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How to turn off an Xbox controller when it's connected via Bluetooth for Project xCloud and PC

Xbox Elite Series 2
Xbox Elite Series 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

It's confession time. I've had Bluetooth Xbox One controllers for years, but never knew how to turn them off via Bluetooth on mobile or PC without yanking the batteries. On Xbox, you simply hold the button, and it opens a new menu allowing you to turn it off. On mobile phones with Project xCloud and on PCs with Bluetooth, however, you don't get any such menu.

Turns out, that it's actually incredibly easy to solve, with a quick 6-second Xbox button press.

How to turn off an Xbox controller connected with Bluetooth

  1. Find the Xbox button in the center top of your controller.
  2. Press and hold it down for six seconds.
  3. It should now turn off.
  4. Turning it back on should automatically re-connect it to the last available Bluetooth connection.Note: Holding it down for 15 seconds will do a full hard-reboot of the controller, which may fix some rare firmware issues.

Oh, well, that was easy, huh?

With Project xCloud hitting Android phones and the latest Xbox Elite Series 2 controller rocking Bluetooth for tablets and PCs, it's high time everyone learned how to turn it off the proper way.

Related: How to pair a wireless Bluetooth Xbox controller

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

10 Comments
  • Wow, that's not intuitive at all. Great job Microsoft. On my laptop I sometimes hit the power button or close the lid to put it to sleep to shut the controller off (this works almost immediately). That's with the wireless adapter.
  • How is it not intuitive to press and hold the main button of a device to turn it on and off? The same button is used to turn it on. Also, the majority of digital devices out there work like that.
  • Isn't the article about pressing the synch button to do this? If this is about the main Xbox button, then I misunderstood. At the same time, that button for 6 seconds isn't intuitive either when the console pops up with a prompt after 2.
  • Yeah, looks like I misread. Still, they need to do a slightly better job with discovery of functions. 6 seconds is a long time to hold compared to the console.
  • tbh, I read nothing and I knew/discovered this on day1 I got my controller.
    Wireless, BT, both can be turned off by holding the power button.
  • I can't believe people didn't know this.
  • Lol, judging by the volume of Google traffic this article is getting, I'm guessing a lot of people didn't know...
  • I don't remember because I'm using Bluetooth all the time now, but on native wireless isn't it the same way to turn off the controller?
  • Am I the only one thinking that 6 seconds is pretty long? just quickly unlocking the battery compartment and clicking it back is sooo much faster.
  • Thanks for the information. I usually just let mine go to sleep when not in use.