Troubleshooting PS5/PS4 Controller Connection Issues: 10 Simple Solutions

Many PlayStation users have seen a PS5/PS4 controller not connecting. It’s a common problem with various common fixes.

Still, it’s an annoying issue. It doesn’t allow you to play your PlayStation games, and I may force you to spend your money on a new peripheral. 

A PS4 DualShock or PS5 DualSense can function both wireless and wired. It can work with other devices aside from your PlayStation. If you find your DualShock or DualSense controller not connecting to any machine, you can fix it yourself. This is because the common causes are firmware issues, interferences, and bad batteries.

Why is PS5/PS4 Controller Not Connecting?

PlayStation wireless controllers can suffer from sync issues. It’s a common reason why the DualShock won’t connect.

In essence, the controller may desync on its own, or someone synced the peripheral on another console.

Another common cause is firmware issues. That means you need to update the PlayStation or update your computer’s drivers if you’re using it on a PC or laptop.

ps4-controller-is-not-connecting

Additionally, you may be suffering from physical issues. These include broken USB cables and damaged batteries.

In particular, you need a USB cable that can both transfer data and power to sync the controller. Worn-out cables or USB ports can prevent your controller from connecting.

If your PlayStation controller uses BlueTooth, signal interference may be the problem. For example, if you’re too far from the device, or if there’re too many wireless devices nearby, it may cause issues.

ps4-controller-not-connecting

How to Fix PS5/PS4 Controller Not Connecting?

Our troubleshooting guide will share a series of solutions. You can try each one by one until you find the one that works for you.

These fixes are for both wireless and wired controllers. Also, we’re covering certain fixes for PC and smartphone users.

Reset and Re-pair the Controller

reset-button

The first thing you should try is resetting the connection:

  1. Turn off the PS5/PS4 and unplug the controller
  2. Locate the reset button at the back of the controller. The PS4’s reset button is on a small hole near the L2 button. The PS5 controller’s reset button is right next to the Sony logo.
  3. Use a small tool, like a pin, to push the tiny hole. Hold it down for 5 seconds
  4. Connect the controller to the PS5/PS4 using a USB cable
  5. Press the PS button while the console is off. The light bar will flash blue
  6. Turn on the console
See also  Troubleshooting PS4 Controller Red Light: Solutions and Fixes
sony-ps5-reset-button

Resetting the controller cleans its firmware issues. By holding the PS button after the reset, it should display a blue light on its bar. This is the controller paired with the PlayStation. 

Power Cycle the Console

A random bug may prevent communication between your controller and the console. This includes both wired and wireless controllers. 

The solution is power cycling the console, which erases firmware corruption issues.

  1. Press the power button on the PlayStation and hold it until you hear a second beep. Then, release the button
  2. Unplug the controller
  3. Unplug the power cable from the console, and leave it as is for 30 minutes
  4. Reset your controller while you wait
  5. Plug the power back into the console
  6. Plug the controller into the console
  7. Press the PS button to re-pair your controller
  8. Turn on the PlayStation

This should fix the most common problems. 

Forget and Reconnect the Controller

  • First, to forget the peripherals on PS4, here’re the steps:
  • Go to Settings
  • Select Devices
  • Select Bluetooth devices

bluetooth-devices-menu-ps4

  • Select your controller
  • Press options
  • Choose Forget Device

On the PS5, here’re the steps: 

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Accessories
  • Select General
  • On the right panel, select Bluetooth Accessories

ps5-forget-controller

Select the controller you want to forget and press delete on the list.

To reconnect the peripheral, these are the steps:

  1. Turn off the console
  2. Plug the controller into the console with a USB cable
  3. Press the PS button on your controller
  4. After you see a blue light on your bar, unplug the controller.
  5. Turn on the console

Reconnect the Controller While the Console Is On

ps-and-share-buttons

Another solution is to forget the controller and then re-pair the peripheral while the console is on. 

Here’re the steps: 

  1. Forget the controller, as explained above
  2. Press the Share/Create and PS buttons simultaneously on either controller for 5 seconds
  3. The PlayStation should recognize the controller and display it on the BlueTooth devices list
  4. Select the controller on the list and finish the process.

Reconnect the Controller After Using It on Another Device

Every time you use the controller on another device, you need to re-sync the peripheral to the console.

See also  Troubleshooting PS4 Controller Red Light: Solutions and Fixes

The steps are the same I shared above:

  1. Turn off the console
  2. Plug the controller into the console with a USB cable
  3. Press the PS button
  4. Turn on the console

If it doesn’t work, try this

  1. Turn on the console
  2. Connect the controller via USB cable
  3. Go to the Bluetooth devices menu
  4. Press the Share and PS buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds
  5. Select the controller on the menu

Change the Cable and the USB Port

playstation-5

If you’re having trouble with the wireless connection, you should try using the controller with a cable.

However, check the cable for signs of damage. If there’re any signs of damage, try a different one.

Then check the PlayStation’s USB port for signs of dust and rust. If this is the case, use a microfiber cloth to clean it, as well as compressed air. Otherwise, use another USB port.

Bear in mind you should use a USB cable with a micro-USB end. Many Android smartphones use these cables, so you may have one lying around your house. Once you’re having a wireless connection issue with your PS4 controller, the first thing you should try is to connect it with a cable.

Ensure the Controller Has Battery

If your wireless PS5/PS4 controller can’t connect or disconnects randomly, ensure it has battery power: 

  1. Plug your controller via a USB cable and turn on the console
  2. Hold the PS power button on your controller to summon the Quick Menu
  3. On the left side, you’ll see a battery life icon. 
  4. Make sure the battery is not dead. Hold the PS button on your controller to summon the Quick Menu. Then, you’ll see a battery life icon displaying its power on the left side.

If the controller is charging, wait for an hour. Then, press the PS button to pair the controller and unplug the cable.

But if your PS5/PS4 controller won’t charge, the troubleshooting is either:

  • Changing the cable and the USB port
  • Changing the battery
  • Changing the charging port
  • Resetting and re-pairing the controller
  • Updating the console.

Minimize Bluetooth Interference

If your controller but desyncs frequently, there may be BlueTooth interference. Bluetooth devices compete for broadband against any other wireless device, as all of these items use the same 2.4GHz frequency band.

See also  Troubleshooting PS4 Controller Red Light: Solutions and Fixes

That said, the typical BlueTooth range is 30 feet. So, stay close to the console and minimize interferences between the controller and the PlayStation. Objects causing signal loss may be laptops, metal objects, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and similar.

Also, ensure your console is not in a closed space, as it would interfere with the signal as well.

Try Your Controller Elsewhere

bluetooth-1

By this point, you should try your PS4 or PS4 controller elsewhere. The peripheral is likely faulty if it can’t connect with your PC or smartphone.

Here’s how to connect PS5/PS4 controllers to PCs, smartphones, and tablets.

  1. Disconnect all cables from the controller
  2. Press and hold the PS button until the light bar turns off
  3. Press and hold the Share/Create button and the PS button simultaneously until the light bar flashes
  4. Enable the BlueTooth on your device
  5. Scan for new devices. On WIndows, you’d have to choose Add new devices, and then choose BlueTooth
  6. Select the controller
  7. The pairing will complete when the light bar turns solid.

A controller can pair with a single device at any time. Each time you change devices, you have to pair the controller again. 

Also, both the DualSense and the DualShock can connect with Windows PCs via USB cable. However, if your Windows PC does not recognize the peripheral, proceed to the next solution.

Update Controller Drivers on Windows

general-controller-settings

If you’re using the controller on Steam, you don’t need to do anything else. However, you may want to calibrate your controller within the app. 

Still, we recommend using a USB 2.0 for DualShock 4s and USB 3.0 for DualSense peripherals. 

Once you connect the controller, you may want to register it on Steam: 

  1. Open Steam
  2. Go to Settings at the top left
  3. Open the Controller tab
  4. Click General Controller Settings
  5. Register the device to your account

If you don’t play on Steam, you may need additional software to use your PlayStation controllers on Windows: 

  1. Download the latest Microsoft .Net Framework
  2. Get the Xbox 360 controller driver (Windows 7 only)
  3. Download and install DS4 Windows. It will install the drivers you need.

You can avoid using DS4 by adding non-steam games to the Steam launcher, though. 

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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