How to Connect Nintendo Switch To a Laptop

To connect Nintendo Switch to a laptop, open Game Capture HD on your laptop. Press the home button of your Nintendo Switch controller. Connect the USB cable supplied with the capture card you got from your seller and your laptop. In a few seconds, you should see the Nintendo Switch home screen in Game Capture HD.

All this is done through an HDMI connection and using the HDMI in port on your monitor.

This is an easy process that doesn’t require any special software or configuration changes.

However, if you feel that your input isn’t crisp enough via the HDMI connection, you can use a USB cable instead of an HDMI cable as certain laptops don’t have native support for outputting video via USB 3 ports.

Connect Nintendo Switch To Laptop via HDMI

Connect Nintendo Switch To Laptop

So you want to connect a Nintendo Switch to a laptop?

Whether you are using an older Mac or PC, the HDMI connection is the best way to go.

The HDMI port on whichever device you are using will work best if you have a monitor that supports that connection.

To be on the safe side, you should first check whether or not the HDMI-In port on your monitor can support video input of up to 1080p resolution. Also only use a high-quality HDMI cable.

Just keep in mind that 720p and 1080p will only give you 60 Hertz of refresh rate, while 1080p at 60 Hz will give you 120 Hertz.

This means a smoother gaming experience and should be your preferred option.

The Steps

To change the input source on your monitor or to connect different devices, here is what to do:

Step 1: Press the button that says ‘Input’ on it.

This will open up a list of supported inputs such as VGA, DVI+VGA, HDMI, and HDMI+Audio.

Step 2: Select the one that has “HDMI” written next to it and then select the input source option at which point you will be asked either to press “Enter” or “OK”.

Step 3: On the Nvidia Shield, go to Settings > Display > Setting and select HDMI Output from the list.

Step 4: Go to Settings > Other Settings > USB Connection (Control) and select “Connect USB Device”.

Step 5: From your PC that you wish to connect, go into Control Panel > Devices and Printers.

Select Add a device> Select “Set Up A New Device” then select “Add A Device” from the list.

Step 6: Select your GeForce GTX 960M from the list on your laptop or Mac Book Pro and click continue.

The main menu will now give you a notification that it is ready for connection.

Choose it and connect it with the cable that came with your device to your laptop or Mac Book Pro’s HDMI in port.

You will then see a black screen with a white Nintendo Switch logo.

Step 7: On your Nintendo Switch, go to System Settings > TV and select HDMI within the options available.

Connect Nintendo Switch to Laptop via USB 3.0 Connection

If you have a laptop that doesn’t have an HDMI in port, your next best option would be to connect your device using the USB 3.0 port on your laptop monitor or PC.

You should check this first before going through the process as it may not work and could give you problems later on down the road.

If you do connect it via USB 3.0, you should use a USB 3.0 C to A cable to ensure the highest possible transfer speed.

Step 1: Check whether or not your PC supports HDCP 2.2.

This is not a crucial feature of the connection, but it will help maintain a stable connection while you are transferring data between your PC and your Nintendo Switch.

If your laptop does not support it, then you will see an error message on your Switch stating that there was an “HDCP Error”.

This means that the connection will be unstable and could result in a loss of data transfer capabilities, and even signal distortion issues.

In most cases, however, you will have no issues while using a USB 3.0 connection.

Step 2: Control Panel settings

When you are ready to connect the devices, you should first go to Control Panel on your PC and select Sound and Audio Devices.

Next, look for a tab that says “Enhancements” and then check the box beside “Display Adapter Properties – HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection)”. Click “OK”.

You will then be taken back to the main menu where you should click Configure and select Display Adapter Properties from the list of available options.

Step 3: More Display Configurations

When this is done, go back to the main menu once again and choose Change Settings on the right side of your screen under Device Settings.

Select “Display” in the list on the left side of this menu and then choose “Next”.

On the next menu, you should click on Advanced and then click on the box beside “Allow The Computer To Turn Off This Device To Save Power”.

Click “OK” as well and then scroll down to find “Change Settings Under Display 1”.

Click on Change Settings button below it and find Digital Transmission Content Protection in the list of options available.

Check the box beside “Allow The Computer To Turn Off This Device To Save Power”. Click “OK” and then click “Apply”.

Step 4: Content Protection Configuration

You should then click on ‘Advanced” again and scroll down to find “Digital Transmission Content Protection”.

Check the box beside “Enable this device to receive upgraded content” and then click OK.

Go back to the main menu again at this point by clicking “Exit”.

Step 5: Connecting the switch via USB 3.0

When you are back in your Windows 10 PC, you can now connect your Nintendo Switch via USB 3.0 by going to Device Manager > Display Adapters.

Your GPU will appear under the list, so select it and go to the Driver tab within Properties.

Click Update Driver and select “Browse My Computer for driver software” on the next page.

If you cannot find the software on your PC, you can search for it on the Google Play Store and download it via your Wi-Fi network.

Click Browse and then select Direct Download from this page.

Click Next to continue downloading the app. Once it’s finished downloading, click OK to install and then activate it once done.

Step 6: OEM ID

You will be asked to supply an OEM ID number which is printed in tiny text on the back of your Nintendo Switch.

Make sure to write this down as you will need it for installing the driver later on as well.

You will now see a screen that asks whether or not you would like to install the Nvidia GeForce Experience software.

Click ‘Install” to install it and then activate it once done.

This is the software that you will use to manage your game data and patches for the future. It also helps unlock nice-looking settings if you want to go crazy later on.

If you do not have enough free space on your PC’s hard drive, you can either move some of your current files off or purchase a new hard drive that has more space capacity than the original one.

Final Words

That said the easiest way to connect your Nintendo Switch to a laptop monitor is by using HDMI. This allows you an easier, non-technical way of connection, with better performance.

You can, however, also connect it via the game capture card through the USB ports using a USB cable.

Just ensure that you have the capture card software correctly installed to allow proper display monitor capabilities. 

Written By Ronald Patrick

From Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch to even Minecraft, this guy has played them all in the name of testing laptops and thus knows everything there is to know about smooth, lag-free gaming.