Skip to main content

Introduction

Use this guide to replace the buckle lock in a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con with a metal one, or a new plastic one.

There are a few minor differences between the left and right Joy-Cons, but none that will affect the procedure. These steps apply to both Joy-Cons.

  1. Use a Tri-point Y00 driver to remove the four 6.3 mm-long screws from the back panel of the Joy-Con.
    • Use a Tri-point Y00 driver to remove the four 6.3 mm-long screws from the back panel of the Joy-Con.

  2. Insert an opening pick into the seam at the bottom edge of the controller (opposite the L and ZL buttons). Slowly slide the flat edge of your opening pick up the side of the Joy-Con. Be careful not to slide the opening pick too far inside the Joy-Con. This may damage the inner components. The back panel loosens easily, so not much pressure is needed.
    • Insert an opening pick into the seam at the bottom edge of the controller (opposite the L and ZL buttons).

    • Slowly slide the flat edge of your opening pick up the side of the Joy-Con.

    • Be careful not to slide the opening pick too far inside the Joy-Con. This may damage the inner components. The back panel loosens easily, so not much pressure is needed.

  3. With the charging rail facing away from you, open the the Joy-Con like a book. Don’t try to fully remove the back panel. There are still two cables connecting the charging rail to the motherboard.
    • With the charging rail facing away from you, open the the Joy-Con like a book.

    • Don’t try to fully remove the back panel. There are still two cables connecting the charging rail to the motherboard.

  4. Use a Phillips #00 driver to remove the 2.5 mm screw securing the charging rail.
    • Use a Phillips #00 driver to remove the 2.5 mm screw securing the charging rail.

  5. Pull the back panel straight off of the charging rail to remove it. There's a chance the rail unlock button will fall out of the back panel. During reassembly, make sure it is installed correctly, with the tab on the button slotted into the notch in the back panel.
    • Pull the back panel straight off of the charging rail to remove it.

    • There's a chance the rail unlock button will fall out of the back panel. During reassembly, make sure it is installed correctly, with the tab on the button slotted into the notch in the back panel.

  6. Use a Phillips #00 driver to remove the screw securing the buckle lock retaining bracket.
    • Use a Phillips #00 driver to remove the screw securing the buckle lock retaining bracket.

  7. Slide one side of a pair of pointed tweezers under the flat part in the middle of the buckle lock bracket. Grasp the bracket with the tweezers and pull the bracket straight away from the charging rail to remove it. Grasp the bracket with the tweezers and pull the bracket straight away from the charging rail to remove it.
    • Slide one side of a pair of pointed tweezers under the flat part in the middle of the buckle lock bracket.

    • Grasp the bracket with the tweezers and pull the bracket straight away from the charging rail to remove it.

  8. Lift the buckle lock slightly out of its slot in the charging rail, just until the spring is exposed enough that you can grab it with tweezers. Grab the buckle lock such that the tweezers are around both sides of the lock and holding the spring inside the lock. When you pull the lock out, the spring can shoot out. Make sure you have a firm grip with the tweezers.
    • Lift the buckle lock slightly out of its slot in the charging rail, just until the spring is exposed enough that you can grab it with tweezers.

    • Grab the buckle lock such that the tweezers are around both sides of the lock and holding the spring inside the lock.

    • When you pull the lock out, the spring can shoot out. Make sure you have a firm grip with the tweezers.

    • Pull the buckle lock out of its slot in the charging rail.

    • During reassembly, make sure to move the spring from the old lock to the new one.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Answers community for troubleshooting help.

84 other people completed this guide.

Adam O'Camb

Member since: 04/11/2015

160,023 Reputation

418 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

140 Members

16,729 Guides authored

28 Comments

I tried to do this carefully, but I ended up removing the side rail ribbon cables and I had to disassemble the whole thing just to try to get to the inside of these babies. However it seems I messed up, and now I could use some help here. I don't want to lose my left Joy-Con.

Francisco Q. - Reply

It seems rather strange.. Its pretty easy to reattach. All I have is a $@$*!& ph00 + y00 that stripped the screws so I broke the cover. Technically not my fault. I have done multiple reshells.

[deleted] -

I tryed to do this but the 2nd at the bottom would not come out now my buckle is chiped

TAQI HASSAN - Reply

You mean the screws? Break off the shell! A perfect opportunity to put some clear ones :))

[deleted] -

I bought this kit of replacement metal buckles, and they work beautifully: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BDH...

This kit comes with four buckles, two for the left Joy Con, and two for the right. If you happen to have two sets (or plan to get a second set) of Joy Cons, a whopping $9.00 will set you up right.

I did have a bit of trouble replacing the metal cover that holds the buckle in place, but that was my own stupidity as I was trying to do this repair with insufficient light. Once I shed some light on the subject and I could see what I was doing, everything went back together smooth as silk. I replaced the buckles on both of my Joy Cons, and they’re both rock solid now.

itpurchasing - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 54

Past 7 Days: 361

Past 30 Days: 1,555

All Time: 69,778