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. In fact, it´s almost painful to touch it. In those cases...
Is the Switch overheating? And is there a way to prevent it?
The good news is that your Switch is most likely fine. It is common for the console to heat up while on the dock, especially if you have played for hours.
It´s important to remember that the dock doesn’t have a fan, nor slits. This means that the heat produce by the Switch doesn´t have anywhere to go, it can´t disperse on its own, and it will build up the longer you play.
The console does get hotter the longer you play, but is it possible for the Switch to overheat? To grow so hot that it damages itself?
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, like _NSR in this Reddit thread. It´s quite rare, but a unlucky consoles do have an overheating issue.
Unfortunately, there is not a sure-fire way to know if your Switch can be affected by this problem until it happens. 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 to a normal temperature range.
How do I stop my Switch from overheating? Why is it overheating?
Overheating is usually the result of the following issues:
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 the one on your Switch is still working, place your hand near the top of your console, 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 or 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 this current 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.
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 that dirt and other trash gets stuck and blocks 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, then you can follow 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.