Your Xbox One console can become a frustrating brick if you have a non-working controller to use it. This guide will walk you through the troubleshooting steps if your Xbox One controller won’t turn on for whatever reason.
Xbox One controllers are designed to work for years and they are quite durable. But just like any electronic device, it can also encounter issues and one of the common ones is failure to power on. Fortunately, in many cases, this issue is temporary and easily fixable on a user’s level. More serious causes may require professional help or replacement but majority of Xbox One controller issues are relatively easy to fix.
Why an Xbox One controller won’t work or power on
There are several reasons why an Xbox One controller won’t turn on. Below are the common causes for this problem.
If your controller has been around, the battery pack may have simply run out of juice, or it may need a recharge (if you’re using the rechargeable type). If not installed properly, a battery pack may also lead to your controller dying or not turning on at all.
Although you can use any battery brand, not every battery performs well. Try switching to a better battery brand if the ones you have don’t work well.
Microsoft’s own Play and Charge Kit, which includes a rechargeable battery pack is actually pretty decent but it may die eventually if it reaches its maximum recharge cycles. Replace the rechargeable battery with a standard AA battery set to see if the former is dead.
Damaged battery or contacts.
Damaged battery contacts, the metal components that connects to the tips of the batteries, may become worn out. Poor connection with the battery pack can also cause the controller to stop working.
You can try to remove the battery and see if there’s any obvious sign of damage to the contacts.
Broken charging accessory.
The play and charge kit that comes with your console can become damaged if you’re not careful with it. The cable has tiny wires inside that can break if you constantly pull hard or bend the cable. If you have a second controller, try checking if it charges normally when using the play and charge kit. If the second controller won’t charge, replace the kit.
Firmware issue (rare).
A firmware is a special type of software that allows a hardware like your controller to interact with the software in the console. If your controller’s firmware is corrupted during an update, it may cause the controller to stop working.
Invisible or unknown hardware malfunction.
Internal hardware faults or damage in the controller’s board that you can’t see can also cause a problem. This usually happens if you drop the controller or get it wet. Even though the controller may look fine externally, a broken component inside may cause an electrical short in the tiny board inside and cause other parts to fail completely.
Troubleshooting an Xbox One controller that won’t turn on
Time Needed : 10 minutes
You can do some troubleshooting steps to see if you can fix your controller to work again.
- Check the batteries.
Remove the current batteries you’re using and see if the Xbox One controller turns back on with a new set.
- Verify if charging cable or charge and play kit are good.
If you’re using the Play and Charge Kit, try using both the cable and battery pack with a second controller. If you don’t have another controller, borrow one from a friend. Replace any of the damaged accessory if needed.
- Check for firmware issues.
This may be a rare occurrence but controller firmware problems can happen. To check if the controller has encountered a firmware issue, you’ll need a second working controller. Here’s what you need to do:
Connect the non-working controller to the Xbox One console with a USB cable. Make sure that this cable is working.
On your second controller (that’s connected to the Xbox), press the Guide button (the button with the Xbox logo).
Go to System > Settings > Kinect & devices > Devices & accessories.
Look for the non-functional controller in the list of connected devices and select Update Required. Note: If there’s no Update Required option and you only see Configure, this means that the controller is running the latest firmware.
Select Update Now.
Wait for the controller to finish updating and check if the controller is working.
- Connect to console with USB cable.
In some cases, a controller what won’t turn on when using a battery pack may actually work when connected to the Xbox console via USB. Try this setup and see if you can make the controller work before throwing it away or replacing it.
- Get a replacement.
If none of the above solutions has worked so far and your Xbox One controller still won’t turn on, there may be a deeper issue causing it. You’ll need to get a new controller in this case.
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