What To Do When Your Nintendo Switch Won’t Connect to Wi-Fi

November 28, 2023 • Zachary Amos


The Nintendo Switch is a great handheld console with a few excellent titles for users to enjoy. Like with any console, some errors can plague your device. One of these issues is when your Nintendo Switch won’t connect to Wi-Fi or keeps disconnecting while you are playing.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to rectify and requires a few simple troubleshooting tips. Here’s what to do when your Nintendo Switch won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

Does the Switch Require an Internet Connection?

Because Nintendo designed the Switch for players on the go, the console generally does not require an internet connection. However, you will need one for online multiplayer games, setting up the console, downloading games and creating a Nintendo account. Besides those situations, you should be able to play most games without a connection.

Reasons Why Your Nintendo Switch Won’t Connect to Wi-Fi

The Nintendo Switch not connecting or continuously disconnecting from the internet is a common issue many users experience. Often, it is a simplistic error players can fix in a few minutes. Here are a few reasons why your Nintendo Switch won’t connect to Wi-Fi:

  • A weak signal or slow connection
  • Problems with your internet connection
  • You need to update the Switch’s software
  • Nintendo servers are down due to maintenance or another issue
  • Airplane mode has been turned on
  • Issues with your firewall
  • You are experiencing a compatibility issue

7 Tips You Can Try To Resolve the Issue

If you are experiencing a Wi-Fi issue, the first course of action is to establish whether the problem is on your side or Nintendo’s. Here are a few tips that can help you identify and rectify the issue:

1. Restart the Console

As the famous phrase from The IT Crowd would say, “Have you tried turning it on and off again”? As with most electronic devices, when you experience an issue, this is the first troubleshooting measure you should try.

Often, when devices have been in prolonged use or been on for a while, a simple restart can remedy several issues. To turn off your switch, hold the power button for a few seconds.

After a menu has appeared, select “power options” and “turn off.” Keep the device off for a few minutes, then turn it on to see if the problem persists.

2. Check Your Network Status

The next thing you should do is check your internet connection. Try to connect some of your other devices to the internet. If they also struggle, you might have found the problem.

If this is the case, you can reboot the router. Leave the router off for a few minutes and then turn it back on. If multiple devices have difficulties connecting to the Wi-Fi, you will need to call your internet service provider for help.

If you have internet and some of your other devices had no trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi, you can run a speed test to verify whether everything is in order. That said, if only the switch won’t connect, it is safe to say the problem lies somewhere else.

3. Check To See Whether Nintendo Servers Are Down

After you have restarted the console and verified your internet connection works normally, it is time to check if the problem is on Nintendo’s side. If their network experiences issues, nobody can connect to the servers. To do this, you can head over to the Nintendo Network Maintenance Information page to see whether they have reported anything.

If Nintendo is busy with maintenance, there is nothing you can do and you will need to wait for them to turn it back on. If they have nothing listed on the page, you are most likely experiencing a different issue. That said, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out on their Twitter — now known as X — page because they post updates when the network is down.

4. Check For an Update and Review the Switch Network Settings

If you still experience that your Nintendo Switch won’t connect to Wi-Fi, you should review your console’s settings. The first thing you can check is whether you need to update your device. When the Switch receives firmware updates, it can often cause internet connection issues.

If there is one, you can start the update and see if it rectified the problem. Next, you should ensure Airplane Mode has not been turned on accidentally. To do this, you can navigate to settings, select “Airplane Mode” and deactivate it.

Note that while you can’t turn the mode on while it is docked, it will stay activated if it was turned on beforehand. If this did not fix the problem, review your network settings to ensure everything is set up correctly.

Go to “Settings” and select the “Internet” section. You can try testing the connection or completely removing it and setting it up again. To do this, click the “Clear Settings” button in the Internet section.

5. Verify That It Is Not a Weak Single

Next, you should verify that a weak signal is not causing the issue. Try moving closer to the router and see if you still have trouble connecting. Sometimes, it can be a slow connection causing the problem.

You can try connecting the Switch with a wired connection. However, unless you have a Switch OLED model, you would need to purchase a separate adapter. If you have a dual-band router, switch it from 2.4GHZ to 5GHZ, if not already. This will ensure your networking runs as fast as possible.

If none of these tips work, you could try port forwarding. It is not a complicated process and only requires changing a few numbers. Nintendo released an easy-to-follow guide you could use.

6. Verify Whether It Is a Compatibility or Firewall Issue

In some cases, you could be experiencing a compatibility issue, especially if you have replaced your router recently. Review your router settings and see what security mode it uses. This issue does not occur frequently, as the Nintendo Switch works with most security types.

Sometimes, your firewall can also cause the problem. It might block the switch from connecting to the Wi-Fi. To fix this issue, you will need to utilize a DMZ — a way to bypass the firewall. On Nintendo’s support page, they listed all the steps you can use to place your console in the router DMZ.

7. Contact Support

If the problem persists after trying these troubleshooting tips, you are most likely experiencing a different kind of issue. You should contact Nintendo support and ask for help or take the console to a repair shop. They will be able to tell you whether something more serious is plaguing the device.

Fixing the Nintendo Switch Won’t Connect To Wi-Fi Issue

As stated, this is a common problem many players experience. While these troubleshooting tips should solve the issue, there might be something else wrong with the handheld. If all else fails, take the switch in for repairs or contact Nintendo support.