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How To: Connect a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller to Windows 7, 8 & 8.1

It’s Friday night and here’s very nerdy entry that’s probably not of interest to any of you, but in case you try to do what I did yesterday it can save you a lot of frustration: How to connect a Wireless Xbox 360 controller to Windows 7, 8 & 8.1 x64 (64-bit) using an Xbox 360 2.4GHz Wireless Controller Gaming Receiver for PC. I bought my unit from DealExtreme. The step-by-step guide below can probably also be used with the 32 bit version of Windows 7, 8 & 8.1 and all other versions that Microsoft has created drivers for, but it’s only tested on Windows 7, 8 & 8.1 x64.

Not able to get the below to work? First of all, make sure you’ve followed each step exactly. If you’re still unable to connect your controller, I’m afraid you have to keep searching the internet for a solution. The steps below worked for me on my computer, but your setup might be a bit different, requiring different steps.

  1. Do not connect the receiver yet.
  2. Download the driver for your operating system from the Microsoft download site. At the time of writing, there are no Windows 8 and 8.1 drivers available on the download page, but you can download the Windows 7 drivers – they work on Windows 8 and 8.1 as well.
  3. Install the drivers.
  4. Connect the receiver.
  5. Windows will try to install the drivers for the connected device and fail miserably. But there’s no need to panic!
  6. Open Windows Explorer (keyboard shortcut: WIN+E), right click on “Computer” and click “Properties”.
  7. Select “Device Manager” from the menu on the left.
  8. You should see an “Unknown device” under “Other devices” in the device tree.
  9. Right click the “Unknown device” and click “Update Driver Software…”.
  10. Select “Browse my computer for driver software”.
  11. Select “Let me pick from a list of devices drivers on my computer”.
  12. From the list, select “Microsoft Common Controller for Windows Class” and click “Next”.
  13. From the list, select “Xbox 360 Controller For Windows Version: 2.1.0.1349 [13.08.2009]” and click “Next”.
  14. Click “Yes” when the “Update Driver Warning” dialogue box is displayed.
  15. The drivers should be installed successfully. Click “Close”.
  16. Turn on your wireless controller by pressing the Xbox button for a couple of seconds.
  17. To sync the controller and the receiver, first hold the little white button the the front of the controller. The green lights on the controller should start to rotate clockwise.
  18. While the lights on the controller rotate, click the button on the receiver connected to your computer.
  19. The controller and the device will sync and the upper left green light on your controller will eventually be the only green light turned on. You can now enjoy console gaming on your Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 computer.

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