Connecting a DS4 controller via Bluetooth to DS4Windows is not a problem as far as you are pairing both devices the right way.
However, times may occur when you do everything right but the controller still won’t get detected or connected to the system.
This guide, therefore, unfolds all the causes of DS4Windows not detected via Bluetooth connection.
Not only that, but we will also provide all viable solutions to make sure that gamers may enjoy uninterrupted gaming on their favorite DualShock controller.
Let’s have a look, without any further ado:
DS4Windows Connection via Bluetooth; The Do’s and Don’ts
Using a Dedicated Bluetooth Adapter
- The problem with integrated or inbuilt Bluetooth adapters is that they may cause problems in pairing.
- The bad connection may halt the controller’s ability to get detected by DS4Windows.
- Hence, to tackle the problem, we would recommend using a dedicated Bluetooth adapter.
- Any version above 2.1 and especially the 4.0 BT adapter would do the job and easily help with the connection.
Repairing Controller with Bluetooth the Right Way
You can pair your DualShock controller to your PC in two ways:
- The controller makes a connection request to Windows and gets connected. If you are connecting your controller this way, it won’t work.
- 2nd method is to set the controller in pairing mode and then connect it to the Windows manually.
In case you are following the first method to connect the DS4 controller, it will not work. To get started, first remove the controller from the pairing list, and then you’ll need to connect it manually.
The whole process goes as under:
You will manually add and pair the controller to your gaming PC like that:
You will manually add and pair the controller to your gaming PC like that:
How to Remove and Re-Pair DualShock 4 Controller?
Removing and then re-pairing the controller to Windows is not as difficult as you may think.
Pairing a Controller to Windows
First things first, verify that the controller is not connected to your system automatically.
Next, follow the instructions shared on connecting controllers on our Getting Started page.
Removing an Automatically Paired Controller from Windows
First, we should take a look at removing the controller in case it has been connected the wrong way as follows:
There are two ways to remove an already paired DS4 controller to Windows via Bluetooth, i.e.
From settings, open Bluetooth and Other Devices, find your controller, click on it and remove it from the list like that:
In case you cannot find the controller in settings, go to Control Panel and from there click on “Devices and Printers.”
In there, click on the controller connected to your computer and select Remove Device option as follows:
Now that you have removed the device, let’s have a look at how we can get to connect the controller the right way:
Troubleshooting the Problems Related to Bluetooth Connectivity on DS4Windows
1. Windows Cannot Find Controller via Bluetooth and Other Devices
- First things first, make sure that the controller is in pairing mode.
- You will need a 2.1 Bluetooth adapter for proper pairing.
- Next, make sure that you have removed the controller from the list of paired devices via settings or Device and Printers menu.
- Pair it again manually and wait for the controller to get detected. It may take some time but the controller will get detected by DS4Windows eventually.
2. Controller Stays Connected but DS4Windows or System does not Recognize It
If that’s the case, follow the correct method of re-pairing the controller to Windows first.
- Similarly, if using controller with a gaming console, i.e. PS3, PS4, or PS5, make sure that it is not connected to the console.
- We recommend turning off the console and properly unplugging the controller from it before connecting it to your PC.
- For further information, visit controller detection issues page to resolve your problem.
3. Controller Won’t Reconnect After Rebooting or Shutting Down PC
Things can go south in case you reboot, turn off or simply let your computer sleep for a while and then boot it again.
- In such situation, the problem may happen with your USB Bluetooth adapter. To make sure that the BT adapter is working well, remove it from the port and connect it to another port. While doing that ensure that the controller is not paired.
- Issues may also arise when you are using a Bluetooth adapter made for 2.0 port in a 3.0 USB port.
- Compatibility problems may also occur. Make sure that the BT adapter you are using is compatible with the operating system of your PC as well as the DualShock controller.
- Bluetooth drivers may also be problematic. You should first check whether the adapter requires the manufacturer’s drivers or not. If that’s the case, install them and then pair your controller with your system accordingly.
4. DS4 Controller Connects but Disconnects Randomly or Stops Responding
“If you see the Add a Device notification while trying to connect the controller, then it’s not properly paired.“
Check the correct method mentioned above and connect the controller accordingly.
Some reasons for this problem include:
- Bad Bluetooth signal stability may be one of the causes. For that purpose, please check out the Input Delay issue on the Bluetooth guide.
- A faulty controller or a controller with a drained battery may also prevent it from stable connection.
- In the same manner, you should check the DS4Windows log to see if there are any error messages that need to be addressed or not.
- Make sure that Steam and DS4Win app are not running simultaneously. If that’s the case, an increase in transfer data speed may cause the controller to disconnect more often.
5. Unable to Connect More than 1 Controller via Bluetooth
Sometimes you may need to connect more than one controller via Bluetooth. However, doing so will reset the connection.
Some of the probable causes include:
- A cheap BT adapter or one with high signal interference.
- The Bluetooth Adapter cannot maintain a stable and necessary data transfer rate.
6. Windows Uses Integrated BT Adapter Instead of an External/USB BT Adapter
If you are unable to connect your controller to Windows, it may happen because the operating system is still using the inbuilt BT adapter instead of the external adapter that you’ve connected.
Bear in mind that you must disable the Integrated BT adapter from Windows Device Manager.
For that, follow these steps:
- Press Win+X and select Device Manager.
- Simply locate the integrated BT adapter under the Bluetooth section and disable it.
- Re-plug the dedicated BT adapter into USB port. If it’s already connected, then disable and enable it again.
7. Loss of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Signal When Controller is Connected
In that case, interference with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signal may arise because you are using the same integrated card on your PC.
- Bad signaling can, therefore, hinder the process of proper connection of the controller.
- The only solution, in that case, is to use a dedicated USB adapter for Bluetooth connectivity.
- In case you use separate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters, make sure that there is no radio interference near your PC.
- DS4Windows when operational can increase the amount of data transfer and that’s one of the reasons for the interference.
- We, therefore, recommend connecting the controller and pairing it first with Bluetooth. After that, turn on DS4Win app and it will detect the controller without any problem.
8. Controller Tries Reconnecting with a Nearby PC
To tackle this problem you will need to change the MAC address of a nearby PC. This issue may occur because both PCs are using the same MC address. That’s the reason the DS4 controller may try to reconnect with a nearby PC and not your system.
9. Latency and Input Delay Problems
Latency means the time it takes for one system to communicate with the other system via Bluetooth.
When it comes to DS4Windows application, it refers to the time that it takes to communicate with the controller.
High Input Delay or Latency is also problematic. Why? Because it will take time for your game character to respond to any command you place using the controller.
High but stable latency will make a character slow to respond to different commands. On the other hand, a low input delay with high spikes can cause errors whenever you press any button on the controller.
Input delay greater than 20ms is considered as bad and it’s ideal to keep it below the 10ms mark to ensure stable and smooth gameplay while using the DualShock 4 controller.
Controller Latency Comparison
The table below lists the input delay or latency of different controllers when they are connected through Bluetooth
|Usual input delay
|Minimum input delay
|Connected through BthPS3 + DsHidMini (DS4Windows Mode)
|4ms – DS4W Default settings
|1,5ms – polling rate set to maximum
|v1 and v2 don’t have major latency differences
|Switch Pro controllers
|16ms is the lowest latency the official controller can achieve
DS4Windows and Monitoring the Input Delay
Monitoring and checking the input delay or latency via DS4Windows is not difficult.
- After opening and connecting your controller to Ds4Win app, simply hover the mouse cursor on the controller connection and it will show you the input delay.
- In case the latency of your controller goes way above the 10ms mark, you will get notified by it in the Log section of the application.
- Another way to monitor is to turn on Flash Lightbar at High Latency option. Enable it especially if you own DS3, DS4, or DS5 controller and once the input delay crosses the 10ms mark, your controller’s lightbar will flash red.
Troubleshooting the Input Delay Issues
If you face high input delay problems, then know that you cannot blame the Ds4Windows software for it.
Almost 99% of the time, it’s not the application that’s causing this problem but the other way around.
Controllers when connected to your PC do not communicate directly with DS4Win app, so installing or uninstalling its drivers or even the application itself will not be a good idea.
Latency issues are mostly caused due to the following problems:
- Using low-quality integrated Bluetooth adapters
- High radio interference due to the presence of one more adapter near the Bluetooth adapter.
- Not utilizing the correct method to pair the controller with the BT adapter.
- Note that a BAD BT adapter does not certainly mean that the adapter is cheap. We have got many users who have said that they faced zero latency issues even after connecting 4 controllers simultaneously while using $5 BT chips from Aliexpress.
Causes of Unstable Latency or High Input Delay
Some of the major causes include:
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Interference
Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi cards use the same frequency and that’s the major cause of interference.
If that’s the case, check whether you are sitting in an area with too many Wi-Fi networks. Secondly, make sure that you use an integrated BT adapter to avoid the issue once and for all.
Integrated Bluetooth Adapters
Integrated Bluetooth Adapters almost always suck until and unless you are using a high-end gaming PC or laptop.
Some of the primary causes include:
- The adapter is inside the laptop or in a shell/case that may cause hindrance in the signal.
- The BT adapter also acts as a Wi-Fi adapter and that can cause interference as already discussed above.
- Integrated BT adapters have a short range and they are unable to provide a stable data rate transfer especially when you connect more than one Bluetooth device to it.
- Modern adapters are better but such machines are quite expensive and not available to everyone.
Multiple Connected Controllers via Single Adapter
One of the reasons for high input delay or latency issues is that multiple controllers are connected to a single BT adapter.
Not only that, but the interference of radio waves around your PC can also be a major problem.
In that case, you cannot do much except replace the integrated Bluetooth adapter with a new one.
One other recommendation is to purchase separate Bluetooth adapters for each controller. But yet again, it could cause interference and it can make everything unstable.
DS4Windows Increasing Data Transfer Rate While Connecting the Controller
Note: This factor applies only to DS4 (DualShock 4), and DS5 (DualSenseX) controllers. If you are using controllers other than these two, then simply ignore this section.
DualShock and DualSenseX controllers communicated with DS4Windows in two different modes:
Native PS Mode:
Using this mode, the controller sets complete information that includes data regarding the motion sensors, status of the controller, the touchpad status, etc.
PC Friendly Mode:
This mode allows the controller to send only basic information about the button or axes to the system.
When you first connect the controller to PC, they get connected via PC-Friendly Mode with a low data transfer rate. However, when DS4Windows detects that, it requests the system to change the mode to Native PS mode causing an increase in data transfer and volume.
DS4win also sends data to the controller about the lightbar, triggers, rumble, and other important commands.
During these changes, if a BT adapter cannot keep up with the required data rate, you may suffer a high input delay or even a loss in connectivity.
So, one reason could be that the controllers are in Native PS mode and not in Generic mode which is making it difficult for the adapter to detect them.
Solutions to Resolve Latency Problems
Test the Controller with Wi-Fi Disabled
We recommend that you perform this test only if you are using an integrated BT adapter that’s also acting as a Wi-Fi adapter.
When you disable Wi-Fi, the adapter will have less interference and thus you can easily check whether it’s causing high input delay or not.
Set Power Plan to High Performance
This solution is recommended for gamers who use gaming laptops.
Windows by default set the Power Plan to the Power Mode, which means it’s keeping your battery away from imminent drainage.
By doing so, it can cause high input delay.
- All in all, you have to set the Power Plan to High Performance. For gaming laptops, simply click on battery icon and increase the bar from Power Mode to High Performance.
- For PC, go to Windows Device Manager and locate Bluetooth Dongle. Go to its Properties and check whether there’s a tab for Power Management. Disable this option to make sure that the adapter works just fine.
Using a Dedicated BT Adapter
Certainly a no-brainer. Using a dedicated BT adapter can resolve your high input delay issues. You won’t have to connect your controller to an integrated adapter anymore and it may resolve the problem once and for all.
Inserting Adapter into another USB Port
Test the Bluetooth Dongle one by one into different ports and see whether it has any impact on the latency of the controller in DS4Windows log or not.
Avoiding Radio Noise
One way you can avoid all the radio noise coming out of your laptop or PC is to connect the BT adapter via an extension cable. Doing this will keep the dongle away from the laptop or PC and it can therefore get away from the interference once and for all.
Decreasing the BT Polling Rate
This solution works only for DS4 controllers. What you have to do is to go to Profile Editor and go to the BT Poll rate if you are using a DualShock 4 or DualSenseX controller. Set the value to 10ms which is set at 16ms by default.
Disable Output Data to Controller
You can also disable the output data to controller. However, by doing so you will have to sacrifice enjoying the rumble or lightbar effects while playing different games.
Final Takeaways: DS4Windows Not Detected via Bluetooth Connection
The extensive guide is designed specifically for users who are facing issues while connecting their controllers to the gaming PC or laptop.
Follow all the troubleshooting steps one by one and we are sure that you’ll not only be able to resolve the detection issues, but you can also lower down latency of your controller.
Enjoy playing different games on your DualShock 4 controller via Bluetooth connectivity.