How to hard reset a Nintendo Switch

Green and pink Joy-Con sitting on top of the back of Switch
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Proxima Studio)

Quick steps

  • Hold the power button down until the console resets > release and press the power button again
  • If you want to enter ‘Recovery Mode’, turn off the console by holding down the volume up and volume down buttons then press the power button
  • If you want to factory reset your Switch, when in Recovery Mode, you can choose to ‘Restore Factory Settings’ or ‘Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data’

Tools and Requirements

  • A Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, or Nintendo Switch OLED

How to hard reset your Nintendo Switch 

Nintendo Switch OLED review

(Image credit: Future)

If your Nintendo Switch won’t turn on, you may need to perform a hard reset. This is a simple procedure and can be done in a couple of seconds; however, there are a number of options to consider, depending on what you need.

You might want to enter Recovery Mode to perform a factory reset if you’re selling your console, or simply want to ensure that any ghosts in the machine are exorcised fully. We’ll explain how to hard reset a Nintendo Switch below.


  • When your system is off, hold the power button down until your Nintendo Switch resets. This can take up to 15 seconds, so don’t take your finger off the button too early
  • Release the power button, then press it again to restart the console
  • If the hard reset was successful, your Switch should boot up as normal

How to reset your Switch without losing any data 

Close up of Nintendo Switch power and volume buttons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

If your Switch is experiencing issues, you can perform a reset and save your data stored on the console by entering Recovery Mode. This is only really necessary if your console isn’t functioning properly, but can help clear any niggling issues that may have sprung up. 


  • Turn off your Switch by holding down the power button. Choose Power Options > Power Off, which will cause any suspended software to close
  • Hold down the volume up (+) and volume down (-) buttons on the top of the console, and then press the power button
  • You should see the usual Nintendo and Nintendo Switch logo, but you’ll then be presented with a ‘Recovery Mode’ screen. From here, you can choose ‘Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data’, which will delete all on the console except for save data, screenshots, videos, and user information

How to perform a factory reset 

Selling your Switch or trading it in? You’ll want to perform a factory reset to erase all your data and return the console to its out-of-the-box settings. This step should only be necessary if you want to wipe your console of all data, so bear that in mind before you proceed. 


  • Follow the same steps above to enter ‘Recovery Mode
  • Choose ‘Restore Factory Settings’ to delete all data in the system memory

Final thoughts

It’s not that common for a Nintendo Switch not to turn on, but don’t panic if this happens to your device. Simply follow the steps above and you should be back playing in no time. It’s worth noting that these steps work on the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch OLED, too. Just follow the same process if ever you want to hard reset your Switch or perform a factory reset. 

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Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.