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Why Won’t My Xbox Controller Turn On?

Why Won’t My Xbox Controller Turn On?

Veteran gamers remember the struggle of sitting three feet away from the TV using a wired controller. Now, wireless controllers are standard among modern video game consoles, such as the Xbox Series X. However, dealing with a controller that won’t even turn on may leave you yearning for a corded one.

Your Xbox controller may not turn on if it is out of batteries. Depending on how often you use the device, you may need to change out the AA batteries every couple of months. If this does not work, check the battery connectors, or try installing any recent firmware updates.

There are other possible problems and solutions as to why your Xbox controller won’t turn on. If there is a factory defect impeding your Xbox controller’s function, it could be covered under Microsoft’s limited warranty. Read on to learn more about troubleshooting any issues.  

Troubleshooting Your Xbox Controller

Before we go any further, make sure that the controller you are using is designed for your video game system. While you can use most PC controllers to play your Xbox, not all of them are compatible.

Now, here are some other possible reasons why your controller will not turn on:

It Has Run Out of Batteries

While you can opt for a rechargeable Xbox controller, if you are using the one that came originally with your system, it will require two AA batteries. You can try swapping out the old batteries with new ones.

If you are not entirely sure if your batteries are the issue, you can check their voltage using a battery tester checker. Within seconds, this device will tell you how much “juice” is left in your batteries.

The Battery’s Connectors Are Dirty

Your Xbox controller’s batteries and internal hardware may be fine, but the battery connectors may be dirty. This could be the case if you have not used your controller in a long time, as the batteries may have corroded, leaving behind a crusty, blueish-grey residue on the connectors.

Depending on the extent of the corrosion, this could be a relatively easy problem to fix. You can remove the residue by sprinkling some baking soda on the connectors. Then, dampen a toothbrush’s bristles and gently wipe away the powder and dry. The concoction could break up the corrosion and allow you to power your controller using batteries.

You Need to Install a Firmware Update

We all know that periodically, you will need to run a software update on your Xbox. This will reduce the likelihood of lags, disconnections, and other issues. Running a firmware update, however, is a bit different.

Firmware ensures that your Xbox and its controllers can “talk” to each other. If you do not stay up to date on your firmware versions, you might experience slow or lagging controls.

You can check for firmware updates by:

  1. Plug in your controller to the game console using a USB cord.
  2. Press the Xbox button on the top-center of your controller.
  3. Go to “Profile and Settings.”
  4. Navigate to “Settings,” then “Devices & Connections” > “Accessories.”
  5. Choose “…” to select the Firmware option.

If there is an update available for you to install, select “Update” and follow the prompts on the screen. You can learn more about conducting firmware updates by clicking here.

There Is Hardware Damage

Xbox controllers must be treated with care even when they are not in use. If you throw the controller, mash the buttons, or jam certain components into its various ports, it may stop working.

After your trusty controller has played its last game, you can find a replacement online. You may need to select a replacement that works for your generation’s console. For instance, an Xbox 360 controller may not be compatible with Xbox One.

Try Connecting the Xbox Controller with a USB Cable

You might be able to learn more about your controller’s problem by plugging it directly into your gaming system. If the controller turns on, then you likely have a battery-related problem. If it does not turn on, this may be an issue with its internal hardware, and you may need to buy a new controller altogether.

In Conclusion

If your Xbox controller doesn’t turn on, there could be many reasons why this is happening. If you just unboxed your Xbox and are experiencing problems with the controller, it could be covered under Microsoft’s 90-day warranty.

If you bought a third-party Xbox controller, it could have an even shorter warranty. You can learn more about your video game console and troubleshooting issues by reading the Xbox Series X user manual.