I found that connecting my Switch and a monitor was way easier than I anticipated.
Can the Nintendo Switch Connect to a PC Monitor?
You can connect a Nintendo Switch to a PC monitor in the exact same way as you would connect it to a TV. Make sure the Switch TV dock is properly connected. Then you just need to connect an HDMI cable to the monitor, switch it to HDMI mode, and start playing your favorite games.
Docking the Nintendo Switch to a monitor is simple, but there might be times when a different cable is needed or a small hiccup might prevent it from working.
I’ll walk you through the whole process step by step so you can quickly use your monitor instead of a TV.
Connecting the Switch to Modern Monitors
How am I distinguishing modern monitors from older ones? The main thing you want to pay attention to is the HDMI port.
Most modern PC monitors have an HDMI port and that makes the whole process much simpler.
If you have a DVI port, then you have an older monitor.
That’s fine and I provided instructions down below for connecting the Switch to older monitors.
In either case, I will walk you through the whole process.
Connecting a Switch and modern monitor is nearly identical to connecting it to a TV.
Read on to find out how to do it.
Prepare the Switch
You must gather all of the equipment that you normally would for docking your Switch to a TV.
This includes the Switch itself, either the regular version or the OLED, the TV dock, the power cable and the HDMI cable.
You cannot use Switch Lite for this.
That’s because the hardware was not made to export video information, which prevents it from connecting to a TV or monitor.
Open the back flap on the Switch TV dock and you will see two ports.
One is for the HDMI cable while the other is for power.
The power cable must be connected to a nearby outlet.
Connecting the Switch and Monitor
You must now connect the Switch and monitor together.
This is done via the HDMI cable and port on the monitor.
The majority of monitors have an HDMI port located on the back, but some have them on the side.
Locate the HDMI port on the monitor.
Insert one end of the cable into the monitor and the other into the Switch dock’s HDMI port.
As a side note, I found that this works well on any monitor or computer regardless of operating system.
What matters most is the HDMI port.
The operating system does not impact whether the Switch will work.
Finish the Connection
Turn on the computer monitor and set it to HDMI mode.
This is normally done by clicking the buttons on the monitor itself.
There should be a button to change the input.
If the monitor is connected to a tower or is an all-in-one, then you can switch to HDMI mode through the operating system.
Now turn on the Switch. You should see the Switch output on the monitor as if it were a TV.
You can now play your favorite Switch games on the computer.
Connecting the Switch to Older Monitors
As I noted above, the HDMI port on your monitor was very important because this is what allowed the Switch and monitor to communicate.
While HDMI ports are a common find now, this wasn’t the case with older monitors.
If you have an older monitor, then you won’t see an HDMI port. You will instead find a DVI port.
This signal is similar to HDMI as it carries both audio and visual information, but the port itself is very different.
While the port is different, there is a workaround that allows you to connect the Nintendo Switch to a DVI monitor.
Preparing the Switch
Prepping the Switch to connect to an older monitor is roughly the same as connecting to a TV or modern monitor.
You will need the regular Switch or OLED, TV dock and power cable.
The only part you may not need is the HDMI cable. Read the next section for more information on that.
Open the TV dock and connect the power cable.
Feel free to place the Switch in the dock as well.
Adapter or Cable
You will need a way to convert the HDMI signals to DVI. This is easier than it sounds.
You can do this either with a special cable or an adapter.
An HDMI-to-DVI cable will have one HDMI head and one DVI head.
Connect the HDMI side to your Switch and the DVI side to the monitor.
An HDMI-to-DVI adapter is a piece that connects to your monitor’s DVI port.
You can then slide the HDMI head into this port.
Both do the exact same thing of translating HDMI signals to DVI.
I prefer using an adapter because then I can use the HDMI cable for other purposes, but an HDMI-to-DVI cable works just as well.
Finishing the Connection
This is exactly the same as finishing the connection with a modern monitor.
Turn on the monitor and set it to DVI mode.
Turn on the Switch and you should see the video output on your screen.
Connection Not Working
Did you follow all the steps and it’s still not working? If so, then let me give you some troubleshooting tips to fix this problem.
This is often very easy to fix.
Unplug the Power
The first troubleshooting step is resetting the AC adapter. Unplug the power for 30 to 60 seconds. This allows the adapter to reset.
Plug it back in and try connecting the Switch and monitor.
This should fix the problem most of the time.
Correct Plug Order
Another common problem is incorrectly plugging in the cables.
You may not know it, but there is a specific order to all the cables.
You must plug in the power cable first and then the HDMI cable.
If you plug in the HDMI cable first, then it won’t work.
Unplug all of the cables and start with the power cable and then the HDMI one.
This is another common fix that should correct the problem.
Sometimes the Switch requires a software update.
Normally this doesn’t prevent it from connecting to a TV or monitor, but sometimes it might.
Check to see if an update is available and install it.
Check the Cables
If the above troubleshooting tips didn’t help, then there might be a problem with the cables themselves.
Check the cables for damage and make sure they are properly connecting to their respective ports.
You may want to buy new cables in case the damage is internal.