GuidesError FixesXbox One Controller Buttons Not Working

Xbox One Controller Buttons Not Working [FIXED]

You can fix the issue by cleaning the controller, performing a power cycle, and more.

Are your Xbox One controller buttons not working? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. It can be unpleasant and interfere with your gaming experience when the controller’s buttons don’t respond quickly or stop working entirely. 

Key Takeaways

  • Xbox One controller buttons become unresponsive or jammed and won’t let you play games.
  • This issue can arise due to a buildup of dirt and debris that is jamming the keys, outdated firmware, an issue in the controller’s hardware, or a temporary glitch in pairing.
  • Fix the issue by power cycling the controller and console, re-pairing the controller to the console, updating the controller’s firmware, or restoring the default settings of the console that will remove any bugs from the system.

Causes – Xbox One Controller Button Not Working

The causes behind jammed or unresponsive Xbox One controller buttons are as follows:

  • Weak batteries.
  • Outdated firmware of the Xbox controller.
  • Faulty motherboard.
  • Physical damage.
  • Dust and debris.
  • Connection problems.
  • Software glitches.
  • Wear and tear.
WARNING: Your Xbox One controller buttons can also stop working if you drop it from a height, as that can damage the controller greatly.

How To Fix Xbox Button Controller Buttons

The “Xbox One controller buttons not working” issue may seem tricky, but it is quite simple. To effectively overcome the issue, use the methods given below:

Clean Xbox Controller Buttons

If the Xbox One controller buttons are jammed or sticky, follow the instructions to clean them:

  1. If your controller is plugged in through a USB cable, disconnect the cable and turn off your controller.
  2. Take an alcohol swab or a cotton swab and damp it in alcohol. Ensure alcohol is not dropping out of it, and it’s just wet.
  3. Clean the button with the swab properly. The crevices should be thoroughly cleaned.
  4. After cleaning the surroundings of the button property, move the buttons to ensure they are not jammed anymore; otherwise, repeat the process.
  5. Dry off the controller, then reconnect to the console.
 Important: Make sure to be gentle during the process, as you can end up doing more harm than good.  

Check and Replace Batteries

Replace Battries Xbox One
Replace Batteries Xbox One – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Check your controller’s batteries first; that might be the reason behind the malfunctioning controller and will save you time from working on the technical fixes. Batteries should be charged and plugged properly. Put in new batteries if the old ones are running low. It’s better to use rechargeable batteries and charge them after every use to avoid such conflicts.

Reconnect Bluetooth Controller

If the Xbox One controller buttons are not working, try reconnecting the controller using a wireless connection.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn on your console.
  2. Look at the center of the controller and press the Xbox button. The button will start flashing. Please wait for it to stop at a constant light.
    Xbox Controller
    Xbox Button On Controller – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  3. Look for the pairing button on the Xbox One console, press it, and keep holding it for about 20 seconds.
  4. Next, press the same button on your controller until the Xbox button starts flashing, indicating it is searching for pairing with a console, and the flashing light becomes constant when paired.

Now, try using controller buttons and see if they are working now.

Power Cycle Xbox Controller

Power cycling the Xbox controller is one of the first things you should do if the buttons are not responding.

Here is how to power cycle it: 

  1. Press the Xbox button in the controller’s center and hold it for 10-15 seconds until it turns off.
  2. Pull the AA batteries from the controller and let it rest for 30 seconds.
  3. Now, put back the batteries.
  4. Press the Xbox button and hold it until the controller switches on.

It will fix your controller’s problems and restore its button functionalities.

 Important: Make sure you wait the given time before plugging things back in, as you’ll end up doing a regular restart otherwise.  

Update Controller’s Firmware

Xbox controller outdated firmware can cause the buttons not to work. To avoid such situations, keep on checking for the available updates.

Through PC

To update the Xbox One controller, you must have the Xbox Accessories app in your system.

If not, please download it first, then follow these steps:

  1. Switch on your PC and connect the Xbox controller to it.
  2. Turn on the controller.
  3. On your computer, open the Xbox Accessories app.
  4. Look for the three-dot icon and click on it.
  5. Next, click on any available updates if there are any. If the controller’s firmware is already updated to the latest version, you will see a notification saying, “No update available.”

Through Console

Make sure the controller is connected to your console, then update through the following steps:

  1. Hit the Xbox button to open the guide in the middle of the controller.
  2. Jump to the option Profile & System and click Settings.
  3. Now, go to Devices & Connections.
  4. Hit the Accessories option.
  5. Look for the icon, click on it, and you will see the version.
  6. If you find any updates, click on it and comply with the instructions.

After you have installed and updated your controller, press all the buttons and check if the controller is working now; otherwise, move to the next method.

Power Cycle Xbox Console

If you cannot use buttons on your Xbox One controller, try power cycling the Xbox console, as it gives a fresh start to the system and efficiently fixes any temporary glitches.

Here’s how:

  1. Press the power button and keep holding it until your console switches off.
    Xbox-One-Console – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  2. Now, switch off the power outlet and remove the power cables.
  3. Leave it unplugged for 5 minutes and reconnect the Xbox’s power cable.
  4. Turn on the console, re-pair the controller to the console using the method given above, and check if the buttons are now working.

Disable The Xbox Game Bar

Turning off the Xbox Game Bar can fix the controller’s buttons, especially the guide button not working issue.

Here’s how to disable the Game Bar through your PC:

  1. Turn on your PC.
  2. Hit Windows+I, and you will see the Settings window.
  3. Go to the Gaming tab for the Enable Xbox Game Bar option.
    Gaming Tab
    Gaming Tab – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  4. Please turn it off by clicking the toggle switch.
    Xbox Game Bar
    Xbox Game Bar – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Restore Factory Default Settings

If your Xbox One controller buttons are not working no matter what you try, try to restore the factory settings of your Xbox One console, which helps update the system and remove bugs.

Here’s how to reset Xbox:

  1. To access the Guide menu, press the Xbox button that you will find in the center of the controller.
  2. Jump to Settings and open System.
  3. Look for the Console info and click on it.
    Xbox One Console Info
    Xbox One Console Info – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  4. Click Reset Console.
    Reset Console Xbox One
    Reset Console Xbox One – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  5. Here, you will have 2 options, and you can choose one as per your requirements:
    Reset And Keep My Games And Apps – Your data will be safe.
    Reset And Remove Everything – Everything will be deleted.
  6. After choosing one and processing it, your console will restart.

Set your console and try the controller if the issue is resolved and the controller buttons work.

WARNING: As resetting will remove all data from the console, make sure you create a backup of everything important.

Contact Xbox Support

If none of the troubleshooting methods worked on your controller, it is time now to contact Xbox Support.

First, confirm if you have a warranty. Log into your Microsoft account, then select Device Services to check the status. If your controller is still covered under warranty, you can ask them to repair or replace it; otherwise, only ask them for a repair that will cost you some money.

Before calling Xbox Support, note your controller’s serial number and warranty details, as the support team will require these details to accommodate your request. Contact them via phone, email, or the Xbox Support Twitter page. They’ll guide you about further procedures!

Common Questions Answered

What causes my Xbox One controller’s buttons to malfunction?

The buttons could not work due to physical damage. Frequent use of the controller can jam the controller buttons, and it gets dirt or debris. You might also come across the issue due to outdated firmware.

What to do if my controller’s buttons are jammed?

Cleaning the controller buttons using microfibre dipped in alcohol or alcohol swabs can remove the stickiness and let it dry. If that’s not solving the issue, take it to a service center so the experts can disassemble and clean it.

What to do if cleaning the controller and other troubleshooting methods don’t fix controller buttons?

It may indicate a hardware issue if the problem remains after troubleshooting the controller. You should contact Xbox support and claim for a repair or replacement if your controller has a warranty!

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Ali Rashid Khan
Ali Rashid Khan
Ali Rashid Khan is an avid gamer, hardware enthusiast, photographer, and devoted litterateur with a period of experience spanning more than 14 years. Sporting a specialization with regards to the latest tech in flagship phones, gaming laptops, and top-of-the-line PCs, Ali is known for consistently presenting the most detailed objective perspective on all types of gaming products, ranging from the Best Motherboards, CPU Coolers, RAM kits, GPUs, and PSUs amongst numerous other peripherals. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll find Ali meddling with mechanical keyboards, indulging in vehicular racing, or professionally competing worldwide with fellow mind-sport athletes in Scrabble at an international level. Currently speaking, Ali has completed his A-Level GCEs with plans to go into Business Studies, or who knows, perhaps a full-time dedicated technological journalist.


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