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Nintendo Switch Cutting Out On TV (Causes And How To Fix)

As an owner of a Nintendo Switch, I’ve been frustrated to find my Switch randomly cutting out on my TV. After some research and testing, I’m here to share how I solved this problem, as well as other solutions I’ve discovered. In this blog post, I’ll be exploring the possible causes of this issue, and how to fix it. So if you’re having the same problem with your Nintendo Switch, read on to learn how to get your system running again.

There are five factors that could cause the Nintendo Switch to cut out on a TV, each with its own fixes. The possible causes are a faulty TV, the Switch’s Dock, the HDMI cable, the AC adapter, or the Switch itself (hardware or software). To fix it, you must isolate the cause through elimination.

Tips:

  • The possible causes of the issue are a faulty TV, the Switch’s Dock, the HDMI cable, the AC adapter, or the Switch itself (hardware or software).
  • To identify the culprit, you should try connecting the Switch to another TV, using the same configuration, replacing the HDMI cable with another one, borrowing an AC adapter from a friend, and checking for software updates.
  • If the problem lies within the dock, you can try cleaning the connectors on the Switch and in the dock or replacing the dock.
  • If the problem is with the Switch, you can try a total shutdown, check for software updates, and do a factory reset.
  • If none of these solutions work, you should take your Nintendo Switch back to Nintendo for repairs.

What Could Cause A Nintendo Switch To Cut Out On A TV?

You need a few things when you want to play games on a Nintendo Switch, and a few of these factors could cause the Switch to cut out on your TV. The first step in fixing the problem is to identify the culprit.

Cause 1: A Faulty TV

We know this is often the first thing that people will think of, but it is still worth mentioning. If the display cuts out while you’re playing games on your Switch, it is entirely possible that your TV is causing the problem. You can determine that in two ways:

  1. Does your TV do the same thing when you’re using it for something else? If it does, that’s a clear sign that the problem is somewhere on your TV. It could still be the TV, even if it doesn’t cut out with anything else. It could be a problem with the HDMI port on the TV that you’re connecting the Switch to.
  1. Connect your Switch to another TV. Be sure to use the exact same configuration on the other TV (like the same HDMI cable, for example). That way, if it does the same thing, you know it’s definitely not the TV causing the problem. If it doesn’t cut out on the other TV, you know that the TV is the culprit, and you can repair or replace it.

Cause 2: The HDMI Cable

Problems with HDMI cables can cause a wide range of issues. This doesn’t only mean faulty HDMI cables, though that is also a possibility. To determine if HDMI is the problem, you must check three things:

  1. The HDMI cable could be faulty. Try to use another HDMI cable and see if that makes a difference. However, in this process, you must also keep point number two in mind:
  1. Use the right kind of HDMI cable. Different HDMI cables have different ratings, and you must use the same HDMI cable you got with your Switch or at least one with the same rating. The ratings deal with factors like quality and speed, and if you’re using the wrong cable, you could have random blackouts between your Switch and TV.
  1. Don’t use multi-port adapters. There are some devices with multiple HDMI ports that allow you to switch between them. These devices let you connect various devices to one HDMI port on the TV. The problem is that devices like the Switch can sometimes block these devices, believing them to be used for piracy. Remove any such apparatus and test it again.

How To Solve HDMI Problems:

Solving HDMI issues are simple and involve two steps:

  1. Remove any multi-port HDMI adapters, ensuring that your Switch is connected directly to the TV with its own HDMI cable.
  1. Replace your HDMI cable with another one but be sure to get either the right one from Nintendo or one with a similar (or higher) rating.

Cause 3: The AC Adapter

AC adapters can cause all kinds of strange behavior. Sometimes, as they get older, they will still work perfectly most of the time but randomly cut out from time to time as they overheat or lose contact.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t as easy to test as the first two since you need another AC adapter to try it with. You can’t just use any AC adapter, either; the adapter should have the exact same specifications as the Nintendo Switch’s adapter, which delivers output 5V at 1.5A and 15V at 2.6A over a USB-C connector.

Your best and safest option is to borrow an AC adapter from a friend who also has a Nintendo Switch; that way, you know that you’re getting the correct power output and connector. Use the AC adapter to play games as you usually would and see if it makes any difference.

Fixing The AC Adapter

If your Switch stops having issues when you use another AC adapter, the best thing you can do is to replace your AC adapter. You can get a new authentic Nintendo Switch AC adapter for around $30 from Amazon.

Causes 4 and 5: The Dock And The Switch

Once you’ve eliminated options one, two, and three from the equation, it should be clear that the problem lies somewhere within the Switch or its immediate accessories, including the dock.

The Nintendo Switch’s dock is one of the most common causes of the Switch cutting out or failing to connect to a TV, and more often than not, this is caused by the connector pins.

You can often figure out if the problem lies within the dock or the Switch by playing games on the Switch out of the dock. Set it up in table-top mode, or use it in handheld mode, then play games as you normally would. If the screen cuts out, the problem is with the Switch itself. If not, it’s probably the dock.

Fixing Dock Problems

If the dock turns out to be the problem, there’s a good chance it’s the connector pins. If your Switch is in the dock and cuts out on the TV, you can sometimes figure out if this is the problem by gently moving the Switch around inside the dock or by taking it out and replacing it again.

If it’s a connector problem, your Switch will probably regain and repeatedly lose connection with the TV as you do this.

You can try cleaning these connectors on the Switch and in the dock. Sometimes a little burst of compressed air over the connectors will clear out any dirt or dust that’s blocking the connection; other times, you may have to use a lint-free cloth with some electronics cleaner.

If cleaning the connectors didn’t help, it’s time to take your dock to Nintendo for repairs or buy a replacement dock.

Fixing Switch Problems

If the Nintendo Switch unit itself seems to be the problem, it could either be hardware or software. If it’s software-related, you can usually solve the problems yourself; unfortunately, that is not the case with hardware issues.

To resolve any software issues, follow these steps:

  1. Try a total shutdown. When you turn off your Switch, it doesn’t shut down completely, and since the Switch is a computer, it should be turned off entirely from time to time. Simply disconnect your charger and press the power button on your Switch for twelve seconds. This will shut it down completely. Leave it like this for about 30 minutes and test it again.
  1. Check for software updates. Sometimes the cutting out can be caused by a software bug that’s already been fixed in an update. Check for updates on your Switch and install the latest version of the OS.
  1. Do a factory reset. If there’s a software problem that you can’t resolve with an update, a factory reset is often the last resort. It will delete all data from your Switch so you can set it up as if it’s brand new. To factory reset your Switch, simply follow these steps:
  • On the Home screen, choose System Settings.
  • Scroll down and select System.
  • Look for Formatting Options all the way at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select “Restore Factory Settings.”

Unfortunately, if these steps did not fix the cutting-out problem, it is time to take your Nintendo Switch back to Nintendo for repairs since the problem is most likely hardware-related.

Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Portable and convenient
  • Wide selection of games
  • Affordable
  • Numerous ways to play

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Joy-Con drift issue
  • Can be prone to technical issues
  • Online gaming costs extra

Conclusion

The Nintendo Switch works exceptionally well and is an excellent console for any gamer. Unfortunately, there are some issues that plague the device, like the so-called “joy-con drift” and the infamous “black screen of death.” A Switch that cuts out on your TV is usually not a severe problem. It can often be fixed quickly, without costing you too much money.

References

https://www.nintendo.co.za/Support/Nintendo-Switch/Troubleshooting/Blank-Screen-or-No-Image-Displayed-on-the-TV-1364363.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/comments/9mhmrg/switch_docked_mode_flashing_black_screen/

https://www.nintendolife.com/forums/nintendo-switch/dock_signal_issue

https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/22264/~/blank-screen-or-no-image-displayed-on-the-tv

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/switch/189706-nintendo-switch/answers/533814-my-switch-will-connect-to-the-tv-but-after-few-mins-it-disconnects-why