Nintendo Switch

Is your Nintendo Switch frozen? There are a few things you can do to get it unstuck. We'll run you through those options so you can get back to your game.

Products used in this guide

Put your Switch back in its dock

Nintendo Switch

The act of docking and undocking your Switch will briefly interrupt just about everything happening on the console. You barely notice it because it happens so fast, but there's a brief stutter where the console makes that switch (I regret nothing) from one state to another.

If your Switch is frozen, dock it and undock it to see what happens. In many cases, you'll see the console return to the normal functioning position and everything is great. No additional steps required; you can return to your regularly scheduled gameplay.

On the other hand, if you're still suffering issues then you may need a new dock. Instead of buying the pricey official one, try out a more reasonably-priced third-party dock and see if it helps your issues. YUUP's portable dock is a great item for this purpose, especially as it only costs $25.

Press the Home button

It's possible that if your Nintendo Switch seems frozen, the issue lies with the game and not with the system. Pressing the Home button while in-game will confirm whether the issue is with the game or the console. If you are sent back to the Home menu, you can close out of the game and restart it. If you are sent nowhere at all, you'll need to try other steps.

Power button reboot

Nintendo Switch

Pressing the power button in once may not do anything when your Switch is frozen, but there's a hardware reboot in that power button that will work no matter what. As long as the console has power, you'll be able to reboot it this way.

Just press and hold that power button for 15 seconds. At the 15 second mark, the screen will go dark for a moment and then light back up a moment later with the Nintendo logo. You'll see the Switch logo next, just like a normal boot sequence, and all of a sudden the Switch is back to working order. Hooray!

Blue screened?

If none of these solutions worked, or if any of them results in the infamous blue screen of death, you're probably out of luck for now. You'll need to contact Nintendo's support line for your region and ship your console to them to have them reset it for you. Be warned that this may cause you to lose saved data, so remove any game cards or microSD cards before sending the system in.

Our top equipment picks

These are the mandatory or core equipment selections. Optional or ancillary equipment will follow.

Game Everywhere

Nintendo Switch

An all-new way to play.

With the Nintendo Switch, you can play classic couch co-op or take your fun on the go. The action transitions seamlessly, and more of your favorite games are popping up on the Nintendo switch every day.

The Nintendo Switch is a great console, but as it's a first-generation model it's susceptible to some flaws. Thankfully, Nintendo ensured it's easy to recover from crashes and freezes, so if you're buying or have recently bought a Switch and you're concerned, be sure to keep this page bookmarked in case you need it in the future.

Additional Equipment

If you're on the go or looking for a cheap secondary dock to troubleshoot with, check out the YUUP adapter. It looks and acts like a USB hub for your Nintendo Switch. Connect an HDMI cable to it and play on any HDTV you can find, and use your favorite accessories with its additional USB 3.0 port.

YUUP Nintendo Switch Hub ($25 at Amazon)

It looks like a USB hub, but it acts as your brand new portable Nintendo Switch dock adapter.

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