[Solved] Fix Sticky Buttons on Xbox Controller | 2022 Guide

Fix Sticky Xbox Buttons

It can be pretty annoying to play a game if you can’t press buttons on your controller properly. It messes with your timing, the functionality of the buttons, and can be very tilting. Luckily, this problem is oftentimes just due to dirt within the controller and can easily be fixed.

Sticky or faulty controller buttons are usually due to dirt build-up. Our hands also contribute sweat or oil making the buttons dirtier than you think. It’s definitely recommended to at least do a deep clean of your controller once a week if you use it regularly. Wiping it down with a cloth or wipes after use can also greatly help and lessen any significant dirt build-up.

How to Fix Sticky Xbox Controller Buttons

Now that you know what’s causing your problem, we’ll help you fix it and get your controller buttons feeling silky smooth again. Fixing sticky buttons on Xbox controllers is very easy in general and rarely requires you to open the controller itself.

Here are a few ways to fix the sticky buttons on an Xbox Controller.

Q-Tips and Alcohol

Qtips and alcohol

Let’s start off with a very easy method that only requires two things, Q-tips and alcohol. In general, Isopropyl Alcohol is better for cleaning electronics since it dries faster. But feel free to use regular rubbing alcohol if that’s the only thing available to you.

  1. Grab your controller and unplug it or turn it off. Make sure that the controller has no power because if you clean it while it’s on it can further damage your Xbox controller.
  2. Put some alcohol on the Q-tip. Make sure that it isn’t soaking wet.
  3. Clean around the Xbox controller buttons and make sure to get the Q-tip as deep into the creaks and crevices as you can. This will help loosen up any dirt build-up found within the buttons.
  4. After doing this several times, press the buttons a few times to clear up any dirt left behind.

This method should work for most people and help get rid of their sticky button woes. If this doesn’t work you can always try doing it again or doing a more robust cleaning of your controller. Remember to only use alcohol and not water. Cleaning your controller with water can cause some irreversible damage to your controller.

Taking the Xbox Controller Apart

Taking apart an Xbox Controller.

If simply cleaning your Xbox controller with a Q-tip doesn’t work, you might have to go in deeper. This is a relatively advanced and delicate process so make sure that you know what you are doing before proceeding to take the controller apart.

Completely disassembling the controller will help you do a deep clean of your Xbox controller. I definitely suggest watching YouTube videos and guides while disassembling your Xbox controller. You can also record yourself while dissembling the controller so that you have a video that you can watch later on if you get lost somewhere in the middle.

Taking an Xbox controller apart can be quite overwhelming at first. However, it’s actually surprisingly easy to remove the shell and clean the buttons.

If you still aren’t fully comfortable, even after watching YouTube videos, make sure to get an expert to do it.

Sending It in for Repairs

For Repairs
Repairing an Xbox controller.

If all else fails, you’ll probably have to send in your Xbox controller for repairs. Your sticky button problem might be hardware-related, rather than a dirt-related problem. At this point, all you can do is bring it to a technician to get it fixed.

There are a lot of different gaming stores and retailers that offer cleaning and repair services for consoles and controllers. You can surely find one that’s close to you. The technician will take your unit apart, do some testing and tell you what exactly the problem is.


Once you get the Xbox controller working again, make sure to follow these simple steps to prevent getting sticky buttons again. You know what they say, “prevention is better than cure.”

  1. Keep your hands clean before using the controller. Wash your hands, use some alcohol, or wipe them down before playing and handling the controller.
  2. Properly store the controller in a clean and safe place. Dust can still get into your controller, even if you aren’t using it.
  3. Regularly clean your controller after use. Doing a simple wipe-down after using your Xbox controller can go a long way.
  4. Finally, don’t eat while playing. Another major contributor to sticky Xbox controller buttons is the food crumbs or liquid spills that occur during intense gaming sessions. To prevent this, just simply don’t eat while playing.

Those were all the different ways that can help you fix sticky buttons on an Xbox controller. Hopefully, we were able to help guide you out of a sticky situation.

Written by Borut Udovic

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