How-To

Left JoyCon Not Charging (Don’t Worry, Common Issue!)

The Nintendo Switch is notorious for JoyCon connectivity and charging issues. The left JoyCon in particular causes a lot of people trouble.

Luckily there is one fix that seems to work for the majority of Switch owners.

Left JoyCon Not Charging

To fix a left JoyCon that is not charging go to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Disconnect Controllers. Hold the “X” button until you get confirmation that both controllers have been disconnected. Then fully power off your Nintendo Switch, turn it back on, and reconnect your JoyCons. Problem solved!

More times than not the left JoyCon stops working because it has stopped pairing with your Switch and a connection needs to be reestablished.

Disconnect your controllers and power-cycle your Switch

Here are some more detailed instructions on how to disconnect your controllers from your Nintendo Switch.

With both JoyCons slotted into your Switch, go to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Disconnect Controllers.

Then, on the right JoyCon, press and hold the “X” button until you get confirmation that all controllers have been disconnected. Click OK.

joycon not working disconnect controllers

Now remove both the left and right JoyCons from your Switch. Press and hold the power button on your Switch and power off the device. Do not just put your Switch into sleep mode, actually fully power it off.

Wait about 60 seconds and then power your Switch back on. When the Switch powers back up, go ahead and reconnect your JoyCons.

They should automatically re-connect!

If your left JoyCon is still having issues at this point you can try removing both JoyCons from the Switch then go to Controllers > Change Grip/Order.

Then press the small black button on the left and right JoyCons until you see green lights flashing up and down. This indicates that the JoyCons are ready to pair.

Reconnect both JoyCons and your issue should be resolved.

Clean your JoyCons and Switch with isopropyl alcohol

If disconnecting your controllers and power cycling your Switch didn’t fix your issue, then you might have dust or debris problem.

To solve this you’ll need a clean Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. You might also want to use a pair of scissors to trim down the tip of the Q-tip to make it a bit smaller and more precise.

Before you get started make sure your Switch is completely powered off. Don’t just put it into sleep mode!

With the Switch fully powered off, pour some isopropyl alcohol onto the Q-tip and proceed to clean both the side of the left JoyCon as well as the left side of the Switch itself.

left joycon not charging clean with qtip

The important thing here is to get in all the nooks and crannies. Make sure every possible connection are is thoroughly cleaned.

Then let everything dry. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the quicker it will dry.

Turn on your Switch and reconnect the JoyCons. You should be back in business.

Clean your JoyCons and Switch with compressed air

If the isopropyl alcohol didn’t do the trick then you’ll want to follow that up by blasting the JoyCons and your Switch with compressed air.

First, get yourself a bottle of condensed air and then fully power off your Switch.

Then proceed to blast air into all the same nook and cranny connections that you cleaned in the previous step.

broken left joycon compressed air

Really focus on changing angles and getting into the tough to reach areas on the sides of the Switch and JoyCons.

If the JoyCons or Switch get cold or appear frosty, that’s ok. They will quickly return to normal.

Power the Switch back on and reconnect the JoyCon controllers. Hopefully your issue is solved!

Open up your JoyCon and add conductive foam

Before trying this next fix just keep in mind that whenever you open up the JoyCon controller, or Switch for that matter, you risk voiding any existing warranty.

If you’re comfortable with that, then go ahead and proceed to this next possible fix.

For this fix you’ll need a Tri-point Y00 screwdriver, a Phillips 00 screwdriver, opening picks, a spudger and conductive foam.

Start by removing the four screws on the back of the JoyCon case. Next, carefully slide a pick along the side of the controller to pry it open. Careful, as there some delicate cables attached inside.

Next, disconnect the battery and then use the pick to pop it out completely. Remove the three additional screws now exposed and carefully lift off the casing.

Apply a small piece of conductive foam over the antenna at the top right of the JoyCon and then reassemble the controller.

In-case you got lost, here is a great video that walks you through the exact steps to follow:

Buy a charging dock for your JoyCons

If you’ve made it this far and your left JoyCon is still not charging then you might want to try buying a new charging dock for your JoyCons.

Many users have said that this actually fixed their problem when nothing else would. And honestly it is still a better option than buying new controllers or even a whole new Switch.

If you’re interested in trying this you can buy the Nintendo charging dock from Amazon right here.

For whatever reason this charging dock was able to successfully charge the left JoyCon for most folks.

Then, by pressing and holding the small black button on the side of the controller, it can be re-paired to the Switch.  

Check your warranty or insurance plan

When all else fails, you should check to see if you have a warranty or if you bought insurance for your Nintendo Switch or your JoyCons.

In some cases you might be able to send it in for repair or even get a completely new device.

You call Nintendo’s Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-255-3700 to get more information or visit their support website.

Conclusion

If your left JoyCon is not charging, you’ve got company. The Nintendo Switch is notorious for this issue.

The most common way to fix this is to disconnect your JoyCons from your Switch, power cycle the Switch and then re-pair your controllers.

If that doesn’t work you should clean the JoyCon and Switch connection sites with isopropyl alcohol and compressed air. Make sure to get into all those tough to reach places!

This should clean off any debris or dust that might be causing you trouble.

If none of that works you can try opening up the left JoyCon and adding a piece of conductive foam over the antenna.

If all else fails, see if you have a warranty or insurance coverage to get a new device.