Why Won’t My Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons Charge? Fixes for Common Issues

Charge Problem battery
Charge Problem battery

As a Nintendo Switch owner, you expect your Joy-Con controllers to charge when docked or attached to the console. However, you may encounter issues where one or both Joy-Cons stop charging or have a flashing charging indicator light. Before you panic, there are a few easy fixes you can try to get your Joy-Cons charging again. Understanding the possible causes of charging problems will help you determine the right solution and get back to gaming as quickly as possible.

Common Causes of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Issues

If your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are not charging, there are a few common issues that could be preventing them from powering up.

Battery Drain

The Joy-Con batteries may have simply drained from normal use. Try attaching the Joy-Cons to your Switch console for at least 30 minutes to give them time to recharge. If the charging indicator light comes on, the batteries were just depleted and should recharge fully in 3 to 4 hours.

Faulty Charging Cable

The USB charging cable that came with your Switch could be damaged or defective, preventing the Joy-Cons from charging properly. Try using another USB-C cable to connect the Joy-Cons to your Switch dock or AC adapter. If the new cable charges the controllers, you’ll need to replace the faulty cable.

Debris in the Charge Port

Dirt, dust or other debris in the Joy-Con charge port can block the connection between the controller and charging cable. Gently blow into the charge port to dislodge any debris. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out the port. Be very careful not to bump or displace any of the port contacts.

Hardware Issue

If the other solutions do not work and your Joy-Cons still won’t charge, it’s possible there is an internal hardware issue preventing charging. You may need to send the controllers to Nintendo for repair or replacement. Hardware problems can include issues with the charge port, battery or other internal components.

With some troubleshooting, you should be able to resolve common charging problems with your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. However, for any complex hardware issues, it’s best to contact Nintendo Support for guidance and potential repair options.

How to Troubleshoot Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Problems

If your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are not charging properly, don’t panic. There are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to diagnose and fix common issues before needing to send them in for repair.

Check the Basics

First, ensure the Joy-Con controllers are securely attached to the Switch tablet or Joy-Con charging grip. Double check that the AC adapter is plugged into the dock or grip and the outlet.

Try a Different Charging Method

If charging via the Switch dock or charging grip isn’t working, try charging the Joy-Cons directly on the Switch tablet. Or, use the USB charging cable to connect the controllers to your Switch AC adapter plugged into a wall outlet.

Inspect the Charging Ports

Examine the charging ports on your Switch tablet and Joy-Con controllers for any dirt, debris or damage preventing a proper connection. Gently clean the ports with a dry, soft-bristled brush to remove any dust buildup.

Update Console and Controllers

Outdated system software or controller firmware can sometimes cause charging issues. Update your Nintendo Switch to the latest version and update your Joy-Con controllers to the newest firmware.

Battery Replacement

If all else fails, the rechargeable batteries inside your Joy-Con controllers may need replacement. Contact Nintendo Support to inquire about battery replacement options for your controllers.

With some patience and troubleshooting, you can get your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons charging again. But if problems persist, you may need to have the controllers inspected and repaired by Nintendo to get back to enjoying handheld and docked game play.

Tips for Fixing a Nintendo Switch That Won’t Charge

If your Nintendo Switch is having issues charging, there are a few things you can try to get it working properly again.

Check the Charging Port

Ensure there is no debris blocking the charging port on your Switch console or Joy-Con controllers. Gently clean the port with a can of compressed air to remove any dust or dirt that may be preventing a proper connection. You can also use a soft, dry brush like a toothbrush. Be very careful not to damage the port.

Try a Different Charger

It’s possible your Switch charger has malfunctioned or become damaged. Try using a different USB-C charger that is compatible with the Switch to see if it charges. The charger should provide 39W or more to charge at a normal rate. If a new charger works, you’ll need to replace your original one.

Hard Reset Your Switch

If cleaning the port and trying a new charger doesn’t work, you may need to hard reset your Switch. Hold down the power button on the top of the Switch for 15-20 seconds until the screen goes black. Release the button, then hold it down again for 3-5 seconds to power back on. The hard reset will restart your Switch and may resolve any software issues preventing it from charging.

Contact Nintendo Support

If you’ve tried the other tips with no success, the issue could be due to a hardware problem with your Switch. Contact Nintendo Support for help troubleshooting and potential repair options. They can walk you through additional steps to fix the problem or arrange for you to send in your Switch for service if needed.

With some patience and the proper troubleshooting steps, you have a good chance of resolving charging issues with your Nintendo Switch. Be sure to try the simplest solutions first before contacting Nintendo Support or sending your Switch for repair. Often a quick hard reset or debris removal can get your Switch up and running normally again.

When to Replace Your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

When your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons start experiencing issues charging or connecting, it may be time to consider replacement. There are a few signs that indicate your Joy-Cons have reached the end of their lifespan and need replacement:

Battery Life Has Significantly Decreased

If your Joy-Cons only last a few hours on a full charge compared to the 20 hours advertised when new, the rechargeable batteries inside are losing capacity. Replacement Joy-Cons will provide a battery life comparable to new controllers.

Joy-Cons Won’t Charge or Sync

If your Joy-Cons won’t charge when attached to the Switch tablet or charging grip, won’t power on, or won’t sync to the Switch, there may be an issue with the charging port or internal components. Attempting repairs is difficult and may void your warranty, so replacement is often the best option.

Buttons or Joysticks Are Unresponsive

If the buttons, joysticks or other physical controls on your Joy-Cons become unresponsive, sticky or loose, replacement eliminates the need for potentially complicated repairs. New Joy-Cons provide fully functioning, responsive controls.

Out of Warranty

If your Joy-Cons are out of the standard 3-month to 1-year warranty, replacement may be more cost-effective than paying for repairs. New Joy-Cons also have a full warranty, so you’re covered if any issues develop.

While the initial cost of replacement Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons may seem high, new controllers can provide years of reliable use and performance. Replacement eliminates the frustration of non-charging or unresponsive Joy-Cons so you can get back to enjoying your Nintendo Switch. Comparing the total cost of multiple repairs to replacement can also show replacement as the more budget-friendly and convenient option in the long run.

Where to Buy Replacement Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

If your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are no longer charging or holding a charge, it may be time to purchase replacement controllers. There are a few options for buying new Joy-Cons:

Directly from Nintendo

The most reliable source for authentic Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons is directly from Nintendo. You can purchase replacement Joy-Cons on Nintendo’s online store or at select retail locations. Buying directly from Nintendo ensures you receive official Nintendo-licensed controllers covered under warranty. However, Nintendo’s Joy-Cons are often the most expensive option.

Major Retailers

Large electronics and gaming retailers like Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart also sell replacement Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. While the controllers from major retailers are still officially licensed by Nintendo, the prices are often slightly lower than buying directly from Nintendo. Check the retailer’s return policy in case you receive a defective product.

Third-Party Sellers

You can find Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons from third-party sellers on sites like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. Third-party Joy-Cons are typically the most affordable option but there is a higher risk of receiving counterfeit or used products. Only purchase from reputable sellers with a significant number of positive reviews. Be extremely cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.

Refurbished Options

Refurbished Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons have been pre-owned but restored to like-new working condition. Refurbished controllers undergo testing to ensure full functionality before being resold, often at a lower cost. Refurbished Joy-Cons still carry a risk of shorter battery life or other issues, so purchase from a trusted source like GameStop or Nintendo’s certified refurbished store.

In summary, weigh the pros and cons of each purchase option based on your budget and tolerance for risk. Buying replacement Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons directly from Nintendo or major authorized retailers will provide the highest quality products with the best assurances, whereas third-party sellers and refurbished options can save you money if you’re willing to accept additional risk. With some research, you can find replacement Joy-Cons to get your Nintendo Switch gaming back on track.


In summary, there are a few common reasons why your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons may not be charging properly and a number of fixes you can try. Start by checking that the Joy-Con rails and charging contacts are clean and free of debris. Then ensure the Joy-Cons and console are fully updated. If issues persist, try charging the Joy-Cons in the Switch console to reset them. As a last resort, you may need to send the Joy-Cons or console in for repair. With some troubleshooting, you should be able to get your Joy-Cons charging again and get back to gaming. The solutions here should help resolve most charging issues, but if problems continue, contact Nintendo support for further help.

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