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Follow this guide to replace a broken or faulty left Joy Con sensor rail on the Nintendo Switch game console.

Note: When you remove the shield plate, you’ll need to replace the thermal compound between the plate and the heatsink. Since normal thermal paste isn’t designed to bridge large gaps, the closest replacement is K5 Pro viscous thermal paste.

Note: This guide, and the part we sell, are compatible with the original Nintendo Switch model released in 2017, as well as the newer refreshed model released in 2019 (model numbers HAC-001 and HAC-001(-01), respectively).

  1. Before you begin this repair, make sure the device is completely powered off. Press and hold down the small round button on the back of the Joy Con controller. While you hold down the button, slide  the controller upward.
    • Before you begin this repair, make sure the device is completely powered off.

    • Press and hold down the small round button on the back of the Joy Con controller.

    • While you hold down the button, slide the controller upward.

  2. Continue sliding the controller upward until it's completely removed from the console. Repeat this same process for the other controller. Repeat this same process for the other controller.
    • Continue sliding the controller upward until it's completely removed from the console.

    • Repeat this same process for the other controller.

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

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

  3. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws securing the rear panel: One 2.5 mm-long screw on the top edge of the device
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws securing the rear panel:

    • One 2.5 mm-long screw on the top edge of the device

    • Two 2.5 mm-long screws on the bottom edge of the device

  4. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side). Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side).
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side).

  5. Use your finger to flip up the kickstand on the back of the device. If there's a microSD card in the microSD card slot, remove it now before you continue to the next step.
    • Use your finger to flip up the kickstand on the back of the device.

    • If there's a microSD card in the microSD card slot, remove it now before you continue to the next step.

  6. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 1.6 mm screw in the kickstand well.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 1.6 mm screw in the kickstand well.

  7. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it.
    • Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it.

  8. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 3.1 mm screw securing the microSD card reader to the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 3.1 mm screw securing the microSD card reader to the device.

  9. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the microSD card reader straight up from the device to disconnect and remove it. During reassembly, make sure the press connector underneath the foam pad is firmly connected to the motherboard. It may help to remove the foam pad before reinstalling the card reader.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the microSD card reader straight up from the device to disconnect and remove it.

    • During reassembly, make sure the press connector underneath the foam pad is firmly connected to the motherboard. It may help to remove the foam pad before reinstalling the card reader.

  10. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the six 3 mm screws securing the shield plate to the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the six 3 mm screws securing the shield plate to the device.

  11. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port.

  12. Insert a spudger underneath the shield plate along the edge of the device. Pry up to lift the shield plate up. You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the shield plate is slightly bonded to the heat sink with thermal paste.
    • Insert a spudger underneath the shield plate along the edge of the device.

    • Pry up to lift the shield plate up.

    • 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.

    • A thick pink thermal compound bridges the gap between the shield plate and the copper heat sink underneath. For best results, whenever the shield plate is removed, refer to our thermal paste guide to remove the old thermal compound and replace it with an appropriate, thick compound such as K5 Pro during reassembly.

  13. Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard.

  14. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con rail data cable's ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con rail data cable's ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con rail data cable's ZIF connector.

  15. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable out of its connector on the motherboard. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable out of its connector on the motherboard.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable out of its connector on the motherboard.

  16. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable.

  17. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the battery connector up and out of the way of the Joy Con rail's data cable.

  18. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the four 3.7 mm screws securing the left Joy Con rail to the frame of the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the four 3.7 mm screws securing the left Joy Con rail to the frame of the device.

    • These screws are torqued down and can be difficult to remove. Make sure you're using a JIS screwdriver—not a Phillips screwdriver—during this procedure. Otherwise, you risk stripping the screws.

  19. Remove the left Joy Con sensor rail from the device. Remove the left Joy Con sensor rail from the device.
    • Remove the left Joy Con sensor rail from the device.

결론

Compare your new replacement part to the original part. You may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

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 Answers community for help.

다른 24명이 해당 안내서를 완성하였습니다.

Craig Lloyd

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iFixit iFixit 회원

Community

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If this was a neon Switch, this would be the rail that gets attached with the blue or the red joy con?

felipemanzur21 - 답글

it would be the Blue joy con

Nick Heilman -

I completed this guide, but the left joy con is still not being detected after the sensor rail was replaced with a sensor rail purchased on this site. The joy con in question will attach and sync with another console, so that leads me to believe it is a fault with the switch console itself. Is there something else that I can replace that would fix this issue?

Sean Douglas - 답글

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