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How to Fix an Xbox Controller That Keeps Turning Off By Itself

Your gaming experience can be interrupted by the controller turning off unexpectedly. It can be very frustrating when it happens in the middle of a game or in general, and once the problem starts, it probably isn’t going to go away until you figure it out. So, what’s going on here? 

The Xbox controller may be turning off by itself for various reasons such as controller range issues, battery problems, and hardware malfunctions. Power cycling your Xbox controller or replacing its batteries can quickly resolve this nuisance.

You can stop your Xbox One controller from turning off automatically when idle by disabling the auto-sleep option. And now, let’s get into the details to help you resolve this issue for good.

Why Does Your Xbox Controller Keep Turning Off?

Hand is holding an xbox one controller

Like any other electrical gadget, the Xbox One controller could start developing issues after a while. These are some of the reasons your controller is turning off by itself.

Range Issue

The most common reason your Xbox controller (on Amazon) is turning off is its distance from the console. The maximum range you can go with the Xbox controller before it disconnects is roughly 6m. Additionally, obstacles like walls could mess with its connection to the console.

So when gaming, keep in mind that if you wander too far from the console, the controller won’t be able to send or receive signals, and it will disconnect.

Battery Problems

Low power could cause your controller to switch off very often. Head over to the Xbox home screen, on the battery icon, and confirm your controller’s power level. If the battery is low, then this could be why it’s turning off.

Software Issues or Hardware Malfunction

The Xbox controller will frequently turn off due to hardware malfunctions resulting from repeated incidents of getting dropped on floors. In some cases, a software glitch in your console could also be why your controller regularly turns off. 

How Do You Stop the Xbox Controller From Turning Off?

The last thing you want is your controller shutting off during an intense in-game moment. So, here’s how to stop it from turning off by itself.

Get Your Controller Closer to the Console

If you’re using a wireless controller, ensure it’s facing the console as you try getting closer to it and see if it fixes the problem. And get rid of any metallic plates or devices like cell phones or laptops around your console to prevent them from obstructing signals from the controller.

It’s also best to minimize the number of controllers connected to your console as it can interfere with the signal being conveyed to the Xbox, and your controller will keep shutting off.

Swap the Batteries

You can change the batteries in your controller and confirm whether it still turns off. For example, if you use the Xbox One rechargeable battery pack (on Amazon), charge it for a few hours and then power on your controller to see if the problem is fixed.

Use the Xbox Play and Charge Kit

The Xbox Play and Charge Kit (on Amazon) comprises a USB-C cable and a rechargeable battery to last you up to 30 hours on just one charge cycle.

Another bright side to using the kit is that you’ll wait for a reasonably short time (4 hours) for it to fully charge before you can use it again. So you can keep gaming while charging, and your controller won’t go off due to a low battery.

Keep Your Controller Connected to the Console

Most gamers believe that leaving a fully charged controller connected to a power source will mess up its batteries and overall performance. Unfortunately, this is further from the truth.

Let your controller charge completely, but instead of unplugging it right after it’s full, keep it connected to the console. Keeping your controller connected to power won’t destroy its batteries because it will use the console as a power source instead.

You can also prevent your controller from frequently turning off by keeping it connected to your console using a USB-C cable. This is another effortless and functional solution for an Xbox controller turning off due to damaged batteries.

Power Cycle the Xbox

You can also power cycle the Xbox to stop the controller from turning off very often. Here is how to do it:

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button when close to your console for around 10 seconds until the Xbox turns off.
  1. Press the Xbox button once more to power up the console.
  1. Reconnect the controller to see if the problem is fixed.

A power cycle reboots your Xbox, allowing it to fix malfunctions on both the console and the controller. So watch this video to get the hang of power cycling your Xbox.

Disconnect then Reconnect Your Controller

The Xbox controller could turn off by itself due to software glitches. You can fix this by disconnecting and then reconnecting it to the console. Here’s how to do it:

Disconnecting your controller:

  1. Plug a USB cable into your controller, then connect it to the console.
  1. Press and hold the Sync button on your controller for a few seconds.
  1. Now unplug the controller from the console.

Now let’s reconnect it:

  1. Press the Sync button on your console until the Xbox button starts flashing.
  1. Turn on your controller and press the Sync button until the Xbox button stays on.
  1. Test the controller to see if it’s fixed.

Simply unplugging and then plugging the controller back into the console can effectively fix the issue for a wired controller. And if that doesn’t work, test out a different USB port or use another cable.

Update Your Controller Firmware

Outdated controller firmware could be what’s causing your Xbox controller to misbehave. To update your controller firmware on Xbox:

  1. Using a firmly plugged-in USB cable, connect the controller to the console.
  1. Sign in to Xbox Live and open the Home menu.
  1. Select Profile & Settings, then click on Devices & connections.
  1. Go to Accessories and select the controller to update.
  1. Choose Update, click Continue and wait for approximately 5 minutes for the update to complete.

If your controller is up to date, the system will inform you that no update is available.

To update your controller firmware on your PC:

  1. First, on the latest version of Windows, Open the Xbox Accessories application.
  1. Then, using an Xbox Wireless Adapter or USB cable, firmly connect your controller to your PC.
  1. The system will notify you if the update is available, and you can go ahead with the procedure.

Twist the Xbox Controller

It might seem a bit odd, but yes, it works. Grab your controller, squeeze it lightly, and twist it around. This can be helpful if your controller has some hardware issues that cause it to keep turning off.

Try a Different Xbox Controller

Your controller could be internally damaged, and that’s why it’s disconnecting. Test out a different controller to see if anything changes. You can purchase a new Xbox controller or borrow a friend.

If your new controller is turning off by itself, the console is likely the one with a defect, and you need to take it to the nearest repair shop. 

Contact Xbox Customer Support

If all the above solutions haven’t fixed the problem yet, you’ll have to contact Xbox customer service to get answers to your problems from a team of dedicated professionals. The team can repair or replace your controller for free if your warranty is still valid.

How to Stop Xbox One Controller From Automatically Turning Off

Black joystick in hands isolated on white background

The Xbox console has a default automatic shutdown setting that turns off the controller if it stays idle for a while, and it can be quite a hassle to turn it back on and reconnect it to the console time and again. 

 To disable the auto-sleep option:

  1. Open the Xbox menu and select System.
  1. Next, select System and go to Auto Sleep.
  1. Disable the option.

Once you disable auto-sleep, your controller will no longer turn off automatically while connected to the console.