Skip to main content

Fix Your Stuff

Right to Repair

Parts & Tools

Introduction

If your Joy-Cons detach too easily from your Nintendo Switch, there's a cheap and easy fix: replace the stock plastic buckle locks with third-party metal ones.

Video Overview

  1. Remove the 4 screws on the back of the Joy-Con using a Tri-Point Y00 Screwdriver. Carefully separate the two halves of the Joy-Con.  Be gentle—there are ribbon cables connecting them inside. Remove the single #00 Phillips screw holding the black plastic shell in place.
    • Remove the 4 screws on the back of the Joy-Con using a Tri-Point Y00 Screwdriver.

    • Carefully separate the two halves of the Joy-Con. Be gentle—there are ribbon cables connecting them inside.

    • Remove the single #00 Phillips screw holding the black plastic shell in place.

  2. Essential Electronics Toolkit

    Small Toolkit. Big Possibilities.

    Shop Toolkits

    Essential
    Electronics
    Toolkit

    Shop Toolkits
  3. Remove the Phillips screw and gently pry the metal plate from the Joy-Con (a pair of tweezers might help). Be sure to hold the buckle lock in place so the spring does not fly out. The buckle lock is different for the left and right Joy-Cons. Before you remove the buckle lock, identify the part that you will be replacing it with and make sure it matches the orientation of the original. Pay particular attention to which side is tapered and which side is straight. Remove the buckle lock, being careful to keep the spring inside from flying out.
    • Remove the Phillips screw and gently pry the metal plate from the Joy-Con (a pair of tweezers might help). Be sure to hold the buckle lock in place so the spring does not fly out.

    • The buckle lock is different for the left and right Joy-Cons. Before you remove the buckle lock, identify the part that you will be replacing it with and make sure it matches the orientation of the original. Pay particular attention to which side is tapered and which side is straight.

    • Remove the buckle lock, being careful to keep the spring inside from flying out.

    You may consider doing the disassembly inside a gallon zip lock bag. I did that and when I removed the metal plate and the buckle lock popped out, the bag caught the spring, which I never would have found.

    Miguel Mastache - Reply

    This is a really good idea :)

    Martin Refseth -

  4. Place the spring into the replacement buckle lock. While compressing the spring, slide the buckle lock into the Joy-Con. Keep the spring compressed using the tweezers.  Then use the spudger to push the buckle into the joy con opening.  Do not release the tweezers yet. Use the spudger to hold the buckle and spring in place while you remove the tweezers.  Once the tweezers are removed, you may go ahead and release the spudger from the buckle.
    • Place the spring into the replacement buckle lock. While compressing the spring, slide the buckle lock into the Joy-Con.

    • Keep the spring compressed using the tweezers. Then use the spudger to push the buckle into the joy con opening. Do not release the tweezers yet.

    • Use the spudger to hold the buckle and spring in place while you remove the tweezers. Once the tweezers are removed, you may go ahead and release the spudger from the buckle.

    • Replace the metal cover, making sure not to overtighten the screw.

    • Check that the black plastic latch button is still in place. Reassemble the Joy-Con.

    None of the suggested tools mentioned here worked. The only thing that was useful was the opening pick. None of the screwdrivers fit any of the screws. What kind of screwdriver do I need to do step 2?

    Manuel Santos - Reply

    Phillips, it’s mentioned in the repair

    Garrett Thompson -

    Check the position of the plastic latch button when putting it back in place. There is a small notch which must fall into a small opening.

    Peter van Nes - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

48 other people completed this guide.

Martin Refseth

Member since: 04/28/2017

1,576 Reputation

2 Guides authored

Team

Bitfix AS Member of Bitfix AS

Community

2 Members

8 Guides authored

17 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.

Tom Korovesis -

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 :))

Tom Korovesis -

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

I just bent that and refitted it. Force INDEED works.

Tom Korovesis -

i held the latch in one hand and gently pulled it out and the spring went flying! never found it again. just printed a shorter one with a pen spring.

Kobedie - Reply

I saw a recommendation to remove the latch while holding the controller inside a zip lock bag, i thought that was pretty clever :)

Martin Refseth -

Strange.. I did both and never had such issues. I just do this trick; first I cover the area, 2nd I remove the energy by when raising at pushing slowly grabbing back if you understand. Kinda hard to explain.

Tom Korovesis -

pretty easy solution, don’t think it’s fixed the wobbly joycon issue much but I feel safer in the knowledge that these new buckles shouldn’t wear out as easily (if at all)

thegreatcraftings - Reply

It really shouldn’t. In my opinion, metal to metal is more prone to break, maybe the rail or the joycon, but yeah feels much sturdier. So worth it.

Tom Korovesis -

Be careful with the small metal screw that attaches joycon shell to the black rail thingie - it’s very easy to damage the screw hole when reassembling the joycon by not properly aligning it with the shell.

Alexandr Oleynikov - Reply

Followed this guide. Was super easy. I replaced the locks in both my joycons in under 30 minutes.

NOTE: Often the metal locks come with some tools when you order them. IN my experience these are not high quality and can damage the screws. I recommend getting ifixit tools.

Gavin McFall - Reply

RIP my springs. IDK how you’re meant to take the latches out but I definitely didn’t do it right. Good thing Aliexpress sells replacements lol

UnicornsOnLSD - Reply

I bought a kit of metal buckles and put them in using this guide and it worked perfectly. Thanks! :)

Alex - Reply

If you drop your switch on the side the joycons would probably be the first thing to break… sooo by making a joycon component that makes contact with the console out of metal, wouldn’t that mean the mechanism in the console itself would break in case of a drop?

BadamAdam - Reply

That’s almost certainly why the JoyCon latches are plastic to begin with… they’re probably engineered to give way under extraordinary circumstances.

Jim Nugent -

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 71

Past 7 Days: 438

Past 30 Days: 2,127

All Time: 27,050