PC AccessoriesController

How To Reset Controller

Xbox Controller

Resetting a controller is often the preferred solution when your controller is malfunctioning. Doing this can fix issues such as the controller being unable to pair with a console, input lag, a flashing light bar, etc. It is also worth noting that the resetting procedure is similar whether you have a PlayStation or Xbox controller. So, how do you go about it? 

Quick Answer

Generally, there are two ways to reset a PlayStation controller or an Xbox controller. You can soft reset it in the console settings, and another way is to hard reset it by holding the power button or the reset pinhole button for 5 to 10 seconds

Note that by resetting your controller, you are restoring factory settings. In other words, after a reset, you will have to sync the controller with the console and do different peripheral settings.

Keep reading to learn more about resetting a controller. 

Steps To Resetting Your Controller 

Considering the several software updates you perform on your gaming console and periods of protracted use, it’s possible for it sometimes to lag, freeze, or experience glitches. Whenever your game console controller is giving you issues, try resetting it. Although resetting your controller would not fix every problem, at least it is an excellent place to start. 

If the issue persists after resetting the controller, it’s time to take it to a technician for inspection. But before then, you should first perform a soft reset. If the issue persists, you can opt for a hard reset. The steps below explain how to go about performing a soft and hard reset.  

Method #1: Soft Resetting Your Controller 

Soft resetting a controller is like restarting the controller, clearing the controller’s memory. However, it doesn’t mean that your software will erase; it will only eliminate the residual files that are likely to cause problems. 

To perform a soft reset, you need to have a second controller. Otherwise, opt for the hard reset option. 

Here’s how to soft reset your PlayStation controller.

  1. Log in to the console with the second controller, then navigate to the Settings on the console. 
  2. Select “Device” in the drop-down Settings menu.
  3. Choose “Bluetooth Devices” and navigate to select the controller you want to reset.
  4. Press the “Options” button on the controller and click “Forget Device“.
  5. Reboot the PlayStation, then connect and set up the controller again.

If you have an Xbox controller, here’s how to soft reset it.

  1. Press the Xbox button for 5 to 10 seconds until the controller turns off.  
  2. Hold the Xbox button again for a few seconds until it turns on
  3. Reboot the Xbox, then connect and set up the controller again.  
Quick Tip

If resetting your Xbox controller doesn’t seem to fix the issue, you can try to revert the firmware of the controller as a last resort. 

Method #2: Hard Resetting Your Controller

You should try hard resetting a controller if a soft reset doesn’t fix the issue. To hard reset the controller, you don’t need the console or any other controller; all you need is a paperclip or pin.

Here’s how to hard reset your controller.

  1. Turn off your console and router so it does not interface with the controller.
  2. Locate the reset switch on the underside of the controller, often near the L2 shoulder button.
  3. Press and hold the reset switch using the paper clip or pin.
  4. Hold the reset switch for 10 seconds, as the controller will reset when you release the switch. 
  5. You can pair the controller with the console when the controller resets back to factory default
Keep in Mind

Suppose your PlayStation controller is unresponsive, or you cannot connect it to a USB port or other devices. In that case, you can use the PlayStation Repairs diagnostic tool to diagnose the controller.

How To Sync Your Controller

You will need a micro USB cable to sync your PlayStation or Xbox controller with the console. After resetting a controller, you need to sync it with the console. Although you can do it wirelessly, it is better to sync the controllers via the USB cable. Note that you can only pair one device at a time.  

Here’s how to sync your PlayStation controller with a console.

  1. Turn on your console and connect the controller to it via a micro USB cable. 
  2. Press the PS button on the controller and wait for the controller light to turn on. 
  3. You can unplug the controller and use it wirelessly with the light on.

Here’s how to sync your Xbox controller with a console.

  1. Turn on the console and connect the controller to it via the USB cable.
  2. Press and hold the sync button on the controller and the console.
  3. You can unplug the controller when sync is complete and enjoy it wirelessly.


If you are experiencing any issues with your controller, consider resetting it first. This is because it’s easy, fast, and doesn’t damage any component. If resetting the controller doesn’t fix the issue, the next thing is to seek professional help.

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