Should Nintendo Switch Be Left Plugged In?


One of the selling points of the Nintendo Switch is that you can dock it to make it a home console. Doing so will charge the battery and allow you to connect it to your TV. So is it harmful to keep the Nintendo Switch docked for long periods? Here is the answer.

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Is Leaving The Switch Docked Bad?

While not in use the Nintendo Switch can be left in the dock, leaving the console on the dock overnight or past full charge will not damage the Switches lithium-ion batteries as they stop charging past 100%

Older smartphones & devices without lithium-ion batteries had issues with overcharging; overcharging them past 100% would damage the battery; this is no longer the case with the Switch, you leave the Nintendo Switch docked, and once it has been changed to 100%, the charging circuit will stop charging the device.

If the Nintendo Switch did overcharge when docked, it would not be a proper home console. Interestingly, the Nintendo Switch is not going to overcharge even when you use it in handheld mode. If you have it plugged into a USB Type-C charger and the console is fully charged, it will take power directly from the cable and not charge the batteries. You can see this in action as the lightning bolt on the battery icon goes away once the device is fully charged.

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Should You Turn Off Nintendo Switch While Charging

Nintendo states the switch takes approximately 3 hours to charge while off or in sleep mode, you will not damage the Nintendo Switch charging it while it’s on but the battery will not charge optimally in use. Some graphically intensive games may drain the battery faster than the device can charge, which degrades the switch’s l batteries over time.

Nintendo state it takes the Switch approximately 3 hours to charge when the console is off or in sleep mode, charging time will be a lot longer if the Switch is in use. It’s better to charge the Switch in sleep mode or while off to keep the Switch’s battery healthy over a long time.

I recommend using sleep mode when the Nintendo Switch is docked or when the switch is charging when it’s not in use, keeping the switch charged when you need it.

Turning off the console or setting it to sleep are both very similar. In both cases, the fan is not spinning, and the CPU is drawing no power. The only difference is that the memory has enough power to remember where you left off in sleep mode. This way, when you wake up the Switch, you can pick up where you left off. 

With Wi-Fi turned off, sleep mode is going to consume slightly more battery compared to the Switch being turned off entirely. 

If your Switch keeps crashing and you want to fix this issue I recommend you read my detailed guide here.

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