How to Wire Power Windows to a Toggle Switch (7 Steps)

Do you want to install an easy-to-operate toggle (or momentary) switch for your vehicle’s power windows?

You can wire a toggle switch to your power window’s motor. Toggle switches are easy to install and operate, and you can accomplish the task in less than 15 minutes without paying for a mechanic.

Quick summary: To wire power windows to a toggle switch:

  • Begin by testing the window motor with a jump starter
  • Then, wire the window motor to a toggle switch with 16-gauge wires
  • Next, link the inline 20-amp fuse to the hot wire from the switch
  • Connect the positive and negative wires from the switch to the 12-volt battery
  • Lastly, test the toggle switch by pushing the lever to either side

I will go into more detail below.

What You Will Need

  • Window motor
  • Wire nuts
  • A toggle switch
  • Wire stripper
  • Red wire for power – 16- or 18-gauge
  • Yellow for ground connection
  • 20 amps inline fuse
  • Jump starter

A toggle switch is a momentary switch that operates through a push button or projecting lever that moves either up and down or sideways. Unlike a simple on/off switch, the toggle switch does not latch into a set position.

How Power Windows Work

The window motor has two cables going into its positive and negative terminals from a power source, usually a battery, via a switch.

Flipping the switch will reverse the polarity on the window motor. Depending on the power window’s wiring, it causes the window to lower (open) or rise (close).


Below, I’ve shown 2 wiring arrangements for connecting a toggle switch to power windows, one using a relay and one without it. The first is an indirect method, and the second is a direct method.

A diagram demonstrating how to wire power windows to a toggle switch, along with a peg board
Video | Wiring Rescue

The window motor has two wires attached to its positive and negative terminals via a switch, forming a power source, normally the vehicle’s battery.

Flipping the switch causes the window motor’s polarity to reverse and the window to rise (close) or come down (open) according to the power window’s wiring. Below is a sample wiring diagram for a particular model provided by its manufacturer.

A comprehensive Nissan Rogue wiring diagram on how to wire power windows to a toggle switch

How to Wire Power Windows to a Toggle Switch

Follow the steps below to wire your power widow to a toggle switch.

Step 1: Testing the Power Window Motor

The first thing you should do is verify if your window motor is working or not.

You can do it using a jump starter without removing the motor itself. First, disconnect the window motor cables.

Use alligator clips to connect two wires to the two terminals on the window motor.

Ensure they don’t come into contact to avoid potential damage or shock. Then, use a jump starter to activate the window motor and bypass the protection circuit. Alternatively, you may use a 12-volt battery.

Connect the negative wire from the window motor’s negative terminal to the jump starter’s negative wire or clip. Do the same to the window motor’s positive wire.

If the window ascends (to close), swap the negative and positive wire connections and observe the window’s movement again. If the window descends (to open), the power window motor is fully operational.

Step 2: Add Connecting Wires to the Window Motor

In this guide, we will use the yellow wire for the ground connections and the red wire for the hot connection.

Get your red and yellow wires ready. Strip off about one inch of the insulation layer with a wire stripper. Attach the wires to their respective terminals, i.e., the positive (red) and negative (yellow) terminals on the window motor.

A person connecting the yellow wire as the ground and the red as the hot
Video | Mehul Rana

However, if the window motor is already wired, add pigtails to the two (hot and ground) wires by twisting them together instead. You can nest the twisted ends in wire caps.

I recommend using colored wire caps to help you tell the polarity of the wires at a glance.

Step 3: Wiring the Window Motor to a Toggle Switch

A person is wiring window motor to toggle switch
Video | Mehul Rana

On your double-pole single-throw toggle switch, connect the hot (red) and ground (yellow) wires from the window motor to the power and ground wires on the toggle switch.

A man is working on the wiring of a car's toggle switch
Video | Mehul Rana

The black and white wires on the toggle switch are the ground and power wires, respectively. Connect them on either side of the toggle switch.

A man is wiring power windows to a toggle switch in a car
Video | Mehul Rana

Step 4: Lowering and Raising the Window

You need to make various wire connections on the toggle switch that will enable you to lower or raise the window.

To do that, connect one of the power wires to the toggle switch’s opposite end. Do the same to the ground wire, as shown below.

A person is connecting one of the power wires to the toggle switch’s opposite end
Video | Mehul Rana

Step 5: Connect an Inline 20-Amp Fuse

A person is connecting an in-line fuse
Video | Mehul Rana

A fuse will prevent the switch from breaking in the event of a power surge.

Attach a fuse between the positive wire (white) from the toggle switch and the red wire from the battery’s positive terminal.

A man is working on a car with wires attached to it
Video | Mehul Rana

Note that a fuse is just a piece of wire without polarity. To link the fuse, wrap one end to one terminal of the positive wire and the other to another to form one continuous electrical line – hence the name “inline fuse”.

You may insulate the connection points with duct tape for safety.

Step 6: Connect the Switch to a 12-volt Battery

The window motor requires a power source to function.

Strip about an inch of the insulation coating on the white and black wires from the toggle switch.

A man is working on a car battery to wire power windows to a toggle switch
Video | Mehul Rana

Next, attach the black wire to a black alligator clip and connect it to the battery’s negative terminal. Then, attach the white wire to a red alligator clip and connect it to the battery’s positive terminal.

Step 7: Test the Power Window

A person testing power window with toggle switch
Video | Mehul Rana

Finally, test the toggle switch. Press the toggle to one side and observe the window’s movement.

Now flip the toggle switch to the other position and observe the window. The toggle lever inclination that ascends (or closes) the window is the ON position, and the other direction represents the OFF position. A momentary switch cannot get stuck and can move in either position.

According to your preference, you may choose to use wire nuts in the connection points of the wires, or you can solder them instead. Additionally, you may use the standard AWG color codes to avoid any confusion that may lead to short-circuiting.


Website Resources:

Video References:

Auto Repair Guys

Mehul Rana

Wiring Rescue

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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