Solved: Xbox One Controller Won’t Sync

The Xbox One is a home video gaming console developed by Microsoft. Its controller is sleek and comfortable to play games with. Unfortunately, there are times when the Xbox One controller is paired but keeps disconnecting. This can ruin the whole gaming experience.

The Xbox One controller not syncing is an annoying issue many Xbox users face. If you are one of them, fret not. This article will guide you as the Xbox One controller’s pairing issues are an easy problem to solve.

When the controller is not connected, it will show sure signs like,

  1. The ring light on the controller flashes.
  2. Constant loss of connection.
  3. Please connect the controller message that keeps appearing on the screen.

Causes for Xbox One controller’s sync issues

Electronic devices are prone to disfunction. Unfortunately, the Xbox One controller is an electronic device and may face issues. A handful of reasons can cause sync issues with Xbox One Controller:

  1. Too much distance between the controller and the gaming console will cause the controller to disconnect.
  2. A bug, virus, or glitch in your controller or console can cause the sync issue.
  3. Weak batteries will deter the performance of the controller.
  4. An actual hardware issue may be responsible for the controller’s dysfunction.

So far, you have seen why the Xbox One controllers won’t sync. Now, let us know how the issue with the controller can be solved.

How to fix- Xbox One controller won’t sync

When the Xbox One controller suddenly disconnects while playing a game, this destroys the gaming experience. Let us look into these elaborately explained troubleshooting steps that can help resolve your problem with the controller.

Method#1- Signal interference

Make sure there are no other frequency-emitting electronic devices or other electronics in the way or nearby. The Xbox One uses the same wireless spectrum as other everyday home gadgets, like the microwave oven or wi-fi router. These frequencies can hinder the signals on the Xbox One controller. Wireless headsets, mics, and other wireless devices can also create interference and cause the Xbox One controller not syncing issue.

Method#2- Power-cycle console

If you still face the same problem with Xbox One controllers, try power cycling your console. Power cycling the console means entirely rebooting the device. This can help solve corrupted files in your console and issues with your wireless Xbox controller. Follow these steps:

  • Step#1– Tap and hold the Xbox power button for a few seconds till the console completely shuts down,
  • Step#2– After around ten seconds, repeat by pressing the Xbox power button until the console restarts.
  • Step#3– Check if the Xbox One controller has synced with the Xbox console.

Method#3- Update the controller’s firmware

Updating the controller’s firmware should solve the sync issue. Follow these steps:

  • Step#1– Connect your controller to your console using a USB cable.
  • Step#2– Sign in to Xbox Live.
  • Step#3- Now, by pressing the Menu button on the Xbox One controller, you will find the Home page and select Settings.
  • Step#4– Select the Devices & Accessories option from the list.
  • Step#5- Select the controller you are using.
  • Step#6– Now, select Update and then like Continue.
  • Step#7– Give the system some time to check for updates.

Once done, check if the problem persists.

Method#4-Re-sync controller

Re-sync Wirelessly

Re-syncing the controller wirelessly can help solve the issue. Follow these steps:

To re-sync, the Xbox One, use the Sync button.

  • Step#1– Press the Sync button on your Xbox one console.
  • Step#2– Now, press the Xbox Sync button at the back of the controller, and hold until the Xbox button flashes. Now release the Sync button.

The flashing light will turn to a solid light in a few seconds, which means it is re-synced. This should resolve the sync issue of the Xbox One controller.

Re-sync using a USB cable

Using a micro USB cable, you can also re-sync your Xbox one console with the controller. First, make sure all the USB ports are free. Follow these steps:

  • Step#1– Plug the cable into the USB port and connect your controller.
  • Step#2– Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller to sync them.

If the connection has been established, you can unplug the cable after.

Method#5- Check for the auto shut-off feature

Often the Xbox One controller may disconnect once left idle for some time. This is a good thing as it helps extend the battery life of your wireless controllers.

If you do not wish for it to shut off, make sure you are pressing at least one button or tap the analog sticks within fifteen minutes of being idle.

Method#6- Use fresh batteries

Make sure your Xbox One controller is equipped with fresh batteries. Weak batteries can slow down the signal strength and the controller’s performance. This will result in the Xbox button periodically flashing, meaning you lose connection.

Use fully charged rechargeable or good-quality fresh AA batteries for your Xbox One controller. You can recharge your Xbox One controller’s batteries using a play and charge kit, a micro USB cable, or a rechargeable battery pack.

To check the battery life, tap the Xbox icon to return to the Home menu. You will find the battery icon on the top right corner of the screen; this will show you if you need to recharge or replace the batteries.

Method#7- Disconnect extra devices

The Xbox one console identifies and functions efficiently with eight active Xbox controllers.

You may face sync or connection issues with the Xbox One controllers if more than eight controllers are connected.

Press and hold the Xbox button on your Xbox controller you want to disconnect and then choose, Turn the controller off on the menu. This will unpair and disconnect the extra device.

Method#8- Use the controller close to the console

The Xbox One controllers depend on Bluetooth technology to connect with the console. Typically the range is about twenty feet; beyond that, the Xbox controller may not be able to establish a strong connection. This can lead to constant disconnection and the syncing issue.

Other instruments, such as glass or metal objects, can hinder and reduce the operating range of the Xbox one’s wireless controller.

Method#9- Reset Xbox one

Xbox one users rarely deal with issues requiring a complete system reset. But in any case, if you want to reset your Xbox one console, here is a full rundown on how to do it.

Xbox one has three types of reset.

#1- Soft Reset

This reset is common when you turn off your console using the power center. The Xbox does not lose any information with a soft reset. But it does treat minor glitches with games. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step#1- Press the Xbox button on the Xbox One wireless controller for a few seconds to open the power center.
  • Step#2– Select Reset Console from the list.
  • Step#3– Select Reset for confirmation.

#2- Hard Reset

This is also called power cycling.

  • Step#1– Perform a Hard reset by pressing and holding the Xbox button on the front of the console for ten seconds.
  • Step#2– This will shut down the console; now, detach the power cable for two minutes to let the system memory clear.
  • Step#3– Plug in the power source and press the Xbox One console’s power button till the console turns on.

No data will be lost when performing a Hard Reset. But this will fix any minor bugs in your Xbox One.

#3- Factory Reset

A Factory Reset will wipe off all the data stored in the hard drive of your Xbox one, and it will return to its factory settings. All the saved games, apps, and data will be completely deleted.

A Hard Reset is done when the above-explained fixes have failed to solve the issue or if you wish to sell or give away your Xbox one gaming console.

It is advisable to back up your games and data before performing a Factory Reset. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step#1– On your Xbox one controller, press the Xbox button to go to the home menu.
  • Step#2– On the menu, select the Settings menu.
  • Step#3– Now, from the list select System.
  • Step#4– Locate and select the Console information under System.
  • Step#5– Select the Reset Console option.
  • Step#6– Select Reset.

This will format the hard drive of your Xbox one console.


Suppose none of the above solutions can solve the sync issue with the Xbox one controller. In that case, you can either decide to use it using a USB cable or if you wish to use the controller with the wireless functionality, you will have to replace the faulty controller.