The Best Way To Fix A Nintendo Switch Controller That Won't Turn On

The Nintendo Switch continues to be one of the strongest-performing consoles financially in 2022, and it's no surprise that it's still getting plenty of support over five and a half years after its 2017 release. "No Man's Sky," "Splatoon 3," and "Bayonetta 3" are a few of the most notable recent additions to the Switch catalog, and you're going to need a pair of Joy-Con controllers to play any of those games.

Unfortunately for Switch owners, Joy-Cons have a tendency to malfunction over time with continued use. A number of things can go wrong, including the widely feared Joy-Con drift issue; which makes your controller's analog sticks become misaligned, constantly inputting in a direction because it cannot return to center. Another issue you could run into is a pair of Joy-Con controllers that refuse to power up or respond to your inputs no matter how many times you attempt to recharge or reboot them. Fortunately, Nintendo of America has provided a fix — if you're willing to follow the directions.

Reset your Nintendo Switch controllers

There's primarily good news here: When your Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con controllers refuse to boot up, you can simply factory reset them, according to Nintendo. This process is pretty simple, and it should do the trick to get you right back into your game without much (or any) extra hassle.

  1. Find your Nintendo Switch's AC adapter, preferably the same one that came in the same box your Nintendo Switch came in. If your AC adapter is lost or damaged, you can simply buy a new one from Nintendo's hardware store page.
  2. Disconnect your AC adapter from the wall outlet and from your Switch or Switch Dock (at the same time) for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Detach your Joy-Con controllers from both sides of your Switch, then tap the tiny black "Sync" button on the sides of both controllers to initiate reset.
  4. Reattach your Joy-Con controllers to your Switch console.
  5. Plug your Nintendo Switch into the wall with the same AC adapter you reset earlier.
  6. Tap the onscreen prompts to get to the main Switch dashboard screen.
  7. Navigate to the "Controllers" menu on the dashboard, which is displayed as a little mini controller icon.
  8. Congratulations! You should now be able to see both controllers paired and charging.