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When you spring for an Xbox, you get a game console and much more. That console becomes your entertainment hub because it works with dozens of apps you download from the marketplace as well as digital games. As you need a controller to use your Xbox, make sure you find out why it keeps turning off and how to fix it along with how you can extend the life of your batteries.

Xbox Controller Keeps Turning Off: Reasons & Solutions

Is there anything worse than making time to play with your online teammates only to find that your controller keeps turning off?

Not only can this happen as soon as it runs for a few minutes, but it can also occur after you play for hours. Take a look at the top reasons why your controller does it and some of the solutions we found.

Why Your Xbox Control Turns Off

Your controller keeps turning off because you didn’t fully charge the batteries. Even if the batteries have enough of a charge that you can turn on the controller and open your game, they may not have enough life left to play your game.

There’s a chance that you set up the Auto Sleep feature, too. This feature tells the controller to enter sleep mode for a certain amount of time when it’s inactive. It can enter sleep mode if you leave the controller on while you grab a snack or use the bathroom. Other reasons your controller can shut off include:

1. Too Far Away From the Console

Xbox controllers usually have a range of 19 to 28 feet. When you are outside this range, the controller loses connection and shuts down.

2. Nearby Electronic Devices

Any other devices you have can produce enough interference that your controller has a hard time maintaining its connection and will shut down.

3. Old Firmware

Xbox controllers use firmware that both maintain the connection with the console and let you use it. You won’t get firmware updates if you don’t connect to the internet. A controller that runs on old or outdated firmware can frequently shut down.

4. Faulty Controller

You may have a faulty controller, especially if you buy a used or pre-owned model. Even if you pick one up from a game store, it may not work right. Faulty controllers will keep turning off.

How to Fix an Xbox Controller That Shuts Itself Off

Now that you know why your controller shuts off, you can take a look at some of the best solutions to fix the problem. Charging your Xbox controller completely is one possible fix. You can also do a Power Cycle to reset both the console and controller.

Hold down on the center Xbox button and look for the Power Screen on your TV. Use your controller to select Reset Console. Once it goes through a full rest, see if your controller works.

If you didn’t check the Auto Sleep feature, check it now. Open the Settings and go to System and Auto Sleep. Click to disable this feature and see if the controller will work longer without shutting down.

You should also try using a wired controller, which gives you an idea of whether you have a problem with your controller. When your console works fine with a new controller, you know that you need to replace the old one. A few other ways you can try to fix your controller include:

1. Adjust the Controller

Not only will your controller have a hard time finding a connection to your Xbox when it’s not in range, but it can keep shutting off, too. Try sitting closer to your Xbox as you use the controller and ensure it faces the lights on the front of the console.

2. Install Firmware Updates

As long as you have an internet connection, you can look for firmware updates for your controller. Turn on the console and use your controller to access Settings and then Devices & Accessories. Select All Available Updates and wait a few minutes for the console to download and install the updates. If your console does not shut itself off, turn it off and then shut down your controller. You can then restart both.

3. Reset Your Xbox

We already told you how to complete a Power Cycle, but you may want to try resetting your Xbox.

  1. Open the Menu and go to Profile & System -> Settings -> System.
  2. Open Console Info and choose Reset Console
  3. Make sure you select the Rest and Keep My Games & Apps.

If you skip this step, the Xbox will wipe any saved data when it resets. You can then see if you solved the problem.

4. Disconnect the Controller

You might have a controller that keeps shutting down because it has a poor connection. Unplug the controller cable from the console and remove the batteries or battery pack from the controller.

Wait a few minutes before you add the batteries/battery pack and restart the console. You will then need to hold down the connect button on the Xbox and wait for the lights on the front to flash. Hold the connect button down on the controller. When it connects to your Xbox, the lights will stop flashing and become solid.

5. Change the Batteries

We found that some gamers had a problem when they used cheap or weak batteries. If you notice your controller keeps turning off and none of these remedies work, try replacing the batteries. Some batteries are so weak that they cannot power an Xbox controller for more than a few minutes.

Why Does My Xbox Box Controller Keep Turning Off When Plugged In?

Whether you have a controller with a USB-C or another cable, it can keep turning itself off when you plug it into the console. This can happen because of a faulty charging cable or a damaged charging port. You should also check the connection the wired controller has with your Xbox. If the connection is even slightly loose, the controller may not get as much power as it needs.

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Who Do Xbox Controllers Go Through Batteries So Fast?

Xbox has both wired and wireless controllers that work with your console. The wireless controllers come with batteries that you can either recharge while you do other things or as you play. Some wireless controllers rely on AA batteries, too.

Depending on your type, you can go through two batteries during a long gaming session or a few packs every week. You should also check to make sure you turned off the Auto Sleep feature. This feature comes already turned on when you buy a wired controller.

One reason you go through batteries so fast is that you use a headset simultaneously. That headset uses the same batteries and can drain them much faster. You may also go through a lot of batteries because you have an older controller that is nearing the end of its life.

There’s a risk that you have a faulty controller, charging pack, or batteries, too. Make sure you check each one to make sure it works. If you have one of the early-generation controllers and need to use a lot of batteries, it’s likely a sign you need to replace it.

However, if you have a wireless controller and use it with cheap batteries, don’t expect them to last very long. Other reasons you go through controller batteries so fast include:

  • The controller gets too hot or you expose it to heat/high temps.
  • It came with a lot of drivers that go through its batteries.
  • You tried using rechargeable batteries from a third party and not an authorized brand.

How Long Should Xbox Controller Batteries Last?

The lifespan of your Xbox controller batteries will depend on your battery type. Xbox claims that its Plug & Play controller sets last for up to 30 hours on a single charge. These sets come with a controller and a battery pack.

You keep the battery pack inside the controller and use a simple cable to plug it into the console. This allows you to charge the batteries when you’re not using the controller or as you play.

If you use normal AA batteries, look for those designed for high-drain devices or electronics because they will last longer. With cheap batteries, you’re lucky if you get 10-12 hours of play before they run out.

Some of the cheapest batteries from discount stores will only last for a few hours before they die. Special batteries like those for electronics give you up to 40 hours of gaming time.

8 Tips to Increase Xbox Controller Battery Life

You don’t need to spend $50 or more to replace your Xbox controller just because it eats batteries. Check out some of the best ways you can make those batteries last longer.

1. Try a Wired Controller

If you can sit close to your Xbox, consider investing in a wired controller. While the attached cable is too short for you to play from across the room, it’s long enough for you to play from your favorite chair or a comfy spot. You can also alternate between wired and wireless controllers to use your batteries less.

2. Use Rechargeable Batteries

If you still use cheap AA batteries, go ahead and upgrade to a rechargeable set. They can usually last twice as long as standard batteries or even longer.

3. Charge to 100%

The Plug & Play sets are easy to use and let you press the Menu button to see where the controller is in the charging process. While you may want to play as soon as it hits 50%, wait until the batteries are fully charged before you unplug the controller.

4. Turn Off Your Controller

Do you have a habit of using the controller to launch Netflix or other apps and then set it to the side? If you leave the controller on, it will go through batteries quickly, even if you never touch one of the buttons. Any time you have the Xbox on but don’t need your controller, turn it off.

5. Avoid Short Charger

A short charge is when you quickly charge your controller for a few minutes or longer to get some extra life before you go back to playing. You might do this to finish one last level before you go to bed or when you’re close to an endpoint. Short charges can weaken your batteries and make them drain faster.

6. Turn Off the Vibrations

Xbox consoles have a vibration setting that pulls you into your games and helps you enjoy the action. It doesn’t always work the way it should and can work through your batteries in hours. Open your Xbox Menu and go to Settings, Ease of Use, and then Controller. Turn off the vibration in this section.

7. Use Your Headset in a Different Way

Gaming with a headset helps you stay in touch with your teammates. As we said before though, using a headset will drain your batteries. You can plug your headset into the console instead of the controller to save your batteries.

8. Take Out the Batteries

If you want to use disposable batteries, try taking them out of the controller when you shut them off. Not only will this keep the batteries from draining, but it also reduces the risk that they might produce some discharge that damages your Xbox.


Xbox controllers are expensive, with the wired models priced at around $50 and the Plug & Play sets retailing for even more. Use our solutions to keep your controller from shutting off and then try some of our tips to make your Xbox controller batteries last longer.