How to Fix It When Nintendo Switch Won't Connect to Wi-Fi

Get back to your games with these tips

If your Nintendo Switch won't connect to Wi-Fi, you won't be able to use download titles, access multiplayer modes, or use voice chat, though you should still be able to play most games.

The Switch can either fail to connect to a network during the initial setup, or it may lose the connection later.

Instructions in this article apply to the Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Nintendo Switch (OLED model) consoles, with some noted exceptions.

Causes of Nintendo Switch Not Connecting to Wi-Fi

The Nintendo Switch can either lose its connection, or fail to establish one, for a variety of reasons. Some causes include:

  • Nintendo Switch Online or other services are down.
  • Your Wi-Fi network is down.
  • Your Switch is out of range of the router.
  • Your network's security key is incompatible.
  • A firewall is preventing the Switch from accessing your network.

What to Do When Your Switch Won't Connect to Wi-Fi

Try these troubleshooting options in order to get your Switch back online. If nothing works, you'll have to get in touch with Nintendo's tech support.

  1. See if Nintendo Switch Online is down. A local or global outage will stop everyone's Switches from accessing online services. Make sure the problem isn't on Nintendo's end before you try other fixes.

  2. Move closer to your router. If you have a Switch Lite or another console in portable mode (that is, it isn't connected to your TV), you may be too far from the router. Sit in a different spot to see if the connection improves.

    If your Switch is connected to its dock, try moving it closer to the router.

  3. Check your network status. If the issue isn't with the service, it could be with your network. See if other devices, like phones, laptops, and tablets, can connect to Wi-Fi. If they can't, take some steps to troubleshoot it.

  4. Restart the Switch. Turning the hardware off instead of putting it to sleep may fix some problems. Hold down the Power button on the console for about five seconds to open a menu, and then select Power Options. You can choose to restart or turn off the console; choose Turn Off to power the system down completely.

  5. Restart your modem and router. Whether your network seems to be up or not, it's not a bad idea to try power-cycling it, too. If your router and modem are separate, unplug them for about a minute. Plug your modem back in, wait about 30 seconds, and then restore power to your router.

    If you have a combination router/modem, unplug it, wait about a minute, and then plug it back in. Try the connection again once it's completely started up.

  6. Ensure your wireless security is compatible. You should encrypt your home network with a WEP or WPA key to keep your information and connection safe, but not every new standard may work with the Switch. Nintendo publishes a compatibility list with the most current support information.

  7. Try a wired connection. The Switch and Lite can't use a wired internet connection when you first buy them. You'll need to purchase a LAN adapter to get them online mechanically. (The Nintendo Switch OLED model comes with a dock with a wired LAN port.) Switch Lite will also need a USB stand to create a port for the adapter to plug into.

    The standard Nintendo Switch can only use a wired connection when it's docked.

  8. Check your firewall settings. Your network firewall may prevent the Switch from accessing services. You can put it into a DMZ to separate it from the rest of the devices and bypass the firewall. The Nintendo support site contains instructions for setting up a DMZ for your Switch.

  9. Forward network ports. You can ensure that your Switch can access all the bandwidth it needs by forwarding ports through your router. The specifics of opening and assigning sections of your network to the Switch may differ depending on your hardware setup, but it basically amounts to logging in to the router or modem and changing a couple of numbers.

  10. Contact Nintendo. If nothing else works, your system may need repair or service. Use Nintendo's online portal to message or call for more details.

  • Why won't my Switch connect to hotel Wi-Fi?

    When connecting to hotel Wi-Fi, you usually have to sign in via a web browser. Connect to the network as normal, then wait for the Switch browser to open (it may take a few minutes). If you still can't connect, access the Nintendo Switch browser manually and try to visit any website; you should be redirected to the Wi-Fi login page.

  • Why does my Switch keep disconnecting from Wi-Fi?

    The Wi-Fi connection is probably unstable. Troubleshoot your Wi-Fi network if possible.

  • Can I connect my Switch to Ethernet?

    Yes, but unless you have the Switch OLED model, you'll need an appropriate adapter to connect your Switch to Ethernet.

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