How to Reset PS4 Controller the Right Way? [2023]

These situations will urge you to consider a PS4 controller reset seriously.

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

Note that after resetting your gamepad controller check this Device Checker website to confirm all buttons are working properly for a better gaming experience.

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 quickly feel that the PS4 controller is not working, 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 correctly render the signals from the controller due to corruption in the database.

Lastly, a failing PS4 hard drive can cause the system not to function properly and thus not respond 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. If it works fine, you have a problem with the PS4 itself, not the controller.

If none has worked for you, you may be sure that you have to reset your controller.

Syncing a PS4 controller

There are various ways to reconnect your controller to your PlayStation 4 if you’ve determined it isn’t responding. You can either soft reset the console and try pairing the controller again or reset it to its default settings (a hard reset). We’ll demonstrate how.

Resetting PS4 Controller

Image source: Depositphotos

Image source: Depositphotos

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 controller reset can provide a remedy. How do you reset the PS4 controller and connect it back to the console? We’ll address this in detail below.

Just note that two ways of resetting the PS4 controller are 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. That is different from a hard reset, which could potentially cause loss of settings, saved applications, and user data. Gamers usually go for the soft reset option to repair malfunctioning applications. This process is known as a soft reboot.

As for soft resetting the PS4 controller, this process will reset the connection between the controller and the console. 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 a 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 pair with the console, and you can test to see if it’s still misbehaving.

If that doesn’t work for 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 of hard reset the PS4 controller is way too easy. All you need is first to turn off your console. You can find the Reset button 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. That should be enough to reset your controller.

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

Connect the controller using the USB cable provided, turn on your PS4, and proceed with the pairing procedure. If the connection fails, the console does not detect the controller. That 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 been paired with the console.

Has This Resolved the Issue?

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

Reset PS4 Controller FAQ

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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30 Responses

  1. Sofia says:

    I bought a used PS4, the console will not pair. Perhaps there is something obvious that I am missing

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Locate the small reset button near the L2 button on the back of the controller. Push the button inside the tiny hole with a small tool. Hold down the button for 3-5 seconds. Connect your console with a USB cable and press the PS button.

  2. Rush says:

    Hello everyone, I have an unusual problem. I have a one-year-old DS4 controller with terrible input lag and stick drift. It happens at random, sometimes all day and sometimes not for days at a time. A very inconvenient issue. I tried pushing a pin into the reset hole in the back for 10 seconds while the controller was turned on. When I turn off the light bar, the controller immediately reconnects to my PS4. What could I possibly be doing wrong?

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Locate the small reset button on the back of the controller near the L2 button. Use a small tool to push the button inside the tiny hole. Hold the button down for roughly 3-5 seconds. Plug in your console, connect your controller using a USB cable and press the PS button.

  3. Hulk says:

    Hello, my PS4 controller is giving me problems. It keeps connecting to the PS4 in the living room even though I don’t want it to. I pushed the reset button on the back, but nothing happened. Even though I’ve unplugged the PS4, the controller’s lights continue to flash whenever I turn it on. kindly assist.

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      On the controller’s rear, close to the L2 button, is a tiny reset button. Push the button through the minuscule hole using a little tool. Press and hold the button for three to five seconds. Press the PS button after plugging in your console and connecting your controller with a USB connection.

  4. Adam says:

    Here is a summary of how to reset the PS4 controller to factory settings:

    On the controller’s rear, close to the L2 button, is a tiny reset button. Use a small tool to push the button inside the tiny hole. Hold the button down for roughly 3-5 seconds. Plug in your console, connect your controller using a USB cable, and press the PS button.

    That’s all. This is the essence of this article.

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Hi Adam,

      We expatiated on this topic in order to offer a bigger picture to our readers. Thanks anyway for your share.

  5. Jason says:

    I took my controller with me when I went to a friend’s house, but when I arrived home and tried to reconnect it, it wouldn’t function. My controller won’t connect to my PS4 after I linked the USB to both of them. It briefly turned orange to indicate that it was working before turning off. Are there any patches available? Yes, I’ve used many USB cords, but I only have one controller.

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Unplug and shut off your PS4. On the controller’s rear, close to the L2 shoulder button, is a tiny reset button. Push the button through the minuscule hole using a little tool. Hold down the button for three to five seconds.

      If that hasn’t worked for you, you can try this trick:

      Leave your controller connected via USB, and manually turn on the PS4, let the controller charge for about ten minutes, and then start spamming the home button while holding it down for about ten seconds, along with the x and diff buttons.

      This trick has helped some users work around the same issue.

  6. 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.

  7. LaylaBee says:

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

  8. Gamers exclusive says:

    Does resetting the controller delete any game from my console

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Eric says:

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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