Nintendo Switch Buttons Won’t Work-Professional Solutions

Nintendo Switch is a very responsive gaming console. But, sometimes, its buttons won’t work. In some cases, only certain buttons are unresponsive.

While in other cases, all of the buttons stop working. The keys may start responding incorrectly. However, you should not throw away your console.

Instead, fix it by following this quick guide. I would tell you a few tricks. If you apply them rightly, your Switch buttons will start working again.

I Suggest These Basic Checks

Sometimes, the buttons won’t work with a particular game or application. While the input test is fine. In this case, you have to check the following things;

  1. Test the controller with some other compatible game or application. Check whether the keys respond or not.
  2. You can also check the controller by syncing with a different console.
  3. Maintain a minimum distance (3-4 feet) between the controller and your Nintendo Switch.
  4. Do not place the controller behind a TV.
  5. Moreover, reduce wireless interference. Make sure no metal object or wireless device such as a speaker, phone, etc. is placed near the console.

Nintendo Switch Buttons Won’t Work

Is Your Controller Paired Properly?

One reason is that your controller is not paired properly with the console. So, you have to check it by the following method:

  • Open the Home menu on your console. Press any button on the Pro Controller.
  • One or more player LEDs should blink on the controller. Then, they should keep glowing. It confirms that the controller is properly synced with the Switch.
  • The controller LEDs may blink in a sequence for a moment. Then, they will shut OFF. It indicates that the controller needs to be paired again.

Test the Buttons Input

A simple test can diagnose the problem. You should test the button input of your Switch.

Please remember that the “Home, Capture, Sync, Volume, and Power” keys are not included in the test. Here is how to do it;

  1. Make sure the controller or the Joy-Cons are synced to the Switch.
  2. Open the Home menu and choose “System Settings”. Choose “Controllers and Sensors” from the left side menu.
  3. Navigate further to select “Test Input Devices”. Next, choose “Test Controller Buttons”.
  4. Press the control stick or the button you need to test.
  5. The console screen will show the icon for the button you pressed.
  6. Likewise, you can check each unresponsive key.
  7. End and exit the test mode by holding down any button.

Restart Your Switch

A quick restart is very effective to remove software bugs. Here is how you restart your Nintendo Switch;

  1. Press and hold the “Power” button for 3 seconds.
  2. Release the button when the “Power Options” appear on the screen.
  3. Choose “Restart” and wait.

Another way is to force restart your console.

  1. Turn OFF your console completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power switch for 20 seconds.
  3. Then, press the Power switch once to turn it ON.

Charge the Pro Controller

Your Nintendo controller may not have enough power. That’s why it is unresponsive. First, confirm that controller and console are synched properly.

If no player lights illuminate the controller, it is out of power. Hence, you have to charge it fully.

It takes almost 6 hours to charge fully. The LED indicator near the charging hole shuts OFF once it is fully charged. It can be charged indirectly by connecting to the dock.

The dock is then plugged into a power source via the adapter. You can also charge the controller directly by plugging the AC adapter into a wall power outlet.

Sticky Buttons

Another cause is that the buttons are sticky or jammed. Therefore, they do not respond when pressed. It happens due to dust or debris build-up.

Something may be trapped around the button area. Operating the controller with dirty hands also causes stickiness. Press the buttons and observe whether they push down normally or not.

How to Clean the Sticky Buttons?

If only a few keys fail to work, they are jammed. The solution is to clean the sticky buttons. Remove debris, grease, or dirt.

  1. Turn OFF your Switch completely. Also, disconnect it from the power and the dock.
  2. Take a soft and dry toothbrush. Gently, rub the brush around the keys. Then, wipe with a clean cloth.
  3. Blow with your mouth to wipe away the loosened dirt.
  4. Please do not use any liquids for cleaning.

Incorrect Button Mapping

Incorrect mapping is the reason why some of the buttons are not working. The mapping of your console has been changed. It can be recognized by the spanner or wrench icon.

You will see a spanner icon beside the controller in use. This icon appears on the bottom left corner of the screen throughout different menus.

How to Reset Button Mapping?

Resetting the mapping will restore factory settings on the device. Hence, the keys will start working. Here is how to reset the mapping;

  1. On your Nintendo Switch, choose “System Settings” from the Home menu.
  2. Next, select “Controllers and Sensors”.
  3. Navigate through the options and choose “Change Button Mapping”.
  4. Select the controller from the list appearing on the left of the screen.
  5. Next, click the “Reset” button and confirm the action.
  6. Another way is to set your Switch to sleep mode. Wake it up after a few seconds to avail the reset options.
  7. View the official method here.

Update Firmware

Unresponsiveness is also caused by an outdated firmware version. The issue is software related. Because the console has glitches.

So, you should check and install the latest firmware version. Here is how to do it;

  1. On your console, go to the Home menu.
  2. Choose “System Settings” and navigate further.
  3. Next, select “System” and then “System Update”.
  4. Start the update process by following the on-screen prompts.
  5. Let the process complete and check the keys afterward.

Does Problem Still Exist?

Hopefully, my suggested tricks have fixed your console. The issue may reoccur after some time. It can happen due to the above-mentioned reasons.

In such a situation, you must consult Nintendo. Explain your problem and ask for customer support. The company will repair or replace the device.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Nintendo Switch

Here are some questions frequently asked by console users. They will also help you.

Can Nintendo Switch buttons fray out?

The buttons are used frequently. So, they are vulnerable to wear and tear. Over time, they can jam, fray out, and stop working at all. The control keys are both on the left and right sides of the console.

Can I play on my Switch during charging?

There is no issue in playing on your Switch while it is charging. You can either dock it or play in handheld mode. The manufacturer confirms that playing along with charging is OK for all Nintendo models.

Can Nintendo Switch be used without a docking station?

Yes, it can be used without the docking station. You can connect it directly to a TV or monitor. However, a USB-C cable is needed. Choose the cable that supports the display. Because all USB-C cords cannot support a display.

You may also like: Xbox Elite Controller not Pairing with PC

Final Words

I have explained all the official methods to troubleshoot the device. I also shared my personally tried solutions. Hopefully, your Nintendo Switch buttons are back to work now. Ask us freely if you have further queries.

Hi, I'm Memona Aman, Editor of I am naturally inclined towards modern technical gadgets. I love to research on speakers and soundbars. I write articles on this blog to share my latest knowledge. I am happy to assist you in your search for the best audio devices. Read more about me
Hi, I'm Memona Aman, Editor of I am naturally inclined towards modern technical gadgets. I love to research on speakers and soundbars. I write articles on this blog to share my latest knowledge. I am happy to assist you in your search for the best audio devices. Read more about me

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