How to Connect Switch to your TV without the dock

The Nintendo Switch is undoubtedly one of the most popular Nintendo consoles of all time. And although it’s not quite on the level of the Nintendo DS yet in terms of sales, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be long until it overtakes it and has sold more overall.

One of the main reasons that the Nintendo Switch is so popular is that you can use it both as a portable console but also docked as well. This means that you can link it up to your television pretty easily.

But what about if you don’t have the dock that the Switch comes with? Can you still connect it to your TV and play it in docked mode? Well, we’re going to show you how you can do this.

How to Connect Switch to your TV without the dock

If you want to connect your Switch to your TV without its dock, you’re going to need a HDMI to USB-C converter. Then, all you need to do is plug the USB-C end into the Switch, and the HDMI end into the back of your television.

So, you can easily use a Nintendo Switch without its dock. But you will need to get an adapter, as your Switch connects to its dock via a USB-C port. You just need to connect the Switch’s output via USB-C to your television’s input – the best option for this is typically HDMI.

Finding an adapter for this is pretty easy, and they’re not going to be too expensive, either. It’s definitely worth picking one up if you don’t fancy carrying your dock around with you everywhere – you can even keep it in your bag ready to be used if you want to use your Switch on the go.

Some older USB-C adapters may not work, so you may need to pick up a newer one to connect your Switch up to your television properly. Here’s my Switch connected to my TV;


Bear in mind that this also needs a power source too. You’ll need an extra plug and a USB to USB or USB to Micro USB cable to use with it, as the adapter needs to be powered. It’ll keep your Switch charged when you’re using it too.


As you can see, I’ve been playing Celeste on the big screen. You can only do this with a full version and not the Switch Lite, as it doesn’t have HDMI output capabilities.

Here’s a link to the Nintendo Switch USB-C adapter that I bought to work with my television. It’s a little more expensive than other USB-C adapters, but some of the cheaper ones have a lot of negative reviews saying that they don’t work.

This is the easiest way for you to connect a Switch to your TV without having the dock. But are there other ways you can do this? That’s what we’ll take a look at now.

Can you connect a Nintendo switch to a TV wirelessly?

So, now we know that you need an HDMI cable and an adapter for you to connect your TV and Switch together. It can be a lot of fun to play your Switch on a 75 inch TV. But can you do this wirelessly, or do you need a cable to do this?

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to do this without a wire. The Switch doesn’t have the ability to output video content via a wireless connection, so you’re always going to need a cable to connect it to another device when you don’t want to use it in portable mode.

Of course, you can prop the Switch up on its own and use the two joy-cons as controllers if you want to. But, many people find that this screen is too small for multiple people playing. There’s not currently a way of doing this without the use of an HDMI lead, so you’ll need to pick one up.

Can I charge my Nintendo Switch without the dock?

If your dock is broken or you don’t have it with you, then you might be concerned about being able to charge your device. Fortunately, you can easily charge any Switch with a USB-C cable. You don’t need to have the dock for your Switch to charge it – you can just plug this cable directly into the wall to charge it instead.

So as well as connecting your Nintendo, you can also charge it without the dock too. This can definitely come in handy, as it means you won’t need to carry around a full dock and AC adapter around with you everywhere. A standard USB-C cable should do the job, though it may charge slowly depending on what you’re connecting it to.

You could also consider getting a power bank to use with your Nintendo Switch too, with some of them giving you more than 15 hours of extra playtime.

Why is my Switch dock not working?

The chances are that if you’re searching for help with this problem, then you’re probably having issues with the dock itself. Here are a few things to check if your Switch dock isn’t working properly.

Cables – One of the main reasons why your dock may not be working may not actually lie within the dock itself, but the cables that you’re using with it. This could be with your power cable of your Switch, or maybe with the HDMI cable that you’re using too.
Within your TV – Another potential cause of the issue between the connection between the two could be your television itself. This can be the case whether you’ve got a newer widescreen smart TV but it’s more likely to be an issue if you have an older model.
The dock itself – Unfortunately, although it’s not a common problem with Nintendo docks, the issue could lie within the dock itself. If this is the case, then you don’t have much of an option outside of taking it to Nintendo or your nearest game store to get fixed.


Overall, it isn’t the end of the world if your Nintendo Switch dock has broken, or you haven’t got it with you to use with your console. As long as you make sure that you have a USB-C adapter to a HDMI port, then you can connect your Switch up to your TV and use it in docked mode, even without the dock itself.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

6 thoughts on “How to Connect Switch to your TV without the dock”

      • Is there a comparable product you could link for the US? That link takes me to an Amazon search page and I really don’t think I could pick one out of the bunch that would work.

  1. Hello, my son has a Nintendo switch that was sent in to be repaired for not turning on suddenly. Well they fixed that, but now it has a new problem. It won’t connect to the TV.. it only plays in handheld mode. Tried different docks, different TVs. It’s not that (because my friend put his switch in the same docks and TVs and it works just fine). Tried to take to a local repair place. The guy couldn’t figure it out and didn’t wanna take it all apart and cause more damage. Any thoughts?

    • Hey Rachel! With what you’ve said it definitely sounds like a hardware problem with the Switch itself (maybe the output port), especially as you’ve tried it with different TVs, different cables and even a different Switch. It could also be the AC adapter, as if it charges but doesn’t output video, this suggests it hasn’t got enough power to do so. Make sure that you try turning the Switch back on in this order; Plug in the USB-C power adapter, then HDMI to the dock, then HDMI to TV, then put the Switch into the Dock. Only turn your TV on after doing this – it’s what Nintendo recommend, and has worked for some!


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