You might have noticed that after playing a couple of hours with your Switch on the dock, the console will feel a lot warmer than usual...
Is it overheating? And is there a way to prevent it?
The good news is that your Switch is likely fine. It is common for the console to heat up after use, especially if it remains on the Dock.
It´s important to remember that while the dock recharges your Switch and connects it to the TV, it doesn’t do anything else. It doesn’t have a fan, nor slits for the heat to disperse, so any time you play for a long while, your console will get hotter as a result.
Ok, so it does get hotter, but is it possible for the Switch to overheat?
Normally no. Unless you are pulling an all-nighter marathon session, your Switch should be fine.
However, some users have reported that their Switch did indeed overheat to the point of bending or breaking. Users like _NSR in this Reddit thread. Most consoles aren´t affected, but a select few do have an overheating issue.
Unfortunately, there is not a sure-fire way to know if your Switch is affected by this problem. If it hurts to touch your console after playing for a couple of hours, then you might have cause for concern. Otherwise, it´s heating up in a normal temperature range.
How do I stop my Switch from overheating?
The causes of overheat are usually the following:
A broken internal fan.
Placing the dock in an area with poor ventilation.
Junk obstructing the ventilation slits.
An internal problem with the Switch´s circuits.
The most common issue is a malfunctioning fan. To check if your own is still working, place your hand near the top of your switch, where the ventilation slits are. If you feel a slight current, then it is working. If not, try to hear if it´s spinning.
If you can´t feel a current nor hear any sound coming from your Switch, then the fan is broken, and you should contact Nintendo Support so they can fix it. Alternatively, you can buy a new one and replace it yourself by following these instructions.
Airflow is another important issue to consider. The Switch has an internal fan that cools off the console by expelling hot air at the top of the console.
If its way out is blocked by a wall, monitor, or other equipment, then the air has nowhere to go, and the console will overheat.
To fix it, move your dock to a less cramped space so that it has enough room to expel the hot air. Opening the dock´s back flap is another way to help disperse the heat of the console.
A better-ventilated dock, like Antank´s Pocket TV Dock, will help too, as it naturally creates better airflow for your console by giving it more breathing room.
Another common problem is dirt and other trash getting stuck and blocking the ventilation slits. Cleaning them with a Q-tip or similar instrument will fix the issue.
If you think the internal fan is broken, but can´t fix it yourself, then you can work around this issue by buying an external USB fan like the Multifan X 5. You can plug it to your Switch, aim it at the dock itself and the console should remain cool.
Air conditioners and “regular” fans should also do a good enough job at keeping the Switch´s temperature below dangerous levels while playing.
If all the above fails, and you are SURE that your Switch is overheating to the point of cracking or bending itself, then it might be the time to open it up and fix its circuits.
The safest way to go about this is to contact Nintendo Support and have them take a look at your Switch.
If you live in a country where Nintendo support is unavailable, I recommend you take it to a professional. If none are available, there are these handy guides to replace the internal fan and heat sinks.
And there you have it. It´s normal for the Switch to heat up while in use, but in a few select cases, it can overheat to the point of damaging itself. You can prevent this from happening by putting your dock in a well-ventilated place, replacing its internal fan or aiming the AC directly at it while you play.
If this article has been helpful to you, please consider sharing it with your friends. Be sure to check out our other article on how to fix Joy-con drift.
Have another problem with your Switch? Let me know in the comments and we´ll try to help you fix it.