How to Fix It When Nintendo Switch Wont Turn On

Experiencing an issue with your Nintendo Switch not powering on can be quite concerning, especially when you’re looking forward to unwinding with your favorite games. To help troubleshoot this annoying problem, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide that will walk you through various fixes. These steps are carefully designed to be user-friendly, so don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy. Let’s power through these solutions together and get you back to gaming in no time!

how to fix it when nintendo switch wont turn on

Check the Power Source

Before delving into more complex solutions, it’s essential to ensure that your Nintendo Switch’s power source is working correctly. A simple oversight here could be the cause of your troubles.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Inspect the power adapter for any visible damage. If you see any, you may need to replace it.
  2. Make sure the wall outlet is functioning by plugging in another device.
  3. Try a different outlet to rule out any issues with the original one.

This step is easy and quick, offering an immediate solution if the problem lies with the power source. However, if the outlet and adapter are working fine, the issue may reside within the Switch itself, and you’ll need to explore further solutions.

Perform a Hard Reset

Sometimes your Nintendo Switch may need a reset to get it back to working order. Don’t worry, it’s simpler than it sounds.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Hold down the power button on the top of the console for about 12 seconds.
  2. Release the button and wait a few seconds.
  3. Press the power button once as you normally would to turn on the console.

A hard reset can clear out minor software glitches and is often a quick fix. There’s no risk of data loss, making it a safe and effective option to try early on.

Check the Charge

The Nintendo Switch may not turn on if the battery is completely drained. It’s a common issue that has a straightforward fix.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Connect your Switch to the charger and plug it into a working outlet.
  2. Leave the Switch charging for at least 30 minutes to give the battery some juice.
  3. Try to turn on the console after it has charged for some time.

Charging a depleted battery is often all you need to do. The downside is the waiting time, but if your console powers up after this, you’re all set!

Inspect the Charging Cable and Dock

A faulty cable or dock can prevent your Switch from charging properly, which means it won’t turn on when you want it to.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Examine the cable and dock for any physical damage or dirt.
  2. Clean any debris from the connections using a dry cloth.
  3. Test the cable and dock with another device, if possible, to ensure they are working.

This method can save you from purchasing new accessories if the problem is due to dirt or minor damage. However, if they are physically damaged, you may need to replace them.

Update Your Console

Outdated software can sometimes lead to power issues. Ensuring your console is up to date can prevent and fix these issues.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Connect your Switch to the Internet.
  2. Navigate to the System Settings menu.
  3. Go to System Update and allow any updates to install.

Updating your console is a proactive step that can enhance performance and fix bugs. While it’s beneficial, you will need to be able to power on your Switch to perform an update, so this step is contingent on having some battery life.

Cool Down Your Switch

Overheating can cause your Nintendo Switch to shut down unexpectedly and refuse to turn back on until it has cooled.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Remove the Switch from its dock and turn it off if it’s not already.
  2. Let it cool down in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
  3. After it’s cooled, try turning the Switch on again.

Allowing your console to cool down is critical for its longevity and is a simple solution if overheating is the issue. The downside is the waiting time, and it does not address why the console overheated initially.

Reseat the Memory Card and Game Cartridges

Improperly seated memory cards or game cartridges can occasionally cause the Switch to not boot up.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Power down the Switch completely and remove it from its dock.
  2. Eject any inserted game cartridge. Also, carefully remove the memory card if you’re using one.
  3. Reinsert both the game cartridge and the memory card, ensuring they click into place.

This is a quick and risk-free process that can resolve power issues related to misalignment. However, it’s a temporary fix if it’s a recurring problem.

Test Another Power Adapter

Using a different power adapter, especially an official Nintendo one, helps determine if your current adapter is the problem.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Borrow an adapter from a friend or family member, or purchase a new one.
  2. Charge your Switch with the alternative adapter.
  3. Attempt to turn on your console after some charging time.

This method helps identify whether you just need a new adapter. Be cautious about buying non-official products, which may damage your Switch or void the warranty.

Factory Reset

As a last resort, a factory reset restores the system to its original settings but erases all data, so it should be used only if necessary.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Hold down the volume up and down buttons, then press the power button.
  2. Use the recovery mode menu to navigate to ‘Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data’.
  3. Confirm to start the reset process.

This process is only recommended if all else fails, as it can cause data loss. However, it can resolve any underlying issues causing the power problem.

Contact Nintendo Support

If you’ve exhausted all other options, it’s time to reach out to the professionals at Nintendo Support for assistance.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Visit the Nintendo Support website.
  2. Find the contact information for your region.
  3. Reach out via phone or email for personalized assistance.

Contacting Nintendo Support might lead to the ultimate resolution, although it can take time and possibly incur costs if your device is out of warranty or damaged outside of normal use cases.

In conclusion, when your Nintendo Switch won’t turn on, it’s understandable to feel a little anxious. Fortunately, with this guide, you now have a wealth of troubleshooting tips at your fingertips. Starting from the simplest solutions like checking the power source to more drastic measures like a factory reset, you’re equipped with the necessary steps to revive your console. Remember, most electronic issues can be resolved with a bit of patience and perseverance, and if all else fails, Nintendo’s own support is there to help you through the more stubborn problems.


Q: How long should I charge a completely drained Nintendo Switch before trying to turn it on again?
A: It is recommended to charge your Nintendo Switch for at least 30 minutes to an hour before attempting to power it on.

Q: Will a hard reset erase any of my Nintendo Switch data?
A: No, a hard reset will not erase your data. It simply forces the console to reboot, which can clear out any software issues that are preventing it from turning on.

Q: What should I do if my Nintendo Switch gets wet?
A: If your Nintendo Switch gets wet, do not attempt to turn it on. Instead, dry it off as much as possible and let it sit in a dry, well-ventilated area for at least 48 hours before trying to power it on again. If the console still doesn’t work, contact Nintendo Support.

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