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Cannot Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC? Here’s What You Should Do

If you plan to play games on a Windows 10 system with a gaming controller, an Xbox controller is what you should buy to go with it. It will connect easily and it is supported out of the box. Xbox and Windows 10 are both developed by Microsoft which makes an Xbox 360 controller the perfect controller for gaming on a PC.

Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC

Connect Xbox 360 controller to PC 

Connecting an Xbox 360 controller to a PC is fairly easy. Both the wired and wireless version will be able to connect to it. 

  • Pair the controller if it’s a wireless controller and make sure the controller is On.
  • Connect the controller and make sure its light turns on i.e., the X on the controller lights up.

Give Windows 10 a few minutes to set up the new device and check if it works. You can check controller input outside of games.

  1. Visit Gamepad tester.
  2. Your controller should be detected automatically.
  3. Press the buttons or one of the control sticks and you should see input on the screen.

If the controller lights up but no input is detected during tests, the controller hasn’t been set up correctly. If the controller input has been detected but it isn’t working in games. Try the fixes below.

1. Check Xbox controller support

Not all games, no matter how much you want them to, will support a controller. Games like Among Us or Inside are best played with a keyboard. Check if the game you’re trying to use the controller in has support for a controller.

You can check this by going to the game’s settings for control/keyboard/mouse. If a game explicitly says it is best played with a keyboard, it is best to not try to play it with a controller.

2. Steam controller support

Steam can add controller support for any and all games. Normally, it is enabled by default when you connect a controller however you may have to manually enable it.

  1. Connect the controller to your system.
  2. Open Steam.
  3. On the menu bar, go to Steam>Settings.
  4. Go to the Controller tab.
  5. Click General controller settings.
  6. Enable support for Xbox controllers.
  7. Restart Steam and your system.

3. Manually install Xbox controller drivers

Drivers for the Xbox may not have installed correctly or at all. In this case, it’s best to manually install them.

  1. Connect the controller to the PC.
  2. Open Device Manager.
  3. Expand Other Devices.
  4. You will see an ‘Unknown device’ listed below it.
  5. Right-click it and select Update device software.
  6. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
  7. Select the ‘Let me pick from a list…’ option.
  8. Scroll down and select the Xbox 360 peripherals option.
  9. Select the newest driver that is available.
  10. Install it and accept any prompts that you see on the screen.
  11. The driver will be installed and you’ll be able to use the controller with your games.

4. Change USB port

A wired Xbox controller needs power to run, just like a wireless controller. The wired controller gets power via the USB port it’s connected to.

Make sure the USB port that you’re connecting the controller to is the charging port. It is normally indicated by a thunderbolt or similar symbol. If you’re not sure which one it is, turn the system off or put it to sleep and connect a phone to the port. If the port charges the device even when the system is off, it is the charging port. All other USB ports will not charge a device until the system is powered on.

5. Turn of Game bar

The Windows 10 Game bar was added so that users could record and broadcast games using native tools instead of installing third-party apps like OBS. Unfortunately, the Game bar is hit and miss. Sometimes it works and other times it causes problems.

  1. Tap the Win+I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Gaming.
  3. Select the Game bar tab.
  4. Turn the switch at the top off.


An Xbox controller, once detected, will not cause problems. Setting the connection up is where you might run into trouble but installing the driver for it manually is a sure-fix. Make sure the hardware i.e., the controller itself isn’t damaged and all buttons are working. If you’re running apps to remap the controller, quit them all. 

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