How to Keep Xbox Controller From Turning Off: 7 Fixes (2023)

Regardless of your Xbox console, you will need a quality Xbox controller to go along with it. These controllers are one of the best when it comes to comfort and grip during gameplay. Xbox controllers also come in different designs and colors. Xbox 360 controllers can be used on Xbox One, which makes them a great investment

How to Keep Xbox Controller From Turning Off

But, like all devices, Xbox controllers will eventually have malfunctions. Reportedly, some users have experienced that their controller randomly turns off during games. It can be overwhelming once you’re eager to play with your friends and it shuts down instantly.

In this guide, we’ll show you the common reasons for this Xbox controller issue and how you can fix it. Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

“Why Does My Xbox Controller Keep Turning Off?”— Common Reasons

  • The Controller is Not Fully Charged or Has Low Battery – When encountering this issue, it’s best to first check your controller’s battery level. The battery indicator can be found in the upper-right corner of your Xbox console’s display.


  • Turn Off Auto Sleep on XboxAuto Sleep is a setting on Xbox that turns off your controller once it is inactive for a while. While this saves your controller some of its power, it can also be the reason why your controller suddenly turns off.


  • Xbox Controller is Out of Range – Controllers can be at their best when you use them wirelessly. It enables you to play at any position as long as it is in the recommended range of 19-28 ft. (6-9 m.<>). Once it is farther than that, your controller can be suddenly disconnected from the console.


Another factor is interference from other nearby wireless devices. It can cause connection issues, which leads to your controller being disconnected and turning off.

  • Outdated Xbox Controller Firmware – Your Xbox controller must have an updated firmware. They are crucial for your controller’s features to work properly and to avoid any glitches like sudden shut downs.


  • Faulty Controller – If you’re using an old or pre-used controller, it may have internal problems before you used it. Once you’ve tried all the troubleshooting solutions in this article, it’s safe to assume that you may have a faulty controller


How to Stop Xbox Controller From Automatically Turning Off

Now that you know all the common reasons why your Xbox controller suddenly turns off during use, it’s time to go over the fixes that you can try. Most of them can be easily done on the console and can be applied to all Xbox consoles.


Fix #1: Charge your Xbox Controller Fully

Most of the time, you can forget to charge your Xbox controller, especially if you just want to go straight to your favorite games. However, it can lead to sudden disconnections once you don’t pay attention to your controller’s battery level.

If your controller comes with an Xbox One Play and Charge Kit, you can use it and wait for your controller to fully charge before using it. 


Fix #2: Power Cycle Your Xbox Console and Controller

Power cycling your Xbox console and controller can solve most of its common problems. It resets your device and any ongoing connections so you can connect once again without any issues. To power cycle your Xbox console, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button.
  2. Once the Power Center shows up on the display, select Restart Console.
  3. Select Yes to confirm.
  4. Wait for it to turn on and connect your Xbox controller. See if it solves the issue.

This is a fairly common fix and is also one of the recommendations for when your Xbox won’t turn on but makes noise


Fix #3: Turn Off Auto Sleep

As mentioned earlier, most Xbox consoles have an Auto Sleep function that turns off your controller automatically once it has been idle for a while. It can sometimes go unnoticed and can be annoying to deal with. 

To turn off Auto Sleep in Xbox, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your Xbox console and go to System.
  2. Find and select Auto Sleep then choose Disable.
  3. Your controller will now be constantly active as long as it is connected to the Xbox console.


Fix #4: Use your Xbox Controller in the Recommended Range

Another factor to look at is to see if you’re using your controller too far away from the console. Make sure to be closer to the console to avoid any connection issues and to have a better console experience. 

Also, ensure that your controller is directly facing the console so it can detect your controller properly.


Fix #5: Use a Wired Connection

When there are unavoidable interferences nearby your console, you can try to use a wired connection from your Xbox console to the controller. It will eliminate any issues that are caused by a wireless connection and can be more reliable. 

All you will need to do is to connect your controller to the Xbox console through a microUSB cable and wait for your controller to be recognized. Once it’s connected, you can now play without worrying about your controller suddenly turning off.


Fix #6: Update the Xbox Controller’s Firmware

Updated firmware can help solve many of your console’s issues, including connection problems. Microsoft continuously releases firmware updates on Xbox consoles, so make sure to be updated once an update comes out for your Xbox model.

To update your Xbox controller’s firmware, do the following:

  1. Open your Xbox console and go to Settings > Devices and Accessories.
  2. Choose your Xbox controller and integrate all available updates.
  3. Once it is installed, restart both your Xbox controller and console.
  4. Check if your controller still turns off once connected to the console.


Fix #7: Reset your Xbox Console

Once you’ve tried all the fixes above and still have the same issue, the last resort to try is resetting your console. However, you will pick the option that will keep your console’s app and game data. It will restore all your console’s settings to their factory state

To reset your Xbox console, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Xbox console and press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Navigate to Profile & System > Settings > System.
  3. Select Console Info and choose Reset Console.
  4. From the reset options, choose Reset and keep my games & apps.
  5. Once your console has been reset, connect your Xbox controller and see if the issue persists.


Fix #8: Switch from Bluetooth to XBox Wireless

If your controller was built later than 2016 you may have an Xbox Wireless Controller (model 1708) that supports Bluetooth connectivity as well as XBox Wireless. Microsoft recommends XBox Wireless over Bluetooth, so if you have accidentally switched to Bluetooth (or if you were using it to control your iPhone with the XBox controller), then switching back may fix your problems.

  1. Turn off the controller by pressing and holding the Xbox button until the controller vibrates and the light on the Xbox button turns off.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button on the top of the controller until the Xbox button starts flashing.
  3. Press the Connect button on the Xbox One console or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.


Final Thoughts

Xbox controllers are critical for a great console gaming experience. Connecting them is also an easy task, regardless if you’ll use a wired or wireless connection. However, you might come across some power problems, specifically with your controllers. So, if your Xbox controller turns off abruptly, this guide has you covered.