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Introduction

Follow this guide to replace the left joystick in your Nintendo Switch Lite. Replacing the joystick will fix the notorious “Joy-Con drift” issue. (Follow this guide to replace the right joystick in your Nintendo Switch Lite).

The Switch Lite uses JIS screws, but you can use a Phillips screwdriver in a pinch. Be very careful not to strip the screws. iFixit's Phillips bits are designed to be cross-compatible with JIS-style screws.

Note: This procedure requires disconnecting the battery for safety. In order to do this, the shield plate must be removed. The shield plate is bonded to the heat sink with thermal paste, which will need to be cleaned off and reapplied before reinstalling the shield plate.

    • Before beginning this repair, make sure that the device is completely turned off.

    • Use a Y00 screwdriver to remove the four 6.3 mm-long screws securing the back panel.

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from.

  1. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the top and bottom back panel screws: step 2, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the top and bottom back panel screws: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the following screws securing the back panel:

    • Two 3.6 mm-long screws on the top of the device

    • Two 3.6 mm-long screws on the bottom of the device

    • To prevent these tight screws from stripping, apply firm downward force, work slowly and try a different screwdriver if the screws won't come out.

  2. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Release the clips securing the back panel: step 3, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Release the clips securing the back panel: step 3, image 2 of 2
    • Insert an opening tool into the left speaker grille on the bottom of the device.

    • Twist the opening tool to release the clips securing the back panel.

    • Avoid inserting the opening tool further than required to prevent damage to the speaker module.

  3. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Continue releasing the clips around the device: step 4, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Continue releasing the clips around the device: step 4, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the opening tool around the bottom-left corner to release the clips on the left side of the device.

  4. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Twist to release the clips: step 5, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Twist to release the clips: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • Insert an opening tool into the right speaker grille on the bottom of the device.

    • Twist the opening tool to release the clips.

    • Avoid inserting the opening tool further than required to prevent damage to the speaker module.

  5. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Slide and pry around the corners: step 6, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Slide and pry around the corners: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • Slide and pry the opening tool around the bottom-right corner to release the clips on the right side of the device.

  6. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Continue sliding and prying the opening tool along the gap on the top of the device to release the clips.

  7. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the back panel: step 8, image 1 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the back panel: step 8, image 2 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the back panel: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • Lift the bottom edge of the back panel, opening it like a book.

    • Remove the back panel.

  8. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the shield plate: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the following four screws:

    • Three 3.1 mm screws

    • One 4.5 mm screw

  9. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 10, image 2 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 10, image 3 of 3
    • Use a spudger or your fingers to lift the shield plate up and out of the device.

    • You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the shield plate is slightly bonded to the heat sink with thermal paste.

    • Remove the shield plate.

    • Clean off the old thermal paste from the shield plate and heat sink using isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Apply new thermal paste to the heat sink before reassembly.

  10. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 11, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 11, image 2 of 2
    • Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the motherboard interconnect cable's ZIF connector.

  11. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 12, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the interconnect cable out of its connector on the motherboard.

  12. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 13, image 2 of 2
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard.

  13. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the left speaker module: step 14, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the left speaker module: step 14, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to pull the left speaker cable straight up and out of its socket on the daughterboard.

    • Do not pull from the wires, or else you risk ripping the wires off the connector.

  14. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 15, image 1 of 1
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the 4.5 mm screw securing the left speaker module.

  15. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 16, image 1 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 16, image 2 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 16, image 3 of 3
    • Use your fingers to lift the speaker module up and out of its recess to remove it.

    • Part of the speaker module sits underneath a delicate ribbon cable. Take care not to snag the speaker module on the cable as you remove it.

  16. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the motherboard interconnect cable: step 17, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the motherboard interconnect cable: step 17, image 2 of 2
    • Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the motherboard interconnect cable's ZIF connector.

  17. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 18, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 18, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the motherboard interconnect cable out of its connector on the daughterboard.

  18. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the screen and volume button cables: step 19, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the screen and volume button cables: step 19, image 2 of 2
    • Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flaps on the two ribbon cable ZIF connectors.

  19. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 20, image 1 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 20, image 2 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 20, image 3 of 3
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the daughterboard screen cable out of its connector on the motherboard.

    • Repeat this procedure for the volume buttons cable.

  20. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the volume buttons: step 21, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the volume buttons: step 21, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the volume buttons.

  21. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the joystick cable: step 22, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Disconnect the joystick cable: step 22, image 2 of 2
    • Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the left joystick cable's ZIF connector.

  22. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 23, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 23, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the left joystick cable out of its connector on the daughterboard.

  23. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the left trigger button assembly: step 24, image 1 of 1
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the two 4.5 mm screws securing the left trigger button assembly.

  24. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 25, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 25, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the left trigger button assembly.

  25. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the daughterboard: step 26, image 1 of 1
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the following four screws:

    • Two 4.5 mm screws

    • Two 6 mm screws

  26. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 27, image 1 of 2 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 27, image 2 of 2
    • Use your fingers to lift the daughterboard up and out of its recess to remove it.

  27. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement, Remove the left joystick: step 28, image 1 of 1
    • Use a JIS 000 driver or an official iFixit PH 000 driver to remove the two 3.5 mm screws securing the left joystick.

  28. Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 29, image 1 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 29, image 2 of 3 Nintendo Switch Lite Left Joystick Replacement: step 29, image 3 of 3
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the joystick up and out of its recess.

    • Use your fingers to remove the joystick.

    • There is a thin black gasket around the hole where the joystick pokes through the frame. Try not to disturb this gasket as you remove the joystick.

Conclusion

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

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

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Nintendo Switch Lite Answers community for help.

43 other people completed this guide.

Craig Lloyd

Member since: 02/10/2016

26,079 Reputation

82 Guides authored

16 Comments

Really appreciate the detailed pictures.

ALLEN COLLINS - Reply

Great guide! Circling the screws really helped as went backwards for the reassembly. Not a bad repair just very delicate components. Best of all no adhesive removal required!

lee - Reply

This was great, I love how every step was so simply broken down and had pictures. Thank you, my son is very happy to have his switch back in action.

Louise Perkins - Reply

I followed this guide, bought the tools and replacement part, after successfully doing the replacement, my switch light now won’t power on at all, how can I fix this? any help please…

lczleal - Reply

Hi Iczleal I had the same issue when I first did it and then I went back step by step. Turns out I didn’t plug the battery back in correctly, I recommend just repeating the steps and checking to see if everything is connected properly. Hope this helps :)

Moon Poppy -

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