How to Disable the Alerts on Your Wii U’s GamePad

wii u gamepad automatic advertisement alerts

Your Wii U’s GamePad will automatically turn itself on, play a sound to get your attention, and display advertisements for games you might want to buy. It does this when you’re not using the Wi U at all, and that can be a big distraction.

Advertisements are one thing, but ads that turn your device on and distract you can just be obnoxious. Here’s how to change the default setting and prevent your GamePad from turning on when you’re not using it.

Find the Quick Start Menu Settings

First, turn your Wii U on. You can just tap the Power button on the GamePad and select the “System Settings” icon from the Quick Start menu. Or, you can go to the full Wii U menu and select the “System Settings” icon.

Tap the icon that looks like a wrench with a power button near the bottom-right corner of the GamePad’s screen. Then, tap the big button in the middle of the screen to access the Power Settings menu.

power settings

Tap the “Quick Start Menu” option near the bottom of the screen. The Quick Start Menu is the menu that appears on your GamePad before the Wii U is fully booted, allowing you to quickly boot the Wii U to specific games. This is the part of the Wii U’s operating system that displays these alerts.

quick start menu settings

Choose How You Want to Disable Alerts

The options here allow you to choose how you want to view alerts. If you just want to prevent your GamePad from automatically turning on to display alerts, tap the “Automatic Display of Alerts” option here.

Set automatic display of alerts to No. The GamePad will no longer automatically turn on and play a sound, displaying these advertisements to you. You’ll still see them when you turn on the GamePad on your own, so this is a good solution if you might actually want to see alerts about new games — but on your own schedule, not whenever Nintendo feels like advertising at you.

automatic display of alerts option

If you don’t want to receive alerts at all, tap the “Wii U GamePad Alerts” option here and set it to “No.” This will prevent all “alerts from Nintendo via SpotPass regarding special promotions.” SpotPass is the part of the Wii U that stays running in the background while it’s in sleep mode, automatically downloading new firmware updates, games patches, and — yes — “alerts” to display to you.

do you want to receive alerts

Or, if you do want to receive those alerts automatically but they play at inconvenient times, tap the “Time Frame for Alert Display” option and set a time period. By default, the alerts will appear between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., but you can choose an acceptable period of time when you might want to see them so they’re not distracting you at inconvenient times.

alert time

Disabling the Quick Start Menu entirely will also prevent the alerts from appearing. Tap the “Quick Start Menu” option at the top of the Quick Start Menu options and tap”Disable” to disable the Quick Start Menu entirely. However, this feature is useful for more than just advertising at you — we don’t recommend doing this.


We’re not against all advertisements, really. And, as advertisements go, the alerts you’ll see on your Wii U’s GamePad are high-quality and potentially even informative about the new games being released.

But the GamePad shouldn’t always turn itself on and draw attention to itself when you’re doing something else entirely — that can just be intrusive and distracting.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.