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How to set up an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Many PC games let you play with an Xbox controller instead of a keyboard or mouse. The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows can be quickly and easily installed on any PC that has an available USB port and is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later.

Note This information applies only to the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows. For help with other gamepads or joysticks, or for information on configuring a specific game so that you can play it with a controller, refer to the manufacturer’s website or support center.

Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Set up a wired controller

Step 1: Install the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows software

Note A standard Xbox 360 wired controller can be connected to a Windows PC by way of the USB port, but drivers must be installed before the controller will work.

Use the installation CD that came with your Xbox 360 Controller for Windows before you connect the controller to your computer:

  1. Insert the installation disc in the CD or DVD drive on your computer. If the setup program doesn’t automatically start, browse to your CD or DVD drive and run the setup program.
  2. On the setup screen, click Install.
  3. The Xbox 360 Accessories setup program installs the necessary files to your computer.
  4. Note You might be prompted to restart your computer after the installation is complete.

If you don’t have an installation disc for your Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, you can download and install the software online:

  1. Go to the Software Downloads section of the Microsoft Hardware website.
  2. Select Gaming as the product type.
  3. Select Xbox 360 Controller for Windows as the product.
  4. Select the version of Microsoft Windows you’re using on your computer, select your operating system language, and then click Download.
  5. Click Run.
  6. The Xbox 360 Accessories setup program installs the necessary files to your computer.
  7. Note You might be prompted to restart your computer after the installation is complete.

Step 2: Connect the Xbox 360 wired controller to your computer

After you install the software, plug your Xbox 360 wired controller’s USB connector into a USB 2.0 port on your computer.

Step 3: Test the controller

To test your Xbox 360 wired controller on your computer, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, click Start, type Run, type joy.cpl, and then press ENTER.
  2. Select Xbox 360 Controller, and then click Properties.
  3. Test your Xbox 360 wired controller by pressing a button, pulling a trigger, or moving a stick on the controller. If the controller is functioning correctly, you’ll see the corresponding action light up in the application. If the application doesn’t recognize your controller, see Troubleshoot your Xbox 360 controller for Windows.

Set up a wireless controller

Note A standard Xbox 360 wireless controller can be connected to a Windows PC, but you must have an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver to play games, even if you have an Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit.

Step 1: Connect the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver to your computer

  1. Remove the green label from the wireless gaming receiver.
  2. Insert the gaming receiver’s USB connector into a powered USB 2.0 port on the computer.
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    Note The USB ports on the front of your computer may not be powered USB 2.0 ports. Try using one of the ports on the back of your computer.

    A green light on the receiver indicates that the unit is working.

  1. If the Add New Hardware Wizard starts automatically, select Install the software automatically (Recommended), and then click Next. If the wizard installs the software successfully, click Finish and then skip to “Step 3: Connect the Xbox 360 wireless controller to your computer” below.
  2. If the wizard fails to install the software, continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Install the Xbox gaming receiver software

If you have the installation disc that came with your Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver, you can install the software from that disc. If you don’t have the disc, you can install the software by downloading it online.

To install the software from a disc:

  1. Insert the installation disc into the CD or DVD drive of your computer. If the setup program doesn’t automatically start, browse to your CD or DVD drive and run the setup program.
  2. Follow the steps to install the software.
  3. Note You might be prompted to restart your computer after the installation is complete.

To install the software by downloading it online:

  1. Go to the Software Downloads section of the Microsoft Hardware website.
  2. Select Gaming as the product type.
  3. Select Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows as the product (this is the software for the wireless gaming receiver).
  4. Select the version of Microsoft Windows you’re using on your computer, select your operating system language, and then click Download.
  5. Click Run.
  6. The Xbox 360 Accessories setup program installs the necessary files to your computer.
  7. Note You might be prompted to restart your computer after the installation is complete.

Step 3: Connect the Xbox 360 wireless controller to your computer

  1. Turn on the Xbox 360 wireless controller by pressing and holding the Guide button, located in the middle of the controller.
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  1. On the receiver, press the connect button. The light will flash green.
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  1. Press the connect button on the controller, which is located on the back.
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Green flashing lights on the controller and on the receiver indicate that the device is trying to establish a connection. When the light stops flashing and remains lit, the controller is connected. (On a wireless controller, one of the lights around the Guide button will remain lit.) If you still can’t connect, see Troubleshoot your Xbox 360 controller for Windows.

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