How to Fix Nintendo Switch Dock not Working

Switch Dock is a docking station which has electrical connectors present to enable Nintendo Switch to charge and also connect to a television using an HDMI cable. The Dock also has other additional features i.e. one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. When you dock Nintendo Switch, you can enjoy maximum framerate of 60 fps along with a 1080p resolution.

Switch Dock not Working

Even though the Switch Dock has taken Nintendo Switch to a whole new level, we came across several different scenarios where it didn’t work as expected and caused bizarre problems on top of refusing to connect properly.

In this article, we will provide insight into why this issue might occur to you and what are the possible causes. Later on, we will show you how to fix the issue or go about a workaround. Make sure that you start with the first solution and work your way down accordingly as solutions are listed according to difficulty and usefulness.

Note: We would recommend that you keep a backup of all your files and user settings on the cloud as your data might get erased.

If your Dock is not powering up, press and hold the power button for around 30 seconds while the main power is plugged in.

What causes Switch Dock not to Work?

We analyzed several user cases and looked at their scenarios in detail. After a detailed inspection of each case, we experimented on our own unit and came up with a list of causes as to why this issue might occur with you. Below are some of the causes as to why Switch Dock might not work with your Nintendo Switch properly:

  • Switch Dock in Error state: Like all other peripherals, Switch Dock might get into an error state where it fails to recognize and connect with your Nintendo Switch or your TV. Here, power cycling usually does the trick.
  • Cables in the wrong order: We came across an interesting finding where the order of cables plugged in controlled how the Dock behaved. This looked like an unintentional coding bug/mistake done by Nintendo Engineers and is present to this day. Plugging in the cables in the correct order usually fixes the issue.
  • Faulty Dock: Your Dock might also be faulty. Consoles are known to get issues even if they are new all the time. Here there is nothing you can do except take your peripheral to Nintendo service center and get it checked (but first you have to make sure that you indeed have a faulty dock!).
  • Cable not providing enough power: Since Switch Dock is primarily used to charge your Nintendo Switch device, it is possible that it is not working as expected because the power cable attached to the Dock is not providing enough power to the peripheral. There are several different angles to this and will be discussed in the solutions.
  • HDMI issues: If you are unable to connect your Switch Dock to your TV, you should check whether the HDMI is correctly plugged in or not. If there are issues with HDMI, you will not be able to connect.
  • Power outlet: Another interesting finding which we came across was that Switch Dock likes to be plugged in solely to a power outlet. This is probably due to the fact that it requires a decent amount of power to operate as expected.
  • Bad configurations: If there are bad configurations stored on your computer, the Switch Dock will not work or will work sparingly. Here you can either reset the temporary configurations or perform a hard reset.

Make sure that you save all your settings and configurations in the cloud and only then proceed with the solutions in the ordered manner.

Solution 1: Power Cycling Entire Setup

Before we try any technical workarounds, you should try power cycling your entire setup. Power cycling is the act of completely reinitializing your peripherals so all their temporary configurations are reset and when they turn on, they would have to create new configuration files. The act of power cycling is extremely popular and works with computers and consoles alike and is usually the first step in any troubleshooting process.

Before you power cycle, make sure that any unsaved data is saved. In some cases, some temporary settings might get set to default so keep this in mind.

  1. Unplug the HDMI cable from Switch Dock and also the power cable.
  2. Now hold and press the Power button for around 10-15 seconds.
    Power cycling entire setup
  3. Now you have to wait for 30-40 seconds. During that time, try power cycling your television and Nintendo Switch as well.
  4. After the time has elapsed, plug everything back in and power them up. Now try connecting Nintendo Switch to Dock and check if the issue is resolved.

If you fail to fix the issue through power cycling, move on to the next solution. This means that there is no issue with temporary configurations and the problem may lie with the hardware modules.

Solution 2: Inserting Cables in Correct Order

Another workaround which we can try is inserting the cables in a prescribed order. This doesn’t make sense but upon our investigation, it came to light that there is a particular bug or an issue where Switch Dock only responds to the specific order in which the cables are inserted which include the power cable, the HDMI and the Switch peripheral.

Since all the fuss is about the order, we recommend that you follow the steps below in the exact order in which they are listed. It seems that the firmware of Switch Dock crashes when the HDMI is connected to the TV first before it is given power.

  1. Unplug every cable from Switch Dock including the HDMI, Power, and Switch peripheral itself.
  2. Now, plug in the power cable first into your Switch Dock. Make sure that power is coming by looking at the power LED.
    Inserting Cables in order – Switch Dock
  3. Next, plug in the HDMI cable (here we are assuming that the HDMI cable is already connected to your television and the HDMI input is selected).
  4. Now, insert Nintendo Switch into the Dock. If everything goes alright, the green light will go on and it will be switched to HDMI

Now try using the Dock and Switch device and see if the issue is resolved for good.

Solution 3: Checking Power Cable

Your Switch Dock is responsible for connecting your Nintendo Switch to your TV and also charging it. Since it does a load of these functions, it obviously requires a decent amount of power. If there isn’t enough power delivered, the Switch Dock will not work as expected and cause various issues such as it not charging or not connecting to the TV properly.

Think of the analogy of a Power Supply Unit on a computer. If the PSU is not strong enough (i.e. the wattage cannot support the power of modules in your tower), some modules (like graphics cards) will fail to power up and operate.

Power cable – Switch Dock

Make sure that you are plugging in the original Switch Dock Power cable and are plugging it in an independent power outlet. The latter point is very important. Even though it doesn’t make sense as it will be consuming the same amount of power through an extension with other things plugged in, it seems that it prefers that you insert it in a sole power outlet which isn’t being shared with any other electronic appliance.

Solution 4: Checking your HDMI Cable

Another situation which many users experience is that the Switch Dock successfully charges the Nintendo Switch but fails at connecting it to the TV. The first thing which should pop into your mind is the HDMI cable. The HDMI cable connects your TV with your Switch Dock. If the HDMI cable is faulty or has issues, the content will not be able to transmit properly and hence you will not be able to connect.

Checking HDMI Cable

You check your HDMI cable by connecting it with another device such as a laptop or computer and see if the HDMI cable works. Make sure that one end is plugged inside the TV and not some other device. Once you are absolutely sure that the issue isn’t of your HDMI cable, move on to the next solution.

Note: Here we are assuming that you have selected the correct input in the TV settings. Every TV has a setting where you can choose which input source you want the TV to display. Make sure that you select the correct HDMI (there are also sometimes more than 1 HDMI sources so keep this in mind).

Solution 5: Checking for a Faulty Dock

If all the above methods don’t work, you should check whether your Switch Dock is faulty or not. There are numerous instances where the Dock itself is problematic and there are issues with its hardware modules inside. If this is the case, there is no way you will be able to make it work.

Nintendo Switch Dock

To check whether you have a faulty dock and be certain, you can borrow a Dock from a friend and then try plugging your Switch and TV in it. Make sure you keep in mind Solution 2. If the friend’s Dock also fails to connect properly with your Nintendo Switch/TV, it probably means there is some issue with the settings. If it does, it rectifies the case of you having a faulty dock.

Here, you can either go to a customer service center of Nintendo if you have a warranty. However, if you want to avoid making the trip for nothing, you can try contacting the support website and talk with the officials there. Talk to them and tell them about your situation.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.