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Introduction

Follow this guide to replace a broken or faulty fan in the Nintendo Switch game console.

Note: This procedure requires removing the shield plate and heat sink. The thermal paste will need to be cleaned off of both components—as well as the CPU—and reapplied before reinstalling the shield plate and heat sink.

  1. Before you begin this repair, make sure the device is completely powered off. Press and hold down the small round button on the back of the Joy Con controller. While you hold down the button, slide  the controller upward.
    • Before you begin this repair, make sure the device is completely powered off.

    • Press and hold down the small round button on the back of the Joy Con controller.

    • While you hold down the button, slide the controller upward.

  2. Continue sliding the controller upward until it's completely removed from the console. Repeat this same process for the other controller. Repeat this same process for the other controller.
    • Continue sliding the controller upward until it's completely removed from the console.

    • Repeat this same process for the other controller.

    • Use a Y00 screwdriver to remove the four 6.3 mm-long screws securing the rear panel.

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from.

  3. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws securing the rear panel: One 2.5 mm-long screw on the top edge of the device
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws securing the rear panel:

    • One 2.5 mm-long screw on the top edge of the device

    • Two 2.5 mm-long screws on the bottom edge of the device

  4. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side). Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side).
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side).

  5. Use your finger to flip up the kickstand on the back of the device. If there's a microSD card in the microSD card slot, remove it now before you continue to the next step.
    • Use your finger to flip up the kickstand on the back of the device.

    • If there's a microSD card in the microSD card slot, remove it now before you continue to the next step.

  6. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 1.6 mm screw in the kickstand well.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 1.6 mm screw in the kickstand well.

  7. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it. Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it.
    • Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it.

  8. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 3.1 mm screw securing the microSD card reader to the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 3.1 mm screw securing the microSD card reader to the device.

  9. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the microSD card reader straight up from the device to disconnect and remove it. During reassembly, make sure the press connector underneath the foam pad is firmly connected to the motherboard
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to lift the microSD card reader straight up from the device to disconnect and remove it.

    • During reassembly, make sure the press connector underneath the foam pad is firmly connected to the motherboard

  10. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the six 3 mm screws securing the shield plate to the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the six 3 mm screws securing the shield plate to the device.

  11. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to peel back the piece of foam on the top edge of the device near the fan exhaust port.

  12. Insert a spudger underneath the shield plate along the edge of the device. Pry up to lift the shield plate up. You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the shield plate is slightly bonded to the heat sink with thermal paste.
    • Insert a spudger underneath the shield plate along the edge of the device.

    • Pry up to lift the shield plate up.

    • You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the shield plate is slightly bonded to the heat sink with thermal paste.

    • Remove the shield plate.

    • Clean off the old thermal paste from the shield plate and heat sink using high-concentration (90% or higher) isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Apply new thermal paste to the heat sink before reassembly.

  13. Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry the battery connector straight up and out of its socket on the motherboard.

  14. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 3 mm screws securing the heat sink to the motherboard.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 3 mm screws securing the heat sink to the motherboard.

  15. Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingers to carefully peel up the foam that's lightly adhered to the fan. The foam only needs to be peeled back enough to clear the fan.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingers to carefully peel up the foam that's lightly adhered to the fan.

    • The foam only needs to be peeled back enough to clear the fan.

  16. Use a spudger or your fingers to lift the heatsink up and off the motherboard to remove it. You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the heat sink is slightly bonded to the CPU with thermal paste. Clean off the old thermal paste from the heat sink and CPU using high-concentration (90% or higher) isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Apply new thermal paste to the CPU before reassembly.
    • Use a spudger or your fingers to lift the heatsink up and off the motherboard to remove it.

    • You may feel a bit of resistance. This is normal, since the heat sink is slightly bonded to the CPU with thermal paste.

    • Clean off the old thermal paste from the heat sink and CPU using high-concentration (90% or higher) isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Apply new thermal paste to the CPU before reassembly.

  17. Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the digitizer cable's ZIF connector. Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the digitizer cable's ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the digitizer cable's ZIF connector.

  18. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the digitizer cable out of its connector on the game card reader board. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the digitizer cable out of its connector on the game card reader board.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the digitizer cable out of its connector on the game card reader board.

  19. Use the point of a spudger to pry the headphone jack and game card reader connector straight up to disconnect it from the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry the headphone jack and game card reader connector straight up to disconnect it from the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry the headphone jack and game card reader connector straight up to disconnect it from the motherboard.

  20. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 3.1 mm screws securing the headphone jack and game card reader board to the device.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 3.1 mm screws securing the headphone jack and game card reader board to the device.

  21. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack bracket. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack bracket.
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack bracket.

  22. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack and game card reader board. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack and game card reader board.
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to remove the headphone jack and game card reader board.

  23. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the fan cable ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the fan cable ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the fan cable ZIF connector.

  24. Use a pair of tweezers to pull the fan cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard. Use a pair of tweezers to pull the fan cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the fan cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard.

  25. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 4.8 mm screws securing the fan.
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the three 4.8 mm screws securing the fan.

  26. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to lift the fan straight up and remove it from the device. Compare your new replacement part to the original part. You may need to transfer remaining components (such as the rubber bushings) to the new part before installing.
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to lift the fan straight up and remove it from the device.

    • Compare your new replacement part to the original part. You may need to transfer remaining components (such as the rubber bushings) to the new part before installing.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Nintendo Switch Answers community for help.

65 other people completed this guide.

Craig Lloyd

Member since: 02/10/2016

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12 Comments

If your joycons are not charging, it could be the fans fault as they seem to share a 1.8v and or 5v rail, I had both joycons refusing to charge, and the fan was not working, so by replacing the fan, it had them charging properly again.

Corbin - Reply

oh? i was wondering why my joycons died and never turned on. i though the hot switch short circuited them. the same thing happened to mine. The fan died as well as my joycons. very useful mate. thanks for the info!

Robby Ninte -

I changed the fan and it still don’t charge my Joycon. What should I do?

baron154 -

I’ve recently found a video that shows what can be wrong with Switch with the same issue, but working fan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuQC3ipu... . In the comments people confirmed several times that it helps.

Andrey -

If I'm just replacing the fan, do I need to clean off/reapply any thermal paste?

Postponderance - Reply

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