How Do You Keep Your Xbox One Controller From Turning Off? [Solved!]

Microsoft has always put an effort into building the Xbox consoles and the accompanying controllers.

Over the years, the Xbox controller has gained quite a following even in the PC gaming crowd. 

The new Xbox One controllers sport Bluetooth connectivity, a AA battery slot, and a USB-C port for charging and connectivity.

How Do You Keep Your Xbox One Controller From Turning Off?

If your Xbox One controller is turning off randomly or immediately after powering it on, there are a few different problems that can be to blame. It’s probably the batteries or the connection to the Xbox but it may be a hardware issue as well.

You’ll need to go through a quick list of tests that may solve your problem and help you to figure out why your Xbox controller keeps turning off.

The first thing you should try before going too far is replacing or recharging the batteries. 

The most common reason Xbox controllers power down is due to the battery being drained. 

If you rely on AA batteries, it may be time to replace them.

If you purchased a rechargeable battery pack, now would be a good time to plug in your controller to let it charge. 

Rechargeable battery packs will eventually fail to hold a charge. 

When you notice your Xbox controllers no longer staying on after unplugging from the charging cable, you’ll likely need to get a replacement battery.

If you need to play right away, you can always switch back to AA batteries.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, don’t worry.

I’ve added an extra section at the end of the article to help you troubleshoot other possibilities. 

First, you may want to read through the section about the Xbox controller’s sleep function.

How Do You Keep Xbox One Controllers From Going to Sleep?

The Xbox One has a sleep mode/standby feature. 

That means that after a period where no user input is detected and no content is being played, your Xbox One will seemingly power down. 

The screen will go blank, the Xbox One light may dim or shut off. Your Xbox One is not powered down. 

It has just switched to standby mode.

In standby mode, it is on in a low-power consumption setting that is just enough for the Xbox to receive software and hardware updates while not in use. 

It also allows the Xbox One to appear like it starts up instantly when called upon by either pressing the Xbox button on the controller or the front face of your Xbox One.

This feature is called “Instant On”.

As a part of Instant On, your Xbox One controllers will also power down to save on battery life. 

For most Xbox users, this is a convenient feature that extends the overall life of your AA or rechargeable batteries.

For others, it’s annoying to have to press the Xbox button and wait for your controller to turn back on.

It’s also a bit of a hindrance for players who would like to make sure their Xbox has fully powered down to give it some rest.

With Instant On mode enabled, Xbox owners have to hold the Xbox button on their controllers down for an extended period to turn it off. 

Pressing the Xbox button for only a few seconds will place your Xbox into standby mode rather than shutting off completely.

How Do You Keep Your Xbox One Controller From Turning Off Solved 1 How Do You Keep Your Xbox One Controller From Turning Off? [Solved!]

If you find the Instant On feature to be annoying rather than helpful, you’ll be glad to know that you can just turn it off. 

Here’s how:

  • Press the ‘Guide’ button on the controller
  • Go to ‘System’, then cycle to the ‘Settings’ option and press ‘A’.
  • Find the ‘Power & Startup’ section.
  • Under ‘Power Options’, highlight the Power mode and press ‘A’ to toggle between ‘Instant-on’ and ‘Energy-saving’.
  • Leave it set to ‘Energy-saving’

Congratulations, you have disabled the Instant-on feature. 

Now when you press the Xbox button, your Xbox One console will power down completely. 

Just remember that it will no longer download updates to the Xbox One firmware or any games in your library while it is powered down.

If you want to re-enable the feature, follow the instructions again to get back to the ‘Power Options’ settings and toggle the Power mode back to ‘Instant-on’. 

I strongly recommend that you keep the instant-on feature enabled. It can save you precious time updating your games and software. 

There’s no worse feeling than sitting down to play your favorite game only to have to wait for updates to download and install.

Troubleshooting Your Disconnecting Xbox One Controller

If your controller problems aren’t related to your batteries being drained or the instant-on feature, then you may want to go through this list of possible problems and solutions.

Your controller may be out of range.

Xbox One controllers may have the ability to connect through Bluetooth, but Microsoft designed them to connect to the Xbox One console through RF signals instead.

It’s lower latency which translates to a more responsive feel while gaming. 

The RF range of the Xbox One can reach up to thirty feet with transmission loss. It’s best to be within five feet of the console. 

Make sure there aren’t signal blocking materials between where you play and the location of the Xbox One console. 

Aluminum, copper, nickel alloy, and materials like them can block wireless signals.

Your controller and Xbox One may be having communication issues.

Your Xbox One isn’t just like a computer. It is a computer. 

That can sometimes mean that hardware components can have issues similar to desktop components.

If your RF module has somehow ended up in a connection loop, it may think it is connected to your controller while it is not.

Don’t panic. All it takes to fix this issue is to power down your console and restart. 

Hold the Xbox button on the front face of your Xbox One console for about ten seconds. 

Once it has completely shut down, press the button again to start it back up. 

Now you can try pairing your controller back to the Xbox One console.

If you are having trouble pairing, the fastest way is to plug the charging cable into the Xbox One and the Xbox controller.

You can also reconnect the Xbox controller without powering down the console completely. Wired controllers just have to be unplugged and plugged back in. 

For wireless controllers, hold down the wireless connect button on the controller until the Xbox button flashes. 

Do the same to the wireless connect button on the Xbox console face. It should pair them together.

Your Controller firmware may need to update.

One of the more common connection problems with Xbox One controllers is due to the firmware becoming out of date. 

To update your controller’s firmware:

  • Connect the controller to your Xbox One with a USB cable.
  • Make sure you are signed in to Xbox Live.
  • Press the Menu button on the controller.
  • Select ‘Settings’.
  • Select ‘Devices & accessories’.
  • Select your controller on the list.
  • Choose the ‘Update’ option.
  • Select ‘Continue’.
  • Let the software update your controller.

Once it completes the update, you will be able to use your Xbox One controller wirelessly again. 

If you can’t get your Xbox One to recognize the controller, you can also perform a firmware update on PC in the same manner. 

You will need to download the ‘Xbox Accessories’ app from the Microsoft Store.