Nintendo Switch on a blue background

Although putting your Nintendo Switch to sleep is easy, powering down your Switch off completely (or restarting it) requires an extra step that’s not obvious. Here’s how to do it.

Normally, when you tap the power button on the top edge of your Switch, it puts the console into a low-power Sleep mode but doesn’t turn it off completely. If you’d like to preserve battery life, aren’t planning on using your Switch for a while, or want to troubleshoot a bug, you’ll need to turn off the console completely.

How to Shut Down Your Nintendo Switch

First, locate the power button on the top edge of your Switch console. On the original Switch, Switch Lite, and OLED Switch, you’ll find the power button located on the left side near the volume buttons. Press and hold this button for about three seconds.

The Nintendo Switch power button.

The screen will darken and a special system menu will appear. Select “Power Options.”

On the Nintendo Switch, select "Power Options."

On the power options menu, select “Turn Off.”

(Alternately, you can select “Restart” here if you want to perform a complete reboot of your Switch.)

On the Nintendo Switch, select "Turn Off."

Your Switch’s screen will go black and it will shut down completely. Unlike in Sleep mode, while turned off in this way, your Switch won’t use any battery life or network data.

RELATED: How Much of an Upgrade Is Nintendo's OLED Switch?

How to Force Your Switch to Turn Off

If your Switch is unresponsive and won’t shut down the normal way, press and hold the power button on the top-left edge of the console for about 12 seconds to force the device to shut down.

This long-press technique should only be used in emergencies when your Switch is malfunctioning. Otherwise, you could potentially lose game saves or corrupt system data if you perform a forced power off frequently.

How to Turn On Your Nintendo Switch

To power your Nintendo Switch back on, press and hold the power button on the top edge of the console until the Nintendo logo appears. Happy gaming!

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »