A buzzing sound from your Nintendo Switch can be unsettling, as it may suggest a hardware or software issue. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in many cases, the buzz can be a normal occurrence and a simple fix. So, before becoming overly alarmed, go through our list of causes so we can narrow down the issue.
Possible Causes for Buzzing Noise From the Nintendo Switch
There are several causes of a buzzing Nintendo Switch, some of which may be less serious than others. Let’s examine all the potential reasons for this issue:
If the Buzzing noise occurs when Docked and Undocked:
- The Switch is trying to maintain its optimal temperature range while playing a hardware-intensive game, resulting in the fan working harder.
- The Switch’s internal temperature has gone above optimal ranges, causing the fan to work harder than usual, resulting in a buzzing noise.
- The fan has too much dust on it, leading to a noisy game operation.
- The fan needs to be replaced.
If the buzzing noise only occurs when docked:
- The HDMI cable may be the cause of the issue.
If the buzzing noise only occurs when Charging:
- There might be a problem with the charging cable, leading to the buzzing noise.
If the Buzzing Noise only occurs when using External Audio Device (Headphones, Bluetooth speakers..etc.):
- This may be due to a Ground Loop issue.
- Your Switch may not be running the latest software.
- The Switch needs to simply be restarted to clear any potential glitches that may be causing the issue.
If the Buzzing Noise Occurs When Docked & Undocked:
Fan Overworking to Remove Excess Heat
Overheating is the most common issue leading to noise in a Nintendo Switch. It’s an issue that can affect lots of gaming devices and other electronics, including computers and laptops.
Typically, if you’re going to hear a loud buzzing sound from your Nintendo Switch, it comes after playing with the device for many hours. The parts within the Switch can become overheated after lots of usage, or if using your device in a room with a high ambient temperature leading to buzzing noises when the hardware becomes too hot. This can be quite normal as the fan is working a bit harder to remove excess heat.
This is typically the problem if the buzzing noise lasts for a few seconds, minutes, or after you’ve given it time to rest.
Clean Your Switch to Unclog Blocked Air Vents
When gaming devices are used extensively, dirt and dust can gather. This issue is especially true with devices that remain in one place, or are used in a dirty or dusty room.
If dirt accumulates near the heat exhaust or the fan, there can be a problem. The areas around the fan, or the fan itself, are clogged, meaning not as much heat is being expelled. That means the cooling process does not work as efficiently or, in severe cases, at all.
In some cases, excessive use and overheating can lead to the dreaded “orange screen of death,” which occurs when the Wi-Fi chip becomes overheated.
A clogged air vent can also cause:
- The console heats up faster than usual.
- The fan to constantly be working.
- The fan works at a higher speed resulting in a noisier system.
Nintendo recommends cleaning the air intake and air vent with a low-powered vacuum. (Ensure that you are using an Anti-static vacuum designed for electronics).
Replace The Switch’s Fan
The fan bearings are in charge of reducing rotational friction and axial loads.
Over time than fan bearings can deteriorate. Causing the fan to produce a buzzing noise at certain speeds. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the fan is broken yet, but it can be a sign that it’s about to fail and needs replacing.
If the buzzing noise doesn’t go away after giving it a break or cleaning the air vents, then this may be a cause of a broken fan.
You can tell if your fan isn’t working by checking the airflow for the vents. Especially if the device is hot and no airflow is coming out of the fan’s vents.
If this is the case, you have two options: take it to a professional or replace it yourself.
While it’s possible to replace it yourself, we would only recommend this to users who have experience.
Replacing a fan on a Nintendo Switch is possible. You will need several tools, including:
- Tri-head or Y00 screwdriver
- JIS #000 screwdriver
- Microfiber cloths for cleaning
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Thermal paste
Here are the steps to take to replace the fan.
If the Buzzing Noise Only Occurs When Docked:
Check the HDMI Cable
If your Switch only produces a buzzing noise when docked the first thing you should check is the HDMI cable. Start by unplugging the cable from both ends and Replugging it. If that doesn’t work, you might need a new HDMI cable altogether. If you own a spare HDMI cable, try it out and see if that solves the issue. If you don’t own a spare cable, ask a friend to borrow theirs.
If the Buzzing Noise Only Occurs When Charging:
There’s an Issue with the Charger
If the Switch only buzzes when charging, it’s highly likely that the buzzing is coming from the charger, or the charger is the source of the problem.
The easiest way to test this out is to borrow a Switch charger from a family member or friend. If this causes their device to buzz as well, then you’ll need a replacement charger.
If this is the case, then Nintendo may provide you with a replacement charger free of charge, depending on the cause of the damage.
(If the charger is confirmed to be the source of the issue, you will want to completely avoid using the charger.)
If the Buzzing Noise Only Occurs When Using an External Audio Device:
The first thing you’ll want to do is restart your device to clear your system’s ram. This can typically resolve certain software issues that can be causing your device to buzz when connected to an external device.
Ground Loop issue
A ground loop occurs when two or more pieces of equipment are connected to the AC at varying locations. Thus, causing the circuit to go in a loop resulting in a buzzing noise. The simplest solution would be to get a ground loop noise isolator, plug in the isolator into your Switch’s headphone jack, and the AUX jack of your audio device into the isolator.
Check if You Have a Software Update Available
Outdated system software can cause potential connection issues with external devices such as headsets, speakers..etc. So, you’ll want to ensure your running the latest software at all times. Here’s how to check and update your Switch’s system software.
- Select the software icon from the Switch’s HOME Menu.
- Use the + or – button on your controller to open the options menu.
- Go to “Software Update” and select “Via the Internet” to initiate the update process.
By completing these steps, you can keep your software up-to-date and ensure optimal performance.
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