How to Safely Transfer Switch Save Data
Need to transfer Nintendo Switch data to a new SD card? It’s easier than you think.
Nintendo Switch consoles have 32GB of internal storage, but that storage space gets filled pretty quickly.
A lot of people go for the 64GB microSD card to expand the storage, but if you play a lot of different games on your Switch, you’ll probably find yourself needing even more space.
(It seems like overkill at first, but we recommend picking up the 128GB microSD card.)
If you find yourself needing to move your data from one microSD card to another, the process can feel a little nerve-racking.
What if I screw up and corrupt all my data?!
Thankfully, transferring your game data to a new SD card is simple and straightforward enough.
Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to transfer Nintendo Switch data to a new SD card.
What You’ll Need Before You Begin
Two compatible microSD cards
A computer with a microSD card slot
Nintendo Switch Online Service for cloud backups of game data (optional but recommended)
Step One: Powering Off Your Switch
The first step is also the easiest one to screw up. Before you remove your SD card, you must completely power off your Switch.
But did you know that before this very moment, you might have never powered off your Switch before? It’s true. Most of us just put our Switches to sleep when we’re done playing, but to remove your SD card, you need to hold down the power button at the top of your Switch for 3 seconds.
After holding down the power button for 3 seconds, a menu will appear. The menu gives you a few different options: “Sleep Mode,” “Power Options,” and “Close.” Click “Power Options” to reveal “Restart” and “Turn Off.” From there, you’ll click “Turn Off.”
When you’re sure your Switch is powered down, open the microSD card slot and remove the old microSD card.
Step Two: Making a Copy of Your Switch Data
If you’ve ever copied and pasted data from a USB jump drive (remember those?), transferring your Switch data is very similar.
Insert your old microSD card into your computer’s microSD card reader and open the windows or file explorer.
From here, we recommend making a copy of the Nintendo folder and pasting the files to your desktop. Depending on how much data you have saved on the card, it might take a few minutes to finish.
Don’t delete or move any files off your microSD until you’re sure all the data has been successfully transferred to your new memory card. Once you’ve made a separate copy of your files on your desktop, safely eject your old microSD card.
Step Three: Moving Your Switch Data to Your New MicroSD Card
Take your new microSD card and insert it into your computer. Open its folder and copy and paste the Switch files from your desktop to your new microSD card.
It may take a few minutes to copy all your data, so be patient. Once all your data has been moved to the new microSD card, safely eject it.
Step Four: Inserting Your New MicroSD Card into Your Switch’s Card Slot
With your Switch still powered off completely, insert your new microSD card into the console’s card slot.
With your new microSD card inserted, you can now power on your Switch. If everything worked properly, your Switch should have the exact same data as it did before you ejected your old microSD card.
Note: If when you insert your new microSD card you see an error message saying that your Nintendo Switch doesn’t recognize your microSD card, power off your Switch again, remove the card from the Switch’s card slot, and insert it back into your computer.
Delete all the files from the new microSD card and try adding them again from your computer’s desktop.
If that doesn’t work, remember that you can always re-download your purchased games from the eShop with your Nintendo account.