There are various reasons why gamers want to connect the switch to your Windows 10 or 11 PC, and what is meant by “connection” between the two devices.
If you have any idea how to integrate your switch with your PC, we will take you through various options and possibilities.
Connect the switch to the monitor
If you want to play Nintendo Switch games on your computer monitor, you do not need to connect it to your computer. Most modern monitors have HDMI connectors and there are probably several of them. Therefore, all you have to do is connect the switch dock to your monitor with an HDMI cable.
You need to switch inputs to the port to which you have connected the switch dock on your monitor. If you have a built-in speaker on your monitor, you can get the sound directly from the screen. Even if it doesn’t have speakers, many monitors have a headphone output that you can plug into speakers or headphones.
Note that the switch now supports Bluetooth audio if you update the firmware to the correct version. You can use the headphone output on the switch itself when connected to a PC monitor.
Use a capture card
Suppose you want to see the video and audio output of your switcher on your computer screen, like a laptop. In this case, you can use a USB video capture device such as the Elgato HD60 S +, which replaces the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S and offers several significant upgrades over older models.
This capture card is good for transferring audio and video of your switch to your computer Even if you want to record a frame from your switch, as long as it meets the requirements of your computer card, you will not fall behind. Capture card software works best on Microsoft Windows systems, but is officially supported on Mac computers.
If you have PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Xbox Series consoles, you can connect them to a capture device and record your gameplay without any delay. It takes a few clicks to set it up in Elgato software and switch to full screen mode, but the result is worth it.
Note about switch lights
The switch light does not have video output hardware, so any solution that relies on the HDMI output of the switch dock will not work with the switch light. There are dedicated hardware changes to add this feature to the switch light, but it’s cheaper to buy a second regular switch. Otherwise, you are stuck on the switching screen.
Use a USB cable to transfer photos and videos
Starting with Switch System Software 11.0.0, you can connect the switch to your computer using a USB-C cable connected to your PC’s USB port. The switch will only appear on your computer as a USB drive Just go here:
System Preferences> Data management> Manage screenshots and videos> Copy to computer via USB connection
If you see the message “Connected to computer”, you can open the switch drive on your operating system. When you’re done, be sure to choose “Disable”.
Use Smart Device Transfer for photos and videos
You can quickly transfer videos and photos from the switch to your computer with the Smart Device Transfer function. Once that media is on your smart device, you can sync it to the cloud or otherwise transfer it to your computer, just like you move any other file from your smartphone to your computer. The only limitation is that you can only share ten pictures (and one video) at a time.
This method works by temporarily turning your switch into a web server Here’s how to use this feature:
On the Switch to Home screen, select the icon “Album”.
Select the photo or video you want to transfer.
Select “Publish and Edit”, then select “Send to Smart Device”.
You can send items individually or as a group. Choose the option according to your needs.
When requested, the switch will display a QR code, scan it with a smartphone camera, and connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Once connected, the switch will display a new QR code. Scan this code and it will open a web page with your content
Save to your smart device using a browser.
This is an intelligent solution from Nintendo, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. The good news is that you can access data directly from the SD card
Use an SD card reader
If you want to copy all your content from the switch to your PC, you can simply remove the SD card from its slot and use the USB SD card adapter or built-in SD card slot to view the contents of the card.
Be sure to turn off the switch before removing the SD card. You should not change the contents of any SD card unless you know exactly what you are doing. If something goes wrong with the current card, you can back up the contents of the SD card, but you can’t use those contents on another console.
If you are a bod
If you want to upgrade to SD card, you can copy the content using your computer and it will work seamlessly.
Play the PC version of Switch game instead
Many third-party switch games are available as PC ports. So if you want to play the same game on your PC, you often have the option to buy the game on PC. Unfortunately, this means buying the game twice, but you’ll find that the PC version is cheaper than the Switch and other consoles.
Of course, this won’t help if you want to save the same files on your switch. Unfortunately, some Switch games offer cloud sync with their PC version, but some original games allow it. For example, Diablo II offers resurfaced (cross-progression planned), The Witcher 3 and Divinity Original Scene 2 cross-progression features.
If you want universal cross-progress between your PC and Pocket PC, consider buying a Steam Deck or similar portable PC with another PC game client that supports Steam or Cloud Sync.
Use a switch emulator
Another way to run a switch game on your PC is to use a switch emulator. This software mimics Switch hardware, which allows you to play these games on your computer. If your computer is fast enough, you can run these switch games at a better resolution and frame rate than enable switching.