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Nintendo Sleep Mode: Does The Nintendo Switch Download In Sleep Mode?

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With the launch of the Nintendo Switch, gamers everywhere are wondering about all the new features. One question that many people have is whether or not games will be downloaded while it is a asleep.

Since most of the time your Switch will be in sleep mode on the dock it would be helpful if the games you purchase for download from the eShop will actually download whether your console is on or “sleeping”.

So will the Nintendo Switch still download games when it is in sleep mode?

The Nintendo Switch will download games while it is in sleep mode just like it will when the console is on. So if you purchase a game on the Nintendo eShop using your phone or computer your Switch will start downloading that game immediately even if the console is in sleep mode.

Both software and DLC can be downloaded to your Nintendo Switch console while it is in sleep mode.

The Nintendo Switch can indeed download in sleep mode and the only thing that might cause the Switch not to fully download a game while it is in rest mode is if your Wi-Fi cuts out or if you don’t have sufficient space on the console or SD card to fit the entire game. Assuming you don’t have either of those problems, your Nintendo Switch console will not have any issues downloading the entire game so it is ready to play the next time that you turn the console on.

The Switch has 32GB internal memory and can accept microSD cards for more system memory. However, if you download too many games, photos, or videos, then the internal memory might fill up fast! So just keep this in mind as it’s possible for the internal memory to be used up before downloading all available games.

The Switch’s 32GB of internal memory won’t be enough space to download very many Nintendo Switch games so if you plan on downloading more than a few games via your internet connection you will want to get an SD card. You can easily purchase a 256GB or larger SD card for super cheap and then you won’t have to worry about your Switch games not downloading as they should.

One good thing about downloaded games is that they can be played anywhere. This means that you can easily play any game that is downloaded to your console and you don’t have to worry about carrying the physical cartridges with you.

As long as you have your Switch then you are ready to play since the games are downloaded.

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Can You Download Nintendo Switch Games While Playing?

If you want to play some games on your Switch while it is downloading other games you might be wondering if that is even possible. Can you download Nintendo Switch games and play games on your Switch at the same time?

Your Switch games will continue to download even when you are playing other games. However, the download speed will drop considerably when you are playing other games or using any online services.

So your Switch will download while playing other games but just not as fast as if the Switch is in sleep mode or wasn’t being used for something else.

Nintendo Switch Console with eShop

Does Sleep Mode Affect How You Download Games?

If your Switch is in sleep mode (also known as off mode or rest mode) how exactly does it affect how games are downloaded?

If you are comparing sleep mode to actually playing on your Switch then it will download those games faster when in sleep mode than while you are actively playing or using your Switch.

However, if you are downloading games and have your Switch just on the home screen it will download at about the same rate as if you were to have the console in sleep mode.

There are some additional benefits to putting your Switch console in sleep mode whether you are downloading games or not.

The main benefit of using sleep mode on your Switch is that your device will save some power so that you can play it for longer later without needing to charge it. When your Switch is in sleep mode it can still download games if needed but beyond that, all of the processes will be shut off to conserve power. 

Essentially sleep mode is like having the console “off” but that it comes back on instantly when you are ready to play again. 

Although your Switch that is in sleep mode will still use a tiny amount of battery so that way it can be instantly turned, it won’t use enough that it will be noticeable. 

Why Does The Nintendo Switch Sleep Mode Increase Battery Life?

The most common reason people use the sleep mode is to conserve battery life for when they play later at night or when they leave their Switch in their bag for extended periods of time. 

Leaving your Switch in sleep mode allows you to increase the battery life because while in sleep mode your Switch uses far less battery. This is because the screen is not on and very few processes are running on the hardware. 

This allows your Switch’s battery to last far longer than if your Switch was on or in use. So if you want the battery on your Switch to last a bit longer, when you aren’t using it just click the button at the top left corner and put it into sleep mode until you are ready to play again. 

Can You Turn Off Sleep Mode On The Switch?

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely turn off sleep mode. However, if you want to turn your Switch console off entirely so it doesn’t use any battery at all you can certainly do that. 

To entirely turn off your Switch just hold the power button down for 3 seconds. That will bring up the power menu on your Switch. Then just use the controller to select turn off and the Switch will turn itself off. 

This method is really only needed if you are planning on not using your Switch for an extended period of time such as when traveling cross country, moving, etc. Nintendo recommends just using sleep mode for regular day-to-day use of the Switch. 

Can You Leave The Switch In Sleep Mode While Charging?

Many people wonder whether they should entirely turn off their Switch (using the method above) when they want to charge it or whether they can just charge it while it is in sleep mode. 

The Switch will charge when it is powered off or in sleep mode. You don’t have to power down the Switch to charge it. All you need to do is plug it in or put it on the Switch dock and it will begin charging no matter whether it is on, in sleep mode, or entirely turned off. 

I’ve had a Switch for three years now and I always charge mine while it is in sleep mode. I just push the button on top to put it to sleep and then put it on the dock to charge. Sometimes if I am in the middle of the game I will just dock it and keep playing on my TV as well. 

Even if your battery is close to dying you can still just put your Switch on the dock and continue playing the game on the TV. It will slowly charge even while you are playing it when it is docked. 

How Long Does The Switch Battery Last In Sleep Mode?

Nintendo says you can leave your Nintendo Switch plugged in 24/7 if you want. They also say that you should get more than 10 hours of battery life if you are keeping it in sleep mode when it is actively downloading games. 

If your Switch is not doing anything (downloading games) when in sleep mode the battery will last for multiple weeks without dying. Exactly how long it will last in sleep mode depends on which Switch console you have and how old the console is as well. 

With my three-year-old Switch I can leave it sitting on the counter overnight in sleep mode (so 8 hours) and the battery will only decrease by 1-2%. 

So that means a Nintendo Switch battery will last between 17-33 days when in sleep mode! Do you see why you really don’t need to worry about powering off your Switch when the battery lasts so long when it is in sleep mode?

How Much Electricity Does The Nintendo Switch Use?

When buying a gaming console many people think that they are power hungry and might cause their energy bill to go up if they play them all of the time. Now while some gaming PC computers will draw a lot of power is that true for the Nintendo Switch as well? 

How much power does the Switch use when it is plugged in? 

When you are playing a game with your Switch docked or plugged in it will use approximately 15 watts of power. If your Switch is just plugged in (or docked) and charging it will use 10 watts of electricity. 

Exactly how many watts are used will vary depending on the game that you are playing as some games are more resource hungry and will use a bit more electricity. But even the most power-hungry games with the Switch and Joy-Cons charging will only use 17 watts. 

If you charge your Switch for one hour a day it will cost you 53 CENTS A YEAR to use. Yes, that means it will cost you a little over 4 cents A MONTH to use or charge your Switch an hour a day at the 10w usage. If you are playing the most power-hungry game that consumes 17w it will cost you a total of 89 cents A YEAR if you play that game on your Switch an hour each day. 

  • Your Switch will cost you .0015 cents (a tenth of a cent) per hour that it is charging. 
  • Your Switch will cost you .0024 cents (2-tenths of a cent) per hour that you are playing on it. 

So essentially you could play on your Switch for 4-5 hours a day and it would cost you ONE CENT in electricity. So as you can see the cost of electricity to run your Switch is virtually nothing. 

Note: The pricing above is based on the average electricity cost in the USA of .144 per kWh. If your electricity cost is higher or lower you will have to adjust these numbers slightly. 

Will App Still Download If I Put The Switch In Sleep Mode?

App downloads will still continue even if the Switch is in sleep mode. Sleep mode on the Switch is designed to conserve battery power while still allowing certain functions to run in the background.

This includes app downloads, so you can put your Switch in sleep mode without interrupting any ongoing downloads.

However, it’s important to note that sleep mode will pause any active gameplay or other active processes on the Switch. So if you’re in the middle of a game or using another app, putting the Switch in sleep mode will pause those activities.

Overall, putting the Switch in sleep mode will not interrupt app downloads, but it will pause other active processes on the Switch. It’s best to use sleep mode when you don’t need to actively use the Switch, such as when you’re not playing games or using apps, but still want to continue app downloads in the background.

Does The Switch Download Faster In Sleep Mode?

The Switch does download faster in sleep mode. When the Switch is in sleep mode, it uses less power and therefore has more resources available to devote to downloading. This means that the download speed is faster when the Switch is in sleep mode.

However, it’s important to note that the download speed is not significantly faster in sleep mode. In most cases, the difference in download speed will be relatively minor and may not be noticeable to most users.

You should also know that the download speed is not the only factor that affects the speed at which the Switch downloads games and other content. Other factors such as the speed of your internet connection and the size of the download will play a much more important role in determining how fast the Switch can download content.

Overall, while the Switch does download faster in sleep mode, the difference in speed is pretty small. Often the speed difference is small enough that you won’t even really notice it.

How Do I Make My Nintendo Switch Download Apps Faster?

There are a few different steps that you can take to make your Nintendo Switch download apps faster.

First, make sure you have a strong and stable internet connection. A poor internet connection can slow down download speeds, so it’s important to have a reliable connection to make sure your downloads are as fast as possible.

Next, close any other applications or games that are currently running on your Nintendo Switch. This will free up bandwidth and resources, allowing your downloads to go faster.

If you are playing a game and trying to download another one at the same time you will have much slower download speeds than if the only thing that your Switch is doing is downloading a game or app.

You can also try using a wired internet connection on your Switch instead of a wireless one. This can provide faster and more stable download speeds, particularly if you are downloading large apps or games.

If you are downloading multiple apps or games at the same time, consider pausing some of the downloads and completing them one at a time. This can help speed up the process, as downloading multiple files simultaneously can slow down your download speeds.

Additionally, make sure your Nintendo Switch is up to date with the latest firmware. Outdated firmware can sometimes cause slow download speeds, so it’s important to keep your device updated.

Finally, consider turning off your Nintendo Switch and restarting it before beginning a download. This can help clear any temporary files or data that may be slowing down your download speeds.

By following these steps, you can make your Nintendo Switch download apps faster and more efficiently.


Now that you understand all about the Nintendo Switch, you can see why it is so popular, and why so many people love playing all the games on the device. 

It does not matter what your favorite game is to play on the Switch; Nintendo just wants you to have fun and enjoy time playing with friends and family.