What do You Do When Your Nintendo Switch Freezes?

Even though the Nintendo Switch will almost always be running software optimized for its hardware, it occasionally seizes up and freezes. This can happen when you are playing a game, after launching a game or when switching between apps.

When your Nintendo Switch freezes, the screen stops moving. The switch won’t respond to your touch gestures and using buttons on the Switch itself or the Joy-Cons won’t work.

In this piece, I am going to teach you:

  • How to turn off a frozen Switch
  • How to reset the Nintendo Switch
  • How to troubleshoot frequent Switch freezing

Nintendo Switch Freeze Fix

Nintendo Switch Freeze Fix

The first solution to a frozen switch is the same. It doesn’t matter whether it freezes on TV, during setup or when docked. Here is what to do once you see the freeze or the Nintendo orange screen of death.

  • Detach the console from the dock (if docked) and attach your Joy-Con controllers
  • Press and hold the POWER button for up to 12 seconds to allow the console to power off
  • Remove any microSD or game cards plugged into the console
  • Power on the console and do a system update
  • Try to use the console now and see if everything is fine
  • If the problem still exists, try initializing the console without deleting your save data

In most cases, this should solve your lockup, system freeze or Switch not powering off problem.nintendo switch orange screen of death

Downloaded Switch Software Causes Freeze Ups

If it is a new software download that led to the freeze up,

  • Press and hold the POWER button to bring up the Power Options menu. Select restart (If this doesn’t work, use the 12 second press & hold procedure to power off and start the Switch manually)
  • After restart, do a system update
  • Check for software updates on the new software or check for corrupt data
  • Alternatively, delete the problematic software and initiate a redownload

Sometimes, your Switch will act up due to a faulty microSD card. If removing your SD card and download the game you are playing to System Memory solves the problem, you should consider formatting the microSD card or simply replacing it.

The Nintendo Switch is a versatile platform that should rarely lock up when you use it right. If these procedures don’t solve your problem, you can contact Nintendo support for technician help.