How to factory reset Nintendo Switch without PIN

How to factory reset Nintendo Switch without PIN Switch on black background

The Nintendo Switch, along with the Nintendo Store, offer access to a rich selection of games and items available for purchase. But, sometimes, parents might want to make sure kids do not have access to certain content. But what if you’ve forgotten the pin and need to reset your console? Let’s find out how to factory reset a Nintendo Switch without PIN.

A PIN is a number which can be used, via the Parental Controls function to prevent your children from making unintentional or careless purchases or accessing certain content which is not for underage gamers.

Forgetting your PIN might indeed be a problem as you might need to factory reset your console. Let’s find out, then, how to factory reset your Nintendo Switch without requiring the parental control number.

How to factory reset Nintendo Switch without pin

In case you have to perform a factory reset on your Nintendo Switch but do not have the parental control PIN, you can definitely try to recover it, as we will see later in the guide. You can definitely do a hard reset of the Switch without the PIN and losing your data.

So, unless you are doing so in order to sell your console, if you choose this option, remember to backup any saved data or screenshots you wish to keep before proceeding, as this will erase all data on the console.

To perform a factory reset, you can use your Joy-Cons. First, turn off the console. Next, press and hold down both the power and volume buttons simultaneously for roughly 10 to 12 seconds. The screen will go black before booting back up into the main menu. Once there, you can navigate to the settings menu and proceed with the factory reset process.

Simply follow these steps:

  • From your Nintendo Switch's main menu, select System Settings.
  • From the displayed left-hand tabs, choose System;
  • Scroll to the bottom of the System options until you find Formatting Options and select it.
  • Navigate again down the displayed options and select Restore Factory Settings.
  • The console will then warn you that all data will be deleted if you continue. To continue, click Next.

If done correctly, your console will then remove your accounts and start to wipe your console of all data.

Being familiar with various reset methods on your Nintendo Switch can prove to be highly beneficial in troubleshooting issues and maintaining the overall health of your console. Please note that keeping your Nintendo Switch updated is another effective approach to possibly fix or prevent any further problems.

How to recover a forgotten Parental Control PIN

If you've forgotten the Parental Control PIN for your Nintendo Switch you may be able to recover it without resetting it. Recovering a forgotten PIN can be done through email, which is the easiest method.

Resetting the PIN via email

When setting up the PIN, Nintendo sends the PIN to the email address associated with the console. Check your email account and locate the message to retrieve the PIN.

Should you have lost the message or it has been since deleted, do not fear as there are still other options available.

Recovering a PIN through an external device

Another effective method to recover your precious PIN code may be through a smart device. Here’s how to do it, however, please note that this option is only available if your console is linked to the Parental Controls app on your mobile device:

  • Launch the Parental Controls App.
  • Select Settings located at the top right corner;
  • Tap PIN. The correct PIN should show under Current PIN.

Unfortunately, you cannot recover a forgotten Parental Controls PIN if your Nintendo Switch is not linked to a smart device and the app.

How to reset your PIN code via Nintendo support

In this case, remember that you can always reach out to Nintendo customer service, and they can assist you in resetting the console. Anyhow, here there are the steps you need to follow to successfully reset your PIN code:

  • Access the Home menu on your console;
  • Click on the Parental Controls icon;
  • It will ask you to enter the parental control pin. Press the + or – button to click the “Forgot PIN”;
  • An Enquiry Number will show on the screen, make a note of it;
  • Do not log out of this screen. Stay on the inquiry number screen;
  • Look for the support on parental control on the Nintendo official website;
  • Login to your Nintendo account and request a master key;
  • Afterwards, it is time to reset the pin by entering the inquiry code;

If these two methods don’t work you will need to perform a factory reset on your Nintendo Switch to remove the Parental Controls PIN.

How to do a hard reset on your Nintendo Switch without losing your data

Sometimes you just don't have access to your Nintendo Switch or perhaps there is another functional problem that requires you to reset your console. But, you don't want to lose all your precious saved data and screenshots of course. In that case, you can try performing a Hard Reset, here’s how to do that:

  • Ensure your console is turned off.
  • Hold, all at the same time, the Volume Up, Volume Down and Power buttons.
  • Your console should then boot up in Recovery Mode.
  • From the recovery mode menu, you can choose to Update System, Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data or Restore Factory Settings.
  • To Hard Reset your console, choose Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data or Restore Factory Settings.

After resetting your console following these steps, it will reboot with all its settings reverted to their original factory defaults, except for any saved data that you chose not to delete.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Nintendo page.