Bose QC35 II Won’t Turn Off? Here’s the Step by Step Fix!

Bose QC 35 ANC Headphones top view

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If you have a pair of Bose QC35 or QC35ii and you turn the switch off, but it won’t turn off then here is the fix for you!

I have had my QC35 for about 7 years.

I love them.

But recently they stopped working properly.

When I turned the switch off they said the were connecting again?!

That meant the battery just ran flat and they were effectively useless to me.

So, I went out in the BFCM sales and bought a new pair of QC45.

Admittedly, as someone that reviews headphones a lot I really just wanted an excuse to level up.

That and some trips coming around North America.

Anyway, you’re here to fix your QC35 or QC35 ii, so let’s get on with it

Here are the steps I tool to get this solution working. At first, it didn’t work but eventually, after a lot of working the switch, they actually turned off.

Seems this is the trick, and it works!

What you’ll need

  • Small Phillips head screwdriver
  • Contact spray, rubbing alcohol or similar
  • Compressed air can (optional)
  • A little bit of hope…
CRC QD Contact Cleaner 03130 – 11 WT OZ, Plastic Safe Electronics Aerosol Cleaner, Suitable for Sensitive Electronic Equipment
You might need some CRC Contact Cleaner Spray

Step 1: Remove the earcup foams

QC35 headphone cups inside facing the camera over a bench of tools and am iPhone
Remove the ear foams from your QC35 | Make Life Click

This is easy but if you haven’t done it before it might make you a little nervous.

You need to understand that the earcups are clipped in. Not glued or fixed but just a semi-firm circle of plastic holds it under a few little clips.

Grab the ear foam (don’t try to tear it off its base) and pull/squeeze one side of it towards the center of the earcup and it should pop off, or at least release one clip so you know how to disconnect the rest.

Step 2: Remove the inner ear cup fabric

Fabric of the QC35 and hand showing to remove it by pulling the left side
Remove the internal fabric covering the driver | Make Life Click
Fabric removed from the inside of the QC35 headphones
The back of the ear cup fabric showing the two sticky strips | Make Life Click

Once the earcup foam is removed you will notice there is a fabric cover over the internal driver.

This is attached with two strips of adhesive, almost like a strong gel, if you take the bottom or top of it and slowly pull you will soon realize how it’s attached and can work it off.

You can grab the side too but whatever works for you, just take your time to work it off.

Instead of pulling it more of a peeling.

Step 3: Remove the 3 screws

Bose QC35 internal cover removed showing 3 screws and drive components
Remove the 3 screws | Make Life Click

So, now you’re in one side we need to release the other side.

You’ll see there are three really small screws in the housing, these need removing.

Don’t lose them of course.

You’ll need a small screwdriver. Phillips head.

Step 4: Remove the outer shell

Outside shell of the QC35 right earcup with switch showing
The outer shell might fall off or need a push from the inside screw holes

Now that you’ve removed the inside screws we need to focus on the other side, the external-facing side.

If this doesn’t just fall out after you remove the screws, put a really thin screwdriver, spike driver, pin, paperclip or similar in to the screw holes you just vacated.

This will allow you to push the outer shell off gently.

Step 5: Remove the switch top (optional)

Inside of the QC35 right ear cup with switch showing
Spray it, swab it and work it back and forth | Make Life Click

The on/off sliding switch is really just a small piece of plastic that clips on to the top of the switch itself.

You can pull it straight up and off the switch itself.

It’s not glued on, but it might pop when it comes off so don’t let it fly off somewhere you can’t find it.

It doesn’t have to be removed but gives better access to the switch itself.

Step 6: Give it a blow, some cleaner and work it like a DJ

This is all the dismantling you need to do. You might be temped to completely remove the switch housing but you shouldn’t need to.

If you have some, blow some compressed air through the switch to get rid of any gunk that might have built up.

Then spray some contact cleaner or any other CRC type product you feel brave enough to use.

You can also try some rubbing alcohol or similar, just to get something in the switch to help break down any build up and clean the contacts again.

I used Contact Cleaner, which is kind of designed for this. Here’s one below I prepared earlier…

CRC QD Contact Cleaner 03130 – 11 WT OZ, Plastic Safe Electronics Aerosol Cleaner, Suitable for Sensitive Electronic Equipment
CRC Contact Cleaner Spray

Once you’ve given it a bit of something slippery then start working the switch left and right.

You can do this gently but with some speed as you like.

All you’re doing is allowing the contact cleaner/rubbing alcohol a chance to break down any build up on the contacts.

I did this for about 5 minutes before it worked but I expect most of you won’t need to do it that long.

I gave it a rest after a minute or two as I thought it wasn’t going to work.

Sprayed it some more, let it sit a second, then worked the swtich again for a while more.

Hopefully, it will all come back to life…or switch off is the point.

Step 7: Put it all back together 🙂

Hopefully, at this point, things are working again.

Don’t put it back together thinking that you might need to before you test it.

If it’s going to work, it’s going to work even in pieces.

You can put your ear to the earcups and hear if she goes to sleep or stays away when you turn her off.


If you’ve got any questions let me know.

I now have a working pair of QC35 and QC45 so I guess my wife will be retiring her Sennheiser ANC headphones and getting the QC35 for the next trip across North America.

I’ve already ordered some replacement ear cup foams to make it feel like a clean(er), new pair.

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.

This post was last updated on 2024-04-12 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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2 thoughts on “Bose QC35 II Won’t Turn Off? Here’s the Step by Step Fix!”

  1. Thank u!
    Had this problem for a several weeks, firstly it was like *1 auto on after manual off* and than normally *off* and after time it became *straight on after manual off*
    I used 40% vodka which is also good enough, added few micro drops and did side-to-side move like 20 times

  2. Yeah… this didn’t work. It still turns back on no matter how much I clean the switch. Its clearly a onboard software issue because the headphones can be sitting still and randomly just pop back on. Trading up to a QC45 is the only option at this point.

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