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What Causes Blue Screen on Nintendo Switch & How to Fix It

Nintendo Switch offers access to thousands of games, from action/ adventure games and first-person action games to role-playing games (RPG). Like with any gaming machine, this hybrid experiences some glitches, among them the infamous Nintendo Switch blue screen of death. Despite the name, the screen problem is easy to fix if you understand the possible causes.

A blue screen on Nintendo Switch can occur because of physical damage to the screen, a broken dock, or a software issue. First, try restarting the console. If it works when docked, try updating the software. Past that you’ll need to talk to Nintendo Support for a repair, which costs ~$120.

It can be super frustrating to have this nice shiny console suddenly brick itself when undocked, and unfortunately that’s basically what’s happening with the blue screen. And if you’re already getting annoyed that you may potentially have to pay a repair fee for this, just note that depending on when you got the Switch this work may be covered under warranty.

What Causes a Blue Screen on Nintendo Switch?

The blue screen is a pretty scary issue, but it’s not quite as bad as if your Switch console simply won’t turn on (same story on the Switch Lite). If your console is still powering on at all, the blue screen is great – it gives us a starting point! But what causes this issue?

Internal Damage

The Switch is a small and portable console, but this also increases the risk of accidents. If your Nintendo Switch has been dropped or just generally roughed up, something may have shaken loose internally.

The internal components detach easily, leading to screen display issues. One symptom of a damaged Switch LCD is the blue screen display. 

Corrupted Game Files

To maximize the gaming experience, most players download lots of files onto the Switch console. From new games and apps to updates, these files enhance the Switch’s performance. If any of these files contain corrupted data, the system might freeze, and you’ll get a blue screen.

Incompatible Third-party Dock

Some players have experienced the blue screen in Switch when using a third-party dock. Switch consoles work well with most docks on the market. Still, you might experience the blue screen when trying a third-party dock that’s incompatible.  

How Do You Fix a Nintendo Switch With a Blue Screen?

After learning the causes of a Nintendo Switch blue screen, the next step is to learn how to fix the problem. While the problem might appear fatal, the fixes are simple, and you’ll get back to your game quickly. Here are different methods to fix a Switch console with a blue screen:

Restart the Switch Console 

The easiest solution for the most common Nintendo Switch problems is to restart the machine. Restarting resolves any software bugs or file problems that could cause the frustrating blue screen.

Press the power button, choose the power option and restart. Confirm if the Switch is now working.

Hard Reset the Switch Console 

If you’ve restarted the Switch console but the blue screen remains, a hard reset is a next fix to try. Hold down the power button for about 12 seconds until the machine goes off. Wait for about 30-45 seconds.

Turn on the console while holding the volume up (+) and volume down (-) buttons. The device enters recovery mode where you select Restore Console without Deleting Save Data. The hard reset should resolve any bugs in the system without the loss of valuable gaming data. 

Dock/Undock the Console 

Docking allows you to enjoy an immersive gaming experience on a TV/monitor display. If you’ve docked your console when the blue screen develops, remove the machine from the station and try playing in handheld mode.

If the blue screen problem develops in handheld mode, try docking the console and see if the blue screen resolves. 

Update the System 

Outdated software causes glitches which might include the blue screen of death on a Switch console. To rule out software issues, confirm your Switch has the latest system update. From HOME, go to System Settings, select System, then System Update, and check for updates. 

Before checking for updates, connect to Wi-Fi to allow automatic updates of the latest patches. The system checks for updates if you’re online, and the update starts automatically. Restart the console and confirm if the blue screen glitch has resolved. 

Power Cycle the System 

 If all the fixes up to this point have failed, drain the battery and restart the console. Unplug the AC adapter and the HDMI cable and leave the console on the blue screen.

After the battery drains, plug in the adapter and start charging the gaming machine. Turn on the Switch to confirm if the screen problem has been resolved.

Factory Reset the Console

If you’ve tried all the quick fixes and nothing works, you can factory-reset the console and delete everything. The method is the last resort after everything else fails, and you have to appreciate you’ll lose all the saved data, including game data, screenshots, and other files. 

To reset your console to factory settings, hold the power button for 12 seconds and wait for a few seconds. Press the power button while also holding Volume up (+) and Volume Down (-). 

Once the power is on, release the power button but continue holding the volume buttons to recovery mode. Scroll down to Restore Factory Settings and delete everything in the console. Confirm if the screen problem is gone.

Contact Nintendo Switch Support 

Nintendo boasts a reliable customer support department that’s always ready to help. If you’ve tried all fixes without success, contact the support team through phone, text, or a support form on their platform.

Contact the Nintendo Switch support for repairs or parts replacement if you suspect a hardware failure. Make sure to remove game cards or microSD cards to avoid loss of games and data during repairs. 

How Much Is It to Get a Nintendo Switch Fixed?

Nintendo Switch repairs can resolve the blue screen problem and many other glitches with the console. The cost of repairs for a Switch console depends on the extent of damage and parts required for replacement. Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

  • Nintendo Switch Analysis: At $19.99.
  • Blue Screen of Death (BSoD): Starting at $99.95.
  • Overheating/ Fan Issues: It starts at $79.95.
  • Physical damage if the console is dropped: It starts at $89.95, including evaluation for physical damage parts replacement. 
  • Charging problems: batteries, AC charging cables, and the power ports replacement with quality OEM parts for Nintendo Switch starting at $79.95. 
  • Joy-Con disconnection/repairs: All Joy-Con issues start at $40.95.
  • Screen problems: For all screen issues including blank, frozen, blue/black LCD display, the console won’t turn on/off, crashing, and failure to boot starting at $97.95.

Switch service companies use high-quality OEM replacement parts. These parts and the repairs come with a warranty, which adds value to the service offered. 

A blue screen of death is an irritating problem with the Nintendo Switch console. Luckily, these tips will help you troubleshoot and fix the problem quickly. 

More Nintendo Switch Screen Issues?

If you’ve hung out on our blog much, you know we’ve seen it all when it comes to gaming console issues in general and the Switch specifically!

Be sure to watch out for other Nintendo Switch screen issues like an orange screen, fully black or white screens, or lines on the screen. When you Switch is docked, watch out for image tearing or stretching, or screen flickering. Check out our other guides if you run into those problems, and do note that when it comes to the blue screen problem, it can happen on the Switch Lite too!