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How to turn off the Nintendo Switch (and its controllers)

Off goes the switch.
May 24, 2023

When you’re done playing with your Nintendo Switch, you probably just tap the power button on top. However, pressing the power button once doesn’t actually turn the device all the way off. If you’re someone who worries about the longevity of your device’s battery health, you’re probably going to want to know how to turn your Switch off. The same goes for the controllers, which have built-in batteries. Let’s discuss how to turn off your Nintendo Switch, as well as the controllers.


To turn off your Nintendo Switch press and hold down the power button until you see a menu pop up. Select Power Options > Turn Off.

To turn off your Joy-Cons or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, you must detach them from your Switch. Press the black button on top of your controller and you should see the lights turn off.


If you weren’t already aware, pressing the power button quickly on your Switch will only put the device to sleep. This is why, when you tap the power button when the screen is off, the Nintendo Switch wakes up so quickly.

While this is very handy and a definite upgrade in terms of wake-up time in comparison to past Nintendo devices, there are always times when you should turn your device off completely. For example, if you need to upgrade your microSD storage, or you’re trying to diagnose Wi-Fi issues on a Switch, you should always do so with the device completely powered down.

How to turn off the Nintendo Switch

With your Switch disconnected from a dock or television in handheld mode, press the power button and hold it down for five seconds.

hold this down for five seconds
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Press A on Power Options.

select power options
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Press A on Turn Off.

select turn off from power options
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How to put the Switch into Sleep Mode

Tap the power button on top to put the Nintendo Switch to sleep — meaning the device can quickly be woken up to the state you last left it. The screen will shut off and the device will enter Sleep Mode.

How to turn off a Nintendo Switch controller

There are two types of officially licensed Nintendo controllers: the Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller.


To turn off Joy-Cons, you don’t really have to do anything. They will turn off after a short period of time if the device is off.

However, if you are using them detached from the console itself, then you must press the circular black button on the side to turn off the Joy-Con.

where is the power button on a nintendo switch joy con
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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

If your Pro Controller is connected to your Switch, you can always turn it off and disconnect it by pressing the black button on top of the controller. It is located next to the USB-C port.

where is the power button on a nintendo switch pro controller
Curtis Joe / Android Authority


If your console will not turn on, it may have a battery issue. However, Switch devices are known to have very long charge times. If you left your Nintendo Switch on—or even idle—for a long time, its battery may have drained completely. If this is the case, just plugging it in won’t allow you to use the device. You must leave it plugged into the official wall charger that came with the device for an hour or more, then try powering the device on again.

It isn’t required to fully turn off your Switch all the time. However, fully powering down your devices is always a good practice to maintain good device battery health and maintain longer battery life.