XBO controller detection on Windows 10 version 1803

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XBO controller detection on Windows 10 version 1803

I've been running into a problem recently, that I'm wondering if others are having.

I have two XBO controllers with wireless adapters. One wireless adapter is connected to my Windows 10 PC for local gaming, and the other to a Shield TV running the VirtualHere server, for gamestreaming from the same Windows 10 PC, which is running the client.

The problem is, the Windows 10 PC intermittently doesn't detect a controller, after powering on the controller and establishing a successful connection with the wireless adapter (the solid light). On the Windows 10 PC, I go to Control Panel --> search for 'game' --> Set up USB game controllers. The "Installed game controllers" list is blank. When that happens, no games will detect the controller. This happens with both the local controller, and the VirtualHere controller. The VirtualHere client always shows the USB Hub connected normally.

If I'm at the PC and using the local controller (I never use both at the same time), when I unplug / replug the wireless adapter, the controller will usually (but not always) appear in the "Installed game controllers" list, and work. If the controller doesn't appear, I reboot the PC, and then it works again, for a while.

If I'm using the VirtualHere controller (from the family room) and this happens, I have to reboot the PC for it to stat working again.

I'm now in the habit of checking if the controller is detected before starting a gaming session. If I'm in the family room, I remote into the PC from my laptop using Splashtop, and check the "Installed game controllers" list has the controller there, before launching any games. If the controller isn't there, I reboot the PC, and then it works.

I'm quite sure this behavior started with Windows 10 version 1803, as I never had to do these gymnastics on 1709.

Is anyone else experiencing this, or have any ideas? Searching online seems useless, as there are many articles regarding XBO controller troubleshooting, which don't seem to touch on this specific issue.


OK sounds like the wireless adapter is going to sleep. Use the adapter sucessfully via virtualhere, then in Windows Device Manager see if you can find the XBox Wireless Adapter listed and then right click and select Properties and see if there is a Power Management tab. If so UNcheck "Allow Windows to turn off this device to save power"

Disabling power management

Thanks Michael, I've disabled power management on both adapters, and will see how it goes.

I think I've found the pattern

Hi Michael,

I've verified that the wireless adapters are maintaining their "no power management" settings, but I don't think that's the problem. Here is what I'm seeing:

After a reboot, when I start using one of the controllers, that one will continue to work. It's when I go to use the *other* controller, that it doesn't get detected. I've also verified that both controllers won't be detected at the same time (just as a test - that doesn't need to work).

So if I start using the VirtualHere controller, it will continue to work over multiple gaming sessions, with time between. If I go to the PC and try to use the local controller, it won't be detected, unless I unplug/replug the adapter. And after doing that, the VirtualHere controller will no longer get detected.

Likewise, if (after a fresh reboot) I start using the local controller, it too will continue to work over multiple gaming sessions, but then the VirtualHere controller won't be detected again unless I reboot.

In other words, "first use wins."

It could be that this was the same behavior under W10 1709, but I do remember switching between controllers and not having to reboot or replug. I don't have 100% certainty though, more like 75%.

I guess the bottom line is, should both controllers be able to be detected simultaneously, or at least be handled independently? I'm sure this is not a common configuration.


As i understand the xbox wireless dongle is like a small wifi card that creates a ad-hoc wifi network and each xbox controller has a built-in wifi adapter also that joins this network. I thought that it wouldnt matter how many xbox controllers the wireless dongle hosts as it all goes through the same pipe at the server side. If that is not the case that is surprising. A thing you could try is to update the firmware on the xbox controller. If you havent already - get the xbox accessories app from the microsoft store. That will update the firmware for your controller. If you already have the latest firmware im not sure what else to try.

Thanks - I'll try the

Thanks - I'll try the firmware thing. Since each wireless adapter supports up to eight controllers, there's no reason (from Microsoft's perspective) of supporting more than one active adapter per computer, so perhaps that's a limitation.

Firmware didn't help, however...

I updated the firmware on both controllers, but that didn't solve the issue. However, one of the controllers is a gen3 with bluetooth, so I can just use that for the "local" PC connection.

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