How To Pair An Xbox Controller To Your PC

You may sometimes want to use the Xbox controller on a PC. Well, here’s how you can pair the controller to your system.

There are many different methods to play your favorite games on PC, including mouse and keyboard, PlayStation controllers, Switch controllers, and Xbox controllers as well.

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Whether you have an Xbox One Controller or Xbox Series X|S Controller, there are some easy methods you can use to connect your hardware to your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC to play any controller-supported games, including popular PC Game Pass games. Keep reading our instructions to easily connect your controller and get started on your adventures.


Connect Xbox Controller Via USB

Image of an Xbox Series X|S Controller with a USB Cable.

The first and simplest method you can use to connect your Xbox Controller to your PC is through a wired USB connection. You can find any Xbox USB Adapter cable online for a relatively low price if you do not have one currently.

  • First, plug in the USB cable to any USB port on your computer. Then, plug in the micro-USB cable into the top of your Xbox Controller.
  • You will then want to hold down the Xbox Button at the top of your controller to turn it on. It should turn on regularly with a solid white light rather than a flash.
  • When it is connected, you should hear a sound that lets you know that your computer detected the controller. Then, you will receive a notification at the bottom of your screen saying, ‘Setting up a device.’ You can click on this pop-up if you want to check the status of your controller’s connection.
  • Eventually, when the computer has finished installing the controller, you will receive another notification letting you know the ‘Device is ready.’ You should now be able to use your controller freely on your computer.

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Connect Xbox Controller Via Bluetooth

Image of the original Xbox One controller on the left and the new Xbox One controller on the right.

The next method is great for those who would prefer to have a wireless connection. You will need to make sure that your Xbox Controller supports Bluetooth in order to use this method, though, as the very first generation of Xbox One Controllers does not have this capability. To tell the difference, take a look at the top part of your Xbox Controller with the Xbox Button and the left and right bumpers. The first-generation Xbox One Controllers will have a completely detached area for the Xbox Button and the bumpers, whereas the new ones will have this whole area as a part of the front faceplate. You can use the above image for reference, with the original Xbox One Controller on the left and the new one on the right.

  • To start this method, you will want to make sure Bluetooth is active on your computer. In the search box at the bottom of your computer, type in ‘Bluetooth and other devices settings,’ and then click on it when it appears.
  • At the top of the page, you will see a big ‘+’ sign that says ‘Add Bluetooth or other device.’ Click on this, and there will be three options, including ‘Bluetooth,’ ‘Wireless display or dock,’ and ‘Everything else.’ You will want to choose the first one labeled ‘Bluetooth.’
  • When you have this open and ready to go, turn on your Xbox Controller by holding down on the Xbox Button. The light will either begin slowly flashing or turn on regularly. To pair it with your computer, hold down the small button at the top of your controller in between the left and right bumpers that have three arrow symbols next to them. When you hold this down, the Xbox Button should now start flashing rapidly. This means it is attempting to find a device to pair to.
  • If your controller has correctly connected, the ‘Xbox Wireless Controller’ will appear as an input. Click on this, and your computer should then begin connecting your controller to Bluetooth.
  • If successful, you should receive a notification saying ‘Device is ready,’ and you can click the ‘Done’ Button to close this screen. You should then see your Xbox Controller under the ‘Mouse, Keyboard, & Pen’ section of your Bluetooth devices.

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Connect Xbox Controller Via Wireless Adapter

Image of the Xbox Wireless Adapter used to connect Xbox Controllers to PC.

The last way you can connect your Xbox Controller to your PC is through the official Xbox Wireless Adapter. This item will give you the most stable wireless connection, especially if your computer has weak Bluetooth. You can buy this item from Amazon or other online stores for around the price of $21.99.

  • First, plug in your Xbox Wireless Adapter into any USB port on your computer. Your computer will then automatically start setting up the device.
  • When your computer has done so, turn on your Xbox Controller using the Xbox Button. Then, hold down the pairing button between the left and right bumpers to begin the pairing process.
  • Next, on the Xbox Wireless Adapter, hold down the pairing button on the end of the Adapter until the small white light begins flashing.
  • Both items will flash for a few seconds, and when they both become solid white, it means the pairing was successful. You can then start using your controller on your PC.

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