What Is a Guide Button on an Xbox Controller?

When it comes to the standard Xbox controller, most buttons are pretty straightforward thanks to their associate labels. However, there is one button you won’t find clearly spelled out, the “guide” button. If you’re unfamiliar with Xbox controllers, you might be wondering the location and purpose of the guide button.

The “Guide” button on any Xbox controller is the large, circular button depicting the Xbox symbol located between the “Start” and “Select” buttons. The purpose of the “Guide” button is to trigger a quick-start menu where gamers have access to various game, power, and profile related settings and features.

In this article, we will discuss the main features and settings you can access using your Xbox controller’s “Guide” button, how to navigate through the menu’s various tabs, and what to do if you find this setting isn’t working optimally.

Xbox Controller Guide Button Settings and Features

The “Guide” button on your Xbox controller is one of the most convenient and necessary controls when it comes to accessing your gaming profile, altering your system’s settings, and even turning your controller and Xbox on and off.

There are two ways to access these settings and features depending on your intentions. If you are using the “Guide” button to open the quick menu for profile and system settings, then you want to tap the “Guide” button. If you are trying to access the controller and system’s power settings, then you’ll need to hold the “Guide” button down until this menu appears. 

Below, we have discussed what settings and features you can find in each of these menus for easier navigation and quick, efficient use of the “Guide” button. 

Profile and System Settings

Upon tapping the Xbox controller’s “Guide” button, you’ll open a quick menu that allows you to:

  • Update your personal profile 
  • Change profile settings
  • Capture, access, and share action from your game
  • Find gaming updates through the activity feed 
  • Check your achievements
  • Find new friends
  • Start and join parties and chats
  • Check your messages and notifications
  • Find out what friends are online, in clubs, and other stats

There are several menus dedicated to these features and settings. To navigate through them, you’ll need to press the controller’s left bumper (LB) and right bumper (RB). 

Your specific menus and their locations might vary depending on what Xbox console you are using, but all have the same overall features and settings. The biggest difference will be that newer models will have more features dedicated to online shopping, gaming, connection, etc.

Power Settings

If you’re sick of always getting up to physically turn off your Xbox console, then here’s a bit of great news: you can do this from a distance using the “Guide” button on your controller.

After you hold down the “Guide” button for several seconds, a separate quick menu should appear that only lists three power-related options: restart console, turn off console, or turn off controller.

In addition to turning the console off from a distance, this can help you safely turn off your controller instead of manually removing its batteries while it is on or waiting for it to die. This menu can also come in handy after your console has finished an update and needs to restart. 

Related Content: Do Xbox One Controllers Work on Series X?

My Xbox Controller’s Guide Button Isn’t Working

It’s never ideal to find that one of your Xbox controller’s buttons isn’t working optimally. While the “Guide” button isn’t required for most standard gameplays, it does have its uses for setting various settings, connecting with friends, and more.

If you find that your Xbox controller’s “Guide” button is not working, the first step we recommend is to power off the controller, allow it to reset, and then power it back on. Afterward, if you find the button still isn’t working, you should disconnect your controller from your console and reconnect it. 

A hard reset and reconnection will resolve most button-related issues, but if this isn’t the case for you, another option to try would be to replace your controller’s batteries or connect it to your console via a cord, if possible, and see if that restores functionality.

Lastly, you could check to see if the reason your “Guide” button isn’t working is because it is stuck. If you click or hold the button and find it is sticking or resistant, then there is something preventing it from functioning properly (likely dust or food remains stuck within the button). To resolve this, clean the controller using safe cleaning products and blow compressed air into and around the button to dislodge any debris. 

Final Thoughts


Now that you know where your Xbox controller’s “Guide” button is located and its primary purpose, you’ll find powering your console and controller as well as navigating your system’s settings will be a much smoother and quicker process. 






John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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