It’s finally time to upgrade your Nintendo Switch! But what does this mean for all your game save data that you’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years? And what about your screenshots and saved videos that you love to look back on?
There are a number of ways that you can transfer Switch save data from your old console to your new console, depending on what specific data you want to transfer and what options are available to you. Let’s check out each method!
Important notes before you start moving Save data
There are several ways to move Switch save data from one console to another. If you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, the process is a little easier. But you can transfer data locally as long as you still have your old Switch and they’re both charging, fully updated, and connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
You can only transfer save data between users associated with the same Nintendo Account, but make sure you don’t log into that account on your new Switch unless instructed to do so. Otherwise, you may have to log out and log in again later. In addition, the Switch you’re transferring game save data to should have no more than seven users and plenty of internal storage space to support the new data.
Some titles, like Pokémon or Animal Crossing: New Horizons, don’t back up to the cloud, even if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. This doesn’t mean you can’t transfer your saved data from these games, but they do require their own unique procedures.
Before you begin it is important to make sure you know which method of transfer you can or want to use and, just as when cooking a recipe, before you begin to make sure all Read the steps so that you don’t miss anything. No matter which method you use, know that once your saved data has been transferred to the new Switch, it is deleted from your old Switch and is no longer available.
How to transfer existing sd card data to new switch
If you want to completely transfer all your old Switch data to a new Switch—game save data, screenshots, saved videos—you’ll want to go the route of transferring via microSD. To do this, you’ll need your original Switch with its original microSD card, a Windows computer with a microSD card reader (or a separate reader device), and your new Switch with a new microSD card paired.
Nintendo specifically states that this process may not run correctly in operating systems other than Windows. The company also warns that you should use a microSD with one system and be careful not to swap microSD cards between systems.
To begin, remove the original microSD card from your Switch console and insert it into your computer’s microSD card slot or a microSD card reader device connected to your computer. If your Windows computer or laptop has an SD card slot but not a microSD card slot, you’ll need to purchase a microSD to SD card adapter before you can begin.
Using Windows Explorer, locate and access the microSD card, highlight the entire folder with your data, and drag it to the desktop. Do not delete or change any data on the original microSD card until you are sure that the transfer was successful and that the new microSD card is fully functional. Then, properly eject the microSD card from your old Switch and insert another microSD card for your new Switch.
Find and access the new microSD card through Windows Explorer, and drag the data from your desktop to the new microSD card. Eject the second microSD card properly and insert it into your new Switch console. Some Software Update data may not be transferred, but can be re-downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.
How to transfer save data via Nintendo Switch Online
If you pay for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, your games are automatically set to back up data to the cloud. So, if you’re upgrading from Switch Lite to the original Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch (OLED), transferring game data is a super easy process.
Your old Nintendo Switch Online account automatically backs up your save data, unless you’ve changed any settings. However, you can double-check this by going to Settings > Data management > Save data cloud > Settings and ensure that Automatically back up save data is selected.
On your new Switch console, log in to your Nintendo Account and make sure Automatically back up save data is turned on. You can do this by going to Settings > Data Management > Save Data Cloud > All Save Data and select the game you want the data from.