How to Jailbreak a Nintendo Switch: Pros, Cons & Instructions

Jailbreaking your Nintendo Switch isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it allows you to do more with your Switch, from installing loads of extra games (including many classic titles) to run unofficial apps that add new functionality.

It’s not without risk, of course – you could turn your Switch into an expensive paperweight and void the warranty in the process. If you’re feeling brave, here’s how to jailbreak your Switch and our advice on how to minimize the risk to your console.

Why do I want to jailbreak my Switch?

If you are new to the jailbreak scene and unsure of its functionality, let us clarify; In general, jailbreaking an operating system provides access in a way that the creators of that operating system never intended. This provides an easy way for fans to create and download custom apps and games for devices that aren’t normally available.

In the case of the Nintendo Switch, jailbreaking allows you to install unofficial Switch apps and games. While the selection available at the time of this writing is not extensive, it is still relatively early days and offers those who want to join the chance to play unofficial classic games on consoles. . If you’re looking for fun new games to play, check out the best Nintendo Switch games right now.

However, it is not without risk; Keep reading to find out what can happen when jailbreaking your Nintendo Switch.

What are the risks of jailbreaking my Switch?

The biggest risk of jailbreaking your Nintendo Switch is overload. While there aren’t many reports of jailbreaking the Nintendo Switch system, it’s likely because most jailbreaks tweak the operating system in some way. Jailbreak is also against Nintendo’s T&C, which means that if you damage your console, Nintendo won’t replace it.

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Jailbreaking your Nintendo Switch will void the warranty, although at the moment we’re not sure if there’s a way for Nintendo to know if the console is jailbroken by physical testing.

Due to the issues mentioned above, we don’t recommend jailbreaking your main Nintendo Switch console. If anything, pick up a dedicated Homebrew Switch console that you can play with without fear of damaging your only console. Check out our selection of the best Nintendo Switch deals to pick one up on the cheap!

There’s also some confusion about whether you can jailbreak your Nintendo Switch console if you need to send it in for repair at a later date. While logic suggests that updating the Nintendo Switch to the latest version of the Switch software will remove the jailbreak, we cannot confirm that at this time.

If you still want to jailbreak your Nintendo Switch, keep reading to learn exactly how.

How do I jailbreak my Nintendo Switch?

There are several ways to jailbreak your Nintendo Switch, but the easiest and most popular option for users is to use the Homebrew Launcher. Homebrew Launcher was revealed by a group of hackers at the Chaos Media Congress in Germany in December 2017 and made public a few months later.

This is arguably the easiest way to ‘jailbreak’ your Nintendo Switch, as it doesn’t require the use of a PC or Mac to tweak the operating system. In fact, all you need is a laptop, a microSD card, and a Nintendo Switch! Even so, there is a catch; Homebrew Launcher is only compatible with Switch 3.0.0 software, there are no plans to support older or newer updates.

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If your Switch is running software below 3.0.0, you can still upgrade to 3.0.0 using a physical copy of the Pokken Tournament DX game with cartridge identifier 000. Some versions are numbered 001 or 002 and will update your Switch software to 3.0.1. If you somehow manage to install a newer version of the Switch firmware, the bad news is that it’s currently not possible to roll back to the previous version.

If your Nintendo Switch is running firmware 3.0.0, follow the instructions below to jailbreak your device.

  1. Download the latest version of nx-hbmenu from Github (3.3.0 at time of writing).
  2. Copy hbmenu.nro to the root menu of your SD card.
  3. Plug your microSD card into the Nintendo Switch.
  4. Go to your Connection Settings and configure your DNS servers manually. When prompted, enter the following DNS: and perform a connection test.
  5. Click ‘Install’.
  6. Restart your Nintendo Switch.
  7. Run another new connection test.
  8. Click ‘Run’.

If you see ‘2000-1337’ on your screen, the installation was successful. You can then go to the Home menu and click the Albums icon to browse through the apps and games in your homebrew.

There is another method to jailbreak the Switch running any software from 1.0.0 to 4.1.0, but it will not work with consoles purchased from July 2018 onwards. It is also riskier than the above method as you will have to short the pins on the right JoyCon as part of the process. If mishaps don’t bother you, you can learn how to do it right here, but know that Technical Advisors are not responsible for any damage to your console.

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How do I install Homebrew games and apps?

You may have noticed that, at first glance, there isn’t much to do on a newly jailbroken Nintendo Switch. And while it doesn’t quite offer as many jailbreak apps and games as those available for iOS, there are a number of homebrew apps and games currently available for download.

You can browse the collection of supported Homebrew apps for your Nintendo Switch on the Switchbrew website, and installing them is pretty easy as well. Just download the necessary app/game files, transfer to the microSD card in switch/ and put it back into your Switch. It’s that simple!

If your console becomes unresponsive at any point when using Homebrew games and apps, be sure to check out how to force restart your Nintendo Switch.

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