Nintendo Switch Send To Smartphone Connection Failure

Nintendo Switch‘s Send to Smartphone feature as a way to share screenshots and videos from Album to smartphone keeps on failing to connect. 🙅 I don’t know why. I must have tried this three or four times, but each time it would fail to work. This sucks! 🙄

I have a Samsung A52 phone with Android 11 OS on it. For the other sharing method, which is Post, that one works flawlessly.

One of the troubleshooting steps Switch suggests when the phone cannot connect via QR code is to add the network manually. The other suggestion when you still can’t connect is to turn off mobile data.

On both, my Samsung phone can’t connect to the Switch network. When doing it manually, it complains that the password is incorrect.

How it shares to smartphone

The way sharing to smartphone works is that Switch will create its own WiFi network. Your phone can then connect to it by scanning a QR code that the Switch will generate. This QR code takes care of the connection details – SSID, Security (connection type is WPA2-PSK AES), and password – I assume. Then once your phone is connected a second QR code (you need to scan it again) points your mobile phone’s browser to a local IP address where a HTML page is displayed with the shared media from the Switch.

Manual connection

To connect manually you need the network information. The connection details can be retrieved by tapping on that +Trouble connecting? button so it will display the information on the console screen. So I added the network on my phone. The SSID of this network remains the same, but every time you use this Switch will generate a new password. Retrieved the newly generated password from the Switch at each attempt.

You can also follow this official guide from Nintendo Customer Support: https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/53665/~/unable-to-transfer-screenshots-and-video-captures-to-a-smart-device-wirelessly

The workaround

My work around for this issue is to connect from a PC instead. Albeit some minor inconvenience, this works.

This is my Send to PC alternative. It was quite obvious that connecting from devices other than my smartphone is possible once I realized that the Switch will make the shared media available over HTTP.

What I did was to redo the manual connection steps I explained above, but this time on my desktop. It doesn’t matter which OS. You should be able to do this on Linux, Windows and Mac (not a PC 😝).

If you are not sure what to choose for Security, because Switch is saying WPA2-PSK (AES), but you don’t see that in the options, choose WPA/WPA2 Personal.

The password needs to be changed each time you want to connect to Switch. Because, again, that password is auto-generated each time.

Once my PC was connected, I then proceed to open my browser and key in the local IP address that was provided. So how did I know which IP address to connect to? Well, by scanning the 2nd QR code, my mobile phone redirected the result to a browser page. Obviously this didn’t work on my phone. But then the browser displays the IP address which is what I need on my PC browser. Go to that address. The media I selected to share from my Nintendo Switch is now available for me to view and download.

Is it an Android 11 thing?

After looking up this issue on the Internet, it seems I’m not alone. Other Android 11 users are also having this same connection problem. Based on what these people have experienced, it used to work on Android 10 for them. I don’t recall ever connecting on Android 10 with my old Nokia Android phone. Perhaps I have way back. I rarely use Send to Smartphone. Normally I use Post and send it to my Twitter directly.

So I don’t know if this is a Switch issue or an Android one. I am able to connect from the PC. So perhaps this is an Android 11 thing? 🤔

Note: Nintendo Switch image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Switch_system_software

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