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Why Does My PS4 Controller Keep Turning Off? And How To Fix It

There’s almost nothing more frustrating in gaming than having your controller disconnect mid-game and being forced to watch as your character simply stands there, vulnerable to whatever dangers are present. Luckily, there are some simple things that can be done to identify the problem and fix it.

Disconnecting PS4 controllers are mainly caused by Bluetooth connection interruptions. This can be solved by turning off or moving any Bluetooth devices or external hard drives in the area. Try re-pairing the controller from scratch, and consider using a USB connection if that doesn’t work.

If your controller is actually damaged in some way, you’ll either need to send it in for repairs or buy a new one entirely. However, there are some steps you can take to attempt to fix this before taking that financial plunge.

3 Reasons Why Your PS4 Controller Keeps Turning Off

Woman hands with a game controller

Common things that may interrupt your PS4 controller’s connection include other consoles, external drives, and other Bluetooth devices. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.

Other Consoles Interfering

Almost every gamer dreams of having “the shelf”: a shelf with every gaming console imaginable plugged in, ready and waiting to be played.

However, having other gaming consoles that use wireless controllers on and connected near your PS4 can actually disrupt the signal between the PS4 and its controller. These consoles include the Playstation 3 and 5, as well as any Xbox consoles that use wireless controllers.

External Hard Drives

With game file sizes getting larger and larger with every passing day, many gamers feel the need to turn to external hard drives in order to store their games’ data.

However, these drives can cause problems. Keeping an external hard drive close to your PS4 can interrupt your controller’s connection, causing it to turn off.

Other Bluetooth Devices

Connection killers are not only limited to gaming devices. Pretty much any device that uses Bluetooth can cause your PS4 controller to disconnect.

This can include any Bluetooth headphones, mouses, or even speakers you may have near the console. 

How to Fix a PS4 Controller That Keeps Turning Off

After learning about what can cause your PS4 controller to turn off, you may have an idea of what’s causing yours to keep turning off. Still, you might not know exactly what to do about it.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent the PS4 controller from disconnecting.

Move or Turn Off Any Gaming Consoles or Bluetooth Devices Near the Playstation 4

This one is rather simple. If you think gaming consoles or other devices near your PS4 are causing your controller to disconnect, then you should try moving them farther apart.

If you don’t have the space for this, turning off the other consoles or devices while the PS4 is in use is another solution.

Move Any External Hard Drives Away From Your Playstation 4

This one may seem more difficult, but it’s actually pretty easy. If you were worried that you may have to doom yourself to the storage capacity of the PS4, fear no longer. All you have to do is get a longer connection cord for your external hard drive.

Cords that allow you to move the device farther away from the console are pretty reasonably priced. One like the 6.6ft USB Micro B Cable (on Amazon) will do just fine.

Try Un-pairing and Re-pairing the Controller to the Console

If the cause of your controller’s disconnections isn’t as obvious, or if you’ve tried the above steps and still have problems, re-pairing the controller to the console can serve as a way to troubleshoot your controller’s connection. 

In order to un-pair your controller, first shut down your PS4 console and make sure the controller is off. Your next goal is to press the disconnect button on your PS4 controller. To find this, turn your controller over and you will find a small hole on the back of the controller, near the L2 button.

Next, find a thin object that you can insert into the hole, such as a paper clip or a toothpick. Insert the object and you should be pressing the disconnect button. At this point you have successfully un-paired your controller.

To re-pair your controller, you simply need to use a micro-USB connector cable to plug the controller into the console. This will automatically pair your controller to the console.

Your controller should have come with a micro-USB cord, but if you don’t have one they’re relatively cheap to buy. We recommend this USB 2.0 A-Male to Micro B cable (on Amazon).

Set Your Controller to Use a USB Connection

At home with a game console with a wireless controller

If all else fails, you can always set your controller to use a USB connection, effectively turning it into a wired controller. This will get rid of all Bluetooth connection problems, since you will no longer be using Bluetooth.

In order to do this, you need to navigate to the settings menu. There, click on Devices > Controllers > Communication Method > Use USB Cable.

Once you’ve done this, your controller will now use a micro-USB cable to connect to the console. It will automatically switch between Bluetooth and USB depending on whether or not it detects the cable, so you don’t have to worry about instant disconnections if the cable becomes loose.

If your console is father away, don’t fret. These cables come in some pretty lengthy sizes, like the 15-foot Extra-Long PS4 Controller Charger Cable (on Amazon).

If All Else Fails…

If none of these fixes work, you may have a hardware issue with your PS4 controller, and a replacement controller is probably your best move.

The good news is that there are some fairly cheap PS4 replacement controllers out there. For example, we recommend the Predark Wireless PS4 Controller (on Amazon).