How to Reset Your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

When your Joy-Cons start to hurt you with connection issues, the best option is to reset them.


The Nintendo Switch is a great console when it works properly. But like everything else, the Switch isn’t perfect and you may experience some hiccups from time to time. A common mishap that can affect your gameplay is the Joy-Cons failing to register as connected to the console when they are.


This can happen at any time, whether you’re in the middle of the game or switching from tabletop to handheld mode. Whatever your scenario, here’s what you can do to fix it.


How do I reset my Joy-Cons?

If you have ever experienced this problem, you will quickly become painfully aware of the situation. If this error occurs, you will not be able to use your console in handheld mode.

If your Joy-Con cannot connect to your console, an icon will continuously appear along the side of your screen, prompting you to plug in your controller. This can get frustrating if you repeatedly click your Joy-Con on and off your Switch to no avail. This issue can occur in one or both Joy-Cons.

The Joy-Cons should still work wirelessly, but you can’t play in hand. While this can occasionally be due to a mechanical fault in your Nintendo Switch’s railing, in most cases resetting your Joy-Cons can solve the problem.

  1. Your console may not function properly if it is not on the latest firmware. Make sure both your console and Joy-Cons are updated. If you haven’t done this before, follow our guide on how to update your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. Use the touch controls if you can’t use your Joy-Cons wirelessly to update your console.
  2. If the problem persists, disconnect your Joy-Cons from the console.
  3. Press the SYNC button. The SYNC button is a small round button on the rail of your Joy-Con.
  4. Press any button to turn the Joy-Con back on.
  5. Reattach 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 the Joy-Cons in for repair. You can test whether the problem is with your Joy-Con or your Nintendo Switch system itself by trying to connect them to another Nintendo Switch system.

Reset all temperamental Joy-Con controllers

In most cases, resetting your Joy-Cons is a deceptively easy fix when your controllers won’t connect to your console. If you are experiencing this issue, please try this before sending your controllers or console in for repair.

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