How to link your Xbox account to an Xbox One controller

Xbox wireless controller
Xbox wireless controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

A new update has dropped for Xbox One owners, introducing a range of additions to the console for the summer. Among these features is support for Mixer's new co-streaming functionality, custom gamerpics and a somewhat overlooked feature known as "controller linking." Here's how to take advantage of the feature on your console today.

What is Controller Linking?

(Image credit: Matt or Jez took this photo)

Fundamentally, controller linking is a feature designed to further streamline the Xbox One start-up process. By attaching your Xbox Live account to a certain gamepad, a single press of the Xbox button is all that's needed to sign into your Xbox One console.

While auto sign-in is still an option on start-up, controller linking a personalized solution, best suited for multiple users on a single console. By linking accounts to their own individual controllers, friends and family members can quickly jump into a game without the intricacies of the existing sign-in system. It should be noted that controller linking is configured on a local, per-console basis, and can't be used to sign into accounts on new consoles.

How to use Controller Linking for Xbox One

To start using the streamlined sign-in of controller linking, you'll first have to designate a specific gamepad to your Xbox Live account. This can be configured via the Xbox One settings application, by following the steps below.

  1. Use the Xbox controller you plan to link to your Xbox account.
  2. Ensure you're signed-in to your Xbox account.
  3. Open the Settings application.
  4. Choose Sign-in, security and passkey under the Account tab.
  5. Select This controller signs in Nobody option. A confirmation will appear to confirm a link between your account and controller.
  6. Select Link Controller to confirm your selection.

Now, whenever turning on the Xbox One controller, you should be automatically signed into your Xbox account. This feature proves to be most useful when first turning on the console via a controller, or for a quick sign-in when the console is already on. Let us know if you plan to use controller linking in the comments section.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.