One of the big selling points of the Nintendo Switch is precisely the capability to play with it wherever you go or to connect it to a TV and play like a regular home console.
Most of the time, this works flawlessly. You put the Nintendo Switch on the Dock, and you can play on TV. You take it away, and you can play anywhere you want.
Sometimes, however, there is a problem. The Nintendo Switch will turn off while on the Dock and interrupt your game. And if it doesn´t turn off, the screen goes black and all but stops the game as if it had a blackout. Why does this happen? And how can you fix it?
Why does my Nintendo Switch turn off in the Dock?
The most likely cause is the HDMI cable. While we can't say for sure that the cause of the blackout is for every Nintendo Switch lies with the cable, it is the most common problem.
This is especially true for the OLED version. It's not the dock (which is the same dock as the one in a regular Switch) or the model of Switch that has a problem, it´s the cable.
The HDMI cable is the link between your console (well, technically the Dock, but you get the idea) and your TV. As you probably already know, the HDMI cable is responsible for sending the audio and video information to your TV (or monitor, or laptop) so that it can display the game you are playing.
You can find 1.4, 2.0, and 2.1 versions of HDMI adapters on the market. While all modern devices should be compatible with them, sometimes there are a few issues between specific devices and the version of the HDMI cable you are using.
If the flow of data between the two devices is unstable, or if there isn´t a good connection in the first place, then you will experience some blackouts. The game cannot stream properly into the TV, so it will begin to flicker and turn off.
As a compounding effect, this can turn off your TV or monitor. The Nintendo Switch has a setting called "Match TV power State" which will try to make your console and television have the same "state". When one is on, the other will turn on. When one turns off, the other does as well. If you don´t disable it, you will soon find out that your console and monitor will lose power after a "blackout".
Of course, it might not be the cable. It might be your Switch or TV instead that has a problem. To start, make sure that the console´s resolution matches the TV. A mismatch can cause flickering.
Some monitors and TVs can be fickle with what their HDMI ports accept. You might have a problem not only with your Nintendo Switch but also with your laptop or any other similar machine that you try to connect.
To make sure you know where the error is, try to connect your Nintendo Switch to another device using a different HDMI cable. If the problem persists, then it´s probably your Switch.
If it´s gone, then it´s the cable or the TV. Try connecting your laptop, Chromecast, or tablet to the television to see if the issue repeats. If it does, then you know where the problem is.
Another possibility is a failure with the power source. If you connect the dock to the same power socket as ten other devices or use an off-brand AC adapter, you might run into problems supplying the console with stable energy. The electricity might be cut while you play, which turns off your game.
How do I stop my Nintendo Switch from turning off while in the Dock?
The good news is that this problem is relatively easy to fix if the issue is in the HDMI cable, but it will cost you a bit. As you probably guessed, the solution is to buy a new one to try out.
However, be mindful not to buy just any cable out there. It´s best if you try another "version" of the HDMI cable that you own. As we mentioned, there are the 1.4,2.0, and 2.1 HDMI cables out there. The Nintendo Switch is only compatible with the 1.4 and 2.0 versions, so try to stick to those.
Furthermore, the Nintendo Switch OLED ships with a 2.0 HDMI cable included in the box. This can be a problem as some users report that this more "flexible" cable is more prone to having issues streaming data to and from some TV brands. Plus, the flexibility did not come with an increase in durability, and as such, the cable bends and gets broken more easily.
So, if you have an OLED Switch and are experiencing five-second blackouts while you play, the solution will be to switch to a 1.4 HDMI cable. Once you do so, the blackouts should stop, and you will be able to play normally.
If the problem comes from the power source, then get an official AC adapter or try to plug fewer devices into a single power socket.
Finally, if the problem comes from either a defective Nintendo Switch or TV, then you might have little hope but to contact Nintendo Support or your TV´s manufacturer and ask for their help. This might entail giving it back to them so that they can fix it.
However, a far more likely solution if the problem comes with the TV, is that you will have to finagle with the HDMI settings until you find one that´s compatible with the Nintendo Switch or even downscale the resolution to make it work more smoothly.