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How to turn off the Nintendo Switch

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It’s harder than you think

Nintendo Switch handheld mode on account unlink screen Jeff Ramos/Polygon

The Nintendo Switch is a pretty intuitive system, but some people are having problems figuring out how to turn the console completely off.

As far as we can tell, there’s no way to do so using just the controller — as you would on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Powering the system down completely requires the console itself and going through a menu.

Yeah, it’s kind of weird. But this is how you do it:

  • Hold down the power button on the top of the screen for around five seconds
  • You’ll see a menu that offers you sleep mode or power options, select power options
  • You can then choose to restart or turn off the system. Choose to turn it off.

There you go! Your Switch is now completely powered down. There is no way to do this using just the controllers, but you can going into the “sleep mode” options in system settings to tell it to go into auto-sleep when undocked in a minute, three minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or never. You can also set auto-sleep to one hour, two hours, three hours, six hours, 12 hours or never when docked.

You’re only putting the system in sleep mode when you tap the power button, which is fine for most uses and barely drains the battery. But if you want to shut the system completely down to save as much power as possible, you have to go through the steps above.