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When Your Nintendo Wii Won’t Turn On

Mark went to turn on the Wii today and it was a brick.  Instead of panicking, I found this FAQ from Nintendo and it came back to life.

    Most power issues with the Wii can be fixed by resetting the AC adapter. You can easily reset the AC adapter by following these steps:

    1. Unplug the Wii AC adapter at both ends (from the back of the Wii system and from the wall outlet or power strip).

    2. The AC adapter must remain unplugged at both ends for a full 2 minutes.
    3. We also recommend you unplug anything connected to the USB ports and the Nintendo GameCube Controller ports (such as LAN Adapters, keyboards, Nintendo GameCube controllers, etc.).
    4. While you’re waiting, check the AC Adapter for the following:
      • Make sure that the word "Wii" and the model number "RVL-002 (USA)" molded into the AC adapter. Unlicensed products are not fully compatible and may not work correctly.
      • Check the AC Adapter for physical damage. Physical damage, such as frayed wiring or a cracked housing can cause the system to shut down. If your AC Adapter shows signs of physical damage and needs to be replaced, you can purchase one from Nintendo’s online store.
    5. After you’ve waited 2 minutes, plug the AC adapter into the Wii system and directly into a wall outlet, not a surge protector or power strip. If the power light comes on and stays on, then it appears resetting the AC Adapter worked.

      If resetting the AC Adapter did not fix your power issues, please continue reading:

      • Avoid the use of unlicensed products such as memory cards, controllers, and cheat devices. Some of these products are poorly manufactured and may result in damage to your system. If one of these products is attached to your system, remove it and try resetting the AC Adapter (see above).
      • Check any accessories that connect to the Nintendo GameCube Controller ports or the USB ports of the Wii — whether licensed or not — for physical damage. Physical damage, such as frayed wiring or a cracked housing can cause the system to shut down. Remove any damaged products and try resetting the AC Adapter again (see above).
      • Make sure the Wii has good ventilation. Avoid operating the Wii while it’s on carpeting or inside an enclosed space. If you have the Wii placed in a vertical position, make sure the vent on the bottom is lined up properly with the hole in the plastic stand and no foreign material is obstructing that hole.
      • Check the vents on the back and side of the Wii for dust build up. The system will shut down if it cannot vent properly to prevent overheating. If there is a build-up, remove it using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
      • Make sure that your wall outlet works. To check it, try plugging a lamp into the same outlet where your system was plugged in. Turn the lamp on the verify the outlet works. Also, make sure you are not using an outlet that is operated from a wall switch. If you do, make sure the wall switch is in the ON position.
      • Make sure the AC adapter is attached properly. Firmly plug your AC adapter into the back of the Wii (the port is labeled 12V IN) and into a working wall outlet (not a power strip or surge protector). Click here for detailed instructions.
      • Once plugged in, check the power light on the Power button to see if the system is receiving power.

    If the power is still continually shutting off regularly, please click here for repair options. For this particular symptom, it is best to include your Wii console’s AC Adapter with your system. This will help our technicians ensure they are able to resolve your issue.

I posted it here as I had a huge problem finding it via Google and several game boards I found linked to a dead URL.


  1. P says:

    thanks! this helped so much we thought it was broken

    1. Zeke says:

      This worked for us as well Thank you very much!

    2. Emily says:

      Thank you so much! You ac adapter trick worked!

  2. b00f says:

    yeah who would have ever thought the ac adapter could prevent the wii from starting for such a long time and it just had to be unplugged for 2 minutes

    yeah, who would have ever thought the AC adapter could prevent the Wii from starting for long periods of time, and all it took is to unplug it fully for 2 minutes.

  3. b00f says:

    yeah, who would have ever thought the AC adapter could prevent the Wii from starting for long periods of time, and all it took is to unplug it fully for 2 minutes.

  4. Brandon says:

    Awesome advice! It worked! Thank you!

  5. Wed Mayers says:

    fixed mine, thanks.

  6. Virginia says:

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked. Thank You!!!

  7. kware says:

    THANK YOU! I freaked out then googled this and it worked. Whew. Thanks!

  8. Doyit says:

    Thank you sooooo much. Mine worked too!

  9. Thanks a ton worked like a charm! I was getting ready to smash it…. lol then I found this very quick fix!!!

  10. J Lin says:

    It worked! Thanks for your help.

  11. Thank you very much – easy win for Daddy !

  12. Nathan j says:

    Thank you soo much. I was about to buy a new one but this saved me money.

  13. Andrea says:

    Does this work even when there is no light at all? My Wii is plugged in properly and everything and there isn’t even the yellowish light that shows up when its turned off. Just black. Could this still help?

  14. Luke says:

    Thanks!😄 this worked for me. Thought it was going to the dump!

  15. Bob says:

    Thank you very much!!! It worked perfectly :)

    1. Leila says:

      hey bob, you were right, this really does work!!

  16. Lauressa says:

    Thank you. I thought the thing was fried.

  17. kchotrodtrk says:

    awesome. the kids are stoked. this thing hasnt run in months!
    now… has anyone seen the other remote??

  18. all the coments look good ill have to try this

  19. Holly says:

    Thank you! Fixed our wii tonight. You saved us some money!

  20. Brianna says:

    Thank you!! This worked!

  21. Jonnie Hartmann says:

    Worked like a charm for us also!!!!

  22. Crystal Rios says:

    It worked thank you soooo much my girls were so bummed when we thought it was broken!

  23. Cathy says:

    Thank you! I thought we’d have to send an emergency letter to Santa to replace whole thing. With your helpful directions, we fixed it !!!

  24. Kroeger says:

    Worked for me too! We had both our wii’s break and after sitting for months I tried firing them up and they worked…then one broke again. I was like come on’ something is up. Here is what it was! Thank you thank you!!

  25. Bill says:

    Thanks…I thought for sure my kids broke it.

  26. Marty says:

    Worked. Thanks.

  27. shantell says:

    Whew I think I love u lol.. I was so nervous I use my Wii every day thank u so much for this. the joy that came over me you don’t understand again THANK YOU god blessed you #happycamper

  28. Ron says:

    Thanks worked like a champ. Unplugged it noticed the fan was dusty took it in the garage blew fan and vent out plugged back in and it worked. Thanks appreciate the help. Gotta love the Internet!

  29. mady says:

    thanks so much after i did what you said my wii turned back on!!:)

  30. Jess says:

    Worked like a charm! Would’ve thought? Thanks for the post!

  31. Joe says:

    WOW, It works again! thanks

  32. Megan says:

    Didn’t work for me… I have a red light on the power button, won’t turn on, won’t do anything. Tried unplugging both ends of power cord for 2 minutes, and still nothing. Other suggestions?

  33. Thank you so very much for putting this valuable information on here for “non tech” people like myself. You have helped me to be a hero to my children today!

  34. Anke S says:

    Thank you. I thought my son was going to have a meltdown. The family is good again.

  35. Zion Moulder says:

    OH MY GOD THANK YOU! I thought our Wii was broken.

  36. Cindy says:

    Thank you! Thank you! You just saved me from buying a new wii!

  37. Sara says:

    My wii has been completely unplugged for months because it was having problems before, I tried to plug it in today and the power light wont cut on at all. I’ve tried different outlets and unplugging it again, is there anything else I can try?

  38. itoymayra says:

    Worked great thanks so much I was going to slam it to pieces

  39. Verle T. says:

    THANKS so much, unplugging the AC adapter did the trick!!!!! I had tried many things but, the key was unplugging both ends. Thanks again.

  40. Krys says:

    Too awesome im so excited that totally worked!! THANK YOU !!

  41. ziglabeu says:

    Thanks ! I thought the Wii was done!

  42. Jim says:

    Thank you for the great advice, this solutuion really does work!

  43. Ann says:

    Thanks, so glad to have found this weblog – now our Wii is back working! :-)

  44. vinay says:

    it did not fix

  45. Carol says:

    OMG!!!! Thank you sooooooo much! A simple unplug and re-plug worked like a charm. I was afraid this 5 year old unit needed to be replaced. You saved me several hundred dollars.

  46. teeokeefe says:

    Thanks for this!!!!! worked for me too. yay – even without putting AC unit plug into wall rather than power strip (i was crossing my fingers that would work because no wall access)

  47. Jen says:

    Excellent information! I purchased a used Wii for my kids and it appeared to be in very nice shape. Then here we are not even
    a week after purchase and this happened. I did exactly as you have posted and it works again. Thank you so much for sharing:)

  48. Caitlynn says:

    So much help! I thought me Wii was a goner. Thanks!

  49. Jaron millaway says:

    Great job. It worked. Good idea.:-)

  50. Rmp says:

    Fixed it! Thank you!

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