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How To Fix Sticky Buttons on Xbox Controllers

Sticky Buttons On Xbox Controllers

Does your Xbox controller take longer than usual to pop back up? If it does, then you are dealing with the issue of sticky buttons. The buttons on your Xbox controller may become sticky due to dirt build-up. So, how do you fix the issue of sticky buttons on your Xbox controller? 

Quick Answer

You can fix a sticky button on an Xbox controller by cleaning it. All you need to clean the dirt out of sticky buttons on an Xbox controller is rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab

Undoubtedly, sticky buttons on your Xbox controller are annoying. In some cases, sticky buttons on an Xbox controller can even cost you a game. If you are facing this issue, know that you are not alone.

This article will guide you on how to fix a sticky button on your Xbox controller. 

How To Clean Sticky Buttons on an Xbox Controller

When the buttons on your Xbox controller are sticky, there are different ways you can go about fixing them. Below are three ways to solve the issue of a sticky Xbox controller. 

Method #1: Clean the Xbox Controller 

When the buttons on your Xbox controller are sticky, the first thing you want to do is to clean them. All you need to clean the controller is rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. For this method, you do not need to worry much about the internal component of the controller. All your focus should be on getting as much dirt as you can from the exterior of the controller you can. 

Here’s how to fix sticky buttons on the Xbox controller by cleaning it.

  1. Unplug the controller from the console. 
  2. Dip the cotton swab in rubbing alcohol
  3. Use the cotton swab to clean the areas of the sticky button. Carefully use the cotton swab to get into every cranny and nook of the Xbox controller. 
  4. Check if the controller is still jammed or functioning normally. 

Method #2: Open the Xbox Controller 

If cleaning the Xbox controller from the exterior doesn’t seem to fix the issue, it’s time to bring out the bigger guns—screwdrivers—to open up the controller. However, opening up your Xbox controller will void its warranty if it is still valid. Also, if you don’t know how the internal component of microprocessors works, skip this step.  

Here’s how to fix a sticky button on the Xbox controller by opening it.

  1. Use a screwdriver to open the screws on the Xbox controller, and use the pry tool to open the controller. 
  2. With the controller open, inspect the area with the sticky button. 
  3. Use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to clean it if it is dirty
  4. If the button is damaged, try to fix or replace it if you know your way around soldering chips. 

Method #3: Consider Replacing the Xbox Controller

If none of the methods above seems to fix the issue, you might want to consider tossing the Xbox controller aside and getting a replacement. There are several situations to look out for that indicate when it will profit you more to replace the Xbox controller rather than attempt to fix it. 

Here’s how to fix sticky buttons on the Xbox controller by replacing them.

  • You should get a replacement Xbox controller when the button is physically damaged
  • It would help if you also considered getting a replacement Xbox controller when the sticky button is no longer responsive
  • A replacement Xbox controller is worth it when the old Xbox controller gets stuck and won’t free up. 

How To Prevent Your Xbox Controller From Being Sticky

Whether you recently just bought a new Xbox controller or have had to frequently replace it due to sticky buttons, it’s time you reconsider how you’re using and maintaining the controller. It is possible to prevent your Xbox controller from being sticky. If the buttons on your Xbox controller often get sticky, you should consider taking measures to prevent it. The steps below explain how to keep your Xbox controller clean and responsive. 

Method #1: Store in a Dust-Free Area 

Whenever you are done using the Xbox controller, always store it in a dust-free area. Also, the location should be a cool and dry place. A shelf is a brilliant location to store the controllers. Keeping your Xbox controller in a dust-free area will prevent its button from becoming sticky and increase its longevity. 

Method #2: Don’t Eat and Play 

Also, do not eat while using the Xbox controller. When you eat while using the controller, food crumbs can likely find their way into the buttons, causing them to be sticky. Drinks and beverages can also spill over the controller, causing more problems. 

Method #3: Wash Your Hands 

Ensure your hands are clean whenever you want to use the Xbox controller. Many times, people use oily hands on their Xbox controller. Doing this can cause the controller buttons to be sticky. So, it would not cost you more than a few minutes to wash your oily hands and save yourself the hassle of buying a new Xbox controller. 

Keep in Mind

If you find out you replace your Xbox controller more often than your colleagues, you must take necessary caution by properly caring for your controller.


Repairing sticky buttons on an Xbox controller yourself is complicated but fun. However, if you prefer not to open the controller because it seems a bit too difficult, the best option is to take it to a professional technician. Always remember that it is always better to take preventive measures to protect the buttons on the controller from getting sticky in the first place.

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