One controller that won’t sync? Well, you’ve come to the right blog. In this article, we’ll show you the ways to easily fix your problem. 

An Xbox One controller can continue working for years because they’re built with durability in mind. However great the hardware though, some Xbox One users may experience a rather frustrating problem: a wireless controller that won’t pair. If you’re one of the unlucky users with this problem, learn what you can do by following the solutions in this post.

Why Xbox One controllers won’t sync or connect

There are a number of possible factors that might cause an Xbox One controller sync issue. Let’s discuss each of them briefly.

Controller or console bug.

Just like any electronic device, both the controller and Xbox One console may encounter random bugs that may hinder a connection from working normally. If your controller was working with your Xbox One console normally previously, it may have developed a connection glitch. Such bug may or may not go away easily depending on the issue.

Hardware malfunction.

Controllers can die from wear and tear as well as from physical damage. Because wireless controllers can sometimes slip from our hands, internal components may break. The controller may look spotless outside but it may have an internal failure after an accidental drop. If your Xbox One controller won’t turn on at all, there’s a different set of troubleshooting steps that you need to follow.

Signal interference.

Your Xbox One controller uses the same wireless spectrum as other common home gadgets. It’s possible that one or more devices you have may be interfering with the controller’s signals. You can look into this possibility by turning off all wireless devices like phones, routers, baby monitors, microwave ovens, etc.

Weak batteries.

Using old or weak batteries may still turn the controller on but there may not be enough power for the system to function properly. If you’re using rechargeable batteries, try charging them to 100% before testing it with your controller again. Alternatively, try using a new set of batteries to be sure.

Troubleshooting Xbox One controller sync issues

If your Xbox One controller is having issues when trying to connect or pair with the console, it may be due to a software glitch, signal interference, hardware bug, or other reasons. Follow the set of troubleshootings steps below to identify the reason for your problem.

  1. Verify controller is not synced to another controller.

    If you have more than one Xbox One console at home, make sure that the one you’re having trouble syncing is not already synced to another Xbox. 
    Also, keep in mind that an Xbox One console only allows a maximum of 8 synced controllers. If you’re trying to connect another on top of the current 8, it won’t work. Disconnect another controller before connecting a new one.

  2. Use the controller right beside the console.

    Your Xbox One controller uses Bluetooth technology to establish a connection with the console and as such, it’s only limited to about 20 feet operating range. If you’re beyond that range, you may have difficulty using or syncing the controller with the console. Thick walls, metallic objects, glass, and other sources of signal interference can dramatically reduce the operating range of your wireless controller. For troubleshooting purposes, try to bring the controller as close to your console as possible and see if it syncs.

  3. Check for auto-shut off feature.

    If you noticed that your controller disconnects or turns off after leaving it for some time, don’t be alarmed. This is a design feature and not a defect in order to extend battery life. An Xbox One controller will turn off by itself if it’s not used after 15 minutes.
    If you don’t want to keep syncing or powering it back on, try to push at least one button before 15 minutes is up. One good trick that you can do is to engage one of the analog sticks by taping it down so the controller can continue sending command to the console. Be wary though as this can shorten the battery.

  4. Use a fresh set of batteries.

    Weak batteries can significantly lessen the range of your controller. Recharge the batteries or replace them with a new set if necessary. 

  5. Sync the controller using a USB cable.

    If your controller can’t sync to the console wirelessly, try doing it while it’s tethered via a USB cable. Just plug the micro-USB cable to your controller and console, then press and hold the Xbox button on the controller to pair the devices. Your controller should still be synced to the console even after you disconnect the USB cable.

  6. Disconnect your headset.

    If your controller still won’t sync to your Xbox One at this point, try disconnecting the headset and see if that helps. Some users were able to successfully pair their controller and console again after doing this workaround.

  7. Check for signal interference.

    Try to move the controller as close to the console as possible (there should be no walls, glass, or metallic objects between them). Then, make sure that there are no other wireless devices in your troubleshooting area. Turn off any wireless gadgets near or around the console and controller. Keep in mind that the Bluetooth range of both devices is about 20 feet (19.7 feet to be exact) so clear any sources of possible signal interference within this range.

  8. Update the controller firmware.

    In some cases, a controller’s firmware may need to be updated before it can work again with the console. To check if the controller requires an update, follow these steps:
    -Connect your controller to the console with a USB cable.
    -Sign in Xbox Live.
    -Press the Menu button on your controller, and select Settings.
    -Select Devices & accessories.
    -Select the controller you are using.
    -Select Update.
    -Select Continue.
    -Let the system check for updates. Afterwards, check for the problem again.

What you can do if your wireless Xbox One controller still won’t sync?

If none of the solutions above help at all, a deeper issue with the controller or with the console may be at play. If another controller syncs fine with the console, then the controller you’re having an issue with may have a hardware malfunction. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll need to replace the controller if you need wireless functionality when gaming. 

If only the wireless functionality of your controller is dead, you may still be able to use it with a USB cable. 

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