Troubleshooting Nintendo Switch: The ultimate guide
Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, is unique and a ton of fun to play, but it’s also a complicated piece of tech that doesn’t quite follow the rules of consoles or tablets. It’s not always obvious what to do when something doesn’t quite behave the way you think it should, and that’s where this collection of troubleshooting steps comes in.
If you don’t see your issue on the list, please let us know and we’ll do everything we can to update with exactly what you need to know!
My controller got jammed on the wrist strap!
It turns out there’s a right way and a wrong way to attach the wrist strap adapters to your Joy-Cons when they aren’t attached to the Switch. If you go with the wrong way, nothing lines up and it feels like you can’t actually separate the halves anymore.
Don’t panic! You didn’t break your controller and it’s not permanently stuck like that, though it may certainly feel like it when you try to pull the two pieces apart. The fix is simple, as long as you know how to do it!
My Switch is HOT, like maybe too hot?!
With all of these phones exploding in people’s pockets and gadgets melting from a too-hot battery, it’s very easy to worry that your Switch is running hotter than it should, especially if you’re not used to how hot consoles run. We decided to test the heat from the Switch using a thermal camera to allay any fears that your Switch is running hotter than it should or that it might just burn a hole in your pocket, literally.
My Joy-Cons seem too loose when I snap them into the Switch. Is that normal?
For the most part, a little wiggle is totally normal with the Joy-Con controllers when snapped into the Switch. However, there have been some complaints that it’s not just a wiggle, but a downright un-attached controller that’s causing the problem, and that’s after making sure the Joy-Con is indeed properly snapped into place.
Here’s how to check to see if your Joy-Cons are properly set, and what to do if you still experience a loose connection:
How not to turn your computer into a big stupid box of malware
With every new gaming format, someone wants to create an emulator for it that will run games that launch on it, and the Switch is now different. Well, it sort of is different because, so far, no one has actually made a Switch emulator. Instead, some nefarious groups are sharing malware disguised as a Switch emulator that you download onto your computer. Don’t be tempted by the Dark Side. Just get a real Switch, like a grown-up.
This Switch keeps changing the channel on my TV
If you are watching TV and accidentally roll over on your Switch controller, or someone else picks up a Joy-Con and presses buttons, all of a sudden the TV will flip back to the Nintendo Switch input ready to play a game. It’s a cool feature if you do it on purpose, but accidentally waking a controller can quickly pull you away from whatever you were actually doing on your television.
Fortunately, this feature is entirely optional. You can disable it without messing with any other features, and go back to life as it was before game consoles could adjust your TV at will.
The dock is scratching my Switch, how do I stop it?!
It’s true, and it’s so sad! If you’re not extra careful about how you put the Switch in or take it out of its dock, you can get little scratches on the far sides of the display. The plastic on plastic rubbing together is just enough for little scratches, and they’re particularly difficult to avoid depending on how many other people are using your Switch!
You need to be able to protect your Switch from more scratches, and that means making sure there’s a solid way to use the dock without worrying about this being a problem.
I want my Switch to stop changing the screen brightness. Help?
Nintendo Switch adjusts screen brightness based on how bright or dark the room you are in is. This works well enough in most situations, but If you’re on a train or in a room with indirect light these sensors can easily get it wrong and you need to be able to mess with the brightness on your own.
Nintendo makes it easy to adjust the brightness as you see fit, but you can also entirely disable auto-brightness controls and be able to do things your way from now on.
My Switch has completely frozen and nothing works, what can I do?
In rare cases, my Switch has just stopped altogether and does nothing. For example, I was moving from one app to another, and suddenly none of the buttons worked. Not even the power button! That’s a bad place to be, especially if you’re trying to game on the go.
There are a couple of ways I found to deal with this problem. So, even though it doesn’t happen often there are quick ways to address it.
I’m worried I might break the Switch kickstand!
You’re not the only one. It might feel flimsy, but it’s a pretty resilient piece of plastic, that kickstand. Actually, it’s removable, too. So even if you accidentally manhandle it right off the back of your Switch, it probably didn’t break and you can just pop it right back on.
I accidentally bought a game that I don’t want. How do I return it?
Eeehhh… (picture my face grimacing right now). Well, that could be a problem. If you purchased a physical game card and didn’t open the package, you can probably return it to the retailer you purchased from. Games from the eShop, however, are a different story.
These Joy-Con controllers are just too small. They’re cramping my style … and my hands!
For some people, the Joy-Cons are a joy to play with. For others, however, there’s just not enough controller to hold. Luckily, third-party accessory makers have come up with a variety of solutions, depending on your personal needs.
Have you come across an issue with your Nintendo Switch that you were able to troubleshoot? Let us know what happened and how you fixed it.
Updated February 2018: Added a few more troubleshooting sections and links to their respective articles.
Troubleshooting Nintendo Switch: The ultimate guide