1. How to Connect Xbox Controller to PC via USB Cable
The easiest way to connect an Xbox controller and a PC is to use a microUSB cable (or a USBC cable for S | X series controllers). Just plug the slim end into your Xbox One controller and the other end into your PC’s USB port. If the controller cannot turn on by itself, click the Xbox button to turn on the controller.
In Windows 10, your computer should immediately recognize the driver. In older versions of Windows, the operating system should automatically download the driver and your driver will be ready in a few minutes.
Please note that the Xbox controller battery will drain even if it is connected to a computer. We recommend purchasing an Xbox One Play and Charge Kit (or Xbox Rechargeable Battery for S | X series controllers) to charge your controller. With it, your controller will charge when connected to PC, thus eliminating battery life issues.
When you want to disconnect the Xbox controller from the PC, just disconnect it. It may blink for a few seconds while searching for other devices, but it will turn off soon.
2. How to Connect Xbox Controller to PC Using Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a convenient way of connecting your Xbox One controller and PC. However, to use it with an Xbox One controller, you must have the newer model, as shown in the image below. All Xbox Series S|X controllers support Bluetooth.
If your Xbox One controller has a plastic case around the Xbox button, as shown in the image above, it does not support Bluetooth. If you want to connect your Xbox controller to your PC without Bluetooth, you will need to use an Xbox Wireless Adapter (described below). The lower model, which doesn’t have plastic around the Xbox button, is Bluetooth-enabled.
To use Bluetooth, head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices in Windows 10. Enable the Bluetooth slider (if it isn’t turned on already), then choose Add Bluetooth or other device. Select Bluetooth from the list.
Next, press the Xbox button on the controller to turn it on. Then press and hold the pairing button (the small button next to LB) on the top of the controller for a few seconds, and the Xbox button will start to flash rapidly.
From here, your Xbox controller should appear in your PC’s Bluetooth pairing menu. Select it and complete the pairing steps.
3. Use the Xbox Wireless Adapter to Pair Xbox One Controller to PC
Microsoft has a standard called Xbox Wireless, which is built into some computers, but it is most likely not part of you. Therefore, to synchronize your Xbox One controller and PC wirelessly without Bluetooth, you need to purchase an Xbox wireless adapter. This adapter allows you to wirelessly connect the Xbox controller to your PC via the same proprietary connection used by the Xbox console.
Connect to the USB port on the PC and let Windows install the driver. When you are done, press and hold the button on the adapter and you will see a flashing light.
Next, press and hold the Xbox button on the controller to turn it on, and then press and hold the pairing button on the top of the controller. After a few seconds, the controller and adapter should see and connect.
From here, you can enjoy your Xbox One controller wirelessly on your PC just like using Bluetooth. If your Xbox One controller doesn’t support Bluetooth, we only recommend this method. Otherwise, you can use an adapter that is cheaper than the Xbox Wireless Adapter to add Bluetooth to your computer.
How to Reconnect Your Xbox Controller to Your Console
When you use the Xbox controller wirelessly, you can turn off the controller by pressing and holding the Xbox button on the controller for about five seconds. When the light goes out, the controller shuts down.
Remember, if your Xbox controller is paired with your console, pressing the Xbox button will turn on the system. You should still be able to use any of the above methods for wireless pairing, but you may want to turn off the console after doing so (or turn it off and unplug it before you begin).
After you connect your Xbox controller to a PC using any method above, you’ll need to re-pair the controller with your Xbox next time you want to use it there. To do this with the wired method, connect the controller to your Xbox using a USB cable, then press the Xbox button to pair.
To pair the controller wirelessly, press the pairing button on the system. It is located on the left side of the disc tray on the original Xbox One, below the power button on the lower right of the front panel on Xbox One S and Xbox One X. On Xbox Series S | X is located in the USB port on the front of the system.
After clicking this button, click the Xbox button to turn on the controller and then press and hold the pairing button on the top to pair.
If you have an Xbox Series S controller | X, there is a convenient shortcut to change the paired device. After connecting it to a Bluetooth device, press the pairing button on the top of the controller twice to immediately switch to the last Xbox wireless connection (usually your console). Then press the pairing button twice again to reconnect to the Bluetooth device you are using.
Connect an Xbox Controller to Your PC Easily
You can connect the Xbox One or Xbox Series S controller | X to your PC in many ways. Whether you want to connect using a USB cable for the simplest option, or prefer to connect wirelessly with Bluetooth, now you know the methods available.
At the same time, a Windows PC is not the only device to which you can connect an Xbox controller.
Related: How to Sync an Xbox One Controller