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Introduction

Follow this guide to replace a faulty motherboard 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 LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector.

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the power and volume button ribbon cable ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the power and volume button ribbon cable ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the power and volume button ribbon cable ZIF connector.

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

  29. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the smaller LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the smaller LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the smaller LCD ribbon cable ZIF connector.

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

  31. Use the point of a spudger, an opening tool, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail's data cable ZIF connector. Use the point of a spudger, an opening tool, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail's data cable ZIF connector.
    • Use the point of a spudger, an opening tool, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail's data cable ZIF connector.

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

  33. Use the point of a spudger to pry up the black antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry up the black antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up the black antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard.

  34. Use the point of a spudger to pry up the white antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry up the white antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up the white antenna cable straight up out of its socket on the motherboard.

  35. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull the right speaker connector straight out of its socket on the motherboard. Do not pull on the connector by the speaker wires. They're very thin and can easily snap off the connector.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull the right speaker connector straight out of its socket on the motherboard.

    • Do not pull on the connector by the speaker wires. They're very thin and can easily snap off the connector.

  36. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull the left speaker connector straight out of its socket on the motherboard. Do not pull on the connector by the speaker wires. They're very thin and can easily snap off the connector.
    • Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull the left speaker connector straight out of its socket on the motherboard.

    • Do not pull on the connector by the speaker wires. They're very thin and can easily snap off the connector.

  37. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail data cable ZIF connector. Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail data cable ZIF connector.
    • Use an opening tool, spudger, or your fingernail to flip up the small, hinged locking flap on the Joy Con sensor rail data cable ZIF connector.

  38. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard. Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the Joy Con rail data cable straight out of its connector on the motherboard.

  39. Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws:
    • Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the following screws:

    • Four 2.5 mm screws

    • Two 3.1 mm screws

  40. Insert a spudger into a gap between the motherboard and the frame. Carefully lift up the motherboard and remove it from the frame. Carefully lift up the motherboard and remove it from the frame.
    • Insert a spudger into a gap between the motherboard and the frame.

    • Carefully lift up the motherboard and remove it from the frame.

Conclusion

Compare your new replacement part to the original part. You may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

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.

34 other people completed this guide.

Craig Lloyd

Member since: 02/10/2016

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4 Comments

Great guide! Thank you. Just one problem: Where the !&&* can I buy a replacement?

Rob - Reply

You can buy one on the ifixit parts store or you can find a used one on eBay.

HeyJacksonY -

What’s the name of the grey compound you insert on the cooper section on the motherboard? I’ve been wondering what that stuff is.

Steven Peck - Reply

That is thermal compound or commonly known as thermal paste. It improves performance of parts by bridging the gaps between the CPU and heat pipes.

HeyJacksonY -

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