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Nintendo Switch update addresses nagging battery issue

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It could be a simple seven-step, seven-hour fix

A photo of the Nintendo Switch home screen with its battery charge icon Polygon

Nintendo released an update for the Nintendo Switch this week that aims to fix an annoying issue with the console’s battery — or more specifically the on-screen indicator that displays the system’s battery charge.

Version 3.01 of the Switch system software “[addresses] an issue in which the remaining battery charge can't be displayed accurately.” Some Switch owners have been plagued by this battery indicator bug for a while now; the system can appear to go from a full charge to a nearly drained battery in just a matter of minutes, or simply won’t indicate that the battery is charged, even after sitting in its dock for hours.

But the system software update doesn’t appear to be a perfect fix and that further steps may be necessary. Nintendo said on its support website that “if the system's battery power display suddenly increases or decreases, it will gradually improve” by following a multi-step process that involves charging your Switch, draining its battery completely, rinsing and repeating. The whole process could — but let’s hope actually doesn’t — take several hours.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. Ensure the console has the latest system update. The steps below apply to system menu version 3.0.1 or higher.

3. Connect the AC adapter directly to the console until the battery is fully charged.
If the battery charge indicator does not reach 100%, simply allow the console to charge for approximately three hours.
The console can be in use while it is charging.

4. Once the battery is fully charged, leave the console alone for one hour with the AC adapter still connected to it.

5. Afterward, disconnect the AC adapter and allow the console to display the HOME Menu for approximately three to four hours.
The remaining battery life must be depleted as much as possible.

6. Once the battery charge is almost depleted, power off the console by holding down the POWER Button for three seconds, then select "Power Options" > "Turn Off." Leave the console alone for at least 30 minutes.

7. Repeat steps 2 - 6 several times.
The battery charge indicator will improve gradually by repeating this process several times.

I’ve run into the battery indicator bug a few times while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild over the past month, but after a handful of Switch system restarts, haven’t had it crop up. We’ll update this story in the next 24 hours after repeated battery charges to see if things improve.