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

Off goes the switch.

Published onApril 29, 2024

Most of the time, when you’re done playing with your Nintendo Switch, you probably just tap the power button up top. Pressing the power button once doesn’t actually turn the device all the way off, however. If you’re someone who worries about the longevity of your console’s battery, you’re probably going to want to know how to fully power down your Switch. The same goes for its controllers, which have their own built-in batteries.


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'll have to detach them from your Switch. Press the black button on top of your controller and you should see the lights turn off.


As mentioned, a quick tap on the power button will only put your Switch to sleep. That means it’ll wake up more quickly, but at the expense of mild power consumption that could still drain your console to zero if it’s not plugged in.

Even if you’re not concerned about power drain, 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.

How to turn off the Nintendo Switch

With your Switch disconnected from a dock or TV in handheld mode, press the power button and hold it down for 5 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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To turn your Switch back on, just hit the power button again.

How to turn off a Nintendo Switch controller

We don’t have the time to cover every third-party controller, but 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 if they’re still attached to your Switch. They’ll turn off after a short period of time when your Switch is powered down.

If you’re using them detached from the console, then you’ll have to press the circular black button on one side.

where is the power button on a nintendo switch joy con
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

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. It’s located next to the USB-C port.

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


If you’ve left your Switch idle or in sleep mode for a long time, its battery may have drained completely. When that’s the case, you may need to leave it plugged in for an hour or longer to get a usable charge. You should also connect an official Nintendo charger, or a third-party charger rated at 18W or better, preferably closer to 30W.

If nothing’s happening, try swapping to a different outlet or charging cable. Should that fail, there may be a more serious issue you need to contact Nintendo about.

Most of the time there’s no need, as long as your Switch is docked or you plug it in regularly. Powering down can preserve battery health, however, or stretch out reserves when you won’t be using your Switch for hours or days. It’s also wise to power off when upgrading your microSD card.

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