How to deal with Nintendo Switch liquid or water damage

Don't mix the Switch with water.

bluetooth headphones nintendo switch oled
Image via Nintendo

Electronics and water don’t mix— and the Nintendo Switch is no exception.

Whether you’re playing too close to the pool or simply spilled your drink playing a favorite title, it’s never ideal when expensive electronics and water meet. But even if your Switch has been completely submerged, there are steps you can take to recover or minimize water damage to your Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is not waterproof; liquids can damage the device, no matter the amount. Along with being careful, investing in a waterproof Switch case might save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

What to do if your Nintendo Switch is exposed to liquid:

  • Immediately unplug the console from the power to avoid further damage. Eliminating electric current as soon as possible is critical. As with any electrical appliance, there is a risk of electrical shock if used while wet).
  • Completely power down the console. Press and hold the Power Button for three seconds to turn it off, prompting the Power Menu. Select Power Options – Turn Off to fully shut down the handheld.
  • Wipe any excess liquid from the device with a dry, soft cloth—ideally microfibre.
  • Avoid rotating, shaking, pressing buttons, or blowing water off the device. Doing any of this might help the liquid move around within the device, causing further damage.
  • Allow the system to air-dry for a few days. If the system has been submerged more severely, you may also consider leaving the Switch to dry in a bag or bucket of uncooked rice. This can take a couple of days to fully absorb all of the moisture in your Switch.
  • After air-drying for a few days, attempt to power the Switch back on. If it doesn’t turn on, contact Nintendo Switch Support and go from there.

Things to be careful of

  • Avoid opening the console, which may avoid the warranty.
  • Do not apply any type of external heat to speed up the process (blow-dryers, heaters, microwave ovens, etc.), as this may cause damage to the system.
  • Do not plug the device into power after suspected water damage. If the console isn’t turning on, that’s a bad sign that liquid damage is preventing the unit from powering on. The Switch may need to air-dry longer or require professional repair or replacement.

The Nintendo Switch’s warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage. If the system isn’t powering on after air-drying for a few days, it’s likely your console will need to be repaired or replaced. Be sure to go over your warranty to iron out details, and use third-party repair outfits at your own risk.


Devon Ledohowski
Washed-up Counter-Strike player from back in the day, writing about all things hardware.

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