How to Fix Xbox One Controller Drift Without Taking It Apart

The Xbox one controller is an essential device that most people prefer when playing games. It comes with many parts that aid its functioning, such as analog sticks. Sometimes, your Xbox one controller may start drifting or display unwanted movements while playing certain games. It is known as controller drift since both thumbsticks start drifting in an undesirable direction even without being touched.

How can I fix my Xbox one controller drift to prevent it from making unnecessary movements without taking it apart? If you keep asking yourself such a question, don’t worry since there are specific steps you can follow and bring your device to correct functioning. First, ensure you have all the necessary materials, including the manufacturer’s manual guide. Also, it is advisable to attempt fixing your Xbox one controller without taking it apart and without seeking any professional help.

The article below describes the typical steps that can be used by both professionals and non-professionals when attempting to fix an Xbox one controller drift without taking it apart. Moreover, it states why the device keeps drifting away even without being touched. Additionally, it gives additional information, including the frequently asked questions. Please review the article below with a lot of carefulness.

Causes of Xbox one controller drift

Causes of Xbox one controller drift

The Xbox one controller drift situation usually involves a drift in the left analog stick while a person is playing games. However, the right analog stick may also experience the drifting issue when the device is in use or not in use. You may sometimes notice the analog sticks moving in any direction and may keep moving even after removing your thumb from the sticks. Some of the common causes include the following;

1. Worn out Xbox one springs

The Xbox one controller device comes with thumbstick sensors containing specific springs that aid its snapping in the back directly to the centre direction once you remove the thumb. With the continuous motion, the springs keep wearing out with time until they cannot function correctly. When one or both springs wear out, your Xbox one controller will start drifting in any direction. It is difficult to repair the springs, and the only best solution to such issues is to replace them with new ones that function correctly.

2. Worn out or damaged thumb stick pad

Worn out thumbsticks may be another reason why your Xbox one controller keeps drifting while in use or not in use. each thumbstick comes with a boxy sensor component with a movable shaft at the top and rubber that keep snapping when using the device on the post. Sometimes, the two parts may wear out, resulting in the Xbox one controller drifting in the presence or absence of a thumb. If the components wear out, the only way to solve the issue is by replacing or repairing them.

3. The dirty thumb sticks pads

Sometimes, your Xbox one controller device may keep drifting due to the presence of dirt or dust. Once dirt or dust accumulates on the thumbstick pads, it interferes with the device’s functioning, forcing it to keep drifting in any direction. The best way to solve the issue is by cleaning the thumbstick pad with the recommended materials to avoid damaging them. Also, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines concerning cleaning the thumbstick pad.

4. Bad thumb stick unit

There is a thumbstick sensor element for every thumbstick that contains two springs that aid in their soldering to the controller circuit board. This element may sometimes malfunction internally, resulting in the Xbox one controller device drifting in any direction. In this case, the only possible solution is to replace it with a new one that functions correctly.

Step-by-step on how to fix Xbox one controller drift without taking it apart

how to fix xbox one controller drift without taking it apart

If you notice your Xbox one controller keeps drifting while in use, you will wish to start the essential repairs and proceed to non-essential to bring your device to correct performance. Here are the steps to follow;

Tools necessary

  • Cotton swabs
  • Pry tool
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Shim

Check out this table

Step-by-step on how to fix Xbox one controller drift without taking it apartFunctionsTools necessary
Check the presence of dirt on the thumbstick padsTo identify the accumulation of dirt and dust.Check cotton swab on Amazon
Check the thumbstick pads if they are looseTo expose loose springs and tighten them accordingly. 
Fix the faulty thumbstick springsTo bring your device to correct functioningPrying tool
Seek helpTo seek an expert to help you solve the issue 

Step 1: Check the presence of dirt on the thumbstick pads

First, scrutinize the thumbstick pads and identify the accumulation of dirt and dust. Apply the isopropyl alcohol to a cotton swab, and using the cotton swab, clean the rounded surface with the alcohol. Ensure you clean the entire surface to get the best results by rotating the thumbstick and the cotton swab carefully. Double-check to ensure the device is spotless and see if the Xbox One controller still drifts using the pry tool or the T-8 safety Torx.

Check the T-8 safety Torx on Amazon.

Step 2: Check the thumbstick pads if they are loose

After cleaning the thumbstick pads, but the issue persists, check them if they are in the correct position or loose. If they are flexible, tighten them using the right and recommended tool without tearing the Xbox one controller apart. Carry out such a process with a lot of carefulness to protect the thumbstick pads from any damage, increasing the repair and replacement expenses.

Step 3: Fix the faulty thumbstick springs

Fix the faulty thumbstick springs

After attempting the two methods above, but the issue persists, you must fix the thumbstick springs. In this case, you will need the following tool.

  • Prying tool.
  • Analog stick springs
  • T-8 safety Torx.

First, locate the position of the springs. You will need to open the device in these steps since there is no other way of replacing the springs without opening it. Disassemble the Xbox one controller using the T-8 safety Torx carefully. Remove off the green plastic covers from both sides: the bottom and right side of the thumbstick assembly. Locate the springs and remove them carefully using the recommended tool to avoid damaging other device parts.

Using well function springs, insert them correctly into the Xbox one controller. You can also use the springs of another Xbox one controller as long as they function correctly. Then, snap the green plastic covers to their correct place without damaging them. Gather all Xbox One controller components and place them in their proper location. Test the device and see if it is functioning correctly.

Step 4: Seek help

After attempting all steps above, but the issue persists, it is advisable to seek help. You can contact the original manufacturer to seek an expert to help you solve the problem. Also, you can then take your faulty Xbox one controller to an open repair shop for further fixation.

Frequently asked questions

  • How to avoid controller stick drift?

a) Dust and particles should not be allowed to enter your controller.

Debris getting down into the module might cause stick drift. Dust, in particular, is one of your biggest foes because it’s everywhere. Follow the following instructions;

1. Keep your controller out of dusty environments

2. Keep your controller as clean as possible, as well as your hands.

3. Place the controller in a drawer or a case while not in use. If your controller does not come with one, you may find an appropriate carrying bag.

4. Covering the controller with a cloth is advised. Use a dust collector cloth: it’s inexpensive, effective, and takes a few seconds.

When dust begins to accumulate inside your controller, stick drift may occur. Blowing compressed air into the thumbstick will alleviate the problem by removing some of the dust and debris.

b) Xbox one controllers wear out

Remember that controllers, like anything else, wear out over time with use, so try to take care of them as much as possible. Follow the preceding advice to keep it in good shape.

i. Your controller should not be dropped, sat on, or thrown. You’ll suffer stick drift if a section of the module breaks.

ii. When playing competitive games, don’t grip your controller too tightly; instead, use the least amount of force possible.

iii. If you push your analog stick too hard, plastic debris will fall off and produce drift in the module.

c) Swab out the modules for thumbsticks

A modular controller can be a good option if you seek a more straightforward solution. Its thumbsticks and triggers are interchangeable, so if you encounter stick drift, you can replace one without replacing the entire controller. Of course, given the cost of the controller and the additional modules, this solution is somewhat pricey, but it may provide you with peace of mind.


Sometimes, your Xbox one controller may keep drifting in several directions due to the reasons above. In such a case, please read the article below to gather full knowledge on how to bring your device to correct functioning. Ensure you refer to the manufacturer’s manual guide.

Finally, take some precautions to prolong the device’s lifespan and prevent frequent repairs. For instance, clean the machine more often and remove any accumulated dust and dirt particles. Also, take to the service shop for deeper servicing at least thrice a month.

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