How to Reset PS4 Controller the Right Way?

When the PS4 controller starts to malfunction or behave weirdly, one of the best solutions is to reset the PS4 controller. It’s a very simple process that will resolve many performance issues in the PS4 controller and your problem might be one of these issues.

You don’t really need to buy a new PS4 controller if it’s not functioning the way it should unless you try all possible ways to fix it, and the best thing you should start with is to reset your PS4 controller.

Resetting PS4 controller is needed when it doesn't function properly

When Do You Need to Reset the PS4 Controller?

Many PS4 users would ask that when to decide to reset the PS4 controller? Is there any sign/situation that second this decision? The answer is YES.

You need to reset the PS4 controller when one of these signs appear:

  • PS4 Controller does actually work but it behaves weirdly and doesn’t work as it should (i.e. degrading performance).
  • In the middle of playing your game or working on your application, the PS4 controller totally or partly stops responding, while the PS4 app/game you have run seems to be fine.
  • There is a power issue with the PS4 controller, such as that the battery doesn’t fully charge and it lasts less than 4 hours, or it doesn’t charge at all.
  • One (or both) of your two analog sticks start moving things onscreen when they shouldn’t. Although the most likely cause of analog stick drift is dust, dirt and grime working its way into your controller, there are possibly some other reasons for this situation that can be fixed with a reset.

These are the situations that will impel you to seriously consider PS4 controller reset.

Now, let’s learn here how to reset the PS4 controller and get it back working just like the time when you first used it.

What Happens When the PS4 Controller Fails?

When PS4 controller failsWhen the PS4 controller begins to malfunction or about to fail, you’ll get troubles dealing with the PS4 system. A clear sign of PS4 controller defect is when PS4 suddenly freezes/halts during the gameplay. Sometimes it won’t freeze, but the PS4 will go very slow, or just behaves eccentrically.

In some cases none of these symptoms will appear, but the PS4 system won’t respond to the controller’s prompts. You can easily feel that the PS4 controller is not working at all, no matter how many times you press its buttons.

On the other hand, the corrupted PS4 database can also hinder the system from responding to the controller’s prompts. In this case, the PS4 controller is healthy and functioning perfectly, but the PS4 system can’t properly render the signals coming from the controller due to the corruption in the database.

Lastly, a failing PS4 hard drive can cause the system to not function properly, and thus not responding to the controller’s signals. In this case, if you’re a savvy/technician, you’ll have a technical sense and can quickly figure out where the problem is.

Try These Before Resetting the PS4 Controller

things to do before you reset PS4 controller
Before resetting the PS4 controller, carry out all the following actions:

  1. Turn off the PS4 and unplug it from the power socket for 3 minutes.
  2. Change the PS4 USB port through which you connect the controller.
  3. Remove the PS4 controller’s battery then put it back in place.
  4. Connect the PS4 controller to a computer and check whether it’s healthy or not. If it works fine, that means you have a problem with the PS4 itself not the controller.

If none has worked for you, you may now be sure that your PS4 controller must be reset.

Resetting PS4 Controller

time to reset PS4 controller
If the PS4 controller can no longer connect to the PlayStation 4, it does not respond properly to the inputs or the light on the back flashes, a reset of the controller can provide a remedy. How to perform a reset on the PS4 controller and connect it back to the console? This is what we’ll illustrate in details below.

Just note that there are two way of resetting the PS4 controller—Soft and Hard.

How to “Soft-Reset” the PS4 Controller?

Generally, the term soft reset is the restarting or rebooting of a device like a computer, smartphone or tablet. It closes all applications and clears any data in random access memory. This is different from a hard reset, which could potentially cause loss of settings, saved applications and user data. Soft resetting is usually performed to repair malfunctioning applications. This process is also known as a soft reboot.

As for the soft reset of the PS4 controller, this process will reset the connection between the controller and the console. Just note that you can’t do that unless you have an additional PS4 controller. Otherwise, if it’s only one controller you have, you better skip to the next section where you’ll learn how to hard-reset the controller.

There’s a workaround here. If you do not have a controller already connected to your PS4™ available, you can alternatively download the PlayStation Second Screen application on your smartphone. Available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store for Android.

To soft-reset the PS4 controller, please follow the below steps:

bluetooth devices PS4

  1. Go to the PlayStation® 4 dashboard by pressing the PS Button.
  2. Go to [Settings] > [Devices] > [Bluetooth Devices].
  3. You should see your PS4 controller listed. Because we are using the working controller to navigate the menu, select the inactive one.
    Note: The PS4 controller with a green dot is the active controller and the PS4 controller without the green dot is the inactive one.
  4. Select “Disconnect” option.
  5. Press the Options Button on your PS4™ controller.
  6. Select “Forget Device”.
  7. Confirm.

Now that we’ve forgotten the malfunctioning DualShock 4 controller, we want to power down the PS4. You can do this by holding down the PS4 button on your controller, navigating to Power in the menu and choosing Turn off PS4.

Additional Steps

With the power off, there are a few more steps to perform:

  1. Connect your misbehaving DualShock 4 controller to the PS4 using a USB cable.
  2. Turn on the PS4 and wait for it to boot up.
  3. Press the PlayStation button on the controller and log in to the PS4. The PlayStation 4 controller should now be paired and you can test to see if it’s still misbehaving.

If that doesn’t work with you and the problem persists, try to hard-reset the controller.

How to “Hard-Reset” the PS4 Controller?

PS4 controller reset buttonA hard reset is a process by which a device is reverted to the state it was in when shipped from the factory. That is to say, it erases all data including apps, user profiles, and settings.

The process to hard-reset PS4 controller is way too easy. All you need is to first turn off your console. The Reset button is located in a tiny hole at the back of the controller near the L2 button.

Using a paperclip, press and hold the Reset button for a few seconds. This should be enough to reset your controller.

The next step is to once again pair your controller with your device. Do it as follows:

Simply connect the controller using the USB cable provided and then turn on your PS4 and proceed with the pairing procedure. If the connection fails, it’s because the controller is not detected by the console. This might be due to the respective USB cable. The PS4 controllers are somewhat peculiar here. It’s best to use an original Sony Micro USB cable. If you do not have one, you should try different Micro USB cables .

Now, press the PlayStation button on the controller to log into the PS4. The light bar should turn blue indicating the DualShock 4 has paired with the console.

Has This Resolved the Issue?

If the controller continues to cause problems, there might be a hardware failure. If so, you can check if it’s on the console or the controller. It’s best to try other controllers on your PS4 or test your controller on a friend’s or colleague’s console. If aren’t sure whether the problem is from the console or the controller, you can always contact Sony support center and explain to them your problem.

Questions & Answers

What's PS4 controller reset?

A PS4 controller reset wipes out configuration information and returns the controller to factory defaults.

Why do I need to reset PS4 controller?

When the PS4 controller is misbehaving/malfunctioning, the first thing you want to do is to reset it.

How many types of reset can be done for a PS4 controller?

There are two types of reset for the PS4 controller: soft reset and hard reset.

What's the difference between soft and hard reset of PS4 controller?

The soft reset of PS4 controller is just restarting the device in hope that any soft electrical issue is resolved by this action. On the other hand, hard reset of PS4 controller returns the controller to its factory settings.

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27 Responses

  1. Christian says:

    I recently took apart my ps4 controller to clean the analog sticks and put it back together afterward. Now the lightbar doesn’t turn on and the controller when plugged into the ps4 causes the “Too many USB devices” error. I tried all of the fixes in this article, but none of them worked. I also know that the issue is the controller itself because I have plugged it into my laptop using different chords and it causes the “Power surge on the USB port” error. None of these things happened before I took it apart, so I’m just wondering if there is anything that I can do before buying a new controller.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      The easiest solution is to buy a new controller because apparently it’s defective and may harm your system.

  2. Demitrius Williams says:

    My ps4 controller was worlimg fine then the next day it wont turn back on or connect to my ps4

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Try to connect it to another PS4 if possible and check whether it works or not. There are several reasons why the controller won’t work, and it needs different tests to figure out the actual reason.

  3. Eric says:

    I bought 3 controllers brand new from GameStop and I’m having the same issues really aggressive drift in my joysticks

  4. Omar says:

    I’ve got the weirdest problem. My dualshocks are ONLY working in Safe Mode, connected by USB, but unrecognized when the PS4 starts up! Any help much appreciated. Tried resetting both controllers, didn’t make a diff .

    • PS4 Storage says:

      This is a systematic problem. You need to full initialize the PS4 and reinstall the system software.

  5. Tyler says:

    My buddy gave me a PS4 and I bought a controller for it almost a month ago. It seemed to have controller drag and it would spaz out all the time. So I returned it on the 7th and got a new one. Well this one is doing the same thing. I’ve tried multiple things as, soft resetting, and hard resetting the controller. I’m not sure what the issue is. Please help

    • PS4 Storage says:

      If you have tried two controllers and the same problem occurred, it’s most probably the PS4 system itself. Try to full initialize the PS4 and reinstall the system software. If that does not work, it’s most likely a hardware-related issue that requires a technician.

  6. Samraysh says:

    For some reason, the L3 and R2 buttons in my controller are linked. When Playing fortnite if i press L3, the character automatically starts shooting. Is there any way to rectify this?

    • PS4 Storage says:

      This is an electrical problem that happens when two electric circuits intervene overlap. Only a technician can fix it.

  7. Kelvon Lewis says:

    I just brought a new ps4 controller I charge it then when I hock it up it won’t connect to ps4 please help idk what to do

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Connect the controller first to a PC and check whether it works there or not. If it does, it means the PS4 USB port is malfunctioning or the system itself might need to initialize.

  8. Gamers exclusive says:

    Does resetting the controller delete any game from my console

  9. LaylaBee says:

    do i have to hard reset My controller just to play a rhythm game on My ps4?

  10. HiraD says:

    So hello and i tried all of the things. I don’t have two controllers for soft but i tried hard reset. my controller still doesn’t work. it connects to my pc but not ps4

    • PS4 Storage says:

      You probably have a USB connection issue in your PS4. Have you tried switching the USB port and use a different one for your controller? This is a mandatory step to make in this case.

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