The Feature You'll Activate If You Hold Down Your Nintendo Switch's Home Button

As with the Xbox and PS5, the Nintendo Switch packs some features that are hidden out of sight — including one that only appears when you long-press the Home button. How does it work? Simply hold the Switch's Home button down for a few seconds, and a shortcut menu will open on the right-hand side of the screen, offering quick access to four key settings: Sleep Mode, volume, screen brightness, and Airplane Mode.

The Home button can be found on the right Joy-Con on the regular Switch and Switch OLED models, as well as on the handheld-only Switch Lite. With that said, the feature is arguably most useful if you're using one of the full Switch models in TV mode — that is, with the tablet portion of the console in the dock and connected to your television. The reason is that with the console across the room, you can't easily turn the volume up and down with its dedicated volume buttons nor push the power button to enter Sleep Mode.

The right-hand menu is very useful for both Switch and Switch Lite users when it comes to gaming at night, too. If you fire up a game in a dark room only to decide the screen is too bright to comfortably play, you can hold down the Home button to directly adjust the brightness slider. Without the quick access menu, you'd have to pause your game to open Settings and manually change it that way. 

The Nintendo Switch has other useful features, too

Despite its small size, the Switch manages to pack a bunch of features that make gaming sessions more convenient. For example, the console has a built-in Capture Button (on the left Joy-Con) that makes it easy to snap a screenshot when you spot something weird/interesting or earn an achievement during gameplay. Nintendo also makes it possible to transfer those screenshots to other devices using multiple different methods, including by simply plugging the console straight into your computer with a USB cable.

Though it took the company longer than some people had liked to roll out requested features (wireless screenshot transfers didn't arrive until 2020, for example), Nintendo has managed to serve up many key upgrades in the several years since the console's launch. For example, after years of waiting, users finally got the option to connect Bluetooth earbuds to the Switch in 2021, eliminating the need to use a wired headset or a wireless adapter. Of course, some features have disappeared over the years, too, such as the loss of the option to sign in using a Facebook or Twitter account in late 2021.