nintendo switch screen not working in handheld mode

Wondering why is the Nintendo Switch screen not working in handheld mode?

The Nintendo Switch modes might encounter glitches, especially when frequently changed or the output has been suddenly disconnected.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything about how the handheld mode works and why the screen goes black when enabled.

The screen might go black when you switch from one play mode to another while the Nintendo Switch is still connected to another output. The problem could also be related to the power income of the console so it’s best to check everything!

About Nintendo Switch Control Modes!

about the switch control mode

Nintendo has officially announced 3 different play modes for your Nintendo Switch

There is the Tabletop mode, the TV mode, and the Handheld mode. 

Handheld Mode

As the name suggests, with the handheld mode you control it by grabbing it with both hands and using the joysticks on each side.

The TV mode is when you connect the switch to a TV and the tabletop mode is when you use the console as a TV if you don’t have one in reach.

Bugs could occur with the different play modes on your Nintendo Switch, but most of the time they are curable. 

If the screen/display of your Nintendo Switch has suddenly stopped working when you’ve switched the device to the handheld mode we have a solution!

Nintendo Switch Screen Not Working In Handheld Mode – Quick Solutions

fix nintendo switch screen not working

A quick word before we begin with the troubleshooting. There’s a chance that only the screen of your Nintendo went off.

You should check if you could still control the console because that will lead you directly to the root of the problem.

See what you can do to identify the issue, and next proceed with the solutions below!

Solution #1 Restart the Console

Assuming that you’ve already figured, restarting your Nintendo Switch console could resolve this screen problem you’re experiencing.

There is a Power button on your Nintendo Switch that you’re using to turn the device on, but now you will be using it to turn it OFF. 

Since you cannot access the power menu, this is your only way of restarting the console!

Here’s how to restart your Nintendo Switch console using the power button:

  1. Locate the Power button on the top of your switch.
  2. Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds.
  3. Wait for the console to shut OFF.
  4. Press the power button again.
  5. Check if your Nintendo Switch screen is working now.
Tip: If your Nintendo Switch won’t turn ON, hold the Power button for 5 seconds!

Solution #2 Pug Into A Charger!

plug to a charger

If your Nintendo Switch has run out of battery, the console would turn OFF. It would be surprising if that happened right when you switched to a handheld mode. 

In that regard, it’s recommended to make sure that your console is charged before proceeding further!

Connect the Nintendo Switch to an adapter and let it charge for at least 10 minutes! 

Once it is done charging, disconnect it from the power and press the power button once.

If the console boots up, then the problem was due to a lack of battery. 

In case the screen of your Nintendo Switch still goes black when in handheld mode, proceed further!

Note: Test whether the power source you’re using is working by using another device!

Solution #3 Turn Airplane Mode “ON”

turn airplane mode on

If only the display of your Nintendo Switch is unresponsive, but the console still works and you can still control it, there is a way to disable the handheld mode more.

Enabling Airplane mode will disable any current play mode and hopefully solve the problem.

Here’s how to navigate to the Airplane mode and turn it ON without seeing your screen:

  1. Press the Home button for 1 second.
  2. Press the right arrow 5 times.
  3. Press the left arrow 1 time.
  4. Hit the select button.
  5. Press the down arrow 1 time.
  6. Press the right arrow one time.
  7. Hit the “Abutton to activate AirPlane mode.
Note: When you can see the display of the Nintendo Switch, turn OFF the Airplane mode!

Solution #4 Reconnect the Joycons

reconnect the joycons

Chances are that your Nintendo Switch has run into a bug upon connecting the joycons on each side. 

The joycons are required whenever you’re using the console in a handheld mode since those are the controllers that you will be playing games with.

Reconnect the Joycons and check by allowing several seconds for them to discharge!

  • In order to remove a joycon, you must slide it upwards until it comes off. They are installed in an in-built track in your Nintendo Switch and could come off easily.

When you’re ready, test enabling the handheld mode to see whether that has helped.

Alert: Work with the joycons gently. They could break easily if you use too much force to disconnect them from the console.

Solution #5 Reset the Console

reset the console

If our fixes didn’t work out so far, then you should perform a reset on your Nintendo Switch console. 

Luckily, a reset is possible by holding the power button for a certain amount of time, which will cause the software of the console to refresh and the cache will be flushed.

Here’s how to reset your Nintendo Switch console in easy steps:

  1. Connect the Nintendo Switch to a charger.
  2. Locate the power button on the top of the console.
  3. Press and hold the power button.
  4. Hold the button down for 12 seconds.
  5. Next, press the power button once to start the Switch.

When the reset is over, enable the handheld mode to check whether the screen goes black.

Note: There is no notification informing the user that the reset has been completed.

How to Fix When Nintendo Switch Screen Not Coming On?

fix nintendo switch screen

If your Nintendo Switch’s screen isn’t coming on by any means, this problem tends to be related to the power income of the device.

The fault could either be with the charging equipment of the console or an internal fault related to the hardware components.

In addition, we suggest attempting the solutions above since all of them are also focused on solving issues with the Switch’s screen.

When you’re ready try the following:

Reset the Power Equipment

There’s a chance that your Nintendo Switch refuses to charge.

If that’s the case, you should hard reset the power equipment by disconnecting the adapter from both sides.

Keep the device unplugged for at least 30 seconds!

Replace the Power Adapter

replace power adapter

It’s strongly recommended to use an original adapter for charging your Nintendo Switch.

If you happen to use an alternative one, the battery might not be charging properly.

Disconnect Nintendo from the TV 

There could be a bug with the TV play mode on your Nintendo Switch. Disconnect the console from the LAN Switch and your TV and check if that will resolve the problem.

Perform the “Long-Charge” Method

When the Nintendo Switch does not turn ON, or only the display remains black, what users often do is turn OFF the console and plug it into the charger overnight. 

Note: If the screen/display problem still persists with your Nintendo Switch, contact Nintendo Customer Service for additional assistance.

Screen Is Still Black In Handheld Mode…

still black screen in handheld mode

After attempting all of the methods above, the screen of your Nintendo should have at least turned ON when we’ve enabled the Airplane mode. 

In case the screen became permanently black out of a sudden you could face a backlight problem for technician’s care.

Before drawing conclusions, contact Nintendo Customer Service for more help! 

Don’t forget to share what you’ve tried in this guide to save time. Use Live Chat, Ticket, Call, or Text Message to contact a Nintendo support representative.

With a bit of luck, the problem will be gone as soon as you receive professional help. Good luck!

Quick Recap:

Thus, the Nintendo Switch screen goes black when entering handheld mode when the device’s output is connected to another receiver. In case that’s not the case, users should restart the console and enable Airplane mode to stop all active modes!

Final Thoughts:

Now that we’ve learned why the Nintendo Switch screen not working in handheld mode, we can enjoy the different play modes without worrying about the black screen.

When the problem’s cause could not be identified, you can always seek more help from Nintendo!

We hope that this post was helpful and for more relevant content, check our blog!

Nicole B