How to connect your Nintendo Switch to a TV, and what to do if it won't connect

NintendoYou can connect the original Nintendo Switch to a TV, or play it in handheld mode.
  • To connect a Nintendo Switch to your TV, all you need to do is plug in two cables and press the power button.
  • The Switch will not connect to the TV until you plug the charging cable and HDMI cable into the dock, and then put your Switch into the dock.
  • If you’ve plugged everything in but it still won’t connect, make sure that the Switch is on, and that you’re tuned to the right HDMI input on your TV.
  • A Nintendo Switch Lite can’t be connected to your TV – it’s an exclusively handheld console.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s so easy to connect a Nintendo Switch to a TV that you might think you’re missing something. All you need to do is plug in two cables, and connect your Switch to the dock.

That is, if you have an original Switch. If you have a Nintendo Switch Lite, you’re stuck in handheld mode. It can’t connect to a TV, even if you have a dock set up.

But if you do run into trouble trying to connect your original Nintendo Switch to a TV, it’s usually an easy fix. Here’s what you’ll need to fix it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Nintendo Switch (From $US299.99 at Best Buy)

Nintendo Switch Lite (From $US199.99 at Best Buy)

How to connect a Nintendo Switch to your TV

To connect the Switch to a TV:

1. Open the back panel on the docking unit’s base.

2. Plug in the USB-C power cable (also called the AC adaptor), and the HDMI cable into their slots.

Steven John/Business InsiderConnect the charger (or AC adaptor) and HDMI cable to your Switch’s dock.

3. Connect the USB-C cable to a power outlet.

4. Plug the HDMI cable into one of the HDMI ports on your television. Make a note of what number the port is labelled with – it should usually be anywhere between one and five.

Steven John/Business InsiderPlug the other end of the HDMI cable into your TV.

5. Slide the Nintendo Switch console into the dock, and make sure that it fits into the small USB-C plug that’s built into the middle of the dock.

6. Press the circular power button on top of your Switch.

7. If your TV doesn’t switch automatically, use your remote control or the buttons on your TV to switch to the HDMI input channel that matches the port you plugged the HDMI cable into. Usually you’ll do this by pressing the “Source” button on your remote.

The Switch’s display should appear on your TV.

Steven John/Business InsiderOnce everything is connected, and your TV is tuned to the right HDMI input, the Switch’s display will appear.

If you’re having trouble getting it to display, first make sure that everything is plugged in properly, including the Switch into its dock. Then, cycle through your TV’s HDMI channels slowly, giving each one a few seconds to load. By the time you get back to the correct HDMI channel, it should work.

If you’re still having issues, you should contact Nintendo support.

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