Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Nintendo Switch problems and how to fix them

Get back to gaming with these quick fixes.
By

Published onJuly 9, 2023

The Nintendo Switch is a popular gaming console, with its hybrid nature making it an ideal travel partner. You can play games on your TV like any other console or enjoy gaming on the tablet-sized display while on the go. The slew of Nintendo exclusives and a bunch of excellent free games also contribute to the growing popularity of the handheld console. But like any tech, the Nintendo Switch has its share of bugs and glitches. Here’s a look at what you can do if your Nintendo Switch is not working.

Nintendo Switch won’t turn on

Nintendo Switch Header 14
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

A completely drained battery is most likely why your Nintendo Switch won’t turn on. Check the charger cable to ensure it isn’t torn or frayed. Some third-party chargers might also cause problems. The Switch supports USB-PD, and you get quick charging with an 18W charger. You’ll need a 45W charger for the Switch Dock.

Try a hard reset if the device is unresponsive. Press and hold the power button for around 20 seconds and then press the power button to turn it on.

If a hard reset doesn’t work, you might need to use Maintenance Mode. Press and hold the volume up and down keys together and press the power button. Continue holding the volume buttons until Maintenance Mode appears. You can try updating the system if a software problem is stopping the Switch from turning on. Then select Initialize console without deleting save data. Ensure you choose the right option because the other setting will completely factory reset the device and erase everything.

You’ll find a few more useful troubleshooting steps in our guide on what to do if the Nintendo Switch won’t turn on.

You can try clearing the cache if the device turns on but freezes or reboots frequently. Go to System settings > System > Formatting options > Clear cache and choose files to delete. Remember that this will erase data like saved accounts, passwords, cookies, history, and other website data.

Nintendo Switch not charging

dock your switch
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Check the cable for damage and try it with another device to see if it works. It could also be a placement issue if you use the dock to charge the Switch. If the console is inserted correctly, a green LED indicator should light up for a few seconds. However, it isn’t a charging indicator, so you’ll need to look for it as soon as you place the device in the dock.

To ensure it isn’t a problem with the dock, try charging the Switch directly. If that works, you will need to replace the dock. If the Switch isn’t charging with the cable or the dock, you will need to contact Customer Support to set up a repair.

Switch Joy Con not charging

stick the joycons on it
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

If the Joy Con controllers aren’t charging, unplug the wall charger and wait for at least 30 seconds. Then detach the controllers from the Switch and press the Sync button once on each controller to reset them. Attach the Joy Con to the console and plug the console into the wall charger directly. Let the console charge for at least half an hour before seeing if the controller works. The Joy Cons take around 3.5 hours to fully charge when connected to the Switch.

Some users have issues with only one of the Joy Cons not charging. In that case, go to System settings > Controllers and sensors > Disconnect controllers. Hold the X button on the right Joy Con until both controllers are disconnected. Remove both controllers from the console and press and hold the power button to turn off the device. Turn on the device after a minute and connect the controllers. Both should now charge without issue.

Joy Con not connecting or disconnecting frequently

Nintendo Switch Header 17
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

If the controllers tend to disconnect frequently or not connect at all, first make sure they are charged. You can also try disconnecting and reconnecting them using the steps mentioned above. You should also update the controller firmware if that’s causing the problem. Go to System settings > Controllers and sensors > Update controllers. Frequent disconnections are a known issue with older Switch consoles, so you can contact Nintendo customer support to get them replaced.

Nintendo Switch not connecting to Wi-Fi

Nintendo Switch Header 1
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

You don’t need an internet connection to play games on the Switch, especially if you use game cartridges. However, it’s necessary when you set up the device, create a Nintendo account from the device, download games, or play multiplayer.

If your Nintendo Switch doesn’t connect to the Internet, it could be a problem with your Wi-Fi network. Turn off the Wi-Fi router, shut down the Switch, and wait at least 30 seconds before restarting both. Also, check whether the issue is only affecting you or a broader network outage affecting your ISP. You can also look at the Nintendo Operational Status and Maintenance Information to see if Nintendo is suffering from an outage.

If resetting the router and device doesn’t work, there are a few more troubleshooting steps you can try from our guide on what to do if the Nintendo Switch doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi. You also have the option to use a wired connection with a LAN cable connected to the dock. The Switch OLED dock comes with a built-in LAN port. But if you have the regular model, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN adapter.

Nintendo Switch won’t connect to TV

nintendo switch successfully connected to a television at Android Authority
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

It’s not a very complicated process, but you should check out our guide on connecting the Nintendo Switch to a TV to ensure you aren’t missing out on any key steps.

If you see a blank screen or if the TV doesn’t mirror your Switch screen, ensure that you are using the correct HDMI input and check whether the cable is plugged in correctly on the TV and the dock. And, of course, ensure that you’ve selected the correct input on the TV to match the HDMI port the Switch is connected to.

Check the cable for any damage to ensure it isn’t torn or frayed. Third-party HDMI cables might also have compatibility issues, so you should use the cable that was in the box if possible.

Like most problems, a simple reset might do the trick as well. Press and hold the power button for around 15 seconds until the device turns off and press the power button again to restart it.

Nintendo Switch not reading SD card

insertion of the card
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a lot of built-in storage, so you might have to rely on a microSD card to keep your game files. A formatting issue might cause the Switch not to read the SD card if you use an older one. Nintendo recommends using the SD Card Memory Formatter (select Overwrite Format) to wipe the card before putting it in the Switch.

Incompatibility shouldn’t be a problem with any microSD card, but there are a few excellent microSD card options for the Nintendo Switch you can check out.