DS4Windows – Not Detecting Controller Fix

DS4Windows – Real Controller Not-Detected/Not-Working: It does not matter how good an application/software is as the best of apps can have their fair share of issues.

In this post, we are going to talk about DS4Windows, and a common issue associated with it that plagues a majority of its users viz “Why is DS4Windows not detecting my controller?” Let us have a look at some of the possible causes for this issue and discuss the probable solutions.

DS4Windows – Common Reasons for Not Detecting the Controller

  • Disused Version of DS4Windows

Well! The chances are that you are using a disused or “no longer in use” version of DS4Windows. You are required to make sure that you are using the currently maintained version viz Ryochan7’s DS4Windows. The following images will help you spot the difference.

Current Version

Obsolete Version

  • DS4Windows is in Stopped State

If instead, of Stop, you are seeing a Start button in the bottom right corner of the app’s window; it means DS4Windows is in a “Stopped” state. Just hit the “Start” button and you are good to go.

  • Improperly Connected Controller

If the controller is not appearing in the Windows’ Devices & Printers list then it means something is wrong. Based on the type of controller you are using, please tap on the link below to check out how to connect different types of controllers with DS4Windows whether it is PS3, PS4, PS5, Nintendo, or Xbox controllers.

   DS4Windows (Complete Setup Guide)

Connecting the Controller via a USB Cable

If you are using a USB Cable to connect the Controller, there could be either of the following reasons as to why the controller is not coming in the Windows’ Devices & Printers list.

  • The cable has a fault.
  • The cable does not support data transfer.
  • The USB port on the PC/Laptop is faulty.

Connecting Controller via Bluetooth

If you are using Bluetooth to connect your controller to the PC then, whether connected properly or not, it will be a part of the Windows’ Devices & Printers list. When using Bluetooth, there could be a variety of other issues that could be causing DS4Windows not to detect the controller. Let us have a look at them.

  • Use the Correct Method to Pair the Controller

If you connected the controller and just tapped on the “Add a Device” notification coming from the Control Center on the PC’s taskbar then you have not completed the pairing process. You have to manually make Windows detect the controller, which has pairing mode activated.

Please note, even when you try to pair the controller via the Add a Device notification of the Control Center, it will show up in the Bluetooth devices list but will not work. Hence, you have to remove the device first and then re-pair it with the correct method.

  • Check your BT Adapter

Instead of using an integrated BT adapter, we recommend using a dedicated USB BT Adapter for the purpose. We recommend at least a 4.0 BT adapter.

  • Windows Cannot Locate the Controller

You have to make sure that the Controller is in Pairing Mode before attempting to locate it with your Windows PC/Laptop.

  • Controller Connected but Unrecognizable by Windows

In this case, you have to make sure that you are pairing your Controller correctly to Windows as mentioned in Point ‘a’ above.

  • Controller Unable to Re-Connect after Sleep/Reboot/Shutdown

If this is the case, then the most common reason for this is incompatible BT Adapter. If you are using a USB BT Adapter, check below.

  • Adapter incompatible with the USB port. Try connecting in other USB ports.
  • BT Adapter model itself is not compatible.
  • BT Adapter is faulty or requires a driver to work.


  • Unable to Connect More than 1 Controller and Latency Issues

The primary reason behind this is an inferior quality BT adapter and it cannot maintain the required data rate. If this is the cause, you will also experience latency/input delay. Check out more below on latency/input issues.

Also, don’t forget to check out – 

DS4Windows Drivers (UPDATED, 2024)

How to Monitor Input Delay on DS4Windows?

You can easily check the current input delay or latency of your controller if it is going beyond the recommended 10ms in the Log tab of DS4Windows. If it is not going above 10ms, then you can simply hover your mouse’s cursor over your controller name in the Controller tab of DS4Windows to check the latency value.

Facing Input Delays with DS4Windows

You must know then when you are experiencing high input delay or latency, 90% of the cases do not rest with DS4Windows, as the issues are external. Check out the possible reasons below.

  • Use an integrated Bluetooth adapter or a low-quality USB Bluetooth Adapter.
  • High radio interference near the adapter.
  • Attempting to connect more than the recommended number of devices with the adapter.
  • Not installing/using the recommended driver for the BT Adapter.

How to Fix Latency Issues?

There are different ways through which you can attempt to fix the latency issues. Check them out below.

  • Disable your WiFi to see if that resolves the latency issue. If that does then it means high radio interference was the reason behind the latency.
  • Try using the High Performance power saving plan on your Windows PC/Laptop and if there is a Power Management tab under Device Properties for your BT Adapter, make sure to uncheck the option of Turn off this Device to Save Power.
  • Utilize a dedicated good quality USB BT Adapter with BT 4.0 or above.
  • Try testing your BT Adapter in other USB ports available on your Windows PC/Laptop.
  • Use a USB Cable Extension to keep your BT Adapter away from the PC/Laptop as it can act as a source of interference too.
  • Decrease the BT polling rate on profile settings. Set this value to 10ms or more. Check the image below.

DS4Windows Profiles

  • Disable the output data to the controller, as your adapter might not be that strong enough to do the task of sending and receiving data. However, this will disable Rumble and Light bar control as well.

DS4Windows - Enable Output Data to DS4

Controller Randomly Disconnects/Stops-Working

  • The above-discussed Latency issue could be the reason behind this.
  • Your controller is faulty or its battery is dying. Have a look.
  • Check the Log tab on DS4Windows for possible error messages to locate the issue.

Losing WiFi or Bluetooth Signal when the Controller is Connected

  • This can happen in cases when you are using a BT Adapter that doubles up as a WiFi adapter as well. Please utilize a dedicated high-quality BT adapter.
  • Make sure there is no high radio interference near the BT adapter.
  • Latency might be the issue. Check the section above to see how to resolve Latency issues.

Controller Disabled Accidentally

There are chances that the controller is completely disabled on your Windows PC/Laptop. If you are using Bluetooth for the connection, then simply remove and re-pair the controller to fix the issue. However, in the case you are using a USB Connection, below are the steps to check the status of the controller.

  • Go to Windows’ Devices & Printers.
  • Locate your controller.
  • Right-click and go to Properties > Hardware.
  • Tap on HID-compliant Game Controller and see the status at the window’s bottom.
  • If you see it’s disabled, you are required to go to Properties > Enable Device.

Device and Printers - DS4Windows Not Connecting Controller Fix

In the above, there can be a case in which your controller is properly enabled but is hidden. Check the image below.

DS4Windows Hardware properties - connection issue fix

The reason behind this could be any of the below tools.

Hid Guardian

Please note that if you are using Hid Guardian for the infamous double input issue on DS4Windows, we recommend using the HidHide tool, which is more user-friendly. There are chances that if you are using Hid Guardian you might have put yourself in an unknown issue as the tool itself is quite complex and troubling to navigate and work with. Hence, if you still have Hid Guardian installed, we recommend the below steps.

  • Uninstall the Hid Guardian tool.
  • Install HidHide to resolve the infamous Double Input issue.

For more information on HidHide and the double-input issue check out our guide below.

Fix HidHide and Double Input Issue


If you are using HidHide for the infamous Double Input issue, and you are facing controller detection problems, chances are that you have not configured the application properly. We recommend checking our guide on the same.

Fix HidHide and Double Input Issue

Using a Copy-Cat/Replica Controller

If you are using a Copy-Cat/Replica controller, it can be the biggest reason behind DS4Windows not detecting your controller. These replica controllers have to present themselves as completely original to work with DS4Windows. This includes the manufacturer number and other info.

Disabled your Controller Accidentally in DS4Windows

There are chances that you have disabled your type of controller accidentally in DS4Windows. In DS4Windows, go to Settings > Device Options. Here, you are required to check whether everything has ‘Enabled’ next to them.

If you do make changes here, please make sure you close the Device Options and Start-Stop DS4Windows to make the changes effective.

DS4Windows Bluetooth Not Connecting Fix

Also, check out – 

8 Best DS4Windows Alternatives (Software 2024)

Final Words

These are some of the major causes as to why DS4Windows is not detecting your controller. Let us know in the comments below if you can resolve your connection issue after going through this post. However, if you are still facing the same issue, let us know of that as well and we will be happy to assist you. Happy Gaming!.

Thank You.