What to Do if Your Nintendo Switch Won’t Charge

Key Takeaways

  • Check your Switch’s charger, power cable, USB-C connector, and AC adapter port for any visible damage or loose connections that may be causing charging or power issues.
  • A hard reset may also fix the problem if it’s software-related. If you can’t even turn on your Switch, leave it plugged in for at least 15 minutes before trying again to confirm the problem isn’t simply a drained battery.
  • If your Switch won’t turn on or charge even after troubleshooting, contact Nintendo customer support or consider replacing the battery yourself.

If you keep using your Nintendo Switch when it won’t charge, it eventually won’t turn on at all. This is possibly the result of an issue with its battery. However, before you buy a new battery for your Switch, you should take a close look and do some troubleshooting.

Why Your Nintendo Switch Won’t Charge (or Turn On)

There are a number of reasons your Switch refuses to charge that could lead to your Nintendo Switch being unable to turn on. Sometimes, the problem is with the battery, but there could also be hardware damage to the components of your Switch that are in charge of the charging duties. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common issues that lead to such problems with charging and turning on:

  • The charger, USB-C port, AC port, or battery of your Nintendo Switch may be damaged or broken.
  • The battery is too low on power for your Switch to turn on.
  • Your Switch might have crashed and has become completely unresponsive.
  • There could be issues with your wall outlet or the power strip you’re using.

How to Fix a Switch That Won’t Charge

Before we get into the more technical troubleshooting, we’ll go over some simple checks you can do first. When dealing with hardware, it’s always best to survey the situation before you grab a screwdriver or start dialing up any customer service numbers. In the long run, such practices will save you time and money. We recommend checking your Switch and its components in the order listed below for the best results when investigating possible problems.

Try Turning Your Switch on Both Inside and Outside Its Dock

Nothing saves you a dollar more than some common sense! If your Switch is in its dock, try turning it on by pressing any button on one of your controllers. Then, take your Switch out of its dock and press the power button to manually turn it on. Hopefully, this solves the issue. However, if there’s no change, you’ll need to start checking your Switch’s power components.

Check Your Charger, Power Cable, and Outlet

Make sure that your Nintendo Switch is plugged in properly. Start by ensuring that your Switch is in its dock and that its USB-C port is connected to the male end of the USB-C connection within the dock’s slot. Give your Switch an ever-so-gentle wiggle while it’s in its toaster-like home. If it doesn’t slide out of place, you’re good.

Next, pop open the back of the dock and check to see if the charger’s power cable is securely plugged into the “AC Adapter” port. Follow the power cable to the outlet within which the charger is plugged. To be certain that the problem doesn’t lie in these areas, unplug and re-plug both ends of your charger. Make sure that both ends are snuggly fastened to their respective inputs.

The AC Adapter port on the back of a Nintendo Switch dock.
Reyadh Rahaman / How-To Geek

While you’re at it, take a look at the charger and power cable to see if there’s any visible damage; cracks, chips, cable fraying, and bends can all lead to your charger being unable to do its job. If you see such damage, you may want to buy a new charger for your Switch or send it in for repairs. Contact Nintendo’s customer support to learn more about their repair services.

On top of that, there may be an issue with the outlet or power strip into which your Switch is plugged. Try unplugging the charger from this outlet or power strip and plugging it into another one nearby. If there’s an issue with the outlet (visible damage or not powering any device), you should contact a licensed electrician.

Check the USB-C Connector and AC Adapter Port

The two ports that you need to check for charging and power-related issues are the USB-C connector on the Switch itself and the AC Adapter port on the back of the dock. The USB-C connector on a Switch is located on the bottom (in the middle).

Check Switch power connector
Tim Brookes / How-To Geek

The AC Adapter port is, as we mentioned above, on the back of the dock behind the vertical lid. If there are any cracks, bends, scuffs, or other visible signs of damage to these connection areas, this could be the source of your problem. Once again, if you see such damage, you may want to contact Nintendo’s customer support.

Let Your Switch Charge and See What Happens

If your Switch’s battery completely runs dry, it won’t have enough power to turn on—even if it’s inserted correctly into its dock and all the components are undamaged. Make sure your Switch and its dock are connected properly before leaving it to charge for a while.

Give it at least 10 to 15 minutes before trying to turn it on again. Remember that this console is basically a tablet, so similar troubleshooting methods work for a Switch as for Android tablets and other such devices that are malfunctioning.

Do a Hard Reset

Ah, yes, the classic hard reset. There are few fixes more efficient or as satisfying as this. To do a hard reset on your Nintendo Switch, simply press and hold down the power button on the Switch itself for a full 15 seconds. After you let go of the button, let it rest for another 15 seconds, and then press the power button to see if the Switch turns on manually.

Reset Switch console
Tim Brookes / How-To Geek

If this doesn’t work—and you’ve been following this guide step-by-step—then your problem most likely lies within the body of your Switch. We’ve ruled out all other options, so, at this point, we’re sorry to say that you’re probably going to need a new battery.

How to Know When You Need a New Nintendo Switch Battery

If you’ve tried everything we mentioned above and your Nintendo Switch still isn’t turning on or charging, you need a new battery. The primary method that many people will use to get their Switch’s battery replaced is to contact Nintendo’s customer support.

However, if your Switch is still under warranty, you may be able to contact the store (where you bought it) about repairs. Many game stores offer repair services either directly or through a trusted third-party technician.

Before you contact Nintendo or the store where you bought your Switch, consider the overall state of your console. If there’s a lot of damage in areas besides the power components, it may be time to simply buy an entirely new Nintendo Switch. With that said, such a call greatly depends on your preferences, budget, and gaming needs.

Where to Get a Nintendo Switch Battery Replacement

If you’re familiar with hardware or are more technically minded, you can try replacing your Nintendo Switch’s battery yourself. You can find replacement batteries for the Nintendo Switch fairly easily online. Thankfully, they aren’t that expensive.

Although all consoles are likely to have technical issues at some point in their lifetime, it’s not that common these days. The standards for creating consoles are higher than ever! They even come with some unique and unexpected features. If you’re not happy treating your Nintendo Switch like a Switch, then treat it like a computer by playing on it with a keyboard or accessing the Switch’s hidden web browser.

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