The Nintendo Switch has a built-in web browser. You just can’t use it — at least, not directly. Why? Because the console is a portable, gaming-first device. You likely have a handheld multimedia device in your pocket, purse, or bag already, and Nintendo knows this. Even more, consoles aren’t the best devices for browsing the internet anyway.
That said, you won’t find a dedicated web browser preinstalled on the console or listed in the eShop. Instead, it’s mainly used to log in to a public access point (hotspot), like a hospital, hotel, airport, Starbucks, and so in. It’s minimal at best, enabling very basic web surfing. It struggles with scripts and doesn’t support modern web-based technologies like Flash, but worth taking a look for a few giggles.
To use the browser outside the typical hotspot method, you must trick the console by manually inserting a primary DNS address. Our instructions on how to use the hidden Nintendo Switch browser rely on SwitchBru, a free hosted DNS server that redirects your queries to Google’s public DNS servers. According to the service, your connection is encrypted.
Still, keep in mind that you’re connecting to a third-party service. SwitchBru claims it doesn’t collect information like your IP address and surfing habits, but it does offer a free service for storing your favorite links and preferences.
Use the web browser
Step 1: Tap or select the System Settings “gear” icon located on the Home screen.
Step 2: Scroll down and tap or select the Internet option on the following screen.
Step 3: Select Internet Settings on the right.
Step 4: Tap or select an internet connection.
Step 5: On the following screen, tap or select Change Settings.
Step 6: Scroll down and tap or select DNS Settings.
Step 7: Choose Manual in the pop-up window at the bottom.
Step 8: Select Primary DNS, clear all the zeroes, and enter this address:
Select OK or tap the “plus” button to continue.
Step 9: Tap or select the Save button.
Step 10: Tap or select Connect to This Network on the following screen.
Step 11: The connection appears to fail, requiring registration. Tap or select Next.
Step 12: The SwitchBru DNS homepage now appears on your screen. Here’s the actual address you can access on any device:
As shown below, you can tap or select the Continue to Google button to load a basic Google search page. You’ll also see a column to the left with six categories:
- Google: Search the internet
- Enter URL: Enter an address
- News: The latest news from SwitchBru
- Feedback: Take SwitchBru’s survey to provide feedback about the latest web browsing experience
- Useful Links: Add custom links and access general and Switch-related links.
- Settings: Change the theme (white or black), manage notifications, disable ads, and more.
Disconnect the web browser
With your Primary DNS now rerouted to SwitchBru, you’ll load the welcome page each time you use that internet connection. To revert it and disable the web browser, follow the previous instructions from Step 1 to Step 5. Once you reach the connection’s settings page, follow these instructions instead:
Step 6: Scroll down and tap or select DNS Settings. A pop-up appears at the bottom.
Step 7: Tap or select the Automatic option.
Step 8: Tap the Save button, followed by the OK button to complete.
Keep in mind that if you experience connection issues with the Automatic setting, you can use these instructions to change the primary and secondary DNS numbers manually. For instance, here are Google’s DNS addresses: