How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Nintendo’s finally offering a solution to one of the Switch’s biggest annoyances, but you’re going to have to pay for it.

When the Tom’s Guide staff collected its positive and negative thoughts about the Nintendo Switch for the console’s first birthday, I didn’t have to think hard about my gripe. The portable console’s kickstand — which should be invaluable in tabletop mode — is flimsy, hard-to-open and stuck in one position.

Fortunately, Nintendo’s about to offer a solution. Since the company can’t just ask people to send in their Switches for repair, Nintendo has announced its Adjustable Charging Stand for Nintendo Switch. Available starting July 13 for $20, this pint-sized cradle looks like the perfect solution to my gripes.

Personally, I avoid using the existing kickstand on my Switch because it’s downright hard-to-open, to the point where I have to force a credit card, or other thin object into its crevice to open it. Some of my colleagues have shown me that not all Switch kickstands are hard to open, but reports online (posted around launch time) say I’m not alone. Also, I got my Switch last December, so it’s not like Nintendo worked through this issue.

But even once you open the kickstand, that thin flimsy piece of rubber feels unreliable, as if it could snap off at any given moment. Also, since it’s quite thin, it wouldn’t take more than a mere gust of air to knock it over.

Not only does its USB Type-C port enable charging when you’re on the go, its easel-like design features its own kickstand, which you can move between multiple angles. Hopefully, this is the answer to those who — myself included — forgoes even trying to open the Switch’s internal kickstand.

I’ll have to wait until Tom’s Guide gets one of these stands in-house to try out, though, before I can be sure this is the perfect solution. Hopefully, the stand’s back leg is easy to adjust, since this is a standalone product.

While Nintendo’s previously given its Officially Licensed stamp of approval to a Switch stand from Hori, which costs a cheaper $12.99, I always had my doubts about it. Not only am I unfamiliar with the Hori brand, but its design is more cumbersome; you move the stand leg between a series of ridges to adjust its position.

Comparatively, the upcoming Nintendo stand looks quite compact, which I’ll probably prefer when packing the portable console for trips. Nintendo’s Adjustable Charging Stand isn’t available for pre-order yet, but we’ll let you know what we think of it once we try it out.

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide — where he’s the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.

Don’t let the name fool you—the Nintendo Switch OLED is more than a new display. There’s a new kickstand, sure, but also a new cooling design and redesigned boards—these changes are more than screen-deep. If you’re having trouble getting your hands on this new hotness (we did!), let us show you around the internals with a quick photo tour. Or if video is more your speed, check out our video teardown/compare-down.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

First things first, let’s crack the lid. Despite that expansive kickstand, the opening procedure is still pretty much the same. (Lucky you, we’ve got a guide for that!) The same semi-wonky JIS and tri-point screws bar the way, albeit from slightly different places.

  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstand
  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Popping the top, we start to see some differences, and they’re not reassuring. Taped interconnect cables aren’t our favorite: they’re annoying to remove and put back. Presumably this will help Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity issues, but to our eyes it looks a bit hastily done. Under the shield is where the true differences appear—despite what looks like an identical battery, we spy different cooling hardware and a new, color-uncoordinated circuit board.

  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstandNew all-in-one SD and game card reader board means the Switch OLED is a little less modular.
  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstandCard reading and cooling hardware comparison. Switch 2019 (left), Switch OLED (right).

Despite looking like a super sweet guitar, this board isn’t a treat at all—the game card reader, headphone jack, and SD card slot are all soldered aboard. In the name of space saving, or perhaps dialing back the prior models’ cooling overcompensation, the fan and heat sinks have markedly shrunk. With a presumably thinner display, you’d think there would be more room inside, not less, but that kickstand hinge has to fit somewhere.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstandThe original Nintendo Switch speakers (top) emit sound from both sides. The new Switch OLED speakers (bottom) are enclosed and only fire forward, toward the player.

The speakers have also been beefed up and enclosed. This allows for better sound quality in a smaller space without muffling the output—something not possible with the prior-gen Switch speakers. (Our favorite piece of trivia about these new speakers is that the engineers tested them with piano music that they wrote themselves. Engineer artists—we can relate.)

  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstand
  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Enough noise, let’s get to the main attraction: that OLED. Unlike the original Switch’s air-gapped LCD, this OLED is a single, painfully thin and fragile screen. But unlike, say, the thin, fragile OLED screens on Samsung phones, this display actually comes up with pretty minimal fuss. You’re probably still more likely to break this screen than an LCD, both in use and during repairs, but at least it’s not a nightmare. Speaking of Samsung, this is a Samsung-made display—surprising almost no one, given their OLED panel monopoly … er, expertise.

Silicon-wise, we see a lot of similarities to Switches past, with the main differences being:

  • Accelerometer made by TDK-Invensense instead of STMicroelectronics
  • LPDDR4 Memory made by Micron instead of Samsung
  • NAND Flash made by Samsung instead of Toshiba
  • Samsung-made S2DOS04 power management chip (presumably for the new OLED display)

But what about Joy-Con drift, you ask?

  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstandImproved rails on the Switch OLED (bottom) have a better grip on the Joy-Cons to prevent wobble while playing in handheld mode.
  • How to open the nintendo switch kickstandThere aren’t any noticeable changes to the venerable Joy-Con formula, but Nintendo assures us they are being continually improved.

The only visible improvements to the Joy-Con situation are actually to the console-side rails, which hold the controllers much more securely. But Nintendo assures us that the joysticks are being continually improved. So while we wait for the ultimate drift-proof joystick, we’re stuck with the sticks Nintendo (and every other console maker) gave us. And if you do end up drifting, we’ve got a kit for that.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

On the repairability scale, the new Switch OLED fares well—if not quite so well as we hoped! It earns a 7 out of 10, for its sensible, modular construction and general use of screws over adhesive. But that’s a point lower than the prior model, thanks to the non-modular storage and card reader consolidation.

That’s a wrap on this teardown! For all the details, be sure to watch the complete teardown video. As a final bonus, here’s a see-through view of the entire console, courtesy of the X-ray wizards at Creative Electron.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Did you know that the Nintendo Switch just celebrated its fourth birthday? Well, it did! The console was released on March 3, 2017, and is Nintendo’s first console that was designed as a hybrid unit. The Switch is unique in that it can be played in either handheld mode or docked on a television.

Well, there is a third mode: table-top. The console was designed with a built-in kickstand that covers the Micro SD card slot. The kickstand is extremely flimsy and can fall off easily. Over time, the kickstand will fall off far more easily. Fortunately, there is a very simple solution, so allow me to provide instructions.

First and foremost, you need to remove the kickstand. By this point, that shouldn’t be a difficult task. The kickstand on my Switch popped off just by extending it beyond its natural flow (like a wishbone). In fact, I did a video about this challenge, which is posted below.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

You will want to use a Y-head screwdriver (Y000). I know in the video I mentioned that the screw was triangular, but that was due to my poor vision. Upon great magnification, it is in fact “Y-shaped,” and the Y000 head is perfect. Personally, I have the iFixit kit which I purchased on Amazon for about $60.

Once you have the right tool to use, all you need to do is remove the small, metal screw and bend the ears of the aluminum piece outward. Place the small, metal piece back in its housing and tighten the screw. Push the kickstand back in place and you are done. You should immediately notice that the kickstand is now tighter.

Hopefully, this quick little guide and my added video below can help you with your Nintendo Switch kickstand. Let us know in the comments if you found this information helpful!

Follow this guide to replace a cracked or damaged rear panel on the Nintendo Switch.

Note: This guide, and the part we sell, are compatible with the original Nintendo Switch model released in 2017, as well as the newer refreshed model released in 2019 (model numbers HAC-001 and HAC-001(-01), respectively).


Tri-point Y00 Screwdriver

JIS #000 Screwdriver


Nintendo Switch Rear Panel

Шаг 1 Release the Joy Con controller locking tabs

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.

Шаг 2 Remove the Joy Con controllers

Continue sliding the controller upward until it’s completely removed from the console.

Repeat this same process for the other controller.

Шаг 3 Remove the back-side screws

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.

Шаг 4 Remove the top and bottom screws

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

Шаг 5

Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the two 3.8 mm center screws on the sides of the device (one on each side).

Шаг 6

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.

Шаг 7

Use a JIS 000 screwdriver to remove the 1.6 mm screw in the kickstand well.

Шаг 8

Open the game card cartridge flap.

The game card cartridge flap attaches to the other half of the plastic shell, preventing you from completely lifting up the rear panel if it’s closed.

Lift the rear panel up from the bottom of the device and remove it.

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

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Nintendo Switch Answers community for help.

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

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Nintendo Switch Answers community for help.

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Excellent and concise guide.

The new panel doesn’t come with the sticky grille pieces x 2 on the bottom. Is it supposed to be a straight transfer between the old and the new?

Just did this replacement and there are a few things to keep in mind that this review does not mention. There are x2 square foam pieces that can be transferred to the new panel located at the bottom backside of the old. Also, the game cartridge shield hardware and the kickstand holder hardware have to be taken off the back of the old panel and transferred to the new panel. The kickstand has 2 Phillips #000 screws and the game cartridge shield has 1 Phillips #000 screw

How do you transfer the foam pieces? Use some heat to loosen their adhesive and then remove them and transfer over the new backplate?

Is the casing the same between the HAC model and the HAD model? This guide doesn’t specify

I am using iFixit Pro tool kit. What to do if one of the 000 screw’s cap appears to be stripped off? How to extract it if perchance?

You probably won’t have to worry about breaking it, though!

I love kickstands. Adore how they can prop up tablets and phones, so I can watch hands-free.

And the Nintendo Switch kickstand seemed like something particularly special: a way to play a big-screen handheld game system without having to hold that big 6.2-inch screen. Flip out the kickstand, set it on a tabletop (or even a cramped airplane tray table) and use the slide-out wireless controllers as if you have a miniature TV.

Thing is, the Switch’s kickstand isn’t great. It’s easy to tip. I’ve only been playing around with a Switch for a couple of days, and I’ve easily knocked it over a dozen times already.

That’s why we made the video above. Consider it a “dramatic reenactment” — these things didn’t happen all at once, but they definitely all happened.

Editor’s note: I’ve heard from a lot of readers that the video I used to try to illustrate the problems with the Switch kickstand. let’s just say it fell flat. My intention was to try to reenact real problems I had, but I see now that the video comes across as forced or cheeky — like a bad ’90s infomercial! While I love the comparison, that wasn’t my intention. In the future, I’ll be illustrating this type of opinion with tests instead of recreations.

Up close with the Nintendo Switch

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Can’t or won’t watch? Here’s the basic jist:

  • The kickstand is small and isn’t centered in the back of the tablet, so it’s not particularly balanced or steady on its feet. It doesn’t take much to knock it over.
  • The foot only opens to a single angle — no adjustable hinge like you’d find on a Microsoft Surface tablet.
  • The kickstand can pop off entirely if the Switch falls over, or if you press too hard.

To be fair, the Switch doesn’t wobble if you set it down on a level surface, and you can snap the kickstand back on if it gets detached. (“Don’t do that too often or it will weaken the stand,” warns a Nintendo user guide, however.)

The kickstand works, at a very basic level. But am I wrong to wish it were a little more robust? At least it won’t lead into any accidental injuries like the console’s safety straps.

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.

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How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

If you’ve used your Nintendo Switch propped up with the existing kickstand, you know that it’s not the best solution. I mean, it’s great that Nintendo included one, but it’s the quality isn’t amazing. Every time I use mine, I’m worried that it’ll go flying if I enthusiastically swat the Joy-Cons into the table, or if someone walks past and shakes the floor.

It’s also pretty flimsy, and while I haven’t broken mine yet, I’m sure it’ll happen. There’s any number of replacements for that kickstand though, from straight swaps to docks or stands that add more functionality. Here are some of our favorites.

So, what are the best options to supplement that anemic Nintendo Switch kickstand?

Do you want an aesthetic replacement for the kickstand that’s already on your console, or do you want to bypass it completely so you get a better stand? How much do you want to spend? Do you need to replace the existing stock Nintendo one because it got damaged? We’ll show you our favorite kickstand replacements for the Nintendo Switch.

AboveTEK Long Arm Aluminum Tablet Stand ($54)

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Okay, this isn’t actually marketed at Switch owners but hear me out. It’s adjustable in both height and how far it sits from your face, giving you all the space below your tablet to hold a controller. Isn’t that great? Now your Nintendo Switch can be high enough so you’re not craning your neck while it’s stood up. It’s built for far bigger tablets as well, so it won’t shift position, dumping your precious Switch to the ground.

Camide Dock for Nintendo Switch ($24)

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Why settle for simply standing your Switch up when you could be recharging it at the same time? The Camide dock is compatible with the PD spec your Switch uses to charge, so you don’t have to worry about the bricking issue of some third-party docks. Unlike the official dock, there’s nothing obstructing the screen so you can play on the Switch’s screen if you prefer, perfect if someone else is using the TV.

Nyko Kick Stand Multi-Pak ($13)

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Want a cheap replacement for the kickstand that’ll also store a microSD card? Nyko has you covered, with this three-pack of colored kickstands to replace the one your console came with. Each has a handy slot to store an additional microSD card, handy if you have your games on multiple storage cards due to space limitations.

eXtremeRate Soft Touch back plate replacement ($19)

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

If you’re brave enough to replace the kickstand, why stop there? You can accessorize the entire back panel in one of ten colors, making your console truly yours. You’ll have to put the original back on if you need a repair doing, but you’ll be a pro at swapping the back panel by then.

HORI Compact Playstand ($13)

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

This officially licensed stand leaves the charging port open, so you can charge while playing. You can adjust the angle, and it’ll fold flat for storage or transportation, so you can always have it in your bag for when you want to play. Oh, and it’s got rubber grips to keep your Switch stable while it’s on.

There ya go, some good options for replacing that kickstand on your Nintendo Switch. Hopefully, that now means you don’t have to risk your console sliding over if someone bumps the table it’s on.

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64 GB just isn’t enough for today’s games.

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

After four years of dominating the handheld gaming market with the original Nintendo Switch, Nintendo finally released an upgrade. The Nintendo Switch OLED version was released in October 2021, and it features a couple of nice improvements.

The most obvious improvement is the screen. This time around, Nintendo went with a 7″ OLED screen for 720p gaming. It’s not the 4K screen that some were expecting, but it’s definitely an improvement.

Nintendo also went with a little more storage this time around. Instead of having 32 GB of internal storage, the OLED version doubles up to 64 GB of storage with the OLED version. But with today’s games, 64 GB still won’t get you very far.

Add an SD card to expand storage on the Nintendo Switch OLED version

Fortunately, there’s a way you can expand the storage on the Switch OLED version. Just like with the original version of the Switch, the OLED version has a slot where you can add an SD card to increase your storage tremendously. Here’s what you need to do:

Make sure your Switch is powered off

Open the kickstand and slide the microSD card in until it clicks into place

How to open the nintendo switch kickstand

Power the console back on

Once you’ve completed those steps, you’ll be good to go. From there, you can access your device’s system settings and see the additional storage drive that you’ve added.

All you need to upgrade the storage on your Nintendo Switch OLED version is a microSD card like this one, and you’re ready to store all kinds of new games on your system.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Here are the biggest differences between the OLED model Switch and its predecessors.

The Nintendo Switch OLED Model is Nintendo’s latest release for the Switch family of consoles. Joining the original Switch, the improved battery model, and the Switch Lite, the OLED is the next upgrade available.

But with no changes to the performance of the Switch itself, still offering the same internals for running games, just what is so different about the OLED model? Well, there are more changes than you might expect – little things that make a big difference.

8 Screen Size And Vibrancy

First and foremost, the OLED Switch of course has an improved screen. The new OLED display is 7”, compared to the original’s 6.2” or the Lite’s 5.5” screen. The screen space alone makes for a whole world of difference when playing your games handheld, but the OLED tech only boosts that even further.

With OLED comes vibrancy – the new model even has a toggle in the settings for Vibrant Mode, which will be on by default. This will make colors pop more, and make a noticeable difference in color depth when playing. Dark scenes with bright lights have never looked better. On top of that, the new model features a glass display, compared to the original’s plastic screen.

7 The Kickstand Can Stand

Another change that fans will be incredibly pleased with is the new kickstand. On the original Switch, the stand was narrow, flimsy, and felt like a cheap plastic that could potentially snap. Plus, for a mechanism designed to keep your Switch stood up, it could barely do that if knocked slightly.

With the OLED model comes a wider kickstand, spanning the entire lower back half of the Switch. This stand is made of a stronger, more durable material, and features a hinge that can securely hold up the Switch at any angle. Similarly, there are small rubber feet on the underside of the console, steadying it even more. A much-needed improvement for fans of tabletop play.

6 Improved Speakers, Slightly

Something that Nintendo itself didn’t cover too much in the lead-up to the release is the improved audio quality. The speakers themselves are slightly improved from the original, offering clearer and somewhat louder sound.

This difference will likely be most noticeable when comparing two Switch consoles side by side, but otherwise will make a subtle quality-of-life improvement while you play. Not overly significant, but certainly appreciated.

5 Internal Storage Has Doubled

The original Nintendo Switch had 32GB of internal storage – something that was almost immediately not enough, with some games being more than that alone. Switch games have the potential to pack down into smaller storage, but it was very little for something that can act as a home console.

The OLED model doesn’t go above and beyond in this regard, but the storage has doubled – 64GB of internal storage is much better, but one way or another, you will end up needing a micro SD card. If you’re just after a few indies at a time, however, then this will be a welcome change.

4 Sleek Buttons, Premium Designs

Going back to the build of the model itself, the OLED as a whole feels more premium. The plastic along the back of the console is stronger, metal surrounds the now-glass screen on the front of the console, and the buttons have been given a fresh new feel to boot.

Now with a more sleek, slimline build, each of the buttons and grills on the console feel and look more modern. Sure, the Switch itself is the same on the inside, but the aesthetic makes it seem like a whole new generation of consoles. Doesn’t change much in terms of functionality, but for something you’ll be holding as you play, it certainly feels better.

3 Smallest Change, Biggest Impact

A change that sounds so minuscule that it shouldn’t even be worth bringing up, but is so significant of a difference for many that everyone should be aware of it. The Switch OLED model is roughly one millimeter wider than the original – yes, shocking.

But on a serious note, this does mean that many of the accessories – such as snug grips and tight-fitting cases – will no longer be viable. Some might just fit with a potential push, but it’s honestly not recommended. If you have a favorite grip, it may be time to pick up a new one with OLED model compatibility.

2 A Whole New Way To Connect

The dock itself has also had a makeover. The original was squared, with a large logo on the front, and featured two USB ports on the side. On the back, behind a plastic hinged flap is another USB, as well as the AC port and the HDMI port.

The new dock has rounded edges – matching the sleek build – with a smaller logo on the front. The two USB ports remain on the side, but the back is where it changes further. The flap is now removable entirely, rather than on hinges, and covers the AC and HDMI ports, but now an Ethernet port (replacing the third USB). Now, you can connect your docked Switch via LAN with no need for an adapter.

1 New Switch, New Box

Finally, the first difference you’ll notice when picking up an OLED compared to the original, is the packaging. The once-rectangular box is now more of a square, and fits in everything a little more compact than previously. You’ll still open it to find a cardboard insert presenting the Switch and the Joy-Con, with everything else packed underneath.

This is not an overly significant change, but when picking up a new – or new version – of a console, that slightly different box makes it all the more exciting. It’s new, it’s fresh, and Nintendo seemed to try giving everything a nicer design to it this time around.