“This guide includes a step-by-step process on how to download, install, setup, and USE the DS4Windows software for playing games.”

Table of Contents

What is DS4Windows and How Does It Work?

Even though if you have a knowhow of what DS4Win actually is and how it works, let us make things simpler for the newcomers. 

DS4Win, in short, is a software developed by the Ryochan7 community on GitHub that allows gamers to connect their DS4/DS5 controllers to Windows 10/11 PCs virtually. 

The virtual gamepad not only helps you connect the DualShock controller to the system, but it also ensures customization of the controller including setting up the lighting bar, specific buttons, other functions, etc. 

Installing this software means you can get in full control of the controller (Nintendo, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, JoyCon, etc.) The best thing about the software is that you can even change the function of a single key with it easily. 

With the introduction of the new DS4Windows app, now is the time that gamers can get into an immersive gaming experience while playing with robust PlayStation controllers. 

Considering the focus of this guide, we will now get started with how you can download and install this program on your computer in 2022. 

Have a look: 

Important Notes to Consider Before Installing DS4Windows App

1. Before getting into installing the virtual emulator gamepad, here are some key notes that you should keep in mind: 

First of all, after downloading and installing, the software should recognize your controller as soon as you open it. Two things to check in this regard are: 

  • Accurately installing the software (Mentioned in this guide)
  • Connect your controller/gamepad to the computer correctly. 

2. Right after you install the app, make sure that you hide the real controllers from the app and show only the virtual gamepad. This way, any game you play will only recognize the virtual gamepad initiated by DS4. 

  • This step is quite necessary and we recommend that you take it as soon as installing the software to avoid issues like Double Input or Double Controller problems. 

Do not worry if you don’t know how to resolve the issue. We are going to reveal each and everything in this guide today. 

Sit tight and keep your controllers ready to get customized by DS4Windows.


Other Important Notes

Default Profile 

  • Keep in mind that DS4 has already created the Default Profile for the controller you are about to connect. 
  • The Default Profile is set to an Xbox 360 controller. That said, the software will detect your real controller and convert it into an Xbox 360 controller virtually.
  • Other than that the DualShock and DualSenseX touchpads are set for mouse control.
    • To turn on or off this feature. Press the PS button on your controller and touch the pad once. 

Important Notes about DS4 Emulation

Moving further, the DS4 Windows app also allows you to change the emulation of an Xbox controller into a DS4 gamepad.

However, we do not think that any gamer would want it since almost all games on PC such as Tekken, Need for Speed, and GTA V recognize only Xbox gamepads. 

You should also note that if a PC game does not have compatibility with a DS4 controller, then your controller will not get detected. Hence, to avoid connectivity issues, let the software convert your controller to an Xbox 360 gamepad only. 

Still, need to know how to convert a controller into DS4 emulation? Follow the steps: 

  • Create a new profile using the Gamepad option available on the app. From there, click the DS4 preset and that’s all. You can also change the settings of an existing profile to change the Virtual Controller settings. 
  • Rumble won’t work when you emulate a DS4 controller though. Rumble only works when you use a DualShock controller and emulate it as an Xbox 360 gamepad. If you are using any other controller and emulating it as a DS4 gamepad, then rumble won’t work on it because the controller does not have this specification. 

Important Note about Output Slots Tab (Latest 3.1.3 DS4Windows Version)

Last but not the least, the latest 3.1.3 DS4 update has introduced the output slots tab although it does not have an important function. Better use the default profile to connect your controller and use it as a virtual gamepad to play games on a PC without any hassle. 

How to Download, Install, and Setup DS4Windows (3.1.3) in 2022? 

The most important section of this guide!

To make sure that the latest version of the app works perfectly, follow the recommended steps:

Requirements for DS4 Windows

  • Operating Software: Windows 10 and 11 only. The software won’t work on Windows 8.1 and lower versions of Windows. Better upgrade your Windows to install DS4 without any problems. 
  • Extra supported controller that you would connect to your gaming PC or laptop. 
  • Bluetooth dongle is also required for connecting the controller wirelessly. 
  • 6.0.6 Microsoft.NET for Desktop Applications is also a must

Checked all options? Follow the installation guide below: 

Download and Install the DS4 App 

  • Download the latest 3.1.3 version of DS4 Windows from GitHub. (Download either the x64 or x86 as per the OS version of your Windows)
  • Extract or unzip the folder into an easily accessible folder. We would recommend you extract it on the Desktop so you can find the extracted folder easily. Use the 7zip or WinRAR softwares for extracting the zipped folder. 

Warning: Never extract the folder into Windows files that require additional privileges such as Windows or Program Files. Keep everything simple. 

  • Open the DS4Windows.exe file and let the software run. 
  • The application upon the first start will ask you for the folder to save its data such as Profiles and controller settings. You can use two folders, i.e.
    • AppData: We recommend it because this folder saves the data outside the software’s folder and is easy to access. 
    • Default Program Folder: If you choose this folder, then all user data will be saved in the exact same folder where the DS4Windows.exe application is present. 

Installing Required Drivers

DS4Windows requires some of the drivers to work properly and it will prompt you to install them when you launch the application after extracting it. 

Install all the recommended drivers and click on the Finish button later on to complete installation process.

Drivers for DS4RecommendationFunction
ViGEmBusREQUIREDThis driver allows the software to create virtual Xbox or DS4 gamepads. 
HidHideStrongly recommendedInstalling this driver will resolve the “Double Input” problem. It will hide the real controller and show only the virtual gamepad so that the games you play may recognize only that controller. 
FakerInputOptionalFakerInput is recommended for using a DS4/DS5 controller as a keyboard or a mouse. Although the app can let you perform the function without a keyboard,having this driver will ensure controlling both keyboard and mouse as per your will and wish. 

Some Final Steps to Check 

  • Connect the controller after you install the application on your operating system.
    • Click here if you are facing issues while connecting the controller via Bluetooth. 
  • If all goes well, you will see your controller (DS4/DS5) getting appeared on the main controllers’ tab with the Default profile already selected for it. 
    • Do not turn off the application while you connect your controller to the PC. 
    • In case the controller does not work properly, follow this guide to resolve the issue.

If the software shows the X problem, it means it has diagnosed the Double Controller Problem. 

With no X option there, your controller would be working just fine and you can use it to play any game without any hassle.

How to Connect Controllers to PC or Laptop and DS4Windows?

As soon as you connect your controller to the software, it will detect it with Default Profile setting and you’d be able to use it at the same time. 

We recommend using the USB connectivity option to avoid any problems while connecting the controller. However, if you are not a fan of clutter and extra cables on your gaming desk, Bluetooth connectivity is also an option. Keep in mind that with a reliable Bluetooth adapter, it’s possible to avoid delay in response time or input delay. You will get a stable connection with a perfect Bluetooth adapter considering there are no major radio interference problems

Two Connection Methods for Connecting DS4/DS5 Controllers

The two methods include connecting via 

  • USB  
  • Bluetooth


As simple as plugging your controller into the USB input on your PC or laptop and the Windows will detect the device with a prompt. Ensure that you use a properly working USB cable and not a damaged or repaired one. 

Once the device is connected, you will see the controller on the main menu of the DS4 Windows app. 


For setting up Bluetooth connectivity, you’d first need to get a BT adapter matching the specs of your controller.

Set up the Bluetooth connection with pairing mode to add a Bluetooth device to your PC. If asked for a pin, try using 0000 to check whether it connects or not. 

Remove the device from the Windows Bluetooth area if the controller has been previously paired with the PC. Pair them again and check whether the controller gets shown up in the Main Menu of the software or not.


How to Setup Different Controllers in Pairing Mode on DS4Windows?

For both these controllers, simply hold the PS + Share button until the lightbar starts flashing like that: 

DS4 Pairing Mode

Connecting Switch Pro and Joy Con via Bluetooth ain’t much difficult. Simply hold the sync button long enough until the LED lights on the controllers start flashing in a sequence. 

  • The procedure remains the same for replica controllers, i.e. holding the PS + Share button
  • If the controller does not connect this way, read the user manual from the manufacturer and act accordingly. 

You can also search for the tutorial to connect that specific controller on YouTube.

How to Use Sony DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter? 

There’s some good news for gamers who want to connect their DS4 controllers to PC without any wired connection. 

Sony DualShock 4 USB wireless adapter connects only 1 controller at a time to a PC. However, its headphone jack could be utilized for both audio and mic. You can connect your headphones to it easily. 

To pair your PS4 DualShock controller to it, set up both devices in pairing mode. First, press the wireless adapter slightly towards the USB input until you feel a click. Hold it down with the same press for 3 seconds and its light will start flashing which means it’s now ready to get paired up. 

Secondly, for DualShock 4, press and hold the PS+share button to set it up. It will automatically get paired up with the wireless adapter.


Final Words: 

Considering that you have paired up or connected your controllers according to the guidelines we have mentioned, the DS4Windows software will have no problem setting them up.

How to Control the Double Controller/Double Input Issue While Playing Games? 

When using DS4Windows for the first time, you’ll come across the problem of detecting dual controllers or dual inputs, which is quite frustrating sometimes. 

To make sure that this problem does not occur in the future, follow our recommendations below:

Here is how the main menu will look like once you connect your controller to the DS4Windows app:


When you see that the software has detected two controllers, i.e. one real and one virtual, that means both controllers will work when you press the real controller’s buttons. 

This dual input problem should be tackled or else you will not be able to play a game ideally.

Problems Caused by the Dual Input/Dual Controller Issue: 

You will face issues like: 

  • Detecting two commands if you press a single button on the controller. 
  • Randomly start the 2 player mode. 
  • When the real controller is connected, the virtual gamepad will not work as intended. 
  • Responding incorrectly to the controller button because the game may correctly detect the virtual gamepad commands but not the real controller button commands. 
  • There might be no response at all from the controller even if you press the buttons.

You will face issues like: 

  • Detecting two commands if you press a single button on the controller. 
  • Randomly start the 2 player mode. 
  • When the real controller is connected, the virtual gamepad will not work as intended. 
  • Responding incorrectly to the controller button because the game may correctly detect the virtual gamepad commands but not the real controller button commands. 
  • There might be no response at all from the controller even if you press the buttons.

When the software gets confused between two controllers it may or may not receive the commands from both controllers as shown in the GIF below: 


Different Methods to Prevent Double Input Problem

Very first thing you can do to tackle the double input or controller problem is to hide the real controller. This will enable the games to detect only the virtual gamepad created by DS4Windows. 

You can hide the real controller in two ways:


We recommend installing the HidHide driver as it can act like a wall between Windows and the controllers you’ve connected to the PC. With this driver, users can hide/show the gamepads and can allow/disallow software to detect them. 

Once you install DS4Windows and HidHide, follow these steps to avoid Dual Input problem: 

  • Hide the real controller from the PC or laptop once connected via USB or Bluetooth. 
  • Make sure that you Allow DS4Win to see hidden devices or else the program will not even detect any software.
DS4 Windows hidhide

The story does not end here. 

HidHide also has its own guidance page that you can visit to setup your controller via DS4Windows easily. 

Other than that, some of the usage and tips that we will recommend you include: 

HidHide Usage and Tips
General Information and Installation
  • After downloading and installing the driver, reboot your system before you use it.
  • If properly configured, you will see the Hide DS4 Controllers option under the settings tab of DS4Windows software. You should leave it disabled. 
  • For troubleshooting, simply visit this troubleshooting page made by the community for users who cannot configure the driver even after installing it. 
Client Configuration in DS4Windows
  • Before configuring controllers in the Client area of HidHide, close DS4Win app first. This way you can only see the real controllers connected in the Client Dashboard of the driver. 
  • After configuration, simply close HidHide before you re-open DS4Windows again. If you keep the Client configuration open, DS4windows will fail the Ex check. 

Built-in Hider for DS4Windows

Have confusion regarding setting up HidHide configuration? Don’t worry!

The latest 3.1.3 version of DS4Windows now has the built-in hider available in it. 

So, here is how it goes: 

In DS4Windows Settings tab, you will see the built-in hider option, and when you enable it, the software will ask Windows to give exclusive access for detecting the devices. That simply means DS4Windows will only allow Windows to detect the virtual gamepads and not the real controllers. 

However, one issue with this method is that Windows may or may not give DS4Windows the required access in case there is an open connection to the gamepad. Some of the major reasons for this request failure include: 

  • When a game is already running and using the real controller. 
  • If an internet browser such as Google Chrome and Opera Mini are open. This can also cause request failure. 
  • The Nvidia GeForce experience already has access of connection to real controller. 
  • With all these problems, even if you get successful in connecting the virtual gamepad only, in case of disconnection, you will need to reconnect the controller again. 

That is the main reason we do not recommend the Hide DS4 Controller option and will suggest you use only the HidHide drivers. 

How to Manage and Store DS4Windows Installation, Backups, and User Data on Your PC?

Here is a list of the user data files and folders that DS4Windows creates after you install and configure it: 

  • Auto Profiles.xml
  • LinkedProfiles.xml
  • Actions.xml
  • Profiles.xml
  • ControllerConfigs.xml
  • Profiles folder
  • OutputSlots.xml

Managing the Backup Restoration and Deletion of User Data

Managing Backup of DS4Windows: 

To make sure that backup files are stored and safe on your PC, you should verify that the user data is stored in two folders i.e. inside the main software folder and in the user’s profile folder. 

To carry on with backup, do the following: 

  1. Simply click on Profile Folder under DS4 Windows Settings tab and check whether the user data files are present there or not. 
  2. Check the user data in the main DS4Windows folder as well even if you find the data on the Profile folder previously. 
  3. If both locations have got the user data, it means the actual location that the software uses to load User Data is the one where the Profiles.xml file is found. 
  4. If you want to protect the backup data entirely, simply get the backup of the whole DS4Windows folder and that would do the job for you. 

Restoring the Backup Data 

If you want to restore old data of the software to a new PC or operating system, simply copy and paste it from the profile folder and paste it into the main DS4Windows folder accordingly. 

Deleting User Data

Follow the same steps of finding user data and simply delete the folders from system as well as the Recycle Bin to delete it. 

How to Uninstall DS4Windows and Its Related Folders

Considering the fact that DS4Windows is a portable application and it’s not actually installed, you will not find it under the Uninstall Program menu in the control panel. 

  • To get rid of it, simply Shift+Delete the entire folder and that would remove the program from your computer. 
  • To remove settings and user data, simply press Win+R in the box type %appdata% and press the Enter button on the keyboard. This command will open the AppData roaming folder.
  • Check if DS4Windows folder exists there and delete it accordingly. 
Uninstall DS4 Windows

Uninstalling Related Drivers Used by DS4Windows

If you want to wipe out the drivers installed with DS4Windows, here are some steps you can follow for each driver: 


Well, ViGEmBus is the required driver for DS4Windows. However, it is also required for some other apps and programs installed on the PC. Uninstalling it might not be a good idea. 

HidHide Removal 

  • To remove HidHide, open the Windows Apps and Features section. You can use the search section on start menu to find this option. 
  • Search for HidHide and uninstall it. 
  • Reboot your PC for the changes to process. 


  • Similarly, search for FakerInput under the search section on start menu.
  • Locate and uninstall the drivers. Reboot the PC and you are good to go. 

How to Run DS4Windows Under a Custom .exe Name? 

Even after properly configuring the software, some applications or games won’t behave properly after detecting the virtual gamepad. Some of the known softwares include: 

  • Steam Big Picture: DS4 controllers cannot connect with the interface of Steam Big Picture. 
  • Steam Input App: The app will ignore DS4 controller entirely. 
  • Sholve Knight: A game that also ignores all DS4 controllers. 

If you want DS4Windows to work with the apps and games we have mentioned above, follow this guide to run the app under a new name instead of the default DS4Windows.exe

Setting Up a Custom “.exe” Name 

We will be using DS4Win but you can use any name you want. 

Step 1: 

  1. Go to the Settings Tab after opening the DS4Windows app.
  2. Disable to run at the Startup option if it’s already enabled. 
  3. Write any custom name (DS4Win) on the Custom Exe name box but don’t add .exe extension at the end. 
  4. Close and then restart the program. 
Ds4 Custom Name Guide

Step 2: 

Close the DS4Windows application completely and make sure it’s not running anywhere on your PC. 

Ds4 Custom Name Guide 2

Step 3: 

Locate the new DS4Win.exe file that you just made in the software’s folder and open it. 

Ds4 Custom Name Guide 3

Step 4: 

Press the Shift+Control+Esc command to open the task manager and check whether the DS4Win.exe is running perfectly or not. 

Ds4 Windows Custom Name
  • Right after that, you should not use the older DS4Windows.exe as only DS4Win.exe should be used to configure and setup the controllers. 
  • In case a new update of the app comes, you’ll need to go through all 4 steps again in order to use a custom .exe name while running DS4 Windows software. 

How to Stop Using the Custom .exe Name? 

  1. To stop using the custom DS4Win.exe, close the application if it’s already running. 
  2. Open the standard DS4Windows.exe and disable the run at Startup option if it’s enabled. 
  3. Inside the custom Exe name box, simply remove the DS4Win name and close the program again. 
  4. Close the app and reopen it again to use it as you were using before. 

Final Takeaways: 

Although the guide to install DS4Windows is long enough, it contains answers to all your queries and confusions. 

Bookmark it on your browser whenever you face a problem with the software and you can resolve all your problems from here. 

Good Luck!!