What You Need To Do If Your Nintendo Switch Won't Turn On

The Nintendo Switch has been around since 2017, and quickly became one of the highest selling game consoles of all time. Its ongoing popularity as a hybrid between a TV-connected and handheld console (or just handheld, depending on the model) may also have something to do with its notoriety. 

Despite the infamous Joy-Con drift issue, the Switch is a modern video game console at its core, which means it's susceptible to other potential hardware problems. This can include controllers not being recognized on startup, connection issues, SD card storage woes, and even the console itself just straight-up refusing to turn on.

So the worst case (in this context, anyway) has happened and your Switch looks like it may be bricked. What do you do? Don't panic: the most likely reasons for your Switch's rebelliousness are fairly minor and easy to fix. You should probably hold off on shopping around for a replacement until after you've tried these steps.

Getting your Switch turned on again

The simplest explanation for your Switch not powering-up (along with the simplest solution) is that it's run out of power. Once the Switch loses all its juice, it'll shut down, and you won't be able to turn it back on until it's been sufficiently recharged. Thankfully, you won't have to bring it back up to full in order to start playing again, but unfortunately the console also won't let you use it when it's charging until it hits a certain percentage (per Nintendo).

  1. Connect your Switch's A/C Adapter and plug it in (or put your Switch in its dock) to start charging.
  2. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes, then try turning the Switch back on.
  3. If it won't turn on after 30 minutes of charging, leave it plugged in and let it charge for 5-10 minutes more and try again, repeating as needed.

But, more importantly, what if the Switch didn't run out of power? There is one more step to take if you're sure the Switch has enough juice to be powered on.

What to do when there's no response from your Switch

In this case, the Nintendo Switch console may have frozen on a blank screen, in which case you'll need to force it to restart (via Nintendo).

  1. Unplug the Switch's A/C Adapter from both the wall outlet and your console/dock for at least 30 seconds. Then plug the adapter back into the Nintendo Switch directly (do not use the Nintendo Switch dock).
  2. Press and hold the Power button along the top of the Switch console (on the far-left side, next to the volume controls) for a minimum of 20 seconds to initiate a hard reset.
  3. Wait a few more seconds and press the Power button again, which should make the Switch attempt to turn back on.
  4. If you don't have any luck, press and hold the Power button for a bit longer than 20 seconds to try again.

Beyond that, if the Nintendo Switch is still unresponsive after these steps, it's more than likely an issue you will not be able to solve yourself. In this case, Nintendo recommends you set up a repair order with the Nintendo Repair Center.