Sticky buttons on Xbox controller - how to fix

If sticky controller buttons are becoming a sticking point in your Xbox gaming progress, you might be wondering what you might be able to do to remedy the situation. So our guide on how to fix sticky buttons on Xbox controller is here to sort it out for you.

It can be more than a little annoying if pressing the jump button might make your character pogo around for a while, or reloading a gun becomes a nervous tic for your character. Especially if it culminates in you being unable to play your game properly.

So is there anything you can do to unstick a stuck button? Here's how to fix sticky buttons on Xbox controller so you can get back to playing.

What causes sticky buttons on your Xbox controller?

The most common cause of sticky buttons is that delicious combination of dirt and dust, mixed with the natural oil produced by your hands.

If you routinely have marathon gaming sessions, the sweat and oil on your hands will inevitably transfer onto your controller. Other common causes are crumbs from snacks, or drinks being spilt accidentally onto your controller.

So just what can you do, in order to fix this problem, should it afflict you?

Read More: Do Xbox Series X Controllers Have Haptic Feedback?

Sticky Buttons on Xbox
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Credit: Microsoft

How to fix your sticky buttons problem

Depending on your level of competence and confidence, there are several different options you can try:

Rubbing alcohol and cotton buds

A simple, non-invasive approach, this combination can be effective if you are just starting to notice some stickiness. It is likely that a minor clean will be sufficient to remedy your problem.

  • Make sure your controller is unplugged.
  • Dip the cotton bud into the rubbing alcohol, and rub off any excess. You don't want too much.
  • Rub the cotton bud around the sticking button, and get as far into the crevices as you can. The alcohol will help to break down any gunk that has built up.
  • After going around the button several times, press the button repeatedly, to allow the alcohol to work it's way further into the mechanism. Pressing should also help to loosen any residual dirt.

Leave the controller to dry. Rubbing alcohol should dry relatively quickly, and the small amounts you are using should not do damage to the internal circuitry of the controller.

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Take apart the Xbox controller

If rubbing alcohol hasn't resolved the issue, and you feel brave, you can take apart the controller, and give it a thorough clean from the inside out.

This is a much more sophisticated job, and will almost certainly void any warranty you might have, so do bear that in mind. Of course, if the controller is out of warranty, or so stuck it is unusable, then you may feel you have nothing to lose by trying this method.

There are lots of tutorials online, such as this or this. This is not for the faint-hearted, and you want to make sure you have all the right equipment before getting started.

Consider a replacement Xbox controller

If these options haven't helped, or your controller is under warranty, you can always replace your controller.

Read More:Xbox Series X White Version: Could the Series X come in white like the Xbox Series S?

Under warranty, if you've registered your device, then you can start a Service Order, to get further support from Microsoft. If you are out of warranty, then you can either try taking it to a local repair service provider or bite the bullet and get a new controller.

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