How to Use a PS5 Controller on Your Mac or PC

PS Remote Play lets you play PlayStation games on your PC with a PS5 controller. More and more PC games and gaming platforms support the DualSense controller every day. And the PS5 controller also works on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

This tutorial covers using a PS5 controller on your Mac or PC. Before connecting a controller to your computer, turn off the PS5 controller. Press and hold the Playstation button (PS) until the indicator light or status indicator on the controller turns off. When this is done, you can connect the controller to your computer with a USB cable or wirelessly.

USB wired connection

For a wired USB connection, use the Type-A to Type-C cable included in the PS5 box. If you cannot find the supplied cable, use a third-party USB cable that supports power transfer and data sync. Windows or macOS will not detect your PS5 DualSense controller if you are using a “charge only” cable.

All you have to do to make it work is plug the cable’s USB-A connector into your PC and insert the USB-C connector into the DualSense controller’s USB-C port.

To note: Use a USB-C to USB-C cable for PCs and MacBooks without a USB Type-A port. Connect one end of the cable to your Mac or PC and the other end to the controller.

Connect the PS5 DualSense controller wirelessly

Remember to turn off or disconnect your controller from other devices before pairing it to your computer. Press and hold the PS button on the controller until the LED turns off. This disconnects the controller from other Bluetooth devices and makes it available for pairing to a new device.

Connect a PS5 controller to a Windows PC

To pair a PS5 DualSense controller to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer, follow these steps.

  1. In Windows 11, open the Settings app (press windows key + I). Select Bluetooth and devices in the sidebar, then select Add device on the right.

In Windows 10, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices and select Add Bluetooth or other devices.

  1. Select Bluetooth.
  1. The next step is to put your controller into pairing mode. Press and hold the playstation button and Create a button for about 5 seconds. Release both buttons when the controller light flashes twice.
  1. On your PC, select wireless controller.
  1. Wait for your PC to connect to the controller. Select Do to close the window when you see a message “Your device is ready to use”.

Your controller should appear as “Connected” in the Bluetooth settings menu. You can now use the controller in Steam games and other compatible programs.

Connect a PS5 controller to a Mac

  1. Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is on. Select the Activate Bluetooth button to activate your Mac’s Bluetooth.
  1. Press and hold the PS button and Create a button on your PS5 controller until the light flashes twice intermittently. This puts the controller in pairing mode.
  1. Your Mac should detect a “DualSense wireless controller” in the Bluetooth settings menu. Select the Relate button to continue.

Unlike Windows, macOS correctly recognizes and labels the PS5 controller as a “DualSense Wireless Controller”.

  1. Select Choice to customize the functionality of certain DualSense controller buttons.

By default, pressing the Home (PS) button on the controller opens your Mac’s Launchpad.

  1. You can configure macOS to open the floating app switcher when you long-press the Home (PS) button on your controller. To do this, open the “Home Long press” drop-down menu and select Launching ramp.

The “Share” or “Create” button is also customizable. You can start recording your screen or capture in-game “highlights” by double tapping or long pressing the Share button. Capturing a highlight saves the last 15 seconds of gameplay.

  1. Expand the “Share Double Tap” or “Share Long Tap” menu and select Start/Stop recording Where Capture highlight.
  1. Select Recording screen on the confirmation prompt.

To note: Capturing highlights with the DualSense controller may reduce game speed and performance.

  1. Select Do to save customizations.

Set up and use the PS5 controller on your computer

Your computer and compatible apps should immediately detect a wired or wireless PS5 DualSense controller. Depending on the app or PC games you are playing, you may need to enable app-specific settings.

In Steam, for example, enabling “PlayStation Configuration Support” allows you to take advantage of all the features of the DualSense controller.

  1. Connect the controller to your computer and open Steam settings.
  2. Head to the “Controller” tab on the left sidebar and select General controller settings.
  1. Make sure your PlayStation 5 controller appears in the ‘Controller Detected’ section. Select the PlayStation setup support check the box and close the controller settings window.

You must also select the Generic gamepad configuration support check box. This might help your PS5 controller work properly if Steam’s PlayStation setup support malfunctions.

In Remote Play, you’ll see your controller’s battery level in the lower right corner of the screen.

If your PS5 controller isn’t working in a specific game, contact the game developer for help.

PS5 controller not connecting or working on PC or Mac? Try These Fixes

Your computer may not recognize a PS5 controller for many reasons. The troubleshooting recommendations below should resolve the issue(s).

1. Try a different port or cable

If you’re connecting your controller using a cable, make sure it’s the original cable included in the PS5 box. If you are using a counterfeit or counterfeit cable, your computer may not detect the DualSense controller. Use a genuine cable that supports both data sync and power transfer.

USB port issues can also prevent PS5 controllers from connecting to your computer. Try another port on your computer if the controller does not work on a particular port. We also recommend plugging the controller directly into your computer. When using a USB adapter, make sure the accessory supports data sync and power transfer.

2. Update Controller

Updating your controller to the latest firmware can resolve connectivity and performance issues.

If you are using a Windows PC, update the PS5 controller using the Firmware Update for DualSense Wireless Controller application. Install the application on your computer and connect the controller using a cable.

The app will automatically download and install any available firmware update for your controller. Make sure your computer has an internet connection.

You can also update your controller from the PS5 console. Open your PS5 settings menu, navigate to Accessories > Controllersand select Wireless controller device software.

3. Restart your computer

Restart your computer if your controller’s firmware is up to date, but it won’t connect or work when playing compatible games.

4. Reset the controller to factory settings

If the problem persists, restore your PS5 DualSense controller to factory settings. Disconnect or unplug the controller from your console or other devices before performing the factory reset. You also need to turn off your console.

Locate a small circle-shaped hole on the back of the controller. Inside the hole is the reset button for the DualSense controller. Insert a pin or paperclip into the hole and press the reset button for 3-5 seconds.

Turn on the controller, connect it to your computer and check if it now works without any problem.

Enjoy console-like games on your computer

Connecting a PS5 DualSense controller to a Windows or Mac computer is easy. Update your computer’s operating system if you still have problems using the controller. Visit a PlayStation Service Repair Center if your DualSense controller won’t connect or work on their console or computer.

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Steven L. Nielsen