How to Troubleshoot a Broken Wii

By Editorial Team

Updated September 22, 2017

After finally getting your hands on a Nintendo Wii game system, getting it set up and playing your favorite games-uh oh, something goes wrong. But a "broken" Wii doesn't have to mean a broken heart. Before you undo the safety strap and toss your Wii-mote through the TV screen in frustration, follow these steps to troubleshoot a broken Wii.

Start simple. If there's no power to your Wii, check that the AC adaptor is firmly connected both to the game console and a live electrical outlet. If you still have no power, or the power LED light goes off in midgame or flickers, try rebooting the system. Turn everything off, unplug the AC adaptor from the electrical outlet, wait at least 60 seconds and then plug in again and turn the system on.

Find the missing picture. When the screen goes blank, check that all connections (power cords, accessories, and line inputs) are secure. Make sure that you've chosen the correct input for your system setup; that's the channel, button or menu item that allows your TV or VCR to receive video from the Wii. If this is the first time you're setting up your system, review and redo each of the steps in the Quick Setup process in your manual.

Listen out sound problems. If you have no sound, or the sound is distorted, first check that all your audio connections are securely in place. Use a Y-connector, if you have a mono TV or VCR, to receive all the stereo sound from your Wii games. And check your game manual: with some games, there's no sound until the game begins, or you need to adjust sound volume on your Wii-mote or other input device.

Let the Wii sensor bar know you're there. Many Wii troubles are caused by poor placement of the sensor bar, or interference from incandescent lamps or infrared devices that block signals from the Wii-mote. Be sure you're using your remote within the ideal 3- to 8-foot range. If you've eliminated these causes, it may be time to reintroduce your remote to the sensor by resychronizing them; see your manual or the related eHow article "How to Synchronize a New Wii-mote" for instructions.

Check for slipped disks. If the Wii has trouble reading a game disk, make sure you've inserted in correctly; the label side should face up if your game console is placed horizontally, and it should face right if your console is vertical. Be sure the game is one that's compatible with the Nintendo Wii. Examine the disk for scratches, and clean it by wiping it with a soft, lint-free cloth from the center to out to the edge.

Get rid of sticky fingers; if the buttons on your Wii-mote are sluggish or sticking, you can clean the remote very carefully. Use a new, soft-bristled toothbrush. Dip the brush in hot (never boiling) water and shake off the excess drops. Disconnect the Wii-mote, and scrub around the buttons, including the crevices, without allowing water to get into the interior; towel the remote dry and let it air dry for a couple of hours before reconnecting it.

Realize that there are some troubles you can't shoot on your own. If your Wii is truly broken-you've gotten an incomprehensible and terrifying error code, or you watched in horror as your toddler fed pizza into the disk drive-you'll need to contact Nintendo for further assistance or repair shipping instructions. See the Nintendo Customer Service web page or call (800) 255-3700. You can check error codes online, and e-mail troubleshooting questions.


If your Wii is just not responding, it may be because the system has been sitting somewhere that's too hot or too cold-a common problem when you've moved the system from one place to another. Disconnect everything, and let the system sit for several hours to come to room temperature. If you can't identify your problem or get satisfactory assistance from Nintendo's customer service, try posting your troubleshooting question on a user's forum like


Don't use devices, accessories or disks that aren't Nintendo Wii-compatible. These are often the cause of problems with the system, and using them will make you liable for any repairs even if your Wii is still under warranty.