Can You Track a Nintendo Switch? (What To Do If You Lose Your Switch!)

The 2020 Covid pandemic opened my eyes to interactive video games like the Nintendo Switch. Not only could I pass the time at home playing Nintendo games, but I could also connect with friends worldwide to play video games together.  

I can’t imagine losing my Nintendo Switch; I’d lose not only an expensive gaming console but also my ability to enjoy some well-deserved downtime. Knowing the proper steps to take if my Switch were stolen is essential for potentially retrieving my stolen device.  

A Nintendo Switch does not have internal tracking but can be tracked using a third-party device or Nintendo app. It is possible to track a Nintendo Switch using the individual device’s serial number and the help of Nintendo customer support. Nintendo can locate where your device has recently connected to the internet and provide GPS information.  

Remember to take the proper steps if your Nintendo Switch is lost or stolen, deactivating your device and removing your credit card information from your account. Once located, never try to retrieve your stolen Switch on your own; instead, alert the authorities to help you recover your device.  

Does a Nintendo Switch Have Internal Tracking?

Unlike several other modern devices, the Nintendo Switch does not have a built-in tracking device.  There is no way to track your Nintendo Switch using a GPS locator within the console or controls itself. 

 However, tracking your Nintendo Switch may still be possible if it is lost or stolen using the device’s unique serial number. Nintendo houses an extensive database with individual serial numbers that may help locate a stolen or lost Switch.

Can I Track My Switch Through an App?

While the Nintendo Switch does not have an internal tracking system, you may be able to track your Switch through an available online app.  

The app is called “Nintendo Switch Online,” and it allows you to store important information about your device in your Nintendo account.  You can also connect your Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS to the same account.  

The app is mostly used to track how many hours you play your Nintendo, but it can also be used to locate your Switch if it becomes lost or stolen.  With the app, you can track your console and give this information to the authorities to help you retrieve your device.  

Remember, the app will only work if you had already synched your Nintendo Switch before it was stolen. Synching the app to a stolen Switch will not help you track the device after it was stolen or lost. The app allows you to not only track your Switch, but you’ll also retain your:

  • Device Information
  • Downloaded and Uploaded Content
  • Your Purchases
  • Playtime

How Can I Use a Third-Party Tracker?

Another option to track a Nintendo Switch is with a third-party tracker. Several available trackers, including the Tile Mate, work with an app.  The Tile is a small, physical device that you connect to the exterior of your Nintendo Switch.  

The physical tile connects to an app used on your phone. The Tile app is available for both iOS and Android and can work well to track your device if it becomes lost or stolen.  

Where Can I Find the Serial Number?

Every Nintendo Switch is built with a unique serial number. This number is unique to your device and is used to link your Nintendo to your user account.  Using the serial number, Nintendo can locate and track your activity every time the Switch is connected to the internet.  

Usually, the serial number is found near the USB-C port on the device’s bottom. When you start the Switch, the serial number can also be found in the information menu under System Settings.  When you first begin your Nintendo Switch, it’s a good idea to copy and paste this serial number and store it in a safe place.  

You can also locate the serial number on the original Nintendo Switch packaging. You’ll also find the Switch’s model and make alongside the number.  

If, as a last resort, you cannot locate the saved serial number and you no longer have the original packaging, you may be able to contact the store where you purchased the device. Many retailers keep detailed records of the individual devices sold and may be able to track down the original serial number for your device.  

How Can I Track My Switch with the Serial Number?

Once you notice your Nintendo Switch is missing, you’ll want to contact Nintendo’s customer support. Report your Switch lost or stolen.

Be sure to give customer support any information you have, including your account credential, the date and location of purchase, and the unique serial number.  Nintendo customer service will then look up the unique serial number of your Switch in their database.

If the Switch was recently connected to the internet, customer service would be able to locate the IP address and determine the date and time of the last connection.  From there, you can track down the Nintendo Switch or notify the authorities if appropriate.  

What Should I Do If I Lost My Switch?

Although the Nintendo Switch is a game, plenty of personal information is stored on the device. If you lose your Switch or your Switch is stolen, you need to take the proper steps to protect your personal information.  

Remember, the sooner you report the Nintendo stolen and protect your personal information, the safer you will be.  

Contact Customer Support

First, you’ll want to contact Nintendo’s customer service to tell them about the missing device.  If you have your serial number, give it to the customer support agent to track. 

If the customer support team can’t locate the Nintendo, they’ll be able to mark your Nintendo Switch as stolen in their system, which may help them locate the device in the future.  

Secure Payment Details

Connecting a credit card or debit card to a Nintendo Switch account is very common.  If your Nintendo Switch is lost or stolen, you must remove the payment details as soon as possible.  To remove your credit card information from your Switch account, you’ll want to:

  1. Log into Nintendo’s website and remove the saved payment method, or
  2. Call customer support to have a representative help you remove the payment method from your account.  

Detach Account

Next, you’ll want to unlink your account from the lost Switch. This way, a thief will not be able to download content and purchase games with your information. 

You’ll need to log into your Nintendo account from a computer to unlink your account. Next, go to the “users” option and select “unlink your account.”


The deactivation functionality allows you to deactivate your Nintendo if you lose your device. You’ll want to deactivate your Nintendo once you notice your missing Switch. To deactivate your device, you’ll need to:

  1. Go to the Nintendo website and log in with your username and password.
  2. Open the Store menu
  3. Click on “Deregister Primary Console”
  4. Click OK
  5. Confirm your choice to deregister your device

You’ll only be able to deactivate your Nintendo Switch once a year.  Before taking this measure, ensure you are confident your Switch is lost or stolen.  


If your Switch was stolen and you’ve used Nintendo customer support to track the Switch with your serial number and IP address, it is time to call the authorities.

You may want to file a police report so they can properly investigate and provide assistance. Never take matters into your own hands to track down and retrieve a stolen Nintendo Switch.  

Can I Track My Switch at Home?

If you lost your Switch somewhere at home, you might be able to track the device using your controllers.  

Remember, this method will not work if your device is dead or out of range for the controllers to find the device.  To track your Nintendo Switch at home, you need to:

  1. Using a controller, push the Home button. This step will trigger the Nintendo Switch console to turn on if it has battery power left.  
  2. Next, hold the Home button down for a few seconds. This step opens the Setting menu on the lost Switch device.  
  3. Using the Left Joystick, push down three times. This step triggers the volume bar on the settings menu.
  4. With the Left Joystick, move it to the right. This step adjusts the volume to the highest level on your Switch, allowing you to find it more easily.  
  5. Now, push the Left Joystick to the right repeatedly. Continue to push the stick to the right and listen for a loud click. The device will click every time you press the button to the right. Continue this process and move closer to your Nintendo Switch, following the clicking sound from your console.  

Because you’ll be following a sound to locate your Switch in your house, it will help to perform this process when the house is quiet.  

You’ll also want to perform these steps to track your lost Nintendo Switch as soon as you discover it is missing so the battery will be fully charged.