9 Ways To Fix DS4 Windows Not Working

You had to browse for DS4, understand how it works, and make it work for your PlayStation controller. But now, the third-party software is not doing its job. How to fix DS4 not working?

Steam can use PS4 controllers easily. It can also use Xbox, Nintendo Switch Pro, and other generic peripherals. However, it becomes harder outside of Steam, as Windows doesn’t pack the necessary drivers} to use the item.

DS4 Windows is a tool that emulates the DualShock 4 as the Xbox Controller. So, you can play games on your Windows without issues.

It’s not official software, so it has issues. Particularly, Windows 10 or Windows 11 updates may render it useless. 

DS4 Not Working Causes

Many like to use the PS4 DualShock 4 controller rather than the Xbox peripheral on Windows. 

Several Windows 10 or 11 issues may prevent it from working altogether. Common errors you would see include: “No Controllers Connected (Max 4), “DS4 driver not installed,” or “DS4 not detecting controller.”

Because these are common errors, the fixes are widely available. And before we see the troubleshooting, it would be best to identify the possible cause of your problem:

  • You’re not using the proper setup: DS4 requires steps for proper installation and functioning. We should review these instructions to ensure you’re doing it right.  
  • The software doesn’t have the proper configurations: You have to enable the controller on DS4 Windows. Otherwise, it can’t detect or use it. 
  • Windows updates: Windows 10 or 11 updates may restrict using the DS4 tool.
  • The anti-virus protection: Your anti-virus software, particularly the Windows Security software, may be blocking the tool’s function. 
  • Faulty drivers: The DS4 tool needs particular drivers. Your computer might be missing the download, so it can’t detect the controller. 
  • The software doesn’t have the proper configurations: You have to enable the controller on DS4 Windows. Otherwise, it can’t detect or use it. 

That said, DS4Windows is an open-source controller manager and virtual emulator. It supports DualShock 3, DualShock 5, and DualSense 5 on Windows 11 and 10. It will also work on Joy-con replicas.

How to Fix DS4 Not Working on Windows?

DS4Windows works by mapping your gamepad into an emulated gamepad. You can map keyboard and mouse buttons into the controller or Xbox controller buttons into the PlayStation peripheral.

Most PC games don’t support DS4 controllers, but you can emulate Xbox or DS4 controllers.

The fixes take care of the software configurations, Windows updates, drivers, and anti-virus exceptions. Because using DS4Windows can be tricky, we advise you to follow the troubleshooter from beginning to end. You may need to do various things to make the program work.

Ensure You Meet the Requirements

DS4Windows has a comprehensive list of requirements; you should run it down to see what you’re missing. This is what you need:

  • Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system..Net Runtime x64 framework. It should be on your system by default, but you can download it here if you’re not sure.
  • Visual C++ 215-209 Redistributable (x64 or x86). It should also be on your system by default – most games you download come with a C++ package to install. Either way, here’s the X64 version and the x86. Check your system type by going to “About this PC.” about this pc
  • The DS4Windows driver. The software will install it as you install it on your PC, but if you’re getting driver error messages, download “ViGEmBus” manually. 
  • Their Sony DualShock 3, DualShock 4, or DualSense 5 controllers.
  • A micro-USB cable to connect your controller. You can also use Bluetooth 4.0, but Bluetooth adapters tend to present issues with DS4 – use Windows’ built-in Bluetooth.

If you meet these requirements, there’s something else to do on Steam. If you don’t have Steam on your PC, skip the next step. 

Disable PS4 and Xbox Controller Support on Steam

Because DS4Windows will take care of the Controller, you need to disable Steam’s built-in drivers. 

  1. Open Steam with administrator privileges. For instance, type “Steam” on the Windows search bar, right-click its icon, and click on “Run as administrator.” run-steam-as-administrator
  2. Click on the Big Picture Mode icon at the top-right. big picture mode
  3. Click on the Settings gear. steam big picture settings
  4. Select Controller Settings. controller settings
  5. Uncheck the boxes for all of the Controller types. uncheck controller types steam
  6. Close Steam. exit steam

Afterward, you may continue to the initial setup. If you did it already, it would be best to try it again.

Enable Your Controller on DS4Windows

Here’s the proper setup you need to follow to install and use DS4Windows:

  1. Download DS4Windows. It’s a zip file, so you’d need a zip program like WinZip or BreeZip to use it.
  2. Extract the package into Documents, Desktop, or Downloads folders. We don’t recommend extracting it elsewhere, as your PC will constantly ask you for extra privileges. If this is the case for you, move the files to the more accessible folders. extract ds4windows
  3. Execute DS4Windows.exe. It will install the software on your PC.ds4windows exe
  4. Connect the gamepad to the PC via the USB cable or the Windows built-in Bluetooth. ps4 controller
  5. Disable the Steam controller support if Steam is on your PC.
  6. “Hide” the real gamepads you have used. Otherwise, you will face the “Double Controller” or “Double Input” issues.
  7. Use the DS4Windows app to map your controllers. map buttons ds4windows

The last step is the most important recommendation to use DS4Windows, so let’s see how it works in detail. 

Hide the Real Gamepads You Have Used on Your PC

DS4Windows creates virtual gamepads that work with your real ones. So, if you connect the real gamepad while also using DS4, Windows will detect 2 gamepads. This can create many issues, like listing commands twice or not responding.

To fix the issue, you will need to download an additional driver: HidHide. This is what the developers recommend. The driver acts as a barrier between Windows and your real gamepad.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download the HidHide file.
  2. Extract the archive.
  3. Run HidGuardianInstaller.exe.
  4. Reboot your PC. 
  5. Open the HidHide Configuration Client. You can search it on the Start menu.hid hide
  6. Connect your real gamepad to the PC.
  7. On the Devices tab, check the box of your real controller. It should now appear with a red icon.
  8. Check the “Enable Device Hiding” button to enable the action. hidhide configuration
  9. On the Applications tab, add the programs that should see the devices, even if they are hidden. hidhide application configuration

Lastly, if you connect the controller with both a USB cable and Bluetooth, you’d need to follow these steps with both connection methods. If you have doubts about it, you can check the official tutorial.

DS4Windows includes a built-in hider driver, but it presents many issues.

Reconnect the Controllers to Windows

DS4Windows should immediately recognize any controllers properly connected to the PC. That said, we should re-check if these are properly connected.

We recommend using USB cables rather than Bluetooth. The latter option presents input delay.

Via USB cables, simply plugging the controller should work. If you’re using Bluetooth, you should:

  1. Go to the Bluetooth and other devices and settings.bluetooth and other devices
  2. Turn on Bluetooth.
  3. Click on the Add button. add bluetooth
  4. Put the controller in pairing mode by pressing and holding the PS and Share buttons simultaneously. The light bar should start flashing. 
  5. Select Bluetooth, and find your controller.
  6. Select your controller.

Install the Drivers You Need and Update DS4windows

To summarize the drivers you need, I’ll repeat the two downloads you need:

Install these two to use DS4Windows on your PC without a hassle. In particular, if you installed a Windows update recently, you may need to reinstall these drivers.

To update DS4, run the DS4 update tool inside its installation folder.run ds4 updater

Re-enable Your Controller

Another possible issue is that your PlayStation controller is disabled, so DS4Windows can’t detect it. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Type Device Manager on the Windows search bar and open Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Human Interface Devices tab.
  3. Right-click the HID-compliant game controller. If you’re using it via Bluetooth, it would be “Bluetooth-HID-device.” enable controller device manager
  4. Select Enable device.

Now, check if you can find your controller on DS4Windows.

Add DS4 as an Exception on Your Anti-virus

Our anti-virus software may be causing issues with the Steam Overlay as well.

Your anti-virus may recognize DS4Windows as an unwanted application (PUA) or a trojan. As a result, it doesn’t let it work properly.

You must add it as an exception on your software. I’ll guide you through an example for the Windows Security software. You can browse for a different guide online if you’re using another security app.

  1. Type “Virus” on the search bar and open “Virus & threat protection.”
  2. Click on Manage settings under “Virus & threat protection settings.” manage virus settings
  3. Select Add or remove exclusions under “Exclusions.” add exclusion anti virus
  4. Click on “Add an exclusion.add exclusion
  5. Click on Folder
  6. Browse for the DS4 folder, and select it. 

That should be enough to stop the anti-virus from messing with the third-party application. 

Update Windows

As I have said before, Windows updates may crash your DS4 application. Some people recommend rolling back the update, but that may brick your operative system.

Instead, you can update your Windows again. That means checking for updates and waiting for the next update. 

  1. Type “Update” on the Windows search bar
  2. Select Check for updates. check for updates
  3. Click on Check for updates. check for updates button

If your PC needs an update, let it happen, and reboot the computer afterward. Then, try DS4 again. 

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