How to Sync a Wii Remote

How to connect a Wii remote to a Wii console or PC

Before you can set up your Nintendo Wii, you need to know how to sync a Wii remote with the console. If you want to play Wii games on your computer using a video game emulator, you may also want to know how to connect a Wii controller with a PC via Bluetooth.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows PCs and the Nintendo Wii, not to be confused with the Nintendo Wii U.

How to Pair a Wii Remote With the Wii

The controller that came with your Wii may already be connected to the console. If it's not, follow these steps to sync the Wii remote with the console:

  1. Make sure the motion sensor bar is plugged into the Wii.

    The Wii motion sensor bar is plugged into the Wii.
  2. Turn on the console and open the memory card slot cover on the front of the Wii to find the red sync button.

    The red sync button is under the memory card slot cover on the front of the Wii console.

    If you have a Wii Mini model, the sync button can be found beside the battery compartment on the left side of the console.

  3. Remove the battery cover on the back of the Wii controller, then press and release the red sync button below the batteries. The first LED light on the front of the Wii remote should start flashing.

    The red sync button is below the batteries on the back of the Wii remote.

    On some Wii remotes, the sync button is inside a hole in the back battery cover, in which case you don't need to remove the cover.

  4. While the LED on the Wii remote is flashing, press and release the red sync button on the Wii.

    The LED on the Wii remote is flashing next to the red sync button on the Wii.
  5. When the connection is successful, the LED will stop flashing. The remaining solid blue LED indicates which player (1-4) the controller is assigned to.

You can connect additional Wii remotes by following the above steps; however, if the controller was previously synced with another Wii, then it will no longer be paired with that console.

How to Temporarily Sync Additional Wii Remotes

If you're playing on a friend's system and you want to temporarily connect your Wii remote, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Home button on the Wii controller assigned to player one.

    The Home button on the Wii controller
  2. Select Wii Remote Settings.

    Wii Remote Settings on the Wii Home Menu
  3. Select Reconnect.

    Reconnect on the Wii Remote Settings menu
  4. On the controller you want to sync, press the 1+2 buttons simultaneously.

    The 1 and 2 buttons on the Wii remote
  5. To sync multiple Wii remotes, press 1+2 simultaneously on each controller in the order you want to pair them.

Any controllers synced using this method will automatically unpair when the console is turned off.

If you have trouble connecting additional Wii remotes while playing a game, close the software and try syncing the controller from the home screen.

How to Connect a Wii Controller With a PC

If you want to play Wii games using the Dolphin emulator or a similar program, you'll probably want to sync a Wii remote with your PC:

You will need a motion sensor bar for your PC to use the Wii controller with an emulator.

  1. Launch the Dolphin emulator and select Controllers at the top.

    Controllers tab on the Dolphin emulator.
  2. Press and hold 1+2 simultaneously on the Wii remote.

    The 1 and 2 buttons on the Wii remote
  3. Select Real Wiimote from the drop-down menu beside Wiimote 1.

    Real Wiimote in the drop-down menu beside Wiimote 1 in the Dolphin emulator controller settings.
  4. Check the box beside Continuous Scanning, then select OK. The LED on the front of the controller should turn solid blue.

    The Continuous Settings checkbox in the Dolphin emulator controller settings.

You should now be able to use the Wii remote provided you have a sensor bar connected to your PC.

You must pair your Wii remote with your PC every time you reboot your computer. To un-pair the Wii remote, right-click the Bluetooth icon in the system tray and select Remove device.

How to Fix a Wiimote That Won't Sync

If the lights on the controller start flashing and then turn off, try the following troubleshooting steps in order. After each step, check to see if you can sync the Wii remote:

  1. Reset the Wii console's Bluetooth. While on the Health & Safety screen that appears when you first start the Wii, open the memory card slot cover on the console, then hold down the red sync button for 15 seconds.

  2. Remove the batteries from the Wii remote and leave them out for three minutes, then replace them.

  3. Try syncing a different Wii remote. If it syncs, then you know there's a problem with the other controller, so you will need to repair or replace it.

  4. Try another sensor bar. If no controller will sync with the Wii, you may need to replace the Wii motion sensor bar.

  5. Repair or replace your Wii console. If your Wii remote still won't sync with your Wii console, then there is a problem with the console's internal hardware. Unfortunately, Nintendo no longer offers repairs, so you must either fix it yourself, take it to an electronics repair shop, or buy another console.