PS4 Controller Not Turning On How to Fix

PS4 Controller Not Turning On: How to Fix

When your PS4 controller balks, it’s easy to throw the towel and set your planned date with an immersive gaming session to another day. But hold your horses, there are proven hacks you can do to give you a quick turnaround!

In this post, we’ll walk you through six tried-and-tested ways to fix a PS4 controller that won’t turn on. Moreover, we’re showing you the most common causes of this issue so you can factor in an apt solution and return to your gaming quickly. 

Why does my PS4 controller not turn on? 

Three things can cause your PS4 controller to not turn on when you press its PS button. It’s important to understand these causes to find the most appropriate solution to fix the “PS4 controller not turning on” issue right away. 

1. Charging Failure

My PS4 controller won’t turn on, you say? Well, that might be a result of your PS4 controller not charging due to an issue with its power accessories, which is the most common reason the charging failure occurs.

The charging failure can occur due to various factors that can prevent your PS4 controller from charging its battery pack. Oftentimes, this is caused by a faulty and damaged USB cable or port on the PS4 controller.

Dirt and dust buildup on the USB port can also block the electricity from flowing into the PS4 controller’s battery pack. Another cause of charging failure is if the battery pack on your PS4 controller is already worn out and needs a replacement.

2. Software Glitch

For some reason, software-related issues on your PS4 controller such as glitches and bugs, can prevent it from charging or turning on. The good thing is that software glitches on the PS4 controller are often minor and aren’t a real cause of concern.

However, since you can’t fine-tune the settings of your PS4 controller the same way you would other devices such as phones, the only solution to this issue is a factory reset.

3. Stuck Buttons

Dirt is the most common cause of stuck PS4 controller buttons, as they can get into the gaps and block their contact pins. In such cases, pressing the buttons on your PS4 controller won’t do anything, which might make you think it’s already broken.

Stuck Buttons

This also applies to the PS button on the controller, which is what you press when you turn it on and put it into pairing mode. Once it gets clogged with dirt, it will result in your PS4 controller not activating since pressing it won’t register a button input.

How to Fix a PS4 Controller that Won’t Turn On 

Lucky for you, several solutions have become useful for fixing the issue with a PS4 controller that won’t turn on. Below is a complete list of the most effective solutions you can try to troubleshoot your faulty PS4 controller and bring it back to life.

FIX 1. Recharge the battery of the PS4 controller

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform FixUp to 2 hours
Things Needed• A Micro USB to USB Type-A cable
• A USB wall charger or phone charger
• A working wall outlet

The PS4 controller not turning on is often the first sign that its battery has already run out of juice and needs a quick recharge. As such, we recommend plugging your PS4 controller using the micro USB to USB Type-A cable that came with it from the box.

However, don’t let that discourage you from using a different USB cable like the one on your phone if the PS4 controller’s cable is not working anymore. Any micro USB to USB Type-A cable should be fine (unless it’s a cheap off-brand unsafe to use).

You’ll know if your PS4 controller is charging when its light bar starts blinking orange slowly. Once fully charged, the light bar will automatically turn off and you can start using your PS4 controller again wirelessly on your console.

FIX 1. Recharge the battery of the PS4 controller

If your PS4 controller isn’t charging when plugged into your console, we recommend plugging it directly into a wall outlet using your phone’s charging brick. This should help the PS4 controller recharge its battery level if your console is behind the issue.

FIX 2. Factory reset your problematic PS4 controller

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• A toothpick, paperclip, or SIM ejector pin
• A PS4 controller
• A PS4 console

A quick and easy solution proven to fix the “PS4 controller not turning on” issue is performing a factory reset. This action should restore the default configuration of your PS4 controller to correct any software-related errors preventing it to turn on.

You can perform this solution by locating the hidden reset button on your PS4 controller. To prevent accidental resets, this button will be inside a pinhole under your PS4 controller so the only way you can access this is to use a toothpick or paperclip.

Step 1: Go to the back of the PS4 controller and find the small pinhole under the left trigger button.

Step 1 Go to the back of the PS4 controller and find the small pinhole under the left trigger button

Step 2: Press and hold the controller’s reset button for 10 seconds by inserting a toothpick, paperclip, or SIM ejection pin inside the pinhole.

Step 2 Press and hold the controller’s reset button for 10 seconds by inserting a toothpick, paperclip, or SIM ejection pin inside the pinhole

Step 3: Plug a USB cable into the PS4 controller after it resets.

Step 3 Plug a USB cable into the PS4 controller after it reset

Step 4: Plug the other end of the USB cable into your PS4 console to pair it with the controller.

Note: For a wireless connection, you have to press and hold the PS and Share buttons on the PS4 controller to put it in pairing mode.

FIX 3. Use a spare USB cable

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededA spare Micro USB to USB Type-A cable

If your PS4 controller isn’t turning on due to a low battery level and also isn’t charging at the same time, you might need to use a spare USB cable. Expect your PS4 controller’s original USB cable to deteriorate and show signs of damage.

It’s best to have a spare micro USB to USB Type-A cable lying around in case you need to use it right now. Unfortunately, micro USB cables aren’t as common now with USB Type-C cables taking the charge so you might need to buy one instead.

Don’t worry, these cables are still easy to find in stores and they’re not expensive as well. You should be able to pick one up from your local electronics store or any online platform that ships the fastest to your location.

FIX 4. Check the PS4 controller’s USB port

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things Needed• A can of compressed air
• A soft brush
• A can of WD40 contact cleaner

Aside from a faulty charging cable, the “PS4 controller not turning on” issue can also be caused by a dirty USB port that’s preventing its battery from charging. Even with a working USB cable, your PS4 controller won’t charge if the port has dust buildup.

Thus, it’s imperative to always check if the PS4 controller’s USB port is clean to avoid charging problems that block the electricity flow into the battery. To clean a  narrow USB port, use compressed air to blow away the dirt and dust buildup.

You can also use a soft brush to help clean the USB port better, especially near the opening. If the PS4 controller’s USB port has developed some rust, we recommend spraying a WD40 contract cleaner and using a soft brush to clear them out.

Unfortunately, cleaning your PS4 controller doesn’t help if the USB port itself is already damaged. Constantly plugging a cable in and out of the USB port every time you charge your PS4 controller is the biggest it gets worn out as time passes.

FIX 4. Check the PS4 controller’s USB port

FIX 5. Open and clean your PS4 controller

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps11
Time to Perform Fix5 minutes
Things Needed• A PS4 controller
• Phillips #00 screwdriver
• A plastic spudger tool or a long fingernail
• A can of compressed air
• A cleaning cloth or cotton swab
• A 70+% isopropyl alcohol solution

Constant use of your PS4 controller can cause its insides to get dirty due to the accumulation of sweat and body oil from your hands. These types of dirt can get inside from the gaps in the PS4 controller’s face buttons, stopping them.

Thus, the PS4 controller not turning on can even be due to its PS button not working from the dirt buildup inside. In such cases, your only option is to have your PS4 controller opened so you can clean all of its components inside.

For this method, you’ll need the same cleaning items from the previous solution with some extra tools that will help you disassemble your PS4 controller. Ask a friend or family for help if you’re not confident in handling an electronic device.

Step 1: Unscrew the back plate of your PS4 controller using a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

Step 1 Unscrew the back plate of your PS4 controller using a Phillips #00 screwdriver

Step 2: Pop the PS4 controller open by targeting the gaps on its side to separate its front and back plates.

Step 2 Pop the PS4 controller open by targeting the gaps on its side to separate its front and back plates

Note: You can use a spudger tool to pry the gaps more carefully.

Step 3: Lift the PS4 controller’s back plate carefully to avoid ripping the ribbon cable inside.

Step 3 Lift the PS4 controller’s back plate carefully to avoid ripping the ribbon cable inside

Step 4: Unplug the ribbon cable’s connector to separate the PS4 controller’s front and back plates.

Step 4 Unplug the ribbon cable’s connector to separate the PS4 controller’s front and back plates

Step 5: Disconnect the PS4 controller’s battery pack.

Step 5 Disconnect the PS4 controller’s battery pack

Step 6: Remove the screw on the battery compartment.

Step 6 Remove the screw on the battery compartment

Step 7: Disconnect the orange ribbon cable on the PS4 controller’s board.

Step 7 Disconnect the orange ribbon cable on the PS4 controller’s board

Step 8: Separate the PS4 controller’s board from its front plate.

Step 8 Separate the PS4 controller’s board from its front plate

Step 9: Remove the button covers to access the PS4 controller’s face buttons.

Step 9 Remove the button covers to access the PS4 controller’s face buttons

Step 10: Clean the face buttons and plates using a cleaning cloth or cotton swab with the isopropyl alcohol.

Step 10 Clean the face buttons and plates using a cleaning cloth or cotton swab with the isopropyl alcohol

Note: You can use the compressed air to clean the board and other dusty sections inside the PS4 controller.

Step 11: Put everything back the way they were and try turning your PS4 controller with the PS button.

FIX 6. Change the battery of the PS4 controller

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededA PS4 controller
A replacement battery
Phillips #00 screwdriver
A plastic spudger tool or a long fingernail

After performing all of the abovementioned solutions, the only reason for your PS4 controller not starting must be a faulty battery pack. In this case, no amount of recharging will power your PS4 controller if its battery can no longer hold any charge.

As such, you can only fix this issue by opening your PS4 controller once more to replace the faulty battery pack. You can try your local electronics store to look for a replacement PS4 controller battery pack or you can also order one online.

Once installed, your PS4 controller should be returned to life after recharging its new battery pack. Otherwise, your only remaining option is to buy a new PS4 controller to replace your existing one.

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 to 5 from the previous solution to open your PS4 controller and remove its battery pack.

Step 2: Apply at least two small squares of double-sided tape in the  PS4 controller’s battery compartment.

Step 2 Apply at least two small squares of double-sided tape in the PS4 controller’s battery compartment

Step 3: Install a replacement battery pack on the compartment and plug in its connector to the PS4 controller’s board.

Step 3 Install a replacement battery pack on the compartment and plug in its connector to the PS4 controller’s board

Note: The black wire on the connector of the battery pack has to be on top of the red wire.

Step 4: Put everything back the way they were and try turning your PS4 controller with the PS button.

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