How to Turn Off a Nintendo Switch Controller

Three ways to switch off controllers and save battery

What to Know

  • Put your Switch into Sleep Mode. Tap physical power button on Switch, or select Power from home screen > Sleep Mode.
  • Home screen > Controllers > Change Grip/Order > press L+R on controller you want to remain on. Other controllers will turn off.
  • Shut off all controllers: Home screen > System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Disconnect Controllers, hold X.

This article explains how to turn off a Nintendo Switch controller.

How Do You Turn Off a Nintendo Switch Controller?

Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers, Joy-Cons, and most third party controllers lack any kind of off button, but there are a few ways to turn them off. They are designed to turn off after a period of inactivity, but you can also force one to turn off immediately if you want to save battery power. You can also turn off Joy-Cons either as a pair or individually.

There are four ways to turn off a Nintendo Switch controller:

  • Inactivity: If your Switch controller is left alone long enough, it will turn off automatically.
  • Sleep: If you put your Switch into sleep mode, any connected controllers will turn off.
  • Change Grip/Order: From the Joy Con menu on the home screen, you can select the Change Grip/Order option to switch off controllers you aren’t currently using.
  • System Settings: From System Settings, you can disconnect all of your controllers, which will also turn them off.

How Do You Turn Off a Specific Switch Controller?

If you want to turn off a specific Switch controller while leaving one or more controllers on, the best way is to use the Change Grip/Order function. This is accessed through the Joy-Con icon on the Switch home screen, and it allows you to change the order of your controllers. Any controllers that aren’t activated on this screen will be automatically turned off.

Here’s how to turn off specific Switch controllers:

  1. Navigate to the home screen by pressing the home button on an active controller or Joy-Con.

    The Nintendo Switch home screen.
  2. Select Controller (Joy-Con icon) on the home screen.

    Controllers highlighted on Nintendo Switch.
  3. Select Change Grip/Order.

    Change Grip/Order highlighted on Nintendo Switch.
  4. Press the L and R buttons on the controller or controllers that you want to remain on.

    The controller connection screen on Nintendo Switch.

    If you want to leave on a single Joy-Con, press the SL and SR buttons on the Joy-Con instead of the L on one Joy-Con and R on the other.

  5. Any other connected controllers will be turned off automatically, and your selected controller will remain connected and on.

    A Joy Con connected to a Nintendo Switch with the other controllers off.

    If you're planning on playing multiplayer on your Switch, make sure to press L+R on a second controller or Joy-Con as well.

How Do You Turn Off All Switch Controllers?

You can turn off all your Switch controllers at once by putting your Switch into sleep mode. This is useful if you’re not going to use your Switch for a while, as sleep mode consumes less power and switching the controllers off right away instead of waiting for them to time out and switch off automatically helps them conserve battery life. To put your Switch into sleep mode, you can either tap the power button or select the power icon from the home screen and choose the sleep option.

If you want to turn off all your Switch controllers without putting your Switch to sleep, you can accomplish that by disconnecting all of the controllers.

Here’s how to disconnect Switch controllers and turn them off:

Disconnecting your controllers will cause them to turn off immediately. The downside is you will need to pair each controller before you can use it again.

  1. Press the home button to return to the home screen, and select System Settings.

    System Settings highlighted on the Switch home screen.
  2. Select Controllers and Sensors.

    Controllers and Sensors highlighted in Switch System Settings.
  3. Select Disconnect Controllers.

    Disconnect Controllers highlighted in Switch System Settings.
  4. Push and hold the X button on one of your controllers or Joy-Cons.

    X highlighted in the Nintendo Switch controller disconnect screen.
  5. Select OK.

    OK highlighted on Nintendo Switch.

    You will need to Select OK with a Joy-Con that’s physically connected to the Switch, or the built-in controls if you have a Switch Lite.

  6. Your controllers will disconnect and shut off, and you will need to pair them again if you want to use them in the future.

  • How do I fix a Nintendo Switch controller?

    If your Joy-Con or Pro Controller isn't working as well as it should, you should first try cleaning them with isopropyl alcohol, especially around buttons or the joysticks where dirt might accumulate. In the case of joystick drift, however, you might need to take some more intensive steps, including replacing pieces.

  • How do I charge a Nintendo Switch controller?

    The Switch Lite's controls are part of the main body, so they don't need any more charging than the unit itself. But you can charge standard Joy-Cons by sliding them onto the sides of the screen and then putting the entire Switch into the dock. You can charge a Pro Controller with the included USB-C charging cable; the port is between the shoulder buttons.

  • How do I use a Nintendo Switch controller on PC?

    Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers communicate with the Switch using Bluetooth, so as long as it has that capability, you can use them with a PC. To do so, go to the Bluetooth section of your computer's settings, and then click the sync button on your Switch controllers. After they pair, you may need to use another bit of software to map the Joy-Con or Pro Controller's buttons.

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