Is Your Nintendo Switch Not Turning On? Try These Fixes

As fun as Nintendo Switch is when it works properly allowing you to play games on the go, it’s just as frustrating when it stops working and refuses to turn on just when you’re craving for a gaming session. The reality is, Nintendo Switch is being plagued by an issue that leaves the console turned off, looking like it’s broken beyond repair.

Nintendo Switch Not Working

We inspected this issue in-depth and managed to uncover a series of common reasons that will leave your Nintendo Switch console looking lifeless. Here’s a list of possible reasons why your Nintendo Switch console is no longer turning on:

  • Charging Cord Problems – More often than not, the charging cord is the culprit that causes the console to refuse to turn on. Try looking for any damages on it, and if you’re dealing with a non-congruent cable, you should change it (with a Nintendo official equivalent, preferably).
  • Empty Battery – Your battery might be drained and you might not don’t even know it. If you’re a new switch user, you should know that if the battery is completely empty, it takes a while for the screen to light up when you put the console into charge mode. Make sure that you plug the charging cord correctly into the console, and leave it to charge some significant time.
  • Firmware issue – It’s not uncommon to face this particular issue due to some kind of software for firmware failure. If you find yourself in this scenario, the first thing you should do is to go for a force restart. If that fails, your only option is to do a hard reset.
  • Hardware failure – If none of the fixes presented in this article are effective in your case, your only option left is to conclude that you’re actually dealing with a hardware issue. In this case, all you can do is to take your console in for repairs.

Now that we went through every possible reason that might cause this particular issue on your Nintendo Switch console, let’s go over some of the fixes at your disposition.  Follow the guides below in whichever order and see if your problem is salvageable or not.

Check for Charging Cord Problems

As with the vast majority of portable consoles, the Nintendo Switch is no stranger to problems with the charging cord.

No matter how careful you are, the charging cord will degrade in time (especially if you play while charging), so make sure that it is not damaged.

Look for exposes, fraying wires, a bent adapter, or bent pins.

It’s also important to use an official Nintendo Switch charging cord unless you don’t have a choice –  A third-party cord might damage your console long-term, affecting its battery life.

Nintendo Switch Cord

If you found out that your charging cord is damaged or that you are using a third-party charging cord, we suggest you change it with an official Nintendo Switch cable cord to be able to charge your console properly and prevent any long-term battery problems.

If you are sure that your charging port isn’t the culprit, check below for the next fix.

Fully Charge Your Nintendo Switch

Before you declare this to be a hardware issue, take the time to ensure that your Nintendo Switch is even charged. I know it seems absurd, but it is possible that you didn’t plug the cord correctly and the console didn’t charge at all.

If the charging cord you’re using is older or not produced by Nintendo, it will take more time to properly charge the console.

Nintendo Switch Charging Cord

Update: Even if the screen doesn’t light up immediately after you plug it in to charge, wait patiently.

Before jumping to the other fixes for this problem, let your Nintendo Switch charge for some hours to make sure that is fully charged, then check if the console cooperates, and if it doesn’t, check below the next method.

Perform a Force Restart

If you’ve previously ruled out the possibility of an issue having to do with the power charging cord, the next thing you should investigate is a potential firmware glitch.

We’ve managed to confirm that users dealing with the same kind of issue managed to finally turn on their Nintendo Switch console by pressing the power button in a specific way.

Note: If the problem returns after you use this fix successfully, you’ll likely need to repeat the force restart every time you face this problem.

Here are the steps on how to turn on your Nintendo Switch using only the power button:

  1. Press and hold the power button located on the top of the console for 12 to 15 seconds.

    Pressing the power button on Nintendo Switch
  2. After the seconds have passed, release the button, then quickly press it again 3 times, but the third time you need to hold the button again until the Nintendo Switch turns on.
  3. See if you are able to get past the initial screen.

If you tried all the methods before and your Nintendo Switch is still not working, go below to the last method that will help you fix the problem.

Perform a Hard Reset

One last thing to try is to perform a hard reset on your console, which is also known as a factory reset.

This method is effective in a lot of situations where your console is no longer booting up. Factory resetting the Nintendo Switch is also reported to improve the console performance.

Here are the steps on how to perform a hard reset on your Nintendo Switch:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the power button and the up/down volume buttons for 5 seconds to enter the Maintenance Mode.

    Enter Maintenance mode on Switch
  2. Inside the Maintenance Mode, use the Joy-Con to navigate right to Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data, then press OK.

    Initializing the console via maintenance mode

    Note: If you want to delete all the saved data on your console, tap on Initialize Console.

  3. Follow the given instructions, then test again to see if your Nintendo Switch turns on now.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.