The most popular program for modifying the Sony Playstation is DS4Windows. The tools allow you to utilize the whole Sony DualShock 4 controller on your PC. It works by emulating the Playstation controller so you can use it on Windows 10. Most gamers choose it over others in the market because of its many advantages.

However, DS4Windows is not a Microsoft, Sony, or Xbox copyrighted program. As a result of Windows 10 upgrades that improve security regularly, it is vulnerable to restriction.

As a result, you will encounter difficulties while playing your game, such as DS4Windows cannot identify controller errors. In this article, we’ll go over all the possible solutions you can use to fix the problem.

Reasons Why the Error Occurs?

The main reason why DS4windows not detecting controller errors is the recent Windows 10 update. If you update the latest Windows 10, you will likely face this error. Since you need to update, you must look for ways to fix the error.

Malfunctioning device drivers can cause the DS4Windows not to detect controller error. Sometimes, either the drivers are updated to support other controllers, or the drivers are outdated.

Disabling the controller. This is a built-in setting where one can mistakenly disable a controller, and the DS4windows will instantly stop using that controller or scanning. Hence the user experiences the same error.

Here are some of the solutions available to fix DS4Windows not detecting controllers.

Reinstall the DS4 Controller Device Driver

This is the first solution for many users. To start the reinstallation process, you have to use the USB connection from the computer.

Follow these steps:

  • Go to the Control Panel on the Search bar or use the Run by pressing Windows + R together.
  • Navigate to the Hardware and sound option to see all the devices connected to the computer.
  • Reconnect the controller now, and a message popup in the Sound option and hardware with the game controller icon.
  • Right-click on the popup and choose Properties.
  • Navigate to the Hardware tab.
  • Check to find the HID-compliant game controller’ choice and then right-click on it.
  • A section similar to the Device Manager or Driver Manager is opened.
  • Find the Driver tab and choose to Uninstall the device.
  • After the driver is uninstalled, launch DS4 Windows.
  • Reconnect the controller and check if it popups in the DS4 Windows choices.
  • If the controller popup does not appear, then go ahead and install the driver.
  • On the Device Manager, click on Scan for hardware changes.
  • To ensure the problem is solved, you can restart your computer.

Disable and Enable the DS4 Controller

This is a driver-setting issue. Often drivers get disabled due to an internal error or by default. When this happens, the DS4Window does not detect the controller error is experienced.

Follow these steps to try and fix the error:

  • Press the Windows + R key together to open the Device Manager.
  • Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. Alternatively, you can use the Search bar on the Taskbar and type device manager, then click to open it. Launch the Device Manager as an Admin to be on the safer side.
  • Navigate to find the ‘Human interface device’ option and expand it by clicking on it. It is fine if you see the ‘HID-compliant game controller’ there. Expand the ‘Sound, video and game controller’ part if not.
  • Right-click on it, and find the ‘Enable or disable’ options. In case you see the ‘disable‘ option, leave it alone. If you get the ‘enable’ choice, click on it to enable the driver again.
  • Test if the problem is solved by restarting the DS4windows

Remote Play and Driver Solution

Reports from some users say that installing Remote Play has worked for them. Though it does not help your computer to scan the controller per se, it works sometimes. It is accessed from the computer and used to play station games.

In case it does not solve the error, the alternative is to reinstall the drivers but now a different kind of driver.

Use these steps:

  • Proceed to the Device Manager and locate the LIB32 Wireless Driver. It’s located in the Controller section.
  • Right-click on it to check the Uninstall button. If you cannot find it, double-click on it, navigate to the drivers and select the Uninstall option.
  • Go ahead and reconnect the controller and check if Windows can now install the driver.
  • Go to the Remote Play App and check if it is working. In case it is not working, reinstalling DS4Windows is the way out.
  • Proceed to the Control Panel, locate the program’s choice and see if DS4Windows is among the options.
  • Go ahead and uninstall it and then restart your computer. Remember to delete any files and folders leftovers.
  • Reconnect the controller, and it should immediately bring up a ‘swipe touchpad to change profile’ option.
  • Uncheck this option and check on ‘hide DS4’. You can go ahead to check if the setting is working.

Uninstall Windows Updates

If, so far, nothing has worked, this might be your last option. If you prefer your controller functioning to new updates, go for this solution. But remember, it is highly advised to keep your Windows PC updated.

Before that, go to the update list and check if you have downloaded any unnecessary updates causing the error. Otherwise, follow these steps to fix the problem.

  • Press the Windows + I keys at the same time to launch the Settings window and select the ‘Update Security’ alternative.
  • Navigate to locate the Windows Updates from the choices. Find to select the ‘view installed update history’ in the new windows.
  • A list of all the recently installed updates will appear. Uninstall them.
  • Alongside every update, there is uninstalling option. Note the time or guess from the time you started experiencing the problem. By this, you can tell any update from that period and uninstall it.
  • After the uninstallation is complete, check to see if the DS4windows can function with Windows 10. Also, check if you notice the controller.
  • Sometimes you need to restart the computer. If the updates were not the cause of the error, install them again.

Try DS4Windows Update

During the DS4Windows controller download and installation, DS4 comes with two files. The DS4Updater and DS4Windows file.

When installed, the DS4Windows launches the controller while the DS4updater gets any recent updates from the sources. You can opt to re-download DS4 windows the moment it updates or follow these steps.

When you experience the error, either you have a buggy update or an outdated DS4 controller.

  • Download DS4 for Windows.
  • Go to File Explorer and locate where you have saved or installed the DS4windows.
  • Now finds the DS4updater. Before that launches, ensure you are an admin by right-clicking it and choosing Run as administrator.
  • Give it time to scan the updates. All the essential updates will be downloaded immediately. Once it is complete, close it.
  • Now launch the DS4Windows to see if the problem is fixed. If the error persists, uninstall the DS4Windows and reinstall it.
  • Ensure that the device is detected and visible in the controller tab.

Edit DS4 Controller Registry

If all the above methods have not worked out, try this method to fix the error. This should be the last option if you have used other solutions and failed. Always remember that tampering with the registry may cause other system-related issues.

For this reason, always have a backup, a restore point that limits the extent of mess you cause after fixing the error. That being said, you can comfortably use this method provided you follow the steps exactly as follows.

Start by backing up some important information for the controller.

  • Connect the controller to the computer and close the DS4Windows on your computer.
  • Find the Control Panel on the search option and open it. Navigate to the Hardware and Sound option.
  • Choose Devices and Printers.
  • Right-click on the Wireless controller and select Properties.
  • Click on the Hardware tab, and from the options, locate the ‘HID-Compliant Game controller.’
  • A new window will appear, and find the Details tab.
  • Check if you can see any property field or option. If you locate it, select ‘Hardware ids.’
  • In the Hardware ids, find the ‘value’ section.
  • Now select to copy the first three choices using the right-click and not the Ctrl+C shortcut.
  • Make sure to save these entries to be on the safer side in case the solution does not work. You can now use the Windows Notepad or others interested in it.

You now need to launch Regedit.

  • Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the run utility. Then type ‘Regedit’ and press the Shift + Enter to run it as Administrator.
  • Expand the Registry Editor window by going to the following:
HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Services > HidGuardian > Parameters
  • Look for the Affected Devices files on the side of the panel and open them by double-clicking them.
  • Remember the value you had saved in Notepad. It’s time to use them. Just paste them here.
  • Then click Apply, followed by OK.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Reload the DS4Windows and attach the controller to check if the error is solved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is DS4windows Not Detecting Controller PS5?

DS4Windows won’t work with PS5 controllers. By definition, a DS4Windows means it is for DualShock 4 controller. Hence the tool is used to assist the user in using the DS4 controllers, which come with the PS4.

What is the Best Way to Fix DS4Windows Not Detecting the Controller Through USB?

The first best option is to try a new USB port or try reinstalling the drivers. Reinstalling DS4 drivers for Windows fixes most problems.

If you have tried these options and still are experiencing the same problem, try to update the DS4Windows and the controller. Now reconnect the controller and check if the issue is solved.

How to Solve DS4Windows Not Detecting Controller Bluetooth?

If, by any chance, you are trying to connect DS4 controllers to your computer using Bluetooth, it will not work. This is because you will need different things and drivers. In some cases, it works but is difficult since you will require a USB adapter and a controller connection to work properly.

How to Fix DS4Windows Not Detecting Switch Controller?

DS4 doesn’t function with any other controllers apart from the DualShock 4. That is enough in cases where one uses an Xbox controller on a Windows PC. Other extra tools or drivers are not needed.

In the same way, when you use a PS5 controller, it fails to work. Nintendo switch controller is made for Nintendo switch use only. Hence cannot be used on your computer to play games. Don’t bother using switch controllers on DS4Windows. It cannot work.

How to Check Which USB Device is Connected to?

Follow these steps:

  • Attach a 3.0 flash drive to one of the ports.
  • Go to Device Manager and click ‘view’.
  • Find the ‘Devices by connection’ option and click on it.
  • From the Device by connection view, you will see the USB mass storage device in the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible host controller category.

What is the DS4 Exclusive Mode?

In simple terms, the exclusive mode is how the Input Mapper connects to the device the user is using physically. In most cases, devices in Windows function in a shared manner. Hence any app with the required authorization can open and converse with other devices.

In contrast, exclusive mode means when the Input Mapper opens a device, it cannot be used by any other program. This is sometimes preferred as it blocks games from detecting and accepting inputs from both the virtual and physical controller generated by the Input Mapper.


The above discussion will help you overcome any issues hindering you from enjoying your favorite game. Remember that the USB is used to connect the DS4Windows and the controller.

Whenever it does not work, use the above methods to find a solution for the error DS4Windows not detecting the controller.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

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