How to Solve Common Nintendo Switch Problems

Keep your Nintendo Switch running smoothly

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The Nintendo Switch's release has been remarkably smooth compared to some of the disaster's we've seen in the past—do I even need to mention the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's tendency to burst into flames?—but it hasn't been without a few issues. The one getting the most headlines these days is the dreaded Left Joy Con issue, which now has a fix by Nintendo. There have also been reports of some screens that experience dead pixels, but this hasn't been so widespread.

We'll take you through what you should do if you experience some of these problems and go over a few of the other common issues gamers are experiencing with their Nintendo Switch.

The Left Joy Con Experiences Connection Problems

One of the most common problems early adopters of the Nintendo Switch have experienced is a flaky left Joy Con. The Joy Con works properly most of the time, but intermittently, it disconnects for a few seconds. And this is a big deal. You don't want half your controller going dead in the middle of a fight.

This issue can be partially cured on your own. It happens more often when the line-of-sight between the Joy Con and the Nintendo Switch is obstructed, so moving your Switch's dock to a spot where this is unlikely can cure the problem in some instances.

But this can be unpractical for some people, and let's face it, if you were having bad problems with the left Joy Con, you'll probably want to use rearranging the room as a temporary fix until you can send it in for repairs.

Nintendo has acknowledged a 'manufacturing variation' as the root of the problem and have a program for sending in your Joy Con to be quickly fixed and shipped back to you. You can contact Nintendo support at http://support.nintendo.com.​

The Nintendo Switch's Dead Pixel Issue

If you are having a problem with dead pixels, you won't be reassured by Nintendo's proclamation that dead pixels are a problem with LCD screens and are not considered a defect.

And to a point, Nintendo is correct. LCD screens have had a problem with dead pixels for years.

Dead pixels are pixels that remain black when the screen is turned on or that remain the same color when they should have changed to a different colors. In essence, they are pixels that get stuck on a color. It is a problem with LCD screens because each individual pixel is acting on its own and thus any specific pixel can have a failure.

One suggested workaround from the LCD monitor days is to press down on the screen in the area having the problem in hopes of realigning it just enough for the problem to go away. I wouldn't recommend pressing down too hard on a touch display, but applying a little bit of pressure might help the issue. You can also try cleaning your Switch's display to see if that helps the situation.

If there are enough dead pixels to be very noticeable, you can try returning the unit. While Nintendo may not admit fault, individual stores may still take a return so long as you are within the time frame for the store's return policy.

The Nintendo Switch Won't Turn On or Is Frozen

The most common reason the for the Switch not powering up is a drained battery, which can be solved by simply letting it sit in the dock long enough to take enough charge to power back on.

However, if your Switch has been in the dock for quite some time and still won't power on, it might actually be frozen with black screen or frozen in suspend mode.

You can do a hard reset on the Nintendo Switch by holding down the power button for 12 seconds. If the screen is dark, you may want to hold it down for at least 20 seconds just to be sure. Wait a few seconds after letting up on the power button to allow the Switch to power down, and then press the power button again to power back on again. (That last step can be easy to forget if the Switch was frozen with a dark screen. We hold down the button to reset it, and then we wait for it to come to life forgetting that we've only powered it down.)

The Nintendo Switch Won't Charge

One problem people are having with the switch is the inability to charge via a battery pack. The switch takes more voltage than some battery packs can handle, so using a battery pack may not work out quite as well as charging a smartphone or tablet. You will also want to make sure you are using a USB-C to USB-C charging cable. Some battery packs can output enough power, but without the right cable, the Switch won't charge fast enough.

If you are having problems charging the Nintendo Switch at home, make sure you are charging via the AC adapter and not with a USB cable attached to a computer. That might be fine for your smartphone, but it won't do it for the Switch. If you are using the AC adapter and it isn't charging the Switch, try charging it using a different outlet from another room. If that doesn't work, try doing the hard reset explained above to see if it is an issue with the console itself. If both of those fail, you may need a new AC adapter for the dock.

The Nintendo Switch Won't Connect to the Internet

If you previously had your Switch up and running on the Internet without any problems, but suddenly, it's screaming about DNS servers, there's an easy solution. You need to reset the Switch. You can do this by holding down the power button until a menu pops up. Choose Power Settings and then Restart to reboot the Switch. You can also just keep holding down the power button to perform a hard reset, but it is better to reboot through the menu when you can.

If you continue having problems connecting to the Internet, you can walk through network settings again by going to the System Settings (the gear icon on the home screen), choosing Internet and then tapping on Internet Settings. This will search for available WI-Fi networks. You can also troubleshoot your Wi-Fi connection's strength by moving the Switch closer to your router. Read more boosting your Wi-Fi signal.

The Nintendo Switch Doesn't Recognize a Game Cartridge

If the Switch doesn't immediately recognize a new game cartridge inserted into the port, don't panic. Wait a few seconds and then try taking the cartridge out and then reinserting it. If that doesn't do the trick, put in another game cartridge, wait for the Switch to recognize it, and then replace that cartridge with the original. Most of the time, this will cure the problem. If not, try the hard reset explained above.

The Kickstand On My Nintendo Switch Broke Off!

The kickstand on the back of the Switch is actually built so that it is easy to pop off. And this is a good thing! The kickstand will pop out if too much pressure is applied to save you if you accidentally try to dock the Nintendo Switch when the kickstand is out. This saves you from actually breaking the kickstand in these instances. You should be able to pop the kickstand right back into place.