Xbox Controller Keeps Turning Off: 5 Fixes

Xbox Controller Keeps Turning Off - featured

When your Xbox controller keeps turning off in the middle of a game, it’s the worst. Here are the steps you can take to fix it.

I was playing Starfield on my Xbox the other day when, out of the blue, my controller just turned off in the middle of a fight. I quickly pressed the central Xbox button to turn it back on, only to be faced with the controller turning off again a few seconds later. Luckily, I was able to exit the combat safely and use Quick Resume to get back to playing, but still… This little adventure of mine led me to dig up some ways to fix the issue, so read along if you’ve got the same thing going on.

1. Manually Turn Your Controller Off and On

Sometimes, a manual “reboot” can fix all sorts of problems. If you’re experiencing an issue with your Xbox controller randomly turning off, try forcing such a reboot.

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button for 5 to 10 seconds until the controller turns completely off.
  2. Wait 30 seconds, then press the Xbox button to turn the controller back on.

Test your controller for a while to see if it turns itself off again. If the problem keeps happening, it’s time to try one of the next possible solutions.

Xbox Controller

2. Make Sure Your Xbox Controller Is Fully Charged If It Keeps Turning Off

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s definitely worth pointing out. If the battery in your controller isn’t fully charged, you could experience issues. It might randomly disconnect from your Xbox or just turn off.

Checking Your Xbox Controller Battery Charge

To find out if dead or dying batteries are causing your Xbox controller to keep turning off, follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Xbox button on your controller and navigate to the Home menu.
  2. Look for the battery icon in the top-right corner of your TV.
  3. If the battery percentage is low, remove the back casing from your controller and replace the two AA batteries.
  4. If your Xbox controller has a rechargeable battery pack, plug it into a power source and fully charge it.

With any luck, manually turning your controller off and on again will force it to refresh itself, and the problem won’t happen again. If it does, we’ve still got a couple more tricks up our sleeves.

3. Connect Your Xbox Controller Using a USB Cable

Next, we’re going to look for a possible hardware issue. If there’s something wrong with the charging circuitry inside your Xbox controller, using it as a wired controller will often expose that issue. First, I’d make sure to safely eject any external storage devices, just to be certain you don’t lose data.

Xbox One S and controller

Using a USB-to-microUSB cable, connect your controller directly to your Xbox console. If you own an Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S controller, you’ll need to use a USB-C cable instead.

Hopefully, your controller works just fine with a wired connection, and you can move on to the next fixes. If it doesn’t, though, that means there’s a hardware fault. You’ll need to replace the controller or get it repaired.

4. Wirelessly Reconnect to your Console

Next, sometimes repairing your Xbox controller to your console can help with the accessory randomly turning off. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Make sure your Xbox console is turned on, then press and hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on.
  2. Press and release the Pair button on your Xbox console.
  3. Quickly press and hold the Pair button on your controller. The button will flash a few times; this means it’s searching for a console or PC to connect to.
  4. When the Xbox button stays lit, your controller is reconnected to your console. Test your Xbox controller to see if it still keeps turning off.

5. Update Your Xbox Controller Software

Just like with your computer or mobile phone, Microsoft occasionally updates the software that runs your Xbox controller. If your Xbox controller keeps turning off, it may need a firmware update to fix the problem.

How to Update Your Xbox Controller Firmware on Your Xbox Console

  1. Keep the controller plugged into your Xbox console using the cable we used in the previous step.
  2. Tap the Xbox button on your controller to open the Home window.
  3. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories. Select the controller you want to update.
  4. On the Xbox Wireless Controller screen, select to check the firmware version.
  5. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
  6. Leave your controller alone for at least five minutes so the update can be completed.

How to Use Your PC to Update Your Xbox Controller’s Firmware

If you’d prefer, or if updating the firmware fails using the Xbox console, you can also perform the update using Windows 10 or on Windows 11. Here’s how.

  1. Make sure you have the Xbox Accessories app installed and open it.
  2. Connect your Xbox controller to your PC using a USB cable or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.
  3. If there’s an available firmware update, the Xbox Accessories app will display a message that an update is required.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the firmware update.

Can We Just Get Back to Gaming Now?

When your game controller keeps turning off randomly, it really kills the gaming experience. I hope one of the fixes above took care of the issue for you. If you know of other possible ways to handle such random power-offs with an Xbox controller, let us know in the comments below.



  1. Jeff

    April 10, 2024 at 9:59 pm

    Hey, I have an elite 2 controller and it randomly turns off when I’m playing tekken 8 in this case, in the middle of a match so I quickly have to press the Xbox button to turn it on again. I don’t know if I press the buttons to hard or what it is because I can’t make it happen. It’s a built in battery so I can’t change that. What could I do?

    • Jeff Butts

      April 11, 2024 at 10:52 am

      Hi Jeff,

      I’d follow the steps listed in the article and see if any of them help. However, it’s weird that it only happens in Tekken 8. If it is you pushing the buttons too hard in the middle of a fight, I’d say there may be a loose wire inside the controller. Nothing you can do about that other than try to solder it yourself if you’re competent in that, have it repaired, or replace it.

      Good luck!

      Jeff Butts

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