How to reset your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

When your Joy-Cons start to bother you with connection issues, resetting them is your best bet.


The Nintendo Switch is a great console when it’s working properly. But like anything else, the Switch isn’t perfect, and you’ll run into some issues from time to time. A common mishap that can affect your gameplay is when the Joy-Con is not registered to connect to the console.


This can happen at any time, whether you’re mid-game or switching from desktop to handheld mode. Regardless of your situation, this is something you can fix.


How do I reset my Joy-Cons?

If you’ve ever had this problem, you’ll soon be painfully aware of the situation. When this error occurs, you cannot use the console in handheld mode.

If your Joy-Con can’t connect to your console, it will display a constant icon on the side of the screen prompting you to connect a controller. This can get frustrating when you repeatedly click the Joy-Con to turn the Switch on and off to no avail. This problem may occur with one or both of your Joy-Cons.

Joy-Cons should still work wirelessly, but won’t allow you to play with the handheld. While this can sometimes be due to a mechanical failure on the Nintendo Switch’s rails, in most cases you can fix the problem by resetting the Joy-Con.

  1. Your console may not work properly if it is not running on the latest firmware. Make sure your console and Joy-Con are updated. If you haven’t done this before, follow our guide to updating your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. If you can’t use the Joy-Con to update the console wirelessly, use the touch controls.
  2. If the problem persists, remove the Joy-Con from the console.
  3. Press the sync button. The SYNC button is a small circular button located on the rail of the Joy-Con.
  4. Press any button to turn the Joy-Con back on.
  5. Reconnect the Joy-Cons to the console.

Your Joy-Cons should now be able to connect to your console. If the problem persists, there may be a bigger problem and you may need to send your Joy-Con in for repair. You can test if the problem is with your Joy-Con or your Nintendo Switch console itself by trying to connect them to another Nintendo Switch console.

Reset any Temperamental Joy-Con controllers

In most cases, resetting the Joy-Cons is a deceptively simple fix when your controller isn’t connected to the console. If you’re having this problem, be sure to try this before sending your controller or console in for service.

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