When you are putting together a new desktop computer, the final touch you need to make is to connect the power button of the case to the motherboard. This is a very easy step and takes just a minute or two, but you should know a few things about how to do it.
In a broad scope, all you have to do is connect a cable from the case to the appropriate power switch pins on the motherboard.
If that sounds scary, don’t worry. We will go over the exact steps in the next few paragraphs.
We are going to talk about how to find the appropriate power switch pins on the motherboard and connect the power button cable to them, but we will also go into a bit more detail about the technicalities of the task.
This article is applicable to all desktop motherboards, regardless of their make or model. So let’s get started.
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How to connect the Power button to the motherboard?
1. Find The Front Panel Header
This is probably the most difficult part of the process. You have to find where exactly you need to connect the power switch on the motherboard. To make it a bit easier, we will go through all the steps for how to do it.
The first thing you should do is to find the Front Panel Header. If you are wondering what that is and why you should care, the answer is that it’s basically a plastic socket for the PC case power cables you are going to connect. It has all the pins for the reset button, the power button, the HD LED, the power led, and the case speaker.
How to find the front panel header?
In order to find out where exactly this header is, you can either look at your motherboard manual or look at the front of your motherboard. Somewhere on the front of the mobo, there should socket with the label `F_PANEL’.
2. Find the appropriate pins
As already mentioned, the front panel header has multiple pins; probably only two are for the case power button (might be more depending on the model). How do you know which pins you need to connect the cable to?
That’s easy. Just like you did to locate the front panel connectors, you just need to look either at your motherboard’s manual or the motherboard itself. The pins you need to connect the power button to are called `PW’ or `PWR,’ and they are very easy to spot.
3. Find the power jumper
Now that you have located the Front Panel Header and know which pins you need to connect the power button cable, it’s time to find the cable itself
The power jumper, aka power button cable, is part of the cable pack of your PC case. It’s a small cable with two-pin connectors. There should be a label on the plastic part of this cable that says something like `POWER SW’ or `PW.’
4. Connect the power button to the motherboard
Finally, you have all the tools, and now it’s time for the actual process.
The steps are very easy. As already mentioned, the power button cable has a two-pin connector that goes into the Front Panel Header. Just make sure to connect this cable to the correct two pins. It’s very easy to do because the pins are labeled `PW’ or `PWR.’
You should not care about the polarity of this connector. It doesn’t matter if you connect it, either way. Yes, the front panel connector label has plus and minus signs, but you will be fine if it completes the circuit. But keep in mind that for the other front panel cables like HDD LED and power led, you will need to connect the correct polarity.
How to jumpstart the motherboard?
We have been asked many times if you can jumpstart your motherboard if your power button doesn’t work. Well, the answer is yes, you can, and it is extremely easy to do.
All you need is a paper clip or any wire, and touch the two pins on the Front Panel Header where your power button should have been connected. The important thing is to only touch the two pins. By touching these two pins, you are completing the circuit. This is the reason why you don’t care about the polarity when it comes to the power button itself.
What is a power button on a motherboard?
While most motherboards don’t have a dedicated power button but a power switch header where you connect the power button cable, there are some motherboards that have a dedicated power button. This is a power button on a motherboard.
Where is the power switch on the motherboard?
The power switch of the motherboard is located on the front panel header. The front panel header is a small plastic socket with multiple pins sticking out and is located on the motherboard’s front side.
Does the power switch go on the motherboard?
Yes, you can say that the power switch goes on the motherboard. The power switch is located on the front panel header, which, in turn, is on the motherboard’s front side. There you can connect the power button, and other front panel cables like HDD led and power led.
How does a motherboard power switch work?
What happens when you press the power button is that it closes the circuit on the motherboard. This means that a signal is sent to the power supply to send enough power to the system and start it.
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If you didn’t know how to connect the power button and other front panel cables to your motherboard, we hope that our tutorial helped you. It is not extremely complicated and doesn’t require high-tech knowledge either. If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments section below.
Nick Ryley is a computer architect and the owner of The Pc Geekz.
His love for playing games got him interested in computers in the first place. He wanted to be able to build a gaming PC that could run all the latest games at max settings, and this has him pursuing a major in computer architecture!
He started this blog to help people out and answer some of the most common questions about computer building