Nintendo Switch Overheating? Read this Checklist

March 21, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Today’s electronics run a lot cooler than their past counterparts, but heat can still be an issue. Some users have noticed their Nintendo Switch overheating after prolonged gaming sessions or during a particularly demanding game.

Even if you’ve never noticed your Switch overheating, you’ll want to make sure you avoid it. Here’s a closer look at where this issue comes from and how to fix it.

What Happens When Your Switch Overheats?

Keeping your Nintendo Switch from overheating can save you a lot of trouble. Nintendo’s Japanese customer support Twitter warned about overheating consoles in July 2021. In the Twitter thread, the company said that if the console gets too hot, it will automatically go into Sleep Mode to prevent damage.

Your Switch unexpectedly going into Sleep Mode in the middle of a game would certainly be frustrating. Overheating can cause more severe problems, too. If it gets too hot regularly, you run the risk of permanently damaging the Switch’s internal components.

Why Is Your Switch Overheating?

Stopping your Switch from overheating starts with understanding why it would do so. Here’s a look at some of the most common causes of overheating to help you decide what you should do.

1. Dust Buildup

If your Nintendo Switch is overheating, the most likely culprit is dust. Dust buildup is an issue in virtually every electronic device. As dust gathers inside a system, it hinders air circulation, and when air can’t flow through, heat can’t escape.

This buildup will happen naturally over time, especially if your Switch is in an area you don’t clean often. The Switch’s many moving parts, like Joy-Cons that you slide in and out of place, also present many areas for the buildup to occur. Since most of it happens on the inside, it can also be hard to notice until it becomes a problem.

2. Poor Ventilation

Another common cause of Switch overheating is poor ventilation. In their thread about overheating, Nintendo’s customer support said that you should run the Switch between 41 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit. While the inside of your house is almost certainly in that range, your Switch may not be in some setups.

If you put your Switch in a confined space, heat won’t dissipate as easily. As the fans inside the console push hot air out, it could linger around the system instead of flowing to other parts of the room. As a result, the space around your console could get much hotter than the rest of the area, leading to overheating.

3. Overuse

Your Nintendo Switch could also overheat after prolonged use. While the console has built-in fans to keep it cool, running it for too long could cause it to run hotter than it should. Running a graphically demanding game will elevate that risk.

Most of the time, this shouldn’t be an issue by itself. However, playing a demanding game for several hours without breaks could make other issues, like dust buildup or poor ventilation, worse.

4. Damaged Fans

Finally, the internal fans could be broken. If you’ve accidentally dropped your Switch, the fan might break or malfunction, leading to poor airflow, causing overheating. Manufacturer defects, although rarer, could also cause this.

How to Stop Your Switch From Overheating

You can stop Nintendo Switch from overheating by addressing each of the four causes:

First, prevent dust buildup by regularly cleaning your Switch and the area around it. Follow the same guidance as you would for a computer, cleaning every three to six months to prevent buildup. Use a can of compressed air and a dry toothbrush or cotton swab to clean dust from all the Switch’s nooks and crannies. Make sure to get the Joy-Con rails and inside the dock.

Next, keep your Switch in a well-ventilated area. Having it in the open air is best, but if you put it on a shelf in an entertainment center, make sure there are holes behind it. Holes will let air flow out the back of the shelf, letting heat escape.

Third, avoid overuse. If you follow the first two steps, you shouldn’t encounter any problems from overuse. Still, it’s not a bad idea to take a break every few hours and avoid playing for too long with the charger plugged in.

Finally, your Switch may have a fan issue if it is still overheating after following all the above steps. Take the console to an electronics repair store to see if they can help.

Play On Without Overheating

Following these steps can keep your Nintendo Switch from overheating, letting you play without fear of damaging your system. Remember that many of these steps apply to any game console, not just the Switch. Keep things clean, ensure proper ventilation, and you can game on with confidence.

Do you have more questions about your Switch? Read Can You Use a Switch Pro Controller on PC?