How to fix Xbox Series X|S controller won’t connect, turn on, or sync error

The Xbox Series X|S controller won’t connect, turn on, sync, or pair with the console for some players, with the Xbox button on both the console and controller flashing without actually pairing with the hardware.

Users have found that this error either occurs on their first startup or will spontaneously present itself even after the controller has already been paired with the console. Fortunately, there is a way to fix this annoying error.

Xbox Series X|S controller won’t connect fix

To fix the Xbox Series X|S controller not working error, you must successfully sync the controller with your console. As this error prohibits you from doing so, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Reset the Xbox console by holding down the power button
  2. Unplug the Xbox Series X from its power source
  3. Power off the Xbox controller and remove its batteries
  4. Plug in and turn on your Xbox Series X
  5. Turn on the controller
  6. Press the pairing button on the Xbox Series X and hold it
  7. Press the pairing button on the Xbox Series X controller but don’t hold it

After following the above steps, the Xbox Series X controller should successfully sync with the console and it should be connected.

If the above doesn’t work, then you can instead plug in your controller to the Xbox Series X via a USB-C cable. After doing so, a connection should be established between your console and controller, meaning that after unplugging it, it should work again.

After following the above tips, your Xbox Series X|S controller should now successfully connect and sync to your console and you’ll be able to enjoy it as Microsoft intended. If this error pops up again, you can repeat the steps in order to sync it. If the problem persists, you can contact Xbox Support to check if there is a fault with your hardware.