How to Reset Nintendo Switch OLED

Resetting your Switch OLED provides a clean start

What to Know

  • Turn on the Nintendo Switch OLED and open the System menu.
  • Open the System menu and select Formatting Options.
  • Select Initialize Console, then tap Initialize.

It's important to reset your Nintendo Switch OLED if you are selling or giving away your Nintendo Switch OLED. This will erase data and user accounts currently on the system and make the system ready for the next owner.

How to Reset Nintendo Switch OLED

The steps below will reset your Nintendo Switch OLED.

Resetting your Nintendo Switch OLED will erase all data and user accounts on the console. This includes save files, screenshots, and game downloads. You can re-download games purchased through the Nintendo eShop. However, any save data or screenshots not backed up with be lost forever. You can retain save files, screenshots, and other data if you transfer the data to another Nintendo Switch.

  1. Turn on your Nintendo Switch.

  2. If the Home Screen is not already visible, press the Home button on your Switch controller to open the Home Screen.

  3. Open Settings.

    A screenshot of the Nintendo Switch Home Screen with System Settings highlighted.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu. Select System, then Formatting Options.

    A screenshot of the System Settings screen with Formatting Options highlighted.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the Formatting Options menu. Select Initialize Console.

    A screenshot of the Formatting Options menu on Nintendo Switch with Initialize Console highlighted.
  6. A warning will appear. Read the warning. Select Initialize if you are ready to reset the Nintendo Switch OLED.

    A screenshot of the Initialize Console warning on the Nintendo Switch OLED
  7. A progress bar will appear and begin to fill. Do not turn off the Switch OLED while initialization is in progress.

    The Switch OLED will restart automatically once initialization is complete.

Initialize Console works like a factory reset. It removes all data and returns the Nintendo Switch OLED to a like-new state. You will need to set up the Nintendo Switch OLED before it can be used again.

How Do I Factory Reset the Nintendo Switch OLED?

Despite the difference in name, initializing the Nintendo Switch OLED functions like a factory reset on other game consoles and consumer electronics. It will completely wipe the Switch OLED and return it to a like-new state.

What Does a Hard Reset Do on Nintendo Switch OLED?

A hard reset refers to forcing a game console to power off without following the usual power-down sequence. This will restart the console but doesn't erase data. It's different from a factory reset, which completely erases a device and returns it to a like-new state.

You can hard reset a Nintendo Switch OLED by pressing the power button for about fifteen seconds. Press it again to turn it back on.

The Switch console offers several additional options that you can access through specific button shortcuts. Read our guide to resetting the Nintendo Switch to learn more.

How Do I Reset My Nintendo Switch OLED When It Won't Turn On?

It's not possible to reset a Nintendo Switch OLED if it won't turn on or won't display video. In rare cases, however, the Switch OLED's software may lock up while the system is asleep. This makes it appear as if the console won't turn on. You can fix this problem with a hard reset.

Press and hold the power button for at least fifteen seconds. This will force the Switch OLED to shut down.

Release the power button, then press it again to turn the Switch OLED back on.

FAQ
  • How do you reset a Nintendo Switch?

    Performing a hard reset on an older Nintendo Switch is essentially the same process as you use for a Nintendo Switch OLED model: Press and hold the power button until the console resets, then release and press the power button again. To reset your Nintendo Switch without losing game saves, turn it off, press and hold the volume up and volume down buttons, and press the power button. Continue holding the buttons, and when Maintenance Mode loads, choose Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data and select OK.

  • How do you factory reset a Nintendo Switch without the PIN?

    If you forgot the Parental Controls PIN, you can reset the PIN. First, select the Parental Controls icon on the Switch, select Parental Controls, choose Help when prompted to enter the PIN, and write down the Inquiry Number under Forgot PIN. Then, use the Parental Controls PIN Reset Tool, which charges a $0.50 fee to ensure an adult is using it.

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