How To Fix Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Disconnecting Issue

If one or two of your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers keeps disconnecting, the cause of the problem is most likely temporarily. Most of controller issues for this console have so far been fixable on a user’s level. So, in case you’re one of the unlucky gamers who have a disconnecting controller all the time, this troubleshooting guide may help you.

Learn what you need to do below in order to fix your issue.

Causes why Joy-Con controllers may be  disconnecting on Nintendo Switch

There are a number of possible reasons for your controller issue. You want to eliminate one after the other in order to identify the reason for your problem.

Random bug.

Electronic devices may encounter glitches that can lead to major issues. One of the known bugs for Nintendo Switch consoles so far is the phenomenon of some Joy-Con controllers randomly disconnecting. Although the issue has lingered for years, Nintendo has not so far offered a permanent fix, probably because the factors may vary in an affected system. 


Bluetooth signal interference.

Some Joy-Con connection issues are traced to poor Bluetooth connection. If you have multiple Bluetooth devices running around the house while playing, it’s possible that one of them might be interfering with the console or with the controllers. Modern Bluetooth devices, including your Nintendo Switch, can handle Bluetooth signal interference by design but from time to time, issues can still come out from nowhere.

Hardware malfunction.

Bad hardware can be likely to blame if all software troubleshooting tips, including factory reset,  have been tried. You should consider having the console checked by a professional from Nintendo if you’ve already tried all software solutions.

Just like any electronic device, Joy-Con controllers are not immune from hardware damage. If you dropped or damaged a malfunctioning controller prior to noticing the problem, you may have a physical problem at hand. In this case, you may need to replace the damaged controller.

Software glitch.

Majority of controller issues are software-related. This means that a factory reset will most likely fix the problem. Never hesitate to initialize the console if the controllers continue to disconnect.

Troubleshooting Nintendo Switch Joy-Con connection issues

You’ll need to do a number of troubleshooting steps in order to fix your Joy-Con controller connection issue. Below are the things that you must do.

  1. Install a software update.

    Keeping the console’s software updated can prevent and fix known bugs. If you haven’t checked for software update lately, follow the steps below.
    Make sure that your Nintendo Switch is connected to the internet.
    Go to the Home Menu.
    Select System Settings.
    Select System.
    Select System Update.
    Wait for a few moments to allow the system to check for new software version.
    If an update is available, the download process will begin automatically.

  2. Reboot the console.

    This is a simple solution that often fixes connection issues due to random bugs. To reboot the system, simply hold the Power button for about 3 seconds, go to Power options, and select Restart.
    If you haven’t powered down the console for a while, you can instead opt to use Turn Off instead of Restart.

  3. Recalibrate Joy-Con controllers.

    In some cases, recalibrating the controllers themselves fixes a connection problem. A quick calibration can disconnect and reconnect the controller to the console, which may be enough to refresh the connection and eliminate the bug.
    To re-calibrate a Joy-Con controller:
    Go to the Home Menu.
    Select System Settings.
    Select Controllers and Sensors.
    Select Calibrate Control Stick.
    Select Motion Controls.

  4. Manually disconnect and re-connect Joy-Cons.

    You can also try to directly disconnect the controllers themselves if you’re not having luck so far in fixing them.
    Go to the Home Menu.
    Select System Settings.
    Select Controllers and Sensors.
    Select Disconnect Controllers.
    Once you’ve disconnected the controllers, you can reconnect them again by simply sliding them into the sides of the console again.

  5. Return software to defaults (factory reset).

    If none of the solutions above has fixed your problem, you can assume that there may be a deeper software issue. At this point, you’ll need to factory reset the console to return all its software settings to its known, working factory state.

  6. Get help from Nintendo.

    If your Nintendo Switch system is still under warranty, you must take it back to the store or to your local Nintendo store for repair. You want to do this in case all the software solutions in this guide has failed to fix your Joy-Con controller connection problem.
    If the defective controller is no longer in warranty, you have no other option but to replace it.

Suggested readings:

Get help from us

Having Issues with your phone? Feel free to contact us using this form. We’ll try to help. We also create videos for those wanting to follow visual instructions. Visit our TheDroidGuy Youtube Channel for troubleshooting.