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Does Nintendo Switch OLED model have screen burn-in issues?

Nintendo Switch Light Oled Model Tabletop Mode
Nintendo Switch Light Oled Model Tabletop Mode (Image credit: iMore)

Does Nintendo Switch OLED model have screen burn-in issues?

Best answer: No reports of screen burn-in have been reported yet. However, it will likely affect at least a small number of Switch OLED owners as time goes on. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent it and fix it if it happens.

What is screen burn-in?

OLED screens are susceptible to getting damaged over time in what is known as screen burn-in, image ghosting, or image retention. This is where traces of what was once on screen are still visible long after the display has moved on to displaying something else. For instance, seeing logos or home menu items appear on screen while playing one of your favorite Nintendo Switch games. However, not all OLED screens are affected.

So far, there haven't been any reports of image burn-in with the Nintendo Switch OLED model. However, we're still very early on in the console's life, and this could quickly change over time. Still, if it does happen, it's likely to only affect a small number of users.

What does Nintendo have to say about screen burn-in issues?

Nintendo Switch Oled Model Removing Joy Con (Image credit: Nintendo)

When I reached out to Nintendo of America to ask about potential OLED model burn-in, I got this response:

"We've designed the OLED screen to aim for longevity as much as possible, but OLED displays can experience image retention if subjected to static visuals over a long period. However, users can take preventative measures to preserve the screen by utilizing features included in the Nintendo Switch systems by default, such as the auto-brightness function to prevent the screen from getting too bright and the auto-sleep function to go into "auto sleep" mode after short periods."

Basically, Nintendo of America admits that Nintendo Switch OLED Model screen burn-in is possible, but if Switch owners take the necessary precautions when using the console, it will be less likely to develop image retention issues.

How to prevent or fix image burn

Nintendo Switch Oled Model (Image credit: Nintendo)
  • Turn your brightness down: Unless you're playing outside, there's no need to have your brightness on full blast. Keeping the screen on the dimmer side is more likely to prevent image retention issues from cropping up.
  • Never leave your Switch running without using it: Staying too long on one screen can make images burn into the display. When you're done using it, always press the button to turn the display off rather than letting it go to sleep on its own.
  • Give your Switch a rest: Turn your Switch completely off for a few hours and see if the burn goes away. This will only work if the burn isn't that bad to begin with.
  • Replace the screen: If the image has been burned badly enough into the display, the only way to get rid of it will be to replace the screen. You'll either need to reach out to Nintendo's customer support or, if you're feeling handy, you can attempt to replace the screen yourself.

Don't feel the burn

One of the last things you want to experience is screen burn-in on your expensive new device. If you take the proper care of your Nintendo Switch OLED model, it will be less likely to develop this issue. However, it will likely happen to at least a small number of Switch owners.

Rebecca Spear
Rebecca Spear

Rebecca Spear is the dedicated gaming editor for iMore who loves playing games on Switch and iOS. She is a Zelda nut through and through and can also talk for hours about her favorite Pokémon games. She’s written hundreds of guides and reviews over the last six years to the point that if you get stuck in a game somewhere, she can help you out. On any given day, you’ll find her following the latest tech, digitally drawing with her iPad Air and Apple Pencil, reading a good book, or - you guessed it - playing video games. Follow her on Twitter @rrspear (opens in new tab) to see her post about her corgi, foster kitties, art, and favorite video game characters.