Is your Nintendo Switch controller not charging when you connect them to your console? Does your left joy-con continuously have low-battery?

You can charge your Nintendo controllers with the AC adapter that is included in your Switch purchase, or, you can make use of the additional Nintendo charging grip.

Have you checked if there is a pending system update on your console? If there is one available, this could be why your Nintendo Switch joy-cons are stuck with a depleted battery.

Reconnecting the controllers to your Switch can help fix this power issue. In this directory, we will explain why your Nintendo Switch controller is not charging, as well as provide you with simple solutions you will be able to follow without any confusion.

Why is My Nintendo Switch Controller Not Charging?

nintendo switch controller not charging

Photo by Arturo Esparza on Unsplash

Your Nintendo Switch controller will not charge if the connection between your console and controllers are too loose. If the sides of your Switch are not fastened tightly to the main device, the power will not be transmitted through to the controllers and therefore no charge. 

Users have reported that it is mainly the left Nintendo Switch controller that is not charging, however, it does include the right controller too.

Other reasons why your Nintendo joy-con is not charging include;

1. Nintendo Controllers not Paired

Your controller may have lost the pairing connection to your Switch, which is why they are not charging when attached to the console.

2. Nintendo Switch Firmware Issue

If the software on your Nintendo Switch is corrupted or includes faulty files, the system of your console will not operate properly, and your Nintendo Switch controller can experience the not charging problem.

3. Problematic Nintendo AC Adaptor

If you want to charge your controllers when they are attached to your Nintendo Switch, your console will need to be connected to the AC adapter and be switched on, or set to sleep mode.

Your joy-cons will therefore not charge if the adapter is damaged or faulty.

4. Damaged Nintendo Joy-con Hardware

Are your Nintendo Switch controllers not charging after you have recently dropped the joy-cons?

If you have, the internal components may be damaged, so they are unable to receive a charge.

5. Nintendo Switch Moisture Damage

If the internal components of your Nintendo Switch and/or joy-cons get water, this can create power issues.

The console is not waterproof, so too much moisture will be problematic.

How do I Fix my Nintendo Switch Controller Not Charging?

nintendo switch controller not charging

How to fix Nintendo Switch controllers not charging

You can fix your Nintendo Switch controller from not charging by checking that your joy-cons are connected securely to your console. For the power to be transmitted through successfully to charge up your controllers, they need to fit correctly into your Switch, with no room for movement. 

(Did you know; The Nintendo Switch joy-cons have a ‘find me’ feature. You can activate this by pressing the grey button on the home screen, and selecting ‘find controller’. Your joy-con will begin to vibrate to help you find it).

If your controllers fit properly into your Switch, you can troubleshoot your Nintendo Switch with these alternative methods whether it is both or just the left joy-con that is always low on battery;

1. Pair Nintendo joy-cons to Switch

If your controllers have disconnected from being paired to your Switch, you will need to pair them again.

Tip, first disconnect both joy-cons and pair them again to ensure it is successful;

How to Disconnect Joy-cons From Switch:

Step 1. Access ‘System Settings’

Step 2. Choose ‘Controllers and Sensors’

Step 3. Select ‘Disconnect Controllers’

Step 4. Press down on the ‘X’ button until confirmation has appeared that the joy-cons are disconnected

Switch your Nintendo Switch off for a couple of seconds before you turn it back on.

How to Pair Joy-cons to Switch:

Step 1. On the ‘Home’ menu click on ‘Controllers’

Step 2. Select ‘Pair New Controllers’

Step 3. Attach the right joy-con followed by the left

Step 4. Click ‘Done’

The pairing should now be complete.

2. Update Nintendo Switch Firmware

If your console is not already on the latest software version, you can check for an available update. This can help fix your Nintendo Switch controllers from not charging.

Step 1. Open ‘System Settings’

Step 2. Click on ‘System’

Step 3. Choose ‘System Update’

Your Switch will now check for an available firmware update, and complete the installation.

Note, make sure your Nintendo is connected to the internet before initialising a software update to ensure there are no interruptions.

3. Check Nintendo Switch AC Adapter and Joy-cons

unplug your AC and re-insert it after a couple of seconds to see if this helps your controllers from not charging.

Check if there is any damage to your AC adapter, along with your joy-cons. If you have recently dropped them, there could be an internal part that is broken.

If you can see any damage, these hardware pieces may need to be replaced.

4. Use Nintendo Joy-Con Charging Grip

An alternative option to charge your Nintendo controllers is by using the charging grip device. This is a separate purchase of your standard Nintendo Switch console.

Step 1. Attach both joy-cons to the charging grip

Step 2. Insert the grip to Nintendo Switch dock with the USB cable

Alternatively, you can connect it to the AC adapter.

Can You Update Switch Controller?

nintendo switch controller not charging

Can you update Nintendo Switch controllers?

Yes, you can update the Nintendo Switch controllers. Besides keeping your console up to date, ensuring the joy-cons are updated is vital in making sure they stay performing. An update on your joy-cons will help eradicate your Nintendo Switch controllers from not charging.

Updating your Nintendo joy-cons is similar to the Switch, and can be completed in a few simple steps;

How to Update Nintendo Switch Controllers:

Step 1. Access the ‘Home’ menu

Step 2. Click on ‘System Settings’

Step 3. Choose ‘Controllers and Sensors’

Step 4. On the right side of the screen click on ‘Update Controllers’

Your Nintendo Switch will now check both joy-cons to see if an update is available. Once the latest version has been downloaded, you will see ‘Update Complete’ on your screen.

How Do I Know if My Switch Controllers Are Charging?

Gaming Console

How do you know if your Nintendo controller is charging?

You will know your Nintendo Switch controllers are charging because the ‘battery charging’ icon will be shown in the top left corner of your screen. This indicator will be displayed only for a moment on a blank screen if you have put your Switch on charge when the battery level is almost at zero. 

You will also know your Nintendo Switch joy-cons are charging when you access the ‘Controllers’ menu from your Home screen.

Here, the battery percentage of your controllers as well as your Switch will be shown.

Your Nintendo Switch controllers should not need to be changed too frequently. If your joy-cons keep having a low- battery, there could be an issue with the internal hardware.

Keep in mind;

  • Nintendo controllers will take roughly three and a half hours to reach full charge
  • From full battery level, the joy-cons will last around 20 hours depending on how often you are active
  • Different applications on your Switch will use different amounts of power

If your Nintendo screen won’t turn on because of a depleted battery, allow your Switch to charge for around twenty minutes before you turn it back on.


After following this easy to read guide, we hope you understand why your Nintendo Switch controllers were not charging, and that you were able to rectify this problem with one of our four simple solutions.

If you have tried every fix and your Nintendo joy-cons are still not receiving any power, there may be a more serious issue with your console. We recommend you make use of Nintendo’s Support page. Here, you will be able to submit a ticket for a joy-con repair. Alternatively, you can speak to one of their customer service members to help troubleshoot your problem.

(Quiz Question; How can you find a lost Nintendo joy-con? Submit our online contact form with your answer and details).