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Fixing PS4 Controller Is On And Connected But Not Working

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz Add a Comment

Hey there, fellow gamers! Have you ever been all set for a gaming session on your PS4, controller in hand, and suddenly, it just won’t work? The light’s on, it looks like it’s connected, but nothing happens when you press the buttons. Super annoying, right?

This problem is actually pretty common, and it can be really frustrating, especially if you’re not sure why it’s happening. Let’s dive into why this issue might occur and how you can fix it, so you can get back to gaming in no time! 🎮

Why Is PS4 Controller Connected But Not Working?

So, your PS4 controller’s light is on, it seems to be connected, but it’s just not working? That can be really baffling! Here are some of the usual suspects behind this mystery:

  • Weak Battery Alert: If your controller’s battery is getting old and weak, it might not have enough juice to work right. Think of it like a flashlight with dying batteries – the light’s dim, right? Same deal here.
  • Controller Has Wanderlust: Did you recently hook up your controller to another PS4 or even a PC? If so, it might still be thinking about that device instead of focusing on your current PS4.
  • Bluetooth Blues: The invisible string (Bluetooth) connecting your controller to the PlayStation might have gotten too stretched. If the controller is too far from the console, it might lose that connection.
  • Cable Confusion: Are you using a Micro-USB cable to connect? Make sure it’s not broken or unplugged. A faulty cable is like a broken bridge – no crossing for signals!
  • Power Saving Puzzles: Sometimes, the PlayStation’s Power Save settings might be the culprit. They can tell your controller to take an unexpected nap.
  • Button Breakdown: Check if any buttons on your controller are broken. It’s like trying to type with a missing keyboard key – not much is going to happen.

Got all that? Great! Next, let’s look at how to fix these issues and get you back to gaming! 🛠️

How To Fix a PS4 Controller That Is On and Connected But Not Working

Got a PS4 controller that lights up and seems connected but just won’t play ball? Here are some step-by-step solutions to try out:

Solution #1: Power Cycle Your PS4

First up, let’s try giving your PS4 a little break. This often fixes a bunch of issues. Here’s how:

  • Power Down: Turn off your PS4 completely.
  • Unplug Time: Disconnect your console from the power source and unhook any connected accessories.
  • Patience is Key: Wait for about 3-5 minutes. This gives your PS4 a chance to chill out and reset.
  • Reconnect: Plug your PS4 back in and connect your DualShock 4 (DS4) controller using a USB cable.
  • Power Up: Turn on your console and wait for it to sync up with your controller.

Now, check if your controller is back in action. If it’s working, great! If not, don’t worry, we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve.

Solution #2: Disconnect & Reconnect Your Controller

If the first trick didn’t do it, let’s try disconnecting and reconnecting your controller. You’ll need a second controller that’s working fine for this:

  1. Settings Adventure: On your PS4 dashboard, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
  2. Spot the Odd One Out: Find your non-working controller in the list. It’s the one without a green dot.
  3. ‘Forget’ to Remember: With your working controller, select the problematic one and choose ‘Forget Device’. This makes your PS4 forget the troublesome controller.
  4. Power Off: Now, turn off your PS4 using the working controller.
  5. Reconnection Ritual: Connect the stubborn controller to your PS4 with a USB cable. Then, turn your PS4 back on.
  6. Magic Button Press: Hit the PS button on the controller that was causing trouble.

Did it work? If yes, awesome! If not, no stress – we’ve got more solutions to try! 🕹️

Solution #3: Update the PS4 System Software

Sometimes, the problem is just a little glitch in the PS4’s brain (aka its system software). Updating it can often fix these hiccups. Here’s how:

  • Update Adventure: On your PS4, go to Settings > System Software Update.
  • Click and Go: Choose Update Now, then follow the prompts by selecting Next.
  • Accept & Update: Click Accept to start the updating process. Think of it like giving your PS4 a quick knowledge boost!

Solution #4: Hard Rest the PS4 Controller

Still no luck? Let’s try resetting your controller back to its original settings. Don’t worry, all your game saves are safe. You’ll need:

  • A bent straight pin or a paper clip
  • A Micro-USB cable

Now, follow these steps:

  • Power Down & Disconnect: Turn off your PS4 and maybe disconnect it from the internet (sometimes it interferes with the controller settings).
  • Flip and Find: Turn your controller upside down and locate the tiny reset button near the L2 button.
  • Press and Hold: Use the paper clip or pin to press and hold this button for about 6 seconds.
  • Release and Reconnect: After releasing the button, connect your controller to the PS4 with a Micro-USB cable.
  • Press the PS Button: Now press the PS button on the controller. When the LED bar lights up blue, it should be paired and ready to go!

Solution #5: Use Your controller On Another Device

Still having trouble? Let’s see if the controller itself is the problem. Try connecting it to a different device, like a PC or a friend’s PS4. If it works there, the issue might be with your PS4’s wireless connection. If it doesn’t work on another device, then the controller might be the problem.

Solution #6: Check the PS4 Controller’s Buttons and Touchpad

It’s detective time! Check your PS4 controller for any sticky, loose, or broken buttons. Found one? That might be the culprit. Here’s what you can do:

  • Cleaning Time: Gently clean the problematic button with a cotton swab or microfiber cloth. Use a bit of rubbing alcohol, but be careful – never pour liquid directly onto the controller.
  • Touchpad Troubles: If the touchpad isn’t responding, try disconnecting and re-pairing the controller. If it’s just dirty, turn off your controller and gently clean the touchpad with a cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. Make sure it’s completely dry before you turn it back on.

🎮 Pro Tip: If the touchpad issues are game-specific, updating the game to the latest version might fix the problem.

Solution #7: Make Sure Your PS4 Controller Is Being charged

A weak battery could be the sneaky reason behind your controller’s problems. Here’s how to ensure it’s charged and ready for action:

  • Charge and Rest: Plug the controller into your PS4 with a Micro-USB cable and let it charge. To conserve battery life, turn it off when not in use.
  • How to Charge and Switch Off:
    • Quick Menu Magic: Press and hold the PS button on your controller to open the Quick Menu.
    • Power Down: Go to Sound/Devices > Turn Off Device, and select your controller.
    • Auto Sleep: You can set your controller to turn off automatically after 10, 30, or 60 minutes of inactivity.

🔋 Remember: If your controller’s battery life seems unusually short, it might be time for a new battery. But be careful – changing the battery yourself could void the warranty.

Solution #8: Factory Rest the PS4

If your PS4 controller is still giving you the silent treatment, it might be time for a more drastic step: a factory reset. This is like giving your PS4 a complete makeover, wiping it clean and starting fresh. But remember, this will erase all your data, so back up your game saves first!

Getting Ready for a Factory Reset

Here’s how to prepare for and perform a full factory reset on your PS4:

  • Backup First: Make sure to back up all your game saves and any other important data. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned progress!
  • Create the Update Folders:
    • On a USB drive formatted as FAT32, create a new folder named “PS4”.
    • Inside this folder, create another folder named “UPDATE”.
  • Download the Update File:
    • Head over to the PS4 system software update page.
    • In the “Reinstall system software” section, download the installation file.
    • Save this file in the “UPDATE” folder as “PS4UPDATE.PUP”.
  • Plug and Prepare:
    • Insert the USB drive with the file into your PS4.
  • Safe Mode Start:
    • Turn off your PS4 completely.
    • Then, start it in Safe Mode by pressing and holding the power button. Release it after you hear the second beep.
  • Begin the Initialization:
    • In Safe Mode, select option 7: Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software).
    • Choose Update from USB Storage Device > OK.

If your PS4 doesn’t recognize the update file, double-check that the folder names and file name are correct. They should be in uppercase letters.

What to Expect

This process will completely erase your PS4 and reinstall the system software. It’s like resetting your phone to factory settings – everything goes back to how it was when you first got it. This can solve a lot of tricky problems that seem unsolvable.


Isn’t it strange when your PS4 controller lights up, appears to be properly connected, and yet, refuses to work? It’s like having a car that won’t start even though the keys are in the ignition. This kind of issue can be due to problems with either the controller or the console itself, and figuring out which one can feel like a bit of a detective game.

We’ve shared a bunch of troubleshooting tips to help you solve this mystery. Whether it’s a simple reset, a battery issue, or something requiring a bit more effort like a factory reset of your PS4, there’s a good chance one of these solutions will get your controller back in the game.

Did any of these tips work for you? Or did you find another solution? Please share your experiences in the comments below. Your story could be the exact answer another gamer needs. Plus, it’s always great to hear about fellow players overcoming tech challenges!

Tech issues can be frustrating, but remember, you’re part of a community that loves gaming as much as you do. Sharing solutions not only helps you but also contributes to the broader gaming community. So, let’s keep the gaming spirit alive by helping each other out!

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