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How to pair your Xbox One controller with your Apple devices

Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, and even your Mac

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An Xbox One controller sits on a 12.9” iPad Pro (2018) displaying the Apple Arcade home screen.  Dave Tach/Polygon

Here’s how to pair your Xbox One controller with your Apple device, now that Apple TVs, iPhones, iPads, and Macs natively support Microsoft’s Bluetooth-equipped Xbox One Wireless Controllers.

Make sure you’re running the latest operating system

To use an Xbox Wireless Controller, your Apple device needs to be running one of the operating systems released fall 2019 — iOS 13, iPadOS 13, tvOS 13, and macOS Catalina (which is version 10.15).

You can check the software version that you have installed on your iPad and iPhone by tapping Settings > About and looking for the Software Version row. On Apple TV, that information lives in Settings > System > Software Updates. On macOS, that’s in System Preferences > Software Update.

How to pair an Xbox Wireless Controller with an iPhone and iPad

Connecting an Xbox One controller to an iPad in the Bluetooth settings screen Dave Tach/Polygon
  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and make sure that Bluetooth is toggled on.
  2. On your Xbox One Wireless Controller, press the Xbox button, and then hold down the Connect button (that’s the small button above the Xbox button and next to the Left Bumper) for a few seconds until the Xbox button starts blinking faster. That puts it into paring mode.
  3. A few seconds later, you’ll see Xbox Wireless Controller at the bottom of the Bluetooth settings screen on your Apple device. You may need to tap on that. Or your device may just display a pop-up notification.
  4. Either way, tap Pair.

How to pair an Xbox One controller with an Apple TV

Paring an Xbox One controller to an Apple TV is pretty similar to paring it with a portable device.

  1. Open Settings and select Remotes and Devices.
  2. Select Bluetooth in the menu that loads.
  3. On your Xbox One Wireless Controller, press the Xbox button, and then hold down the Connect button (that’s the small button above the Xbox button, next to the Left Bumper) for a few seconds until the Xbox button starts blinking faster. That puts it into paring mode.
  4. A few seconds later, you’ll see Xbox Wireless Controller at the bottom of the Bluetooth settings screen on your Apple TV.
  5. Navigate down with your remote, and click on “Xbox Wireless Controller” to pair your controller with your Apple TV.

How to pair an Xbox One controller with a Mac

Pairing an Xbox controller with a Mac in the Bluetooth settings app Apple via Polygon
  1. Open System Preferences and click on Bluetooth. Make sure that Bluetooth is on in the menu that loads.
  2. On your Xbox One Wireless Controller, press the Xbox button, and then hold down the Connect button (that’s the small button above the Xbox button, next to the Left Bumper) for a few seconds until the Xbox button starts blinking faster. That puts it into paring mode.
  3. A few seconds later, you’ll see Xbox Wireless Controller at the bottom of the Devices section of the window.
  4. Click on the Connect button next to “Xbox Wireless Controller” to pair your controller with your Mac.