Guide To Get Started With DS4Windows

This is the guide with all necessary information about general information, directions to install / setup drivers, connect the controllers, fixing input issues, etc. We have shared a lot more important information in this guide only for the aspirants like you. Just go ahead and get started with the ds4windows on your pc right away.

Why Only DS4Windows?

It is a leader in the industry and has no competition from any other tools so far. Of course, there are some tools such as DS4Tool, DualsenseX, Xpadder, AntiMicroX, InputMapper but the number of features that DS4Windows has had can’t be beaten by any of them.

It supports a wide range of controllers such as Nintendo Switch / Pro, Playstation, Joycons, etc. Users can either connect their controllers to pc via wired connection or wireless connection. So that you can remap your mouse and keyboard keys to the controller keys to be able to play a countless number of pc games without any restrictions. The tool also has the profile system which allows you create multiple profiles for each game that you play.

Installation & Setup

The DS4 Windows software and the drivers required for it are not available on the windows store. Don’t worry, you can download them from this site. Check out the complete details that you should know about the requirements, drivers, setup instructions, etc. We have shared all the instructions for x64 bit computers. If you are using x86 (32 bit) pc or a desktop, you can download and install the 32 bit based drivers, that’s it.


Below are the must have requirements for it to work smoothly.

  • Windows 10 / Windows 11 or Windows 8.1 operating system. Windows 7/xp/vista and older versions are not supported.
  • One or more supported Gamepads / Controllers (Check Supported Gamepads List)
  • Bluetooth USB Dongle to connect the controllers / gamepads wirelessly (optional only).
  • Download and Install .Net 6.0 Runtime (x64 Bit) on your Windows 10/11/8.1/ pc (or) desktop.

install x64 bit .net runtime on windows

Download & Run DS4Windows:

It’s time to download and install the tool on your personal computer / laptop.

  • Download DS4Windows for your pc from our Download Page or from it’s official github page.
  • The file will be downloaded either in .7z format or in .zip format. Download 7Zip software in order to extract the zip file to a folder.
  • Now, install the 7zip software and extract the ds4win tool’s zip file. Make sure to extraact the file on desktop / documents folder / downloads folder.
  • Open the extracted folder and scroll down till you see DS4Windows.exe file. Select the file and double click it to launch it.
  • Once you launch the tool for the first time on your pc, you will be asked to choose the path to save the profiles and settings of the tool.
  • Select the path (of your choice between AppData folder and Program folder) and proceed to futher steps below. We generally recommend you to select the AppData folder because that is where all your settings / profiles data is safe.

Download & Install Drivers:

Some drivers are crucial for the DS4W to work properly. Without them, it’s not at all possible to perform some important tasks such as hinding the name/nature of your real controller, etc.

Driver NameRecommendationDownloadDriver Function
ViGEmBUSREQUIREDDownload LinkIt is a must have driver which allows the DS4W tool to create X Box 360 / DS4 Controllers on your Windows pc.
HidHideStrongly RecommendedDownload LinkIt is a highly recommended driver because it can easily hide your real controller. If you don’t use the driver, you may end up facing the double controller input because your pc will easily detect both your real controller and the virtual controller created by ViGEmBUS in combination with DS4W.
FakerInputOptionalDownload LinkIt is an option driver but has a handful of uses. One of them is the ability to use your controller as the keyboard and mouse with better peformance and features.

Connect The Controller To Your PC & DS4Windows Tool

The time has come now, you need to connect the controller to your personal computer and the ds4w tool. Check out the below instructions to connect it safely through USB / Bluetooth connection and avoid double input issues.

Connection Method: USB

Connecting the controller through an USB connection with an USB Cable is the most reliable thing. It helps you avoid latency issues and to get the best of the haptic feedback, rumble effects and adaptive triggers as well. Of course, you will get only them those are provided by the DS4W such as Rumble, haptic feedback, etc.

  • Plug a goodle USB cable to your controller (DS4 or Dualsense or any other gamepad).
  • Connect the other end to your personal computer.
  • “Device has been detected” should be displayed as a notification when the controller is connected to your pc successfully.
  • If you don’t see that message on your personal computer, then you must change the USB cable. Becuase, some cables are used only for charging the devices through an USB connection. Make sure to select the right one, which is capable of transferring data between the connected devices.

Connection Method: Bluetooth

Bluetooth is another great way of connecting devices safely without having to use any cables. It is recommended to use a bluetooth adapater to avoid high latency issues between your bluetooth controller and pc. Check out the below instructions to establish a strong bluetooth connection for your controller, with your pc.

  • Turn on Bluetooth on your personal computer or laptop.
  • Now, make sure that the controller is in the “Pairing Mode”. Don’t you know how to turn on the pairing mode on your controller? check out the below table for the tips and steps.
  • Search for the available bluetooth devices on your personal computer.
  • Click the name of your controller and enter “0000” without quotes, if asked for a pin.
  • If you have previously conneccted your wireless controller to the pc, you don’t need to worry about entering the pin again.
  • If you are unable to connect the controller via bluetooth, remove the device from the known devices list on your pc and re-connect it again.

Connection Method: DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adaptor

Here is an alternative method for the dualshock 4 users. Now, you can connect your DS4 device to  your pc with the help of a USB Wireless Adaptor. The biggest advantage of connecting the controller through USB wireless adaptor is the support for usage of the headphone jack for both Audio and Mic. Want to know how to pair it with your devices? check below.

  • First and foremost, plug in the DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adaptor to your pc.
  • Now, press the button of the adaptor towards the usb port and hold it for 1 to 3 seconds until you see the light starts blinking. It means that it is now in the parining mode.
ds4 usb adaptor pairing mode
  • Press the required buttons of the dualshock 4 to enable the pairing mode.
  • Establish the connection between the DualShock 4 and the USB Wireless Adaptor and you are good to go if both are connected to each other.

Important Steps To Use DS4Windows Correctly W/O Any Issues

It’s highly important to be cautious when using it for the first time. Make sure to install required drivers first hand and connect the controller to pc on the other hand. Then, follow the below instructions (only if needed).

Start the DS4WStopped

  • Hit “Start” button to enable the DS4W if it’s not yet started by default.

hide real controller correctly

  • When you connect your real controller to your pc through bluetooth / usb connection, there are chances that your pc detects it.
  • If you have installed hidhide driver, you don’t need to worry about it. But, it’s important to cross check the things to avoid double controller input issues.
  • If you can see the “Key” icon as indicated in the above image, the real controller is hiden successfully.

your controller is not hidden

  • If you see the “X” mark, it means that your real controller is not hidden. Do not worry about it, you can actually fix it and go ahead. In case if you are facing any other issue, refer the Guide To Fix DS4Windows Not Working Guide.

You can see “Default” under the “Selected Profile” menu. Which means that the xbox virtual controller emulation is active. For more information, read the important information available below.

About The Default Profile:

  • The default profile mode enables the x box 360 emulation and makes your computer / games thinking that the connected dualshock 4 or dualsense is actually a real x box controller.
  • In the default profile mode, DualSense / DualShock 4 (DS4)’s touch pad is set for the mouse control by default.
  • If you want to turn off / on the mouse control, press and hold the “PS button” and touch the touchpad once.

You can actually create a bunch of profiles with various settings and options. On top of that, it’s very easy to switch between the created profiles.

About The DS4 Controller Emulation:

You can actually emulate both X Box gamepad and DS4 gamepad virtually. But most of the games support only x box gamepad and a very few games support the native DS4 controller. Still you can do that but with a custom profile. Want to know more? check out the below instructions.

  • If the selected game doesn’t support DS4, you will not be able to use the DS4/Dualsense with DS4 Emulation.
  • In case if the selected game allows DS4 emulation, you can switch to it from the xbox gamepad emulation by creating a new profile. On the other hand, you may also edit the already created profile to make it suitable for DS4 emulation.
  • To do that, create a new profile by using Gamepad > DualShock 4 Preset.
  • Or, you can edit the existing profile and then change the Virtual Controller Settings in the Others tab of the Profile Editor.

Important Note: Rumble won’t work when emulating the DS4 Controller. Don’t worry, you can enjoy Rumble effect with DS4 Controller in combination with the X Box Emulation but not with DS4 Emulation.

How To Prevent Double Controller / Double Input Issue In Games?

What Is Double Input (Controller) Issue?

Double Input issue arise when a game detects your real controller and the virtual xbox controller at the same time. In general, the DS4W tool will make your pc and games think that there is only one controller that is xbox 360 controller. That is better controlled by the Hidhide driver but some games will detect both the real controller and the virtual controller.

That leads to a lot of confusions in terms of in-game commands with your controller. You can see how any pc game detects both the controllers as shown in the below image.

double game controllers

You can clearly see in the above image that the “X” mark is displayed right besides the bluetooth icon. It means that your real controller is not hidden. So that, it will be a cakewalk for the games to detect both the controllers as shown in the second part of the above image.

Whenever this conflict arise, the games and apps on your pc will receive inputs from both the controllers (real & virtual). Which will cause a lot of input issues and you won’t be able to play games in a way that you wanted.

Best Methods To Prevent Double Input Issue:

Below are the best methods that you may follow in order to prevent the double input and double controller issue.

HidHide (Recommended Method)

HidHide is the driver that has all the capabilities to hide any connected controller. It can hide as many connected controllers as you may want. Having it installed, the users can take full control over the connected gamepads and virtual controllers.

If you haven’t installed the HidHide driver on your windows pc, you can follow the below steps to solve the double input issue. The user / gamer has to set the HidHide to the following purposes.

  1. Hide the real controllers when connected via USB and Bluetooth.
  2. Allow DS4Windows to detect all the connected hidden devices in order for it to be able to realize there are real controllers connected for the X Box emulation.

Some Important Tips To Use HidHide:

Below are some of the tips for you to make use of the HidHide driver. I am pretty sure that these tips will make a big difference in it’s usage for sure.

Tips For General Usage:

  • After finishing the installation process of the HidHide driver on your pc, you must restart your pc in order to be able to use it without any issues. Make sure to restart the pc instantly right after you finish it’s installation.
  • If you are done with the configuration of the HidHide driver, you don’t need to enable the Hide DS4 Controllers option under Settings tab of the DS4W tool. If it is turned on for some reason, make sure to turn it off because, you don’t need it now.
  • If you are facing any issues with hiding your real controller, you may uninstall the hidhide driver from pc and re-install the same again and restart the pc.

Tips For Configuration:

  • When you want to configure HidHide, make sure to close the DS4Windows tool to view only the real controller. If it is open, HidHid will detect the real controller and the virtual controller leading to confusions at the end of the day.
  • Make sure that you shoud not Hide controllers with the name “Sony COMPUTER (…)” because they are nothing but the virtual DS4 Controllers.
  • Once you are done with whatever settings and changes that you wanted to make, you should close it right away before opening the DS4W tool. In case if you do not close the HidHide driver before launching the DS4W tool, you will definitely face controller identification related issues on your windows pc.

Everything You Need To know About Hide DS4 Controllers Option (Legacy | Not Recommended)

You need to know the fact that you don’t need to rely upon Hide DS4 Controllers option if you’ve already installed HidHide driver and set it up correctly. In fact, it is required to set it disabled by default when you are ready with the correct configuration of the HidHide driver’s client.

Note: The option “Hide DS4 Controllers” is not only applicable for the DualShock controllers but also for any other controller detected by the DS4 Windows tool.

About The Legacy "Hide DS4 Controllers" Option:

You will be able to see this option under the Settings of the DS4Win tool. When you enable this option, the tool will ask the windows os on your pc for the access to the detected controllers. That will help the tool to detect all the connected controllers/gamepads thus avoiding the double input issues.

exclusive access to the connected gamepads

Windows may deny the permission access to the connected controllers due to the following reasons.

  • A gamepad might be already running.
  • Any web browser is running (for example: Google Chrome, Opera or Microsoft Edge, etc).
  • If there is any issue with the NVidia Graphic cards on your pc.
  • If there is any issues with the connection of the controller to the pc (USB or Bluetooth).

In case if windows allows exclusive access to the connected gamepads, the connection may be dropped if a controller is disconnected while playing a game for whatever reasons. So, if you want to get access to it again, close the game and reconnect the gamepad to the pc and launch the game again.

This is somewhat a hectic process and the gamers need to close the game always when they face any such an issue. That’s the reason why the option “Hide DS4 Controllers” option is not recommended and completely optional to the users. In fact, you do not need this option becuase you can go ahead with the HidHide driver.

Everything You Need To Know About Axis Config

Check out how the Dead Zones and Anti Dead Zones work for the given Input and the Output. When the input is inside the Dead Zone (Red Area), the output is properly centered. Do not forget to check out the anti dead zones as well.

Dead Zone Selection

Anti Dead Zone Selection

Manage Backups, Restoring, Delete User Data & Settings

It’s time to talk about the technicalities such as backups, restoring and managing user data, etc. Check out the valuable information shared below about them.

User Data [Files & Folders]:

Following are the list of important user data related files.

  • Profiles folder
  • Profiles.xml
  • OutputSlots.xml
  • Auto Profiles.xml
  • LinkedProfiles.xml
  • ControllerConfigs.xml
  • Actions.xml

How To Take Backup Of The User Data?

Taking a backup of the user data like profiles, settings and other important data would be helpful. If you want to take the backup, you need to be sure about the location of the data files. Following are the step by step instructions that you can follow in order to take the backup without any issues.

  • Launch DS4Win tool on your personal computer and go to Settings tab. Tap Profile Folder to see if the user data is saved there.
  • Make sure to check out the main folder of the DS4Win tool if the user data is also present here.
  • In you don’t find the data in any of the aforementioned folders, you can proceed with the folder where the data is present.
  • In case if you have found the user data in both the folders, you should consider the folder which contains the file “Profiles.xml”.
  • On the other hand, if you want to take backup of the entire DS4Windows tool and the backup files are also present there, you are good to go.

How To Restore The User Data?

  • If you have taken the backup of the user data by following the above steps, you can now restore the same data very easily.
  • Copy the data and paste it into the folder where a Profiles.xml temp file is saved. Do not forget to delete the already existing profiles.xml file and paste the backup data.
  • On the other hand, if you want to restore the user data to the main folder of the DS4Win tool, you can do that as well.

Note: If you have restored the data to both the folders, DS4Win will select the right folder to use the restored data. On top of that the other folder’s user data will be deleted sooner or later.

How To Delete The User Data?

If you want to delete any user data such as settings, profiles or gamepad configurations, you can do that very easily. First, go to the folder where everything is saved. Select the data that you want to delete and hit delete button or press Shift + Delete button at a time to delete them permanently.

How To Uninstall DS4Windows & Drivers?

Below are the instructions that you can follow in order to uninstall the ds4win and all the associated drivers that you have installed. Make sure to follow the steps to be able to uninstall, delete / remove the installed software and drivers successfully.

Steps To Uninstall DS4Windows:

  • It is a portable and standalone software which is not actually installed on your personal computer. So, when you want to uninstall it, you don’t need to go to control panel and follow the old procedure.
  • Simply, select the extracted folder and delete the same and you are done.
  • In case if you want to install it again, you can extract the zip file that you have already downloaded and double tap the exe file to start using it.

Steps To Remove Settings and User Data:

  • Hit Windows Key + R and type %appdata% in the Run Command window and hit enter.

how to remove ds4windows app data and settings

  • Now you can see that a folder opens up on your pc. The path of the opened folder is appdata/roaming.
  • You can see various folders right there. If you can see the DS4Windows folder, select it and delete it from there.

Steps To Uninstall ViGEmBus Driver:

  • ViGEmBus driver is not just used along with the DS4W but also with a lot of other applications.
  • If are using ViGEmBus driver for any other purpose apart from the DS4W, you may not need to uninstall it. Otherwise, you can follow the below steps carefully.
  • Go to Start Menu on your windows pc and type “Control Panel” in the search bar, hit enter.
  • Tap “Uninstall a program” option which is available right below the heading “Programs”.
  • Scroll down a bit and select the ViGEmBus driver and double tap the same to start uninstalling it.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to finish uninstalling it from your personal computer.

Steps To Uninstall HidHide Driver:

  • Go to start menu of your windows pc and click the “Settings” icon to launch the settings.
  • Select “Apps” section on the left hand side menu.
  • Tap “Apps & Features” option on the right hand side.
  • Type “HidHide” in the search bar and hit enter.

uninstall hidhide driver from pc

  • Now, hit “Uninstall” button as shown in the above image and you are done.
  • Restart your windows pc to apply the changes that you have made.

Steps To Uninstall FakerInput Driver:

  • Open Apps & Features section by going by the path Windows Start Menu > Settings > Apps > Apps & Features.
  • Search for “FakerInput” and hit “Uninstall” button and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Restart your computer now and you are done with it.

Steps To Uninstall Legacy Drivers:

Legacy drivers are of no use now with the latest version of ds4 windows. But if you have been using it from a very long time, you don’t need them anymore. If you want to uninstall them, below tips will help you for sure.

  • Go to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program.
  • Select the HidGuardian driver and uninstall it.
  • In the same manner, select the ScpVBus driver and uninstall it as well.

Now, you should restart your windows laptop/desktop and you are done with it.

How To Prevent Conflicts Between Steam and DS4Windows?

We all know the fact that Steam has the controller remapping functionalities. So, whenever you use DS4W on your pc while actually making use of the Steams controller remapping features, there are good chances to get conflicts between both of them. If this is unsolved, it’s hard for any user to play games and it should be fixed first.

If a user want to avoid the conflicts, the user have to either alter the controller settings of the Steam app or the DS4Win app. Check out the below tips to avoid the conflicts like a pro.

  • Launch the Steam app on your windows pc and go to settings.
  • Disable the Steam’s Remapping Functions completely.
  • Disabiling the configuration settings is really important to fully disable steam input.
  • Restart your pc and you are good to go with the DS4W’s remapping settings.

Actually, there is a method to use both DS4W’s and Steam’s remapping settings without any conflicts. But, it’s not a recommended method since it might cause some issues with steam.

How To Use Steam's Big Picture Mode With DS4 Controller Emulation?

As we have already mentioned, there will be an issue with the steam’s big picture mode when using the emulated DS4 Controllers. To avoid that and use the big picture mode properly, it is recommended to run DS4 Windows under a custom “.exe” name.

If the user is not ready to go with this method, it will not be possible for them to use the big picture mode without any conflicts.

How To Run DS4Windows Under A Custom ".exe" Name?

When you are using DS4Win on your pc, a lot of applications or games may not respond well when they detect the tool. Some examples of those applications/games (or) instances are as follows.

  • Shovel Knight: This game will ignore DS4 Controllers.
  • Yuzu/Cemu Emulators: These emulators will ignore Playstation Controllers.
  • Steam Big Picture: It cannot interact with the steam’s big picture interface while using playstation controllers such as (DS4/DS3/DualSense).
  • Steam Input: It will ignore the inputs from the Playstation Controllers no matter even if the PlayStation Configuration Support is turned on.

In order to avoid all the above issues and some other unknown issues, you can run DS4Windows.exe with a differently named exe file. Want to learn how? do not skip the below section where we have shared a step by step procedure for it.

You can use any name of your choice but we have chosen “DS4Win” in this article to show you how you can also do it yourself.

How To Stop Using A Custom ".exe" Name?

  • Make sure to close the software completely if it is open still. You should check if the app is running in the background and close it from there too.
  • Launch the original file “DS4Windows.exe” file on your personal computer.
  • Disable the option “Run At Startup” if it is turned on by default.
  • It’s time to remove the name that you have entered at Custom Exe Name field.
  • Hit “Stop” button once and hit the “Start” button again as you do it always.
  • Now, you will have to Re-Enable the option “Run At Startup”.

That is all about the guide to getting started with DS4Windows. We have tried our best to explain everything which is helpful to our blog visitors. If you feel that we have missed anything important, kindly let us know in the comments below this page.