Connecting Xbox 360 or Xbox One Controllers

connecting xbox controller

As of Windows 7, using an Xbox controller on a PC is a built-in functionality of the operating system. However, there are a few situations that may cause users to have problems with an Xbox controller on their PC.

How to Use a Wired Xbox 360 on Your PC

Using a wired Xbox 360 should be simple with Windows 8 and up – it’s just plug and play! If you’re on Windows 7, you’ll need to have an automatic driver updater or you’ll need to pull the drivers off of Microsoft’s site. If it’s still not working, here’s a quick checklist to diagnose the problem:

  1. Your version of Windows isn’t updated. Open your System updates and apply any updates that you don’t have – it’s not necessary to go to Windows 10, but Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, so you may want to consider it.
  2. Your USB drivers are missing or not functioning properly. Go to your motherboard’s manufacturer’s website, find your motherboard model, and download your proper chipset drivers for your version of Windows. Or, you can use Download Driver Support to automatically update all of your drivers in the background.
  3. Your controller is broken. Try plugging it into something else and see if it works.
  4. Your USB port doesn’t function properly. Try plugging it into another port.

How to Connect and Use a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller on Your PC

Getting a wireless Xbox 360 controller is a little bit more difficult than getting the wired controller working. You’ll need to obtain a Wireless Receiver, which can be found on most major tech retailers’ websites. Since the Xbox 360 has been out of production for a while, it may be difficult to find one in stores.

  1. Once you’ve purchased and plugged in your wireless receiver, Windows 8 and up should automatically be able to read the controller.
  2. If you have Windows 7, you’ll need to manually download the USB drivers or use an automatic driver updater.
  3. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the drivers, your device should work. Otherwise, you may need to make sure the batteries are new, and make sure that the ports work. Follow the instructions above to fix any USB issues.

How to Use the Xbox One Controller with a PC (USB)

If you’re on Windows 10, you can just plug an Xbox One controller in via a Micro USB cable and it should start working immediately, unless the cable or USB port is broken.

If you’re on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, you’ll need to:

  1. Run System Update
  2. Download the newest Xbox One drivers from Microsoft’s site or an automatic driver updater
  3. Plug in your controller!

How to Use the Xbox One Controller with a PC (Wireless)

If you’re on Windows 10 and have supported Bluetooth or Xbox wireless support on your pre-built device, chances are you can connect automatically with the Bluetooth and Other Devices option from your System Bar or System Settings. However, if you are on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, you won’t have built in support. You’ll need to purchase an Xbox One Wireless Receiver, then do the following:

  1. Run System Update
  2. Download the newest Xbox One drivers from Microsoft’s site or an automatic driver updater
  3. Plug in your receiver
  4. Connect using the Pair button on the top of the controller.

Connecting an Xbox controller to a Windows PC is pretty simple – if you have other issues, try downloading Driver Support to make sure all of your device drivers are updated and fully functional to test for failed driver issues.

Download Xbox 360 and Xbox One Drivers for PC

If you have the most recent drivers for your controller and for your USB ports, and you’re still having issues with your Xbox controller working with your PC, contact Microsoft support.