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Nintendo Switch won't turn on? Here's how to fix it

Get back to gaming in no time.

Published onApril 25, 2024

The Nintendo Switch remains a popular console. Its biggest selling point (beyond exclusive games) is its namesake ability to switch between mobile play and your TV. However, this design decision makes things all the more problematic if the device becomes unresponsive. Here’s what you can do if your Nintendo Switch won’t turn on.


To fix a Nintendo Switch that won't turn on, make sure the console is charged. If that doesn't help, you may have to perform a hard reset. Press and hold the power button for 20 seconds, release it and press the power button once to restart. As a last resort, you may need to go into Maintenance Mode.

How to fix a Nintendo Switch that won’t turn on

A power-related issue is among the most likely reasons why a Nintendo Switch won’t turn on. Here’s how to troubleshoot it.

Check if the device is charging

dock nintendo switch
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Your Switch is most likely not turning on because it’s out of juice. That might seem like an obvious thing to check, but test your charger and cable with another device if you can, and look closely for torn or frayed cords. You’ll need a replacement if things are damaged. If a cord is browning or severely damaged, stop using it immediately, as that poses a fire hazard.

If you want a third-party charger, ensure it meets Nintendo’s minimum requirements. The Switch supports USB PD (USB Power Delivery) over USB-C and charges quickly with an 18W charger. We recommend getting a 25-30W charger, however, to fast-charge whenever possible. You’ll need at least a 45W charger for the official Switch dock.

If you normally plug your Switch into the dock to charge, it could be a placement issue. When you insert the console correctly, the green LED indicator will light up for a few seconds. That light isn’t actually a charging indicator, however, so check whether it’s a problem with the dock by plugging your charger directly into the console. If the Switch powers up, you’ll need to replace your dock.

Once you can charge your Switch again, wait a few minutes, then press the power button at the top of the Switch to turn it on. The Switch takes about 3 hours to charge completely, so the longer you wait, the better. Going forward, try never to let the console’s battery drain completely.

Perform a hard reset

To turn on an unresponsive switch, you can try a hard reset. Press and hold the power button at the top of the device for around 20 seconds, then press the power button once as you usually would.

Use Maintenance Mode

Nintendo Switch Header 17
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

If a Switch isn’t turning after a hard reset, try going into Maintenance Mode.

  1. Press and hold the volume up and down keys and press the power button.
  2. Continue to hold the volume keys until you see Maintenance Mode.
  3. Select Update system in case a software issue is causing your Switch to stop turning on.
  4. If it’s fully updated, select Initialize console without deleting save data to keep your game files.

Remember that this step will erase everything else, including cached files and other account information. Ensure that you pick the right option, as the other setting (Initialize console) will factory reset the device and erase everything.

Contact customer support for repairs

If your Switch still isn’t working, it might be a bigger hardware problem. You might have a damaged charging port, a faulty battery, or unresponsive buttons. Contact customer service to set up a repair.


You know you’ve got a controller issue if you can turn on your Switch using the power button, but not your Joy-Cons. Ensure that your Joy-Cons are charged and otherwise functioning properly. If there’s a problem with just the Joy-Cons’ home button, you’ll have to send the bad controller in for repair or pay for a replacement.

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