How to Reset a PS4 Controller: Troubleshooting Guide

If you’re an avid PlayStation 4 (PS4) gamer, you know how crucial a functioning controller is to your gaming experience. However, there are times when your PS4 controller might encounter issues that require a reset to restore its optimal performance. This troubleshooting guide will walk you through the steps on how to reset a PS4 controller effectively.

Understanding the Need for a PS4 Controller Reset

As you use your PS4 controller regularly, it’s susceptible to wear and tear. Over time, this can lead to various issues, such as unresponsive buttons, stick drift, or connectivity problems. Performing a reset can often resolve these issues, ensuring your controller works flawlessly.

Troubleshooting Common PS4 Controller Issues

Controller Not Responding or Turning On

If your PS4 controller doesn’t respond or turn on, try connecting it to the PS4 using a USB cable and pressing the PS button. If that doesn’t work, proceed to the following troubleshooting steps.

Stick Drift or Unresponsive Buttons

Stick drift occurs when your controller’s analog sticks register movement even when you’re not touching them. To address this, consider calibrating the analog sticks or performing a reset if calibration doesn’t solve the problem.

Syncing Problems with PS4

If your controller won’t sync with the PS4, check the USB cable and make sure it’s not damaged. Alternatively, try resetting the controller and re-syncing it with the console.

Preparing for a PS4 Controller Reset

Charge Your PS4 Controller

Before attempting any reset, ensure your PS4 controller has sufficient charge. A low battery might interfere with the reset process.

Backup Your Controller Settings

To avoid losing your custom controller settings, it’s essential to back them up before resetting the controller. This way, you can easily restore them later.

Performing a PS4 Controller Reset

Soft Reset Using a Paperclip

A soft reset involves using a paperclip or a small pin to press the reset button on the back of the controller gently. This can help resolve minor issues without losing your settings.

Re-pairing the Controller

If a soft reset doesn’t fix the problem, you can try repairing the controller with the PS4. This can establish a fresh connection and resolve any communication issues.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

Resetting the PS4 System Software

If the controller issues persist, the problem might be with the PS4 system software. Try resetting the system to its default settings, but remember that this will also reset your console settings.

Updating the PS4 System Software

Outdated system software can sometimes cause controller problems. Make sure your PS4 is running the latest software version to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Cleaning the Controller Buttons

Dirt and debris can accumulate beneath the controller buttons, causing them to become unresponsive. Regularly clean your controller buttons to prevent this issue.

Cleaning the Analog Sticks

Dust and dirt can also affect the performance of the analog sticks. Gently clean the area around the sticks to improve their responsiveness.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

To keep your PS4 controller in top shape, store it in a clean and dust-free environment, and avoid dropping or mishandling it.

How can I repair my PS4 controller not connecting?

There are various ways to solve a PS4 controller not connecting to the PS4. This step-by-step approach will help you fix the issue:

  1. Charge the Controller: Make sure your PS4 controller has enough charge. Connect it to your PS4 using the USB cable and allow it to charge for a while. A low battery might cause connectivity problems.
  2. Restart Your PS4: Sometimes, a simple system restart can fix connectivity issues. Turn off your PS4 completely, and then turn it back on after a few seconds.
  3. Reset the Controller: The controller has a small reset button on the rear. Press the reset button lightly with a paperclip or pin. After resetting, reconnect the controller.
  4. Check the USB Cable: Ensure that the USB cable you are using to connect the controller is not damaged or faulty. Try using a different USB cable if possible.
  5. Try Another USB Port: If you’re using a USB hub or extension, connect the controller directly to one of the USB ports on the PS4 console. Sometimes, the controller may not connect correctly through a hub.
  6. Re-sync the Controller: If the controller is still not connecting, try re-syncing it with your PS4. To do this, connect the controller to the PS4 using the USB cable, then press the PS button on the controller to establish the connection.
  7. Update PS4 Software: PS4 system software should be updated. Check Settings > System Software Update for updates. Install updates and reconnect the controller.
  8. Check for Interference: Make sure there are no other electronic devices or wireless devices interfering with the Bluetooth connection between the controller and the PS4.
  9. Use Safe Mode: If all else fails, you can try starting your PS4 in Safe Mode and rebuilding the database. To access Safe Mode, turn off your PS4, then press and hold the power button until you hear two beeps. Connect the controller using the USB cable and select the “Rebuild Database” option in Safe Mode.

If your PS4 controller doesn’t connect after these procedures, it may have a hardware issue. In such circumstances, contact Sony support or buy a new controller.


A properly functioning PS4 controller is essential for an enjoyable gaming experience. If you encounter issues with your controller, this troubleshooting guide has provided you with various techniques to reset and resolve common problems. Remember to follow the steps carefully and always back up your settings before attempting a reset.


  1. Q: Will resetting my PS4 controller delete my saved game data?
    • A: No, resetting the controller only resets its settings and connection configurations. It won’t affect your saved game data.
  2. Q: How often should I clean my PS4 controller?
    • A: It’s a good practice to clean your controller every few months or more frequently if you notice any performance issues.
  3. Q: My PS4 controller still won’t turn on after a reset. What should I do?
    • A: If the reset doesn’t work, try charging the controller for a longer period or test it with a different USB cable.
  4. Q: Can I use a Bluetooth adapter to connect my PS4 controller wirelessly?
    • A: Yes, you can use a compatible Bluetooth adapter to connect your PS4 controller wirelessly to your PC or other devices.
  5. Q: Should I perform a factory reset on my PS4 console if the controller issues persist?
    • A: A factory reset should be the last resort as it will erase all data and settings on your PS4. Consider seeking professional assistance before taking this step.

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