How to Connect Power Button to Motherboard?

Connecting the case power button to the motherboard is a relatively simple procedure. You will undoubtedly need your motherboard’s manual for this, though.

To connect the power button to the motherboard, you need to locate the correct pair of pins (aka terminals) on the motherboard that is intended for the power switch.

These pins are often located on the “Front Panel Header” block. The front panel header has the pins for the Power Switch and Reset, Power LED, Motherboard Speaker, etc.

If all this sounds too confusing, do not fret; we will discuss how to connect the power button to the motherboard in detail.

Learning Some Preliminary Jargon

I recommend you keep the definition of the following two terms in mind for this article.

1. Electrical Pins

A typical motherboard has several pins for different purposes. For instance, you may find plugs for USB ports, motherboard fans, etc. We are interested in the SW_PW or Power Switch pins for the power button.

2. Header

Pin Header
Pin Header

The header is another name for connectors for motherboards with several male pins. Often, different pins on a header serve another purpose.

The Power Switch pins are located on the Front Panel Header. 

Also Read: What are Motherboard Standoffs?

How to Connect Power Button to Motherboard

Connecting the power button involves the following few simple steps

1. Locate the Front Panel Header

As mentioned earlier, the pins for the power switch can be found on the motherboard Front Panel Header.

You can locate the Front Panel Header by:

  1. Using the motherboard’s manual
  2. Physically inspecting the motherboard

Using the Motherboard Manual

The following shows the location of the Front Panel Header according to my motherboard’s manual.

Motherboard-manual-power-switch w
Location of Power Switch Jumpers on Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3

According to this, the Front Panel Header is located on the bottom right of the motherboard.

Physically Inspecting Motherboard

You can also find the location of the front panel header by physical inspection. Most of the headers have labels for their intended purpose.

The label for the Front Panel Header on a motherboard is often F_Panel

How to Connect Power Button to Motherboard 2 w

Also Read: How to Connect Extra Fans to Motherboard?

2. Determine the PINs Intended for the Power On Switch

There are many pins on a Front Panel Header for different purposes, such as:

  • Power On Switch
  • Reset Switch
  • Power LED
  • Hard Disk LED
  • Beep Core Speaker

Therefore, once you have located the Front Panel Header, you want to determine the pins corresponding to the Power On switch.

The Power Switch pins are always in pairs, i.e., 2 pins.

The easiest way to figure out the correct pins is through the labels next to the Front Panel Header on the motherboard itself.

In the following image, I have highlighted the label corresponding to the Power On pins.

The third and fourth pins from the left in the first row correspond to the power switch.

How to Connect Power Button to Motherboard w

The following image shows the Power Switch pin’s location for my motherboard.

power swtich front panel header

3. Connect the Jumper to The Pins

Finally, connect the Power Switch jumper to the Power Switch pins on the Front Panel Header.

The Power Switch jumper cable comes with the PC case, and it originates from the case’s front panel along with the myriad of other jumpers for different purposes.

power switch connector
The power Switch Jumper from the CASE plugs into the two Power Switch Pins on the motherboard F_Panel

Does the Polarity (+/-) Matter Here

While the labels on the motherboard read as +PW- indicating that the 3rd pin in the first row is positive and the 4th pin is negative, for a switch, the polarity does not matter here.

You can connect the jumper either way, i.e., on any terminal, as long as it completes the circuit.

For LED lights for Hard Disk and Power, the polarity does matter, whereby you have to make sure that you connect the negative jumper in the negative pin and the positive jumper in the positive pin.

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with Cables?

Other Ways to Turn On a Motherboard

There are also a couple of other methods to turn on your motherboard. These methods may come in handy, particularly where your PC case’s power button or the jumper cable is damaged:

Using the Standalone Power Switch Cables

Standalone Motherboard Power On Switches

These are pretty straightforward to use.

On one end, you connect the jumpers to the Power Switch pins on the Front Header Panel just as you usually do. On the other end, you have a push button that works like the PC case’s button.

This can be useful, mainly if you are bench testing your motherboard, i.e., testing the motherboard outside the case.

Manually Jump Starting Your Motherboard

Suppose you do not have a Power On switch at all. You can jump-start your motherboard with a simple precision screwdriver.

You take the screwdriver, which touches the 2 Power Switch pins on the Front Panel Header.

jump start motherboard
Use a small precise screwdriver to jump the pins of the Power On Switch

It would be wise to ensure the screwdriver does not touch other pins. Hence it is advisable to use precision or a small, flat screwdriver.

Also Read:


How Can I Turn On My Motherboard Without the Power Button?

As mentioned earlier, you can jump-start your motherboard by closing the circuit on the two power pins in the Front Header Panel. This can be done with a precision screwdriver.

Is There a Power Button On a Motherboard?

Most motherboards do not come with a power button located on the motherboard. Instead, they only come with the Power Switch pins we discussed above.

However, on some premium motherboards, you may find a dedicated push button for powering it on.

PC Does Not Turn On After Connecting the Jumper Cable

If your PC does NOT turn on even after you have connected the jumper cable to the correct pins, then you can look into the following:

  • Make sure the 24-pin ATX connector from the Power Supply Unit is connected to the motherboard
  • Ensure the 8-pin CPU connector is also connected to the motherboard from PSU.
  • Inspect if the button on the PC case is damaged or not.
  • Inspect whether or not the Power Switch Jumper cable from the PC case is damaged.
  • Inspect whether or not the Power Switch pin on the Front Header Panel is damaged.

Also Read: How to Use Motherboard HDMI with Graphics Card?

Final Words

Connecting the power button to the motherboard is pretty straightforward once you understand the Front Panel Header on your motherboard and its pin configuration.

You must identify the pins corresponding to the Power On Switch on the Front Panel Header and then plug the Power Switch Jumper cable from your PC case into them.

Also Read: How to Connect Motherboard Internal Speaker? (Beep Code Speaker)

Photo of author


Ojash Yadav is the lead technical writer and resident tech guru at PCGuide101. He is a computer science graduate with over 8 years of experience in the IT field and a wealth of knowledge about computer peripherals. He has a passion for breaking down complex technical concepts and his goal is to make sure that our readers understand the technical details of the products they're interested in without getting lost in jargon. Ojash has over a decade of experience writing about the latest and greatest in the tech world, his articles have been featured in many popular tech publications and he's known for his thorough and unbiased reviews. He conducts extensive research and testing on the latest products to ensure our readers always get the most reliable information possible.

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