Nintendo Switch

Jailbreaking a device is a very bad idea if you don't really know what you're doing. It's also a terrible idea if it's the only device you own. That being said, if you're willing to experiment, take the risk, and have a second device you can mess around with, jailbreaking could give you the ability to do some really fun and interesting things on your Nintendo Switch.

Since the Switch is a new console, so is the jailbreaking community for it. As time goes by, though, more and more talented people will unlock the Switch's operating system and share with us everything we can do with the new tools.

If you're interested in jailbreaking your Switch, here's everything we know about it so far.

What's the latest news on jailbreaking Nintendo Switch?

Homebrew Launcher available on Switch running firmware 3.0.0

Back in December of 2017, a group of hackers revealed at the Chaos Communication Congress in Germany that they successfully hacked the Switch's version 3.0.0 firmware. The team also noted that a Homebrew platform was in the works.

Just a few days later, another hacker team announced a jailbreak coming soon that supposedly will work on any Nintendo Switch, no matter the running operating system (likely using a hardware mod). This group has not yet publicly released their exploit, but in mid-February noted, "We're sure all Switch owners will be delighted by our product. It is worth the wait!"

Earlier in February, Fail0verflow posted on Twitter a video running Linux on Nintendo Switch, which means yet another group has successfully found a way into the Switch operating system. This one is supposedly a bootrom bug.

On February 18, one of the members of the team that spoke the Chaos Community Congress (3C), Plutoo, posted a link on Twitter to a Homebrew Launcher for Switch 3.0.0 on Github, making the Switch officially available for a public jailbreak if the firmware is version 3.0.0 or older.

Just about a week later, a notable Switch Homebrew developer updated the launcher with a better user interface and a few fixes to the way things are handled. Switch's HomeBrew Launcher Menu is now officially at version 2.0.

What does jailbreaking a Switch mean?

If you're new to the jailbreaking concept entirely, it basically means that the device's operating system is accessible in a way that was never intended by the creators and developers of the operating system.

Accessing an operating system gives people the ability to add new features, like installing Linux, downloading modifications to the Home screen, custom firmware, and other such things.

Currently, specific to the Switch, there isn't much that you can do with a jailbroken device unless you're handy with coding. You can install a Homebrew launcher if you're running software version 3.0.0 on the Switch, which has just a few mods and games on it, and I mean just a few. However, as the community grows, Homebrew for Nintendo Switch will, too.

It also means that any warranty you have on your Nintendo Switch will be null and void because you'll be breaking the user contract you agreed to when using the Switch.

What do I need to get started with jailbreaking my Nintendo Switch?

At this time, your Switch has to be running firmware 3.0.0. If it's higher, you'll just have to wait until a different jailbreak becomes available that supports your operating system.

If your Switch's firmware is below 3.0.0, you can update to 3.0.0 by using a physical copy of the game Pokkén Tournament DX with the cartridge identification number 000. Some versions of Pokkén Tournament DX are numbered 001 or 002 and will update your Switch's firmware to 3.0.1. The ID number is imprinted on the back side of the game cartridge itself, so you have to open the game's box before you'll know if you have the right print run of Pokkén Tournament DX.

You'll also need a microSD card with about 32GB of storage. It's not recommended to go with a higher storage count because it might not work well with the Switch's older firmware 3.0.0.

How do I jailbreak my Switch?

I'll have to get back to you on this one as my Switch is running version 4.1 and no one has yet published a jailbreak for it. However, if you're running version 3.0.0 of the Switch's operating system, you can follow the helpful instructions from the Homebrew Launcher page.

To be clear, you should never jailbreak your "daily driver" Nintendo Switch. What I mean by that is, you should have a second Switch that is dedicated solely to jailbreaking. If you don't have a dedicated Switch for jailbreaking, don't do it at all. It's just not worth it right now.

Can you un-jailbreak a Switch?

At this time, I haven't seen any information about how to uninstall the Homebrew Launcher. If I get any more clarity on what is actually installed and how to revert back to just the Switch's firmware, I'll update this article.


Remember, jailbreaking of Nintendo Switch is still in its infancy and there isn't much information available. I can answer questions about it to the best of my ability if you put them in the comments section.

Nintendo Switch