How to Fix Windows 11 Not Detecting Xbox Controller

Xbox Controller Keeps Turning Off - featured

Is your Windows 11 PC not detecting your Xbox controller? Fix the problem using this guide.

Want to use an Xbox controller for your PC gaming experience? If it isn’t detected, you’ll need to figure out why. To resolve the issue, you can fix Windows 11 not detecting the Xbox controller with a few steps.

Even if your Xbox controller works, it can become unsynchronized and not work for various reasons. For example, an update may contain bugs that knock it out of sync or the wireless signal is lost.

Whatever the reason, you can get your Xbox controller working again to get on with your gaming session using the steps below.

Re-Pair Your Xbox Controller to Windows

The first thing to try is to resync your Xbox controller wirelessly. Note that these steps work for all modern Xbox consoles, including Xbox One and Series X or S.

To re-pair the Xbox controller:

  1. Press and hold the Xbox logo button for 10 seconds until the controller powers off.
  2. Once it’s powered off, press and hold the Xbox button for a couple of seconds until it turns back on.
  3. The button will flash, which indicates it’s not synchronized with the PC yet.
  4. With the Xbox button flashing, press and hold the connecting button on the top of the controller next to the USB port.Not Detecting Xbox Controller
  5. The Xbox button will flash more quickly to indicate it’s in pairing mode.
  6. A notification may appear letting you know the controller was detected—click the Connect button and follow the onscreen instructions.

Add Your Xbox Controller Manually

If your Windows 11 PC doesn’t display a controller notification or you miss it, you can add it from Settings.

To manually connect the Xbox controller:

  1. Put the Xbox controller in pairing mode using the instructions outlined above.
  2. Press Windows key + I on your computer to open Settings.
  3. Select Bluetooth & devices and click the Add device button.
  4. When the Add a device menu appears, click the Bluetooth option at the top.Not Detecting Xbox Controller
  5. Select the Xbox Wireless Controller option when it’s detected.Not Detecting Xbox Controller
  6. Your Xbox controller will be successfully added.

Once your Xbox controller is successfully paired, close Settings and launch the game you want to play.

Connect Your Xbox Controller with a Cable

If the wireless option doesn’t work, you can force the controller to pair with Windows 11 using a cable.

Note: The type of cable you use will vary between controllers. Xbox Series X/S have a USB-C port, and Xbox One controllers have a micro USB port, so ensure you choose the appropriate cable. For example, if your laptop only has USB-C ports, you would need a USB to USB-C adapter to connect an Xbox One controller via micro USB.

To pair an Xbox controller via cable:

  1. Connect the appropriate cable to your powered Windows 11 PC.
  2. Connect the controller and press the Xbox button to power it on.
  3. The controller will vibrate, letting you know it’s connected.
  4. Launch the game you want to play and enjoy.

You can also open Settings > Bluetooth & devices and find the controller listed under the Other devices section.

Not Detecting Xbox Controller

If it doesn’t connect, inspect the cable for damage, verify it works with other devices, and try a different USB port on your system. In addition, ensure the batteries in the controller are fully charged.

Update Xbox Controller Firmware

If you still have problems with the detected controller, it might need a firmware update.

To update Xbox controller firmware:

  1. Launch the Xbox Accessories app or install it if you don’t have it already.
  2. Click the three-dot button under the Configure button.
  3. The current controller firmware will be listed, and if an update is available, it will display an Update required button.
  4. Update the controller’s firmware following the onscreen instructions and try using the controller again.Not Detecting Xbox Controller

Better Gaming with Windows 11

It’s also worth noting some basic troubleshooting steps to fix Windows 11 not detecting an Xbox controller is restarting Windows 11, and grabbing the latest Windows Updates, which can include a bug fix for the issue.

The gaming experience has improved on Windows 11, but sometimes games aren’t responsive. In that case, you can fix games lagging on the OS. And if you are a gamer, you might use gameplay DVR mode to share your best conquests. But if the Game Bar gets in the way, you can disable the Xbox Game Bar on Windows.

Steam is also a popular gaming platform for PCs, and you can fix Steam not working on Windows 11. If you want to use your controller with Apple Arcade, you can use an Xbox controller with iPad. And if you aren’t on Windows 11 yet, no worries. You can optimize Windows 10 gaming performance.

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