Is a Nintendo Switch with Windows 11 the ultimate portable console? No, but someone made one anyway.

Satisfye ZenGrip Pro on Switch OLED playing Minecraft
(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Someone managed to get Windows 11 to run on a Nintendo Switch.
  • The Nintendo Switch running Windows 11 was jokingly called the "world's slowest PC," as it takes several seconds to respond to any input and is overall a sluggish setup.
  • Putting Windows 11 onto a Nintendo Switch is a fun experiment but there will never be an official way to replicate the feat.
  • Microsoft may, however, create its own Xbox handheld at some point or optimize Windows 11 for small screens.

A Nintendo Switch running Windows 11 isn't a topic I expected to cover in 2024, but that's exactly what has happened. Before you get too excited, this was a fun experiment, not an attempt to make the ultimate portable gaming PC. The feat was shown off by X (formerly Twitter) user PatRyk. The novel concept earned quite a bit of media attention, especially considering the performance of the Switch when running Windows 11.

PatRyk joked that the Switch running Windows 11 was the "world's slowest PC" and that it took around three hours to install the operating system onto the Switch. Interacting with Windows 11 is laughably sluggish, which is to be expected considering the setup.

PatRyk clarified that an ARM64 version of Windows with KVM enabled was used to get Windows 11 onto the Nintendo Switch.

Just a joke... unless?

Image of the ROG Ally and Nintendo Switch

The chance of a Nintendo Switch running Windows 11 officially is about 0%, but Microsoft may enter the handheld console space.  (Image credit: Future)

I'd say that no one would think this setup is official or the next dream device for portable PC gaming, though that's not entirely true. Some seemed confused and called the Nintendo Switch running Steam "official." Of course, PatRyk never said that was the case and mocked those who tried to claim it was.

While the Nintendo Switch running Windows 11 is not going to be anyone's handheld console of choice, there are some hints that Microsoft wants to make its own portable console. The tech giant also seems keen to get Windows 11 to work better on handheld consoles like the Lenovo Legion Go or ASUS ROG Ally.

Microsoft recently sent out a survey asking people their opinions on gaming handhelds. Many believe an Xbox handheld is likely. Some, including our Managing Editor Jez Corden, claim such a device is "absolutely necessary" for Microsoft.

Several of the best gaming handhelds run Windows 11. The operating system isn't optimized for smaller screens, but that could change. A Microsoft hackathon project showed some ways that a Gaming Shell could work on Windows. That was just a hackathon project, but some interesting concepts were demonstrated.

I doubt we'll ever see a Nintendo Switch run Windows, but we could very well see an Xbox handheld and handheld gaming consoles running an optimized version of Windows 11 that plays nicely with small screens.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at