Skip to Content

Loud Nintendo Switch Fan: A Troubleshooting Guide

The Nintendo Switch has some pretty impressive audio quality for a portable gaming console. However, you won’t be able to appreciate the audio quality if your fan is constantly running at full blast. So, how do you fix a loud Nintendo Switch fan?

The most common cause of a loud Nintendo Switch fan is an overheating console. Usually, this issue is caused by a demanding game, and turning off the console for a while should fix it. The issue may also be caused by debris stuck in your fan. In that case, you’ll need to clean the fan.

That’s the general idea, but there’s a lot more to know about a loud Nintendo Switch fan. Let’s take a closer look at the issue and how to address it so that you can get back to playing games as quickly as possible.

What Are the Causes of a Loud Switch Fan?

Young boy playing on a Nintendo Switch with a soccer field on the screen

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular gaming consoles on the market today, and it’s known for its versatility and portability. However, one issue that many Switch owners have reported is a loud fan noise. If you’re experiencing this problem, there are several potential causes.

One of the most common causes of a loud Nintendo Switch fan is overheating. If the console gets too hot, the fan will automatically turn on to cool the console down. This can occur if you’re playing demanding games or using the console in a hot environment.

Another potential cause of a loud Switch fan is a buildup of dust and debris inside the console. Over time, dust can accumulate on the fan blades and other internal components, forcing them to work harder and make more noise. This also may sound like an intense buzzing noise (though that can be slightly different). And note this can also happen the same way on the Switch Lite, which can also overheat just like the big-boy switch.

Finally, a faulty fan or other hardware issue could be the culprit. In this case, your Switch’s fan probably wasn’t installed properly and thus isn’t working properly. This usually isn’t the case, but it is still a potential cause.

Identifying the Problem

Sometimes, the Nintendo Switch’s fan is just louder than usual, and it isn’t always the sign of an issue. So how are you supposed to know if your Switch’s fan is acting normally or if it’s the sign of something more serious?

The main thing to do is listen closely to your Switch fan. There are two signs of a malfunctioning Switch fan: a rattling or buzzing noise or a fan that won’t turn off. Using these, we can determine what may be wrong with your Switch fan.

The rattling (some may describe it as grinding) noise can be caused by one of two things: either debris stuck in your Switch fan or a dying Switch fan. If your Switch’s fan is on at all times (by all times, we mean even when in sleep mode) then you may just have a defective fan. Again, this issue isn’t very common, but it has happened before.

A normally functioning Switch fan will always be on while the console is on. The fan’s volume can range from inaudible to pretty loud depending on what’s happening on screen.

For example, if you’re loading up a game, then the fan will likely be pretty loud, but if you’re just sitting on the home screen, then it shouldn’t really be going fast at all.

How to Troubleshoot

If you think your Switch is overheating, the best thing you can do is turn the console off. If your Switch gets too hot, the built-in failsafe should automatically turn the Switch off for you. However, if it doesn’t, you risk potentially melting important components on the inside of the device and damaging your Switch.

If the overheating problem isn’t one that you regularly have, just keep the Switch off and place it in a colder environment until it cools down.

There are some more demanding games that can push the Switch to its limit, and if you play these games for too long, your Switch may overheat like this. Just shorten your play sessions of whatever game caused the issue, and you should be fine.

However, if the overheating is a regular problem, you may have some dust slowing down your Switch’s fan. To fix the problem, you’ll need to gain access to your Switch’s fan by unscrewing and removing the backplate of the Switch.

To do this, we first need to gather some materials. In order to access the fan, you’ll need a Tri-point Y00 screwdriver, a pair of tweezers, and a JIS #000 screwdriver. Then, to fix the fan, we’ll use a can of compressed air (on Amazon).

Once you have your materials, it’s time to take the backplate off of your Switch. To do this, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Completely shut down your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Remove both Joy-Con controllers from the Switch by holding down the locking tabs and sliding them off the console.
  3. In each corner of the backplate of the Switch, you should see a screw — 4 total. Remove these screws using your Y00 screwdriver. (Throughout this process, be sure to keep track of which screw went where so that you can put the device back together.)
  4. Remove the screw next to the fan vent on top of the device using a JIS 000 screwdriver.
  5. Remove both screws from either side of the charging port on the bottom of the handheld.
  6. Remove only the center screw on both the left and right side of the console (where the Joy-Cons go) using your JIS 000 screwdriver. You do not need to remove the other four screws on each side.
  7. For our final screw, flick up the kickstand on the back of the Switch and you should see a screw under the MicroSD card. Remove this screw using your JIS 000 screwdriver.
  8. Open the game cartridge slot and then lift the backplate from the bottom corners to remove it.
  9. You should be able to see your Switch’s fan. It is the circular object in the center of the metal plate. Use the can of compressed air to blow off your Switch’s fan.
  10. Finally, put everything back where it was and you should be good to go!

Replacing Your Switch Fan

As we discussed earlier, there are some cases where your Switch fan is faulty and needs to be replaced. Is this something that’s easy to do?

Unfortunately, replacing your Switch fan is not something we would recommend for beginners. This process has several steps, including removing the SD card reader and the headphone jack and disconnecting the game card reader from the motherboard. So, if you think your Switch’s fan is malfunctioning, then you should probably get a professional to fix it for you.

On the bright side, you may not have to pay for this repair. Your Nintendo Switch comes with a warranty that may still be valid.

Go through Nintendo’s general troubleshooting section on their website (found here) and you should be given an estimate of how much it will cost to fix your issue.

In the best case scenario, it will be free; at worst, it’s still a relatively cheap issue to fix. If you accept your estimate, Nintendo will give you directions for how to mail your Switch to them for them to fix your issue.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Hands Holding the Controller of Nintendo Switch

If you’re trying to fix a Nintendo Switch fan, there are several common mistakes to avoid to ensure the safety of both you and your device.

  • Not turning off the power: Before attempting any repairs, make sure you turn off your Nintendo Switch and unplug it from the power source. Failure to do so can result in electrical shock or damage to the device.
  • Not using proper tools: Using the wrong tools or improvised tools can result in damage to the device, and even worse, injury to yourself. Always use the appropriate tools for the job and make sure they’re in good condition.
  • Not cleaning the fan properly: Dust and debris can clog the fan and cause it to malfunction. When cleaning the fan, avoid using water or any liquids; they can damage the electrical components.
  • Disassembling the Switch incorrectly: Disassembling your Nintendo Switch incorrectly can result in damage to the device or injury to yourself. Follow a comprehensive guide and take care not to force anything.
  • Not testing the device: After making any repairs, test your Nintendo Switch to make sure everything is working correctly. Failure to do so can result in further damage and the need for additional repairs.

Basically, take your time, follow our comprehensive guide, use the proper tools, and test your device after the repair. By avoiding the aforementioned common mistakes, you can ensure the safety of both yourself and your precious console.