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How To Stop A PS5 Controller From Disconnecting

The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller is arguably Sony’s best controller to date. But, as is the case with all gaming devices, it’s still susceptible to some technical issues. There have been complaints from some users about the controller’s failure to keep a connection while playing. The cause largely depends on your console or the type of connection.

To fix a PS5 controller that keeps disconnecting, try restarting it, resetting it, adjusting the Steam settings, checking the battery, and updating the firmware and drivers. If none of these fixes work, you may need to switch from Bluetooth to a wired USB connection.

It can be pretty frustrating when your PS5 controller suddenly disconnects in the middle of a game. Luckily, you can take several simple actions that might fix your program for good. Let’s take a look at what you can do.

Why Does My PS5 Controller Keep Disconnecting?

Close-Up on The New control of Playstation

There are several potential causes of a PS5 controller disconnecting (or not connecting in the first place). The most obvious is a bad connection. We’ll review the connection steps below so you can confirm you’re trying to connect your DuelSense properly, depending on the connection type (USB or Bluetooth).

USB Connection

The Sony USB adapter that the PS5 comes equipped with is recommended. However, you can also use other USB cables to transmit both data and power. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Launch the game.
  2. Connect the USB cable to the USB-C port of the controller on one end and the PC on the other.
  3. Wait for the PC to install the required drivers.
  4. The PC should prompt the adaptive controller triggers once the drivers are successfully installed, implying that you can start playing.

Bluetooth Connection

To connect your PS5 controller to your PC using a Bluetooth wireless connection, follow these steps: 

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth on your PC and search for available devices.
  2. Press the Share and PS buttons simultaneously on your controller to pair with the PC.
  3. The LEDs on your controller should start flashing, and a pairing alert should appear on your screen.
  4. Pair your controller and PC by clicking on the alert and start playing.

If the connection between your PS5 controller and PC is made properly, but it still keeps disconnecting, it could be because of another cause. Here are some of the most probable ones: 

  • Controller hardware malfunction: Connectivity disruption can result from a faulty controller. You should check for flaws in your controller to determine its cause. 
  • Controller settings: The default PS5 controller settings cause disconnection when it’s idle. 
  • List of connections: The PS5 controller can store a list of connected devices for easy connectivity. Issues with the selection of the right device can disrupt connectivity. To fix this, you should reset the connections list. 
  • Bluetooth drivers: Disruption in a Bluetooth connection can be caused by outdated or improperly installed drivers. You can uninstall and reinstall the Bluetooth drivers when your PS5 controller disconnects. To prevent the problem altogether, always keep the drivers updated. 
  • PS5 controller configurations: The controller configurations are stored even after disconnection. Some of these configurations can cause disconnecting issues. Resetting the controller can eliminate the stored configurations and fix the connectivity disruption. 
  • Missing software: You may be missing important software needed to make the controller work. A good example is DS4 software. 
  • Dead battery: The connection can be disrupted if the battery powering the controller dies. Check to see if the battery is sufficiently charged. 
  • Damaged USB cable or port: If your set-up requires constant plugging and unplugging, your cable and ports will likely wear out quickly. 

Be sure to skim through our Ultimate PS5 Owner’s Guide for more on how to manage your DualSense, but for now let’s work through this connection issue:

How to Troubleshoot PS5 Controller Connection Issues

If you’re facing disconnection issues with your PS5 controller, it could be caused by any of the reasons highlighted above. Determining the culprit may not be as straightforward as charging the controller’s batteries or bringing your wirelessly connected controller within 30 feet of your PC or console. If your DuelSense controller starts flashing blue when you turn it on at any point in the process point, have a look at our separate guide covering that.

You may have to troubleshoot your PS5 controller connection issues. Here are several ways to go about it: 

Restart the PS5 controller

Restarting your PS5 controller is the first thing you can do to troubleshoot your disconnection issues. It is a relatively straightforward process: 

  1. Turn the PS5 controller off by long-pressing the power button until it produces two beeps.
  2. Unplug the console from the power source.
  3. Allow it to cool off by keeping it unplugged for a while.
  4. Plug the console back into its power source and connect the controller to the console with a USB cable.
  5. Power on the console and restart the controller. 

Reset PS5 Controller and Pair Again

If restarting does not solve the disruption in connectivity, you can proceed to reset your PS5 controller

  1. Locate a small hole at the back of the controller next to the L2 button and use a pen tip or paper clip to push and hold the small reset button inside it for 5 seconds. 
  2. Connect the controller to the console using the USB cable and press the ‘PlayStation’ logo. 
  3. The controller will pair itself to the console. Unplug the USB cable once the pairing is complete. 
  4. The PS5 controller should now connect wirelessly. 

Modify Steam Settings

If resetting the PS5 controller doesn’t solve the disconnection issue, the Steam settings could be the problem. You may need to change them. Here are the steps to follow: 

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Go to Settings > Controller > General Controller Settings.
  3. From the list of controllers, select the PlayStation 5 controller. 
  4. Find the ‘Shutdown time’ option and change it from the default ’15 minutes’ to ‘never.’ 

Update PS5 Firmware

Out-of-date system software can also cause your PS5 controller to disconnect unexpectedly. Check for updates to make sure there aren’t any you’re missing. To update your PS5 firmware, go to Settings > System Software > System Software Update and Settings > Update System Software.

Update Computer Bluetooth Drivers or Switch to a Wired Connection

If modifying the Steam settings doesn’t solve the wireless connection issues, you should troubleshoot your computer’s Bluetooth drivers.

Try uninstalling and reinstalling your drivers and checking for available updates. Outdated drivers can cause connectivity issues. Here’s how you go about troubleshooting Bluetooth driver related issues: 

  1. Right-click the Windows start menu logo on your PC and select ‘Device Manger’ from the pop-up list. 
  2. Find your PS5 controller from the list of devices, right-click on it and select ‘Remove Device’ to uninstall the drivers. 
  3. Make sure the Bluetooth on your PC is turned on by going to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices. Turn on Bluetooth, and from the drop-down menu, select ‘Add Bluetooth or other devices.’   
  4. Long-press the ‘PlayStation’ and ‘Share’ buttons simultaneously on your controller until the PC detects it.
  5. Go back to ‘Device manager’ and right-click on the PS5 controller again. Select properties and check the box for ‘Drivers for keyboard, mice….’ Click on the ‘Apply’ and ‘Ok’ buttons to complete. 
  6.  On the system tray at the bottom right corner of your PC screen, right-click on the Bluetooth icon and select ‘Allow a device to connect.’ 
  7. Connect the PS5 controller to the PC via Bluetooth to finish.

If updating your computer’s Bluetooth devices does not stop your PS5 from disconnecting, you can switch to a wired connection using a USB cable. 

Battery and Hardware Complications

If the PS5 controller only works with a USB connection, it’s likely that the battery has an issue. Battery issues are common in controllers that have been used for a long time. The battery begins to deteriorate after many charge cycles, and it can no longer hold a charge. If the battery is the problem, you should replace it with a new DualSense Replacement Battery (on Amazon).  

In a wired connection, the connectivity issue could result from a faulty USB cable or port. Start by plugging the USB cable into other ports on your console or PC.

Make sure the cable fits tightly on both ends. You may blow compressed air or use a clean cloth to clean the USB ports. If the problem persists, examine the cable closely to check for any damage. Replace the cable to see if a new one will work. 

While minor battery and hardware complications with the PS5 controller can be fixed with updates and a little troubleshooting, more significant problems may require professional repairs. You can get hardware support for all your PlayStation products from the official store. 

Tips and Tricks

A PS5 controller that disconnects abruptly while playing can be very inconvenient. This connectivity problem is more pronounced while using the controller on a PC.

Fortunately, restarting or resetting the controller, modifying Steam settings, updating firmware, updating Bluetooth drivers, or fixing battery and other hardware issues should fix the problem. 

To avoid disruptions to your gaming, it’s better to prevent the disconnections by employing the following tips and tricks: 

  • Use the recommended USB cable for wired connections.
  • Make sure your PS5 controller is charged using a wireless Bluetooth connection. When the LED turns red, you should plug in the USB cable to continue playing. 
  • Hide the DS4 controller option from settings before connecting the controller and starting a game.
  • Check the eligibility of your hardware for an under-warranty repair