How to fix Nintendo Switch Dock not working

The Nintendo Switch is a great way to play games on the go, but it’s also a fine console to use at home on your TV. Of course, the system’s namesake comes from its ability to switch between handheld and TV gameplay modes. However, some users may find their Nintendo Switch dock is not working. Sometimes the issue appears as an HDCP problem, while others may discover that the Switch won’t output video. Here’s how to fix your Nintendo Switch dock and get it working again.

Nintendo Switch dock not working | How to fix

Nintendo Switch dock not working - How to fix

There are a few reasons why your Nintendo Switch dock may not be working. You may have inserted the dock’s cables in the wrong order, or you may be using the wrong cables altogether. Nintendo also warns that third-party Switch docks may not work as intended with the console.

To figure out why your Switch dock isn’t working, you’ll need to do some troubleshooting. The order in which the cables are inserted seems to be the most common problem, though it’s possible that other issues could arise when moving the system or changing cables. Here’s what you need to do.

Insert Switch dock cables in the proper order

One of the most common reasons the Nintendo Switch dock may not be working involves the sequence in which the dock’s cables are inserted. For whatever reason, there’s a proper order in which to plug everything in. Get it wrong, and the Switch will still power on, but it won’t send any signal to the TV.

Here’s the right order to plug everything in according to the Nintendo Support forums:

  1. First, remove the Switch system from the dock and unplug all cables
  2. Insert the power cable into the wall outlet
  3. Plug the power cable into the Nintendo Switch dock
  4. Insert the HDMI cable into the TV
  5. Plug the HDMI cable into the dock
  6. Finally, insert the Switch console into the dock

You should only need to follow this procedure once, assuming you don’t move your dock around often. If you do, be sure to insert all the cables in this specific sequence any time the system is moved. It’s not entirely clear why this is required, but it seems to solve the problem of missing video in most cases.

Use Nintendo cables to avoid power or HDCP problems

Nintendo Switch dock not working - use official endorsed first-party dock

The Switch dock works best with official Nintendo power and source cables. The HDMI and power cords bundled with the system are the only ones intended to be used with the console. Not only are they the right physical fit, but they also match the specifications outlined by Nintendo.

Of course, that’s not to say that other cables won’t technically work. The Switch Dock features an HDMI version 1.4 port, which is fairly old technology by now. Most reasonably modern HDMI cables should do the trick. Still, using the wrong HDMI cable could result in HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) issues. If you can’t play certain videos or don’t get any video whatsoever, it’s worth swapping back to the official Nintendo cable.

Barring anything else, it may also be worth trying to use a different HDMI connection on your TV. This should help you verify that the problem is not with your set, but with the Switch itself. Otherwise, it may be that your TV is the cause of the problem.

Avoid third-party docks

A controversy appeared shortly after the Nintendo Switch launched when some users reported that their systems had suddenly stopped working. As it turned out, certain third-party docks were bricking Switch systems. Ever since, owners have been advised only to use officially endorsed Nintendo Switch docks. That advice remains true to this day.

While third-party docks have gotten better, there’s still no guarantee that they’ll work as intended. It may be that the power or source connections aren’t up to specifications, or that any included cables may not be able to handle data properly. If your Switch isn’t working with something other than the official dock, you should go back to the official Nintendo dock. At the very least, try to find a dock that has been officially endorsed by Nintendo. It may be a hassle, but it’s the only way to ensure that the Switch itself is still functioning as intended.

Basically, if your Switch dock isn’t working, you need to double check all the connections. Plug everything in following the proper sequence, and ensure that you’re using both official Nintendo cables and the first-party dock. Otherwise, the problem may have something to do with your TV or its HDMI ports.