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Why Won’t My Xbox Controller Turn On?


Despite being well-built, the Xbox controller may sometimes have some issues. One of the common ones is the console fails to turn on.

Quick Answer

Your Xbox controller might not be turning on due to dead or weak batteries, poor battery contacts, malfunctioning Play and Charge cables, corrupted firmware, and hardware issues. 

An Xbox controller that won’t turn on or blink disrupts gaming. This write-up will tell you why the issue is happening and how you can fix it with easy-to-follow instructions.

Why Won’t My Xbox Controller Turn On?

The following are the few common reasons your Xbox controller won’t turn on.

Battery Contacts

Worn-out battery contacts or ones bent too much can be why your Xbox controller won’t turn on. Similarly, the problem will continue if the batteries are not in proper contact due to any reason. 

Play and Charge Cable

Your Play and Charge cable might look A-okay from the outside, but it can be the reason for the issue. The wires can get damaged from the inside or can malfunction due to normal wear. 

Intervened Firmware Updates

A corrupted firmware can make the console non-functional and fail to switch on.

Inner Hardware Problems 

There can be some internal hardware issues preventing an Xbox controller from turning on. Seeing no lights or a flickering one can be one of the signs of internal breakage.

Turning On Xbox Controller

An Xbox controller that won’t turn on could be highly frustrating for the gamers. Our step-by-step instructions will make life easy for you to get back to gaming in no time. 

Here are 5 methods you can try to troubleshoot the console controller. 

Method #1: Remove and Reinstall Batteries

Utilize the following steps to remove and reinstall the batteries to resolve the issue with the Xbox controller that won’t work.

  1. Open the controller cover and remove the batteries from the slot. 
  2. Analyze if they are correctly installed. 
  3. Reinstall them correctly and check if the controller turns on. 
  4. If the issue persists, restart your Xbox controller by pressing the button in the middle of the controller to open the Power Center, then choose “Restart“.

Install new batteries and repeat the above steps if you still encounter the problem.

Method #2: Inspect Battery Contacts

Battery contacts for Xbox controllers are made of metal tabs that may bend if excessive force is applied while installing the batteries. Also, these battery contacts can likewise weaken over time. 

Follow these steps to overcome the problem.

  1. Open the battery cover to check the contacts.
  2. If they are bent, use a screwdriver to adjust the angle carefully. 

Do not adjust the contacts while the batteries are installed. Do not apply extra force while installing batteries; otherwise, seek professional help.

Method #3: Investigate Xbox Controller Play and Charge Cable

A problem with the Xbox controller Play and Charge kit can lead to the Xbox controller failing to turn on. To fix the issue, take a look at these steps.

  1. Double-check if the Xbox controller Play and Charge cable are safely connected on both ends.
  2. Unplug the cable and plug it into another USB port. 
  3. Try a different micro USB cable if the problem remains still. 

Method #4: Don’t Interrupt Xbox Firmware Update

While the console is installing an update, please do not turn it off. Otherwise, the latest firmware will be corrupted, resulting in various issues with the controller.

Method #5: Try Wired Connection

If you are experiencing the issue while the controller is wirelessly connected to Xbox, try connecting it directly to the console.

  1. Purchase a long-wired USB cable.
  2. Connect the controller to the console with the USB cable.
  3. Start using the controller in wired mode and see if you can turn it on this time

If the method does not work, your console might be having an internal breakage that requires professional assistance to resolve the issue.

Contacting Xbox Customer Support Team

If none of the above methods helped you fix Xbox controller issues, you could contact Xbox Support for further guidance.

  1. Visit the official Xbox website and request a call, chat, etc.
  2. Get help from their Virtual Agent.
  3. Try seeking help from the Disability Agent.

Make sure that your console is under warranty before making a support request.  


In this guide about why your Xbox controller won’t turn on, we discussed batteries, battery contacts, Play and Charge cables, and corrupted firmware as the reasons for a controller failure. We’ve also discussed contacting Xbox customer support if all else fails. 

We hope that this guide has been helpful for you, and that one of the methods helped resolve any of the issues with your Xbox controller at home. With the proper solutions, you will have an uninterrupted gaming experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix broken Xbox controller analog sticks?

You can fix the broken Xbox controller analog sticks using the following instructions.

1. Get a screwdriver and some Q-tips.
2. Crack open the console case gently.
3. Grab out the top shelf and be careful with the rumble packs.
4. Dip the Q-tips in rubbing alcohol or water.
5. Get rid of the dirt surrounding the sticks.
6. Check if the metal or plastic brackets are damaged.
7. If yes, then you need to buy a new controller.

How long do Xbox controllers last?

Your Xbox controllers can last for 6 to 12 months, depending on how often you use them. The ones used rarely are replaced infrequently than the ones used regularly.  

Why won’t my Xbox controller turn off?

If your Xbox controller fails to turn off, follow the below steps.

1. Press and hold the Power Button on the console for 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Wait until your gaming console turns off completely.
3. Re-plug the power cord after 5 minutes and restart.

Will my Xbox controller work on a PC?

Many games allow you to play using an Xbox controller instead of a keyboard and a mouse. Connect your Xbox controller to the PC via Bluetooth, micro USB to USB cable, or the Xbox wireless adaptor.

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