How to Reset Nintendo Switch

Restart your console without losing your games

What to Know

  • If your console won't start up, hold the power button until the console resets, then release and press the power button again.
  • To enter Maintenance Mode, turn off the console, hold down the volume up and volume down buttons, then press power.
  • In Maintenance Mode, select Initialize Console or Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data to reset your Switch.

This article explains how to reset a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite.

How to Perform a Hard Reset on a Nintendo Switch

If your console won't start up or come out of sleep mode, perform a hard reset before anything else. If you're selling it or giving it away, factory reset it first. Here's how.

  1. With the system powered down, hold the power button until the console resets. This step can take up to 15 seconds. Here's how to turn off your Nintendo Switch.

  2. Release the power button, then press it once to start the console like normal.

  3. Your console should boot up without any issue.

How to Reset the Nintendo Switch's Cache

Like any internet-connected device, the Nintendo Switch has a cache that stores your IDs, passwords, and browsing history. Sometimes, you might want to delete this information so that no one else can check it or simply due to security concerns. Here's how:

  1. On the Nintendo Switch home screen, select Settings.

    Nintendo Switch Home Screen highlighting Settings cog
  2. Scroll down and select System on the left menu.

    System highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Settings menu
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen, and then select Formatting Options.

    Formatting Options highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Settings menu
  4. Select Reset Cache.

    Reset Cache highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Settings menu

    To delete the keyboard's learned predictions, select Reset Keyboard.

  5. A warning that you can't restore the data will pop up. Select Reset.

    Reset Cache Screen on the Nintendo Switch

How to Reset Your Nintendo Switch Without Losing Your Game Saves

Suppose you need to reset your Nintendo Switch more comprehensively than simply clearing the cache. In that case, delete everything from the console except for game save data, screenshots, videos, and user information.

Use this option when your Nintendo Switch runs into issues, and you don't want to lose everything while fixing it. Think of it like Safe Mode on a PC.

  1. Turn off the console. Hold down the power button until you see Power Options, then select Turn Off.

  2. Hold down the volume up and volume down buttons, then press the power button.

  3. Continue holding the buttons until Maintenance Mode loads on the Nintendo Switch.

  4. Choose Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data, then select OK.

  5. Wait for the console to finish resetting, restoring it to factory settings.

How to Reset Your Nintendo Switch to Factory Settings Using Maintenance Mode

If you're selling your Nintendo Switch, restore it to factory settings and delete your files so the new owner can't access your data.

This is a permanent fix. It erases all your data, including save files, game downloads, and your linked Nintendo account. Only perform this restore if you're certain you don't mind losing these files.

  1. Use the previous instructions to put the Switch into Maintenance Mode.

  2. From there, select Initialize Console > Continue.

  3. Wait for the console to finish erasing your data.

How to Factory Reset Nintendo Switch From the Settings Menu

Alternatively, you can perform a full reset from the console's Settings menu. Here's how.

  1. On the Nintendo Switch home screen, select Settings.

    Nintendo Switch Home Screen with Settings highlighted
  2. Scroll down and select System on the left menu.

    System highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Settings menu
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Formatting Options.

    Formatting Options highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Settings menu
  4. Choose Initialize Console, and then select OK.

    Intailize Console highlighted in the Nintendo Switch Formatting Options menu
  5. Wait for the console to finish erasing your data.

    This process also unlinks your Nintendo account from the system.

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