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Nintendo’s new Bluetooth update for the Switch is causing some problems – here’s how to fix it

This problem requires the old-school turn it off and back on approach.

nintendo switch
Image: KnowTechie

For some users, yesterday’s Nintendo Switch update that finally added support for Bluetooth audio has been more of a problem than a solution. There’s currently an issue when pairing Bluetooth headphones that can cause your Switch to become sluggish and fail to connect Bluetooth devices at all. Fortunately, there’s a temporary fix that mitigates the problem for now.

Sean Hollister from The Verge initially reported this issue. He noticed that sometimes his Bluetooth headphones weren’t pairing properly, and that was, in turn, causing the console to run poorly. After noticing this issue, his Switch took up to 30 seconds to wake up from sleep mode, something that usually happens instantaneously.

Apparently what is happening is that the Switch is failing to connect properly to the device. But instead of just failing and letting you try again, a sort of ghost connection is established that doesn’t let you try to connect again. Once your device runs into this ghost pairing failure, it can cause it to run sluggishly.

How can you fix your Switch if you see this problem?

Fortunately, Hollister was able to find a temporary fix for the issue. By shutting down the console completely, he was able to undo the Switch’s Bluetooth failure and start the process over with limited success. If you run into this issue, follow these steps to remove all Bluetooth devices and shut down the console completely:

  1. Forget any Bluetooth devices on the Switch console

  2. Hold down the Power Button for 4 seconds, then select Turn Off

  3. Wait a few seconds then power the console back on

After you power your Switch back up, it should behave normally again. Just make sure all previous Bluetooth connections were completely forgotten. From there, you can continue to try to connect your Bluetooth device, but be wary.

Hollister was able to connect devices with some success after fixing the failure, but he did continue to run into the same issue several times.

It looks like what we thought was a simple “unlocking” of Bluetooth audio for the Switch turns out to be a little more complex. Hopefully, this issue gets fixed soon. For now, you’ll have to follow this temporary fix if you run into the same problem.

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