My 360 Controller Won't Connect to a PC

by Perry Piekarski ; Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Internet connection

  • Xbox 360 wireless gaming receiver

  • AA batteries

It's possible for Xbox 360 owners to use their wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers on a Windows-based PC. If your Xbox 360 controller won't connect to a Windows PC, there are a number of quick and easy ways to troubleshoot the problem. In order to connect your Xbox 360 controller to your PC, you must be running the Windows XP Service Pack 2 operating system or later (such as Windows Vista or Windows 7).

Wired Controller

Connect the controller's USB plug to one of your PC's main USB ports. Connecting through a USB hub, keyboard, monitor or any other USB port that's not built into your computer's main unit may not provide enough energy to drive the controller.

Download and install the Xbox 360 controller gaming software. Select "Controller" as your product type, "Xbox 360 Controller for Windows" as your product, your version of Windows and language.

Test the Xbox 360 controller's functionality by clicking the "Start" button on the desktop, typing "joy.cpl" into the search bar and pressing the "Enter" key. Select the controller from the list to view an active display of how your computer reads button presses and analog stick movements.

Disconnect the Xbox 360 controller, reconnecting it to a different USB port on your computer if it still doesn't function after installing the controller gaming software.

Wireless Controller

Connect the Xbox 360 wireless gaming receiver to one of your PC's main USB ports. Connecting through a USB hub, keyboard, monitor or any other USB port that's not built into your computer's main unit may not provide enough power to drive the receiver.

Download and install the Xbox 360 controller gaming software. Select "Controller" as your product type, "Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows" as your product, your version of Windows and language.

Press the guide button at the center of the controller to power it on. If it doesn't power on, remove the battery cover by pressing the oval button on the top of the controller, replacing the old batteries with two fresh AA batteries.

Press the "Connect" button on the Xbox 360 wireless gaming receiver and the Xbox 360 wireless controller. The "Connect" button on the controller is located between the left trigger and the charger input on the top of the controller. Wait a moment while the controller syncs with the receiver.

Test the Xbox 360 controller's functionality by clicking the "Start" button on the desktop, typing "joy.cpl" into the search bar and pressing the "Enter" key. Select the controller from the list to view an active display of how your computer reads button presses and analog stick movements.

Tip

  • If your controller still refuses to function after troubleshooting, contact Microsoft Xbox Support for further help.

Tip

  • Never use a controller with frayed, torn or damaged wiring.

About the Author

Supported by his wit, charm and love for language, Perry Piekarski is a professional writer holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Piekarski is the former Executive Editor of Binge Gamer, a full-time sales associate at Best Buy and, whenever he has an extra moment, a freelance writer.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera controller image by Thommi from Fotolia.com