Why Is My Wii Black And White? I Found The Culprit

I’ve owned a Wii since its launch and absolutely love playing Mario Kart on it during weekends. 

Just recently, I upgraded to a Smart TV and hooked up my Wii to it via connection cables.

All set to enjoy Mario Kart on the big screen, I inserted the disc in and waited for the home screen to load. 

It felt like I went back to the 1950s as my Wii loaded with a Black and White screen.

While I have had issues over time using the Wii including the major loading screen freezing problem, this came out of the blue. 

Determined to get back to enjoying the game, I hit Google and clicked on the first few solution articles and forums that popped up.

I spent over two hours on research to understand why my Wii is Black and White and how to fix it.

I finally got the colors back on my Wii and even found the best way to connect it to my Smart TV. Here’s how:

Your Wii is Black and White due to incorrect cable connections. Plug in the Wii default cables into the correct TV ports and change your TV’s input source to AV.

Inspect the Wii Cable Connections 

Incorrect cable connections are the most common cause leading to Black and White display on Wii.

Make sure that the Wii cables are securely plugged into the correct TV ports. 

The Black and White display issue on Wii is mostly caused when the composite cables are connected to the component ports. 

In case you’re unaware, composite RCA cables feature one yellow connector for video connection and red and white connectors for audio.

Alternatively, component cables have red and white audio connectors including three video connectors (red, blue, and green). 

Follow this simple guide to connect your Wii to your TV through composite cables (if it doesn’t have dedicated composite inputs):

  • To start with, plug the yellow cable into the green or yellow input (Labeled as “Y”) 
  • Skip the red and blue ports as they’re for the component video input. 
  • Plug in the white and red cables into the audio inputs (L & R for mono and stereo connections) 
  • Make sure that all three cables are plugged in securely
  • Check if the Wii Black and White display issue is resolved 

Select the Correct TV Input Source

Except for the cable connections, incorrect TV input can also cause the Wii to display Black and White content.

Check if you’re on the correct input source on your TV or switch the source if required. 

Here’s how to change the input source on your TV:

  • Turn on the TV and go to Settings
  • Based on your TV model, navigate to Input Signal Settings
  • Now, switch from “Component Signal” to “Standard AV Signal
  • The Wii Black and White display should be replaced by colors now

As an easy alternative, you can check the TV remote for a Source button that allows you to change the TV’s input source directly. 

Check the Wii Plug-In Ports for Defects

If you’ve confirmed the cable connections and the TV input source to be correct, it’s possible that faulty plug-in ports are the reason for the Wii Black and White display. 

In that case, you’ll need to get the Wii plug-in ports replaced. Get in touch with a Nintendo agent regarding a port replacement. 

Change the TV Color Settings

Assuming that the cables are correctly inserted and your TV supports color display, the screen settings of your TV might be incorrect.

This causes the screen to turn Black and White and you’ll need to switch the color settings to fix it.

Here’s how:

  • Go to your TV Settings
  • Navigate to the Display/Picture Settings based on your TV model
  • Now adjust the following color components based on the display: Contrast, Brightness, Tint, Backlight, Color, and Sharpness
  • I’d recommend reading your TV manual for the best color settings and adjusting them accordingly

Incompatible or Faulty TV

If none of the above solutions have helped fix the Black and White display issue, it’s possible that your TV might be incompatible with the Wii. 

The most common reason is that Nintendo Wii comes with a standard composite cable while most TVs these days are equipped with component AV ports to support high-picture quality. 

As discussed above, the composite video differs from the component video.

The composite cables will have 3 plugs (Red, white, and Yellow) while there are 5 component ports on the TV (Red, blue, and green as video inputs). 

In some TVs, plugging in the Wii default composite cables in component ports (with 5 slots) works perfectly.

However, it’s not always the case and you may face issues such as Black and White display if your TV doesn’t support Composite video. 

Except for compatibility issues, there might be some hardware issues with your TV’s internal components such as defective input ports.

This may be the reason why your Wii console is Black and White. 

Perform a Factory Reset on Your Wii

The Wii system memory may slow down and lead to performance issues.

Performing a hard reset on your Wii may help fix game freezing, Black and White display issues, etc. 

Note that all added channels and saved data will be erased, and all other settings would be reset to defaults after you perform a factory reset. 

I’d recommend going for a factory reset only if none of the above methods have helped resolve the Black and White display. 

Follow this guide to factory reset your Nintendo Wii: 

  • Find and go to the Wii Settings option in the console
  • Press the + button twice and navigate to Wii System Settings 3 
  • Now select Format Wii System Memory 
  • Click on Format after reading the on-screen information 

Get in Touch With Nintendo Support 

As a last resort, if your Wii is still Black and White, you may want to contact the Nintendo Support Team on their Support Page.

You can go through their official solution articles for some proven troubleshooting methods.

You can also go to the Contact Us section and talk with an authorized agent via live chat, text message, and call.

Describe your issue in detail and ensure that you cover all the necessary information such as your TV model, cable connection type (composite or component), input ports available on the TV, etc.

The Nintendo-authorized agent will provide the best available solution to help fix the issue. 

SMART Suggestion: Best Way to Use Wii On Your Smart TV

If you own a Smart TV, the best way to connect it to your Wii is by using a Wii-to-HDMI connector.

The device allows connecting your Wii via an HDMI cable on your Smart TV for the best gaming experience. 

 A Wii-to-HDMI converter eliminates multiple composite cables and resolves any compatibility issues leading to the Black and White display. 

I’d recommend going for an AUTOUTLET Wii to HDMI Converter as it is cost-effective, easy to use, and provides decent graphics quality on Wii. 

Here’s how to connect Wii-to-HDMI Converter on your Smart TV:

  • Plug the converter into the USB slot of your Wii console
  • Connect the HDMI cable on the other side of the converter
  • Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into your TV
  • Now turn the TV on and switch the HDMI input source you’ve just plugged the cable in
  • You should have colors on your Wii now 

Note that based on your Wii console model, you may be able to get up to 480p or 578i video quality through Wii-to-HDMI Converter while playing games.

Additionally, the console won’t be able to support the HDMI CEC feature if it’s available on your TV. 

Game On, With Colors

The Nintendo Wii can show a Black and White screen due to incorrect cable connections.

Ensure that the connections are plugged in securely and into the right ports. 

Check that your TV source is not set to Component Signal.

If it is, switch to the Standard AV signal to eliminate the Black and White display. 

Set your TV color settings correctly based on the guidelines provided in the TV manual. 

The best way to connect Nintendo Wii to your Smart TV is through the Wii-to-HDMI Converter.

The device is affordable and easy to use and allows connecting the Wii to the Smart TV via HDMI cable. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is my Wii black and white?

There are several possible reasons why your Wii is displaying in black and white, including a damaged video cable, a problem with the TV’s video input settings, or an issue with the Wii’s video output settings.

To determine the root cause, it may be necessary to check the TV’s video input settings and the Wii’s video output settings, as well as inspect the video cable for any physical damage.

How do I fix my Wii that is black and white?

To fix a Wii that is displaying in black and white, you can start by checking the TV’s video input settings and the Wii’s video output settings, as well as inspect the video cable for any physical damage.

You may also want to try resetting the Wii to its default settings or check for any available software updates for the Wii.

If these steps don’t resolve the issue, it may be necessary to repair or replace the Wii.

How do I know if my TV is compatible with the Wii?

To determine if your TV is compatible with the Wii, you’ll need to check the TV’s manual or specifications to see if it has component/composite video inputs.

The Wii outputs video through component/composite video cables, which are typically color-coded red, green, and blue or only yellow (for composite video cables).

If your TV has component video inputs, it should support the Wii console. 

If you’re using a Smart TV, you may need to buy a Wii-to-HDMI converter to couple it with your Wii for a seamless gaming experience. 

Why do some games appear in black and white on my Wii, while others are in color?

If some games appear in black and white on your Wii, while others are in color, it may be due to differences in the way each game is designed or the way it outputs video.

It’s also possible that the video cable is damaged or the Wii’s video output settings are incorrect for your TV.

How do I reset the Wii to its default settings?

To reset the Wii to its default settings, you’ll need to access the Wii System Settings.

From the Wii System Menu, select the “Wii System Settings” option, then select “Console Settings.”

From here, you can select the “Format Wii System Memory” option to reset the Wii to its default settings. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.