How to Reset a PS5 Controller

I think It’s the end of the road for my PS5 controller. 

My DualSense refuses to connect wirelessly with my PS5 via Bluetooth. 

Having scoured the internet for info, I discovered many gamers are plagued by the same problem

But there is hope of a cure: A factory reset of the PS5 controller could fix its Bluetooth blues. 

But that got me wondering:

How do you factory reset the Playstation 5 controller? 

Realizing I wasn’t the only one asking this question, I decided to do some research and put this article together for you.

This is what I found: 

How do you reset the PS5 Controller? The Playstation 5 DualSense controller can be reset back to factory settings by pressing and holding the reset button on the back of the controller for 5 seconds. You’ll need a paper clip to reach this button. 

Ok, now you’ve got the basic answer. But there’s so much more to resetting your controller than simply injecting it with a paperclip and hoping for the best. 

In the following sections I’ll talk about: 

  • How to reset your controller and what hole to punch your paper clip into (very important you get this right).
  • Why you might want to factory reset your controller
  • What to do if factory resetting your controller doesn’t solve your problem

Ok, let’s get started…

How to Factory Reset Your PlayStation DualSense Controller 

In this section, I’ll guide you through the steps you need to take to reset your PS5 controller. 

What you’ll need:

  • Your PlayStation 5 DualSense controller 
  • The USB-C charging lead that came with the PS5
  • A paper clip

The Method:

1: The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off your Playstation 5. Do this by pressing and holding the PlayStation 5’s power button until you hear two beeps.

2: Wait until your PS5 has completely shut down. All the lights should go out and there should be no sound coming from your console. 

3: Next, if your PlayStation 5 DualSense controller is plugged into the console, unplug it. 

4: Grab the controller and flip it over so you are looking at the back of it (The opposite side to all the buttons). 

5: Notice on the back there are two holes. The reset hole is the small circular hole to the right of the SONY logo. Grab a paper clip and bend it until a section of it is straightened out. Insert the straightened paper clip into the hole and press the button inside. You’ll feel a slight click when you have pressed it. Hold the button down for five seconds.

6: Turn on your PlayStation 5 and plug in the USB-C charging cable. 

7: Now it’s time to resync your controller. Plug the USB-C charging cable that’s connected to your PS5 into your controller.

8: Press the Playstation button on the front of the controller. The controller should turn on, light up, and sync to your PlayStation 5. The controller may take a moment to update to the latest firmware.

Why you should reset your PS5 controller

Ok, now you know how to reset your PS5 controller. But why would you want to do this? Below I’ve listed a few scenarios where you might want to consider resetting your PS5 controller. 

The DualSense controller can’t connect wirelessly via Bluetooth 

If your PS5 controller refuses to connect via Bluetooth with your PS5. There could be a problem with the controller and PS5 shaking digital hands. This was the problem I had.

The Best way to solve this issue is to reset your controller. Resetting the controller formats the Bluetooth module inside the controller back to its factory specs. This essentially makes the PlayStation 5 console treat your controller like a brand new, never opened, or used controller. 

The PS5 controller won’t pair with the PS5 console even with the charging cable

If your PS5 controller won’t connect to your PS5 via Bluetooth and USB-C cable, it’s definitely time to reset the controller. 

The controller has to connect and communicate with your PS5 in a very specific way. If this connection is in any way buggy, maybe because of a bad shut down of the controller or a hard drop on the floor, the controller may refuse to connect. 

In this case, simply factory reset the controller and it should immediately connect to your PS5. 

You’ve paired the controller with another device such as a PS4

I still use my PS4 Pro in my caravan when I go away on holiday. And I usually take my DualSense controller with me as I find it far more comfortable to use than the old PS4 controller. 

However, I have noticed that on returning home and connecting the DualSense controller to my PS5, it refuses to connect. I’ve found resetting the controller always solves this problem. 

The Controller has slight analogue drift

All controllers that have analog sticks eventually end up having some stick drift. 

This is where the analog stick always thinks it’s being pushed slightly in one direction even when you’re not touching it. 

For example, on my Switch’s right Joy-Con, the analog stick always thinks it’s being pushed to the right ever so slightly. When I’m playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link always wants to walk to the right in slow motion, even when I’m not touching the stick. 

This can happen on the DualSense controller too, though it is rare. It can be caused by dropping the controller on the floor. 

I’ve managed to solve a slight drift on my PS5 controller by factory resetting it. 

The Triggers/haptics not working as intended

Though it’s quite rare, a crashed game can cause the DualSense controller to become buggy.

This bugginess can manifest itself by the controller constantly rumbling. 

Often this rumbling does stop. However, when you then reset the game, or play another game, the controller won’t rumble at all.

The best way to solve this is to reset your controller. 

What to do if resetting your PS5 DualSense controller doesn’t solve your problem

Sadly, though resetting your controller can solve a lot of problems, it can’t solve everything. So in this section, I’ve listed the action steps you can take if resetting your controller doesn’t work. 

Remove objects between you and the console that may block the bluetooth signal. 

Bluetooth signals don’t pass through metal objects and water easily. So be sure your controller has a clear line of sight to your Playstation 5. 

Try connecting the controller with a different USB-C cable

If Bluetooth wireless connection isn’t working between your DuelSense and PS5, first try connecting using a different USB-C cable. You may find the original USB-C cable was damaged and that a new cable is enough to resync your controller to your console. 

Contacts Sony’s support team over at the PlayStation Fix and Replace page

As I said above, resetting your Controller won’t fix everything. If you think your controller is close to death or has already passed away into the big console accessory trash heap in the sky, you may need to ask Sony for help. 

You can slide on over to the PlayStation Fix and Replace page where Sony will ask you a number of questions about your DualSense controller and run you through a few troubleshooting How-tos. If you go through all of Sony’s helpful content and don’t find a solution, you’ll be given the option to ring Sony for more assistance   

You’ll then be walked through what actions you need to take to either get your controller fixed or get a new one. 

Take the controller back to the shop you bought it from

If you’ve only just recently bought the controller and you are already having issues with it, take it back to the shop you bought it from and ask to exchange it for a new controller. 

Buy a new Controller

Ok, Sony does a great job of replacing/fixing broken controllers. But the turnaround time between you sending your controller, getting it fixed, and Sony sending it back, can be on the order of weeks. 

If you’ve only got one PlayStation 5 controller, and that’s the one that’s not working, it might be worth you buying a second controller to game with while waiting for your other controller to be repaired or replaced. 

After all, do you really want to be waiting 6 weeks until Sony sends you out a replacement when Amazon can send you a new PS5 controller on the same day? 

Plus having a second controller is great if you enjoy couch co-op multiplayer with some friends. 
Head on over to Amazon to nab yourself a second/replacement PS5 controller here.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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