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How to Fix a Nintendo Switch Dock That’s Not Working

The Nintendo Switch dock allows players to connect to a TV/monitor using an AC Adapter and HDMI cable. Unfortunately, if a Nintendo Switch dock isn’t working, the console won’t charge, and you can’t connect to the TV for an immersive HD gaming experience. So what causes the dock to malfunction?

If docking your Switch doesn’t get picture/video to the screen, it could be because of an issue with the HDMI cord, Switch Dock power supply, or an issue with the dock itself. First check all the cables, then test the TV on another input. Once you check everything else, consider replacing the dock.

If a Nintendo Switch dock doesn’t work, you can’t charge your console on the station or connect to your TV. So let’s learn more about the causes and how to fix them to continue enjoying your Switch in TV mode. With a bit of luck, you’ll be back to gaming on the big screen in no time!

Why Is Nintendo Switch Dock Not Working?

A Nintendo Switch dock enhances your gaming experience on this console. The console sends output to the TV or larger monitor through an HDMI cable.

Charging a Switch through the docking station provides more juice to your console, allowing you to play longer than in handheld mode. Better still, the performance on the console mode when docked has improved resolution and faster speeds.

But users run into issues with the dock too, like a blinking green light, stretched or blurry images on the TV, or even loss of audio when in docked mode. If the Nintendo Switch dock malfunctions, you’ll have to play in handheld mode, which might not be ideal for your gaming lifestyle. And do note that if you’re forced to not use the dock, you can charge the Switch in handhold mode using USB-C.

Learning the reasons for the dock station malfunction helps you troubleshoot quickly and resolve the problem. Here are some probable reasons for the Switch Console malfunction:

Nintendo Switch System Error 

Computing hardware suffers errors that affect functionality. For example, you might have problems connecting easily to a Nintendo Switch console in an error state, which forces the dock station to disconnect the Nintendo Switch or your TV. 

Broken Dock 

A faulty dock won’t connect to your TV/monitor. The malfunction could develop after a fall, damaging internal components, including the motherboard, USB ports, wiring, AC adapter port, or the HDMI port in the docking station.

The plastic polymer used to make the hardware is fragile, and the dock can easily suffer internal damage after a fall.  

If any of these parts break, the connection to the TV won’t work. 

Faulty Power Cable 

Damaged power cables won’t supply enough power to the docked setup, affecting the connection. Also, if the power cable connected to the peripheral is poor quality, broken, or frayed, you might have trouble connecting using the Nintendo Switch dock. 

If you’ve tripped over your cord a few times before, maybe you’ve simply broken the AC adapter that came with your Nintendo Switch (more on that in our guide).

HDMI Cable Issues 

To complete the Switch docking setup, you need to connect the HDMI cables correctly. The cables should be in working order to connect the console, dock, and TV seamlessly.

A damaged or wrongly plugged HDMI cable affects the performance of your Switch dock. In addition, if. If you don’t use the original HDMI and power cords, you might also have connection issues with the dock station. 

Faulty Power Outlet 

A power outlet in your home might have a problem that affects the power supply to the dock station. For example, if you haven’t used the power outlet for some time, you could experience difficulties setting up the docking station.

To confirm if the power outlet is functional, try other devices and if they don’t work, look for another power station. 

Incompatible Third-Party Switch Dock

Nintendo Switch users look for third-party hardware if the original equipment fails. However, Nintendo has warned that third-party docks may fail to work with Switch consoles. 

So while the Switch console works well with most third-party hardware, you might be unlucky when connecting your dock station.

Faulty TV/Monitor 

In most situations, problems with a Switch dock relate to the console or the docking station. However, a faulty TV or monitor might cause the problem. Troubleshoot to rule out the dock or console if you can’t get a TV signal after connecting the cables.

Next, try connecting another device such as a laptop to the TV or monitor. If the other device doesn’t work, this points to a TV problem. 

Resolution Settings

The Nintendo Switch has a default HD 1080p signal, and if your TV doesn’t support the resolution, you might have a problem with the dock setup. In addition, the wrong resolution on the TV Output of your Switch console may cause the docking problem. 

Software Glitches 

Nintendo has a solid reputation for device support through regular updates. The Switch updates are automatic but only initialize when you’re online. So if your Switch console has missed an important update, you might experience technical glitches when playing or connecting peripherals. 

What to Do If Nintendo Switch Won’t Connect to TV – Switch Dock Fixes

Nintendo Switch, 2 joycons, and controller on a wooden desk - 2

The Nintendo Switch has become the best-selling gaming console because of the versatility offered by the system’s hybrid capability. You can choose between a tabletop, handheld, and TV mode and dock the Switch to enjoy incredible HD gaming on your TV or monitor in the TV mode. 

If you want to enjoy your favorite game on your TV but can’t connect, this frustrating problem affects your gaming fun. But you have various solutions to resolve the docking failure.

To fix your Switch dock and get back into HD TV gaming mode, here are some solutions:

Restart the Switch 

A software bug in your Switch console might cause frustrating technical issues such as docking failure. Restarting the gaming machine can resolve these issues and enable the Switch dock to work.

To restart the Switch console:

  1. Hold on to the power button for a few seconds
  1. Select Power Options from the drop-down menu that appears
  1. Select Restart to turn off the Switch and back on again 
  1. After restarting, try docking again and see if the TV setup works

Power Cycle the Console Setup  

Power cycling is a simple yet effective solution to multiple console problems. If your Switch dock doesn’t work, disconnecting the equipment in the setup can resolve any software bugs or configuration problems. Before you unplug all the cables, save any data on your console.

To power cycle the setup:

  1. Unplug the HDMI and adapter cable from the Switch Dock
  1. Hard reset the Switch dock by holding the power button down for 12-15 seconds 
  1. Wait for about 30-40 seconds before you power the dock on 
  1. Follow the procedure for the Switch console and your TV 
  1. Plug all the disconnected cables and restart the setup
  1. Check if the dock station connects to the TV after the fix  

If your Switch dock still doesn’t work, move on to the next fix. 

Insert the Cables in the Correct Order

Many players have identified the order used to plug cables affects the dock’s functionality. Nintendo Switch. If you have problems docking your Switch, try inserting the power cable, the HDMI, and the dock in a different order. 

The simple solution resolves the bug where the Switch Dock only works if you plug the cables in a specific order. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. If you’ve set up the Switch dock, unplug the HDMI, Power, and Switch peripheral from the Switch Dock
  1. Plug the power cable into the dock and confirm the connection to the power supply. The power LED lights up if you’ve power coming to the device.
  1. Connect the HDMI cable to your TV first and select the HDMI input
  1. Plug the HDMI cable  into the Switch dock
  1. Finally, complete the setup by connecting your Switch to the dock station. A green light comes on, and you should have the console display on your TV.

Confirm the Power Supply

If the Switch dock doesn’t work up to this point, confirm if you have enough power supply to the unit. The Switch dock might not be getting enough juice, which affects the TV connection. 

Troubleshoot the power outlet by plugging in another device. If the other device works well, you know the power supply isn’t the problem. Try another power outlet if the other device doesn’t charge. 

Replace Damaged HDMI/Power Cables 

If you connect the Switch dock using damaged power or HDMI cables, the setup won’t work. So first, check the condition of the cables and look for physical damage.

Frayed, cut, or broken cables affect the Switch dock’s functionality. Then, replace the damaged HDMI cable and power cables to complete the connection successfully. 

Adjust the TV Resolution Setting

If the Nintendo Switch sends an incompatible signal to the TV, you’ll have a problem docking. Your TV must support the 1080p signal if that’s what’s set in your console. If your Switch dock doesn’t work, check the TV resolution settings and adjust.

To do this:

  1. Go to the HOME Menu, then to System Settings
  1. Scroll down the menu and select TV Settings
  1. Choose the TV Resolution settings between, Automatic, 480p, 720p, and 1080p
  1. Try different settings and connect the Switch dock to confirm if the setup now works

Update the System 

A software bug or corrupted data in the Nintendo Switch system may lead to technical issues, including failure to work in TV mode. A software update for the Switch system resolves these issues fast. To update the system:

  1. First, connect your Nintendo Switch to the Wi-Fi internet connection
  1. Go to Home and select System Settings 
  1. Check for any new system update
  1. Select System Update. If there’s any system update available, the process starts automatically
  1. Dock the console and confirm if the setup now works 

Clean the Dock/Switch Ports 

HDMI and cable ports are the most overlooked aspects of Switch console maintenance. The ports collect dirt and debris with time, affecting the TV mode connection. Clean the ports using compressed air. Avoid blowing directly into the machine to prevent damage to internal components.

Take the Switch Console/Dock for Repairs

If you can’t identify another possible reason for the malfunctioning dock, consider professional repairs for the device. Internal damage to the console affects effective connection. 

Replace the Switch Dock/TV

If you’ve confirmed the Switch dock or the TV/monitor is faulty, you can replace the equipment as a long-term solution. But rule out all the other probable causes of docking problems first. After analysis, a technician may advise you to replace the TV/monitor or the Switch dock.

Contact Nintendo Support

After trying all the troubleshooting tips without success, talk to Nintendo customer support. The team is highly competent and offers reliable troubleshooting assistance. If nothing works, the company may advise you to send the gaming unit for further checks or replacement. 

Is It Okay to Leave the Switch Docked?

Leaving the Nintendo Switch docked is not a problem because the connection allows complete charging of the gaming device.

You can leave the Switch console docked overnight or even connected to the power outlet through an AC adapter with no risk to the battery. The console features an overcharge protection system, so overcharging won’t occur.

The Switch system and battery are safe owing to this overcharge system whether you’re using the console in TV mode or the console is off but docked. 

If your Switch dock isn’t working, try troubleshooting to identify the cause. Then, use these tips to fix the dock issue and get back to thrilling TV mode gaming.