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How to fix a Nintendo Switch that keeps overheating

Person holding Nintendo Switch near pool

Imagine you've spent hours playing Cuphead®, when suddenly your Nintendo Switch® overheats and crashes in the middle of the big boss battle with Chef Saltbaker. Talk about a bummer. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to fix a Switch that keeps overheating—and get you back in the game.

At Asurion, we help millions of people troubleshoot, fix, and maximize their tech. From getting your Nintendo Switch to connect to your TV to tips for how to fix lag when playing games online, we keep the devices you rely on most working all day, every day.

Here's how to fix a Nintendo Switch that keeps overheating—and how to prevent it from getting too hot in the future.

Why your Nintendo Switch is overheating

There are a few reasons that your console may be overheating: The air vents may be obstructed, or the device may be working hard to meet graphics demands.

How to cool down your Nintendo Switch

Heat can damage your Nintendo Switch. The console has temperature limits, and it's built to circulate air to keep it from overheating. If you're playing in a warm room without air conditioning, a fan, or any type of ventilation, you'll want to keep a close eye on your console to make sure it doesn't get hot.

If you notice your Switch starting to heat up, just turn it off and unplug it. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the device in a cool, well-ventilated area.

How to make sure your Nintendo Switch doesn't overheat

There are plenty of ways to prevent your Switch from overheating, including:

  • Not using it in high temperatures.
  • Making sure its air vents are clear.
  • Cleaning the Joy-Con™ rails.
  • Not playing it while it charges.
  • Keeping the software up to date.
  • Avoiding long play times.

We'll walk through each one.

Do not play your Nintendo Switch in a hot room

High temperatures can cause your console to overheat. We recommend using your Switch in a well-ventilated area where there's air conditioning or a ceiling fan to keep the room well within the recommended temperature range of 41°F–95°F. This may also mean using an alternative charging dock that encourages more ventilation than the standard one from Nintendo Switch.

Make sure your Switch's air vents aren't blocked

If dust builds up in your Switch's air vents, your console will have to work harder to cool down. Before you play, make sure both the air intake, located at the top of the console, and the air vents on the back aren't blocked. You can clear out any dust with a handheld vacuum.

Clean the controller rails

If the bottom-right side of the Nintendo Switch console gets hot, the problem could be the Joy-Con controller rails: These can collect dust and debris over time, just like the vents. You'll want to occasionally clean the rails by using a soft toothbrush to gently brush it. If you try this and your console continues to overheat on the right side, you may need to have an expert replace the Joy-Con rails.

Avoid playing games while your Switch is charging

The Switch may get hot while charging undocked, so if you're also playing a game, your console could overheat. Let your Switch charge and then unplug it before starting a game.

Keep your console's software updated

Using older software can cause the console to work harder than it should to keep up with regular use. The result: overheating. Here's how to update your Nintendo Switch's software:

  1. Turn on your Nintendo Switch. This will automatically open the Home menu.
  2. Tap the System Setting icon located at the bottom of the Home menu.
  3. In System Settings, scroll to and select System, on the left side of the screen.
  4. Select System Update. The Switch will start updating its software.

Avoid long gaming sessions

The type of games you play and the type of graphics they rely on can also have an impact on how fast your Switch overheats. Fast-paced, graphics-heavy games are more demanding on the system.

For those games especially, avoid using the Switch for more than 5 or 6 hours without breaks. Doing so will allow your console to cool down and prevent overheating.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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