Nintendo Switch Support

    • Data Management

      Here's an introduction to the types of data that can be saved on Nintendo Switch and the different ways you can manage that data.

      Types of data

      • Software data
         
      • Save data
         
      • Screenshots taken using Capture Button
         

      What is software data?

      Software data includes downloadable versions of software, downloadable content and update data. It doesn't include save data.

      Save destinations for data

      The data mentioned above can be saved in the following locations:

      • The console's system memory
         
      • A microSD card
         
      • Save data
         
      • Screenshots
         
      • Software data
         

      The possible save destinations differ depending on the type of data.

      • Software data/screenshots
         

      This data is saved to a microSD card if one is inserted and will be saved to the system memory if the microSD card is full.

      You can select a save destination for screenshots via System Settings ⇒ Data Management ⇒ Save Data/Screenshots ⇒ Manage Screenshots.

      Save data

      This data is saved in the console's system memory. Even if you are playing the retail version of a game, this data will not be saved to the game card. It cannot be saved to a microSD card either.

      Managing software data

      On Nintendo Switch, you can archive software data to clear up free space in a given save destination. Only save data and the icon on the HOME Menu will remain for archived software.

      If you would like to archive software, select that software on the HOME Menu, press the + or - Button and then select Data Management ⇒ Archive Software.

      Only the icon on the HOME Menu will remain for archived software. An icon will display before the software name to show that it has been archived.

      You can select this icon to redownload the software. Redownloading may not be possible for software that is no longer being distributed.

      If you want to delete the software icon, too

      Open the options menu for the software you'd like to delete, then select Data Management ⇒ Delete Software. Save data will not be deleted.

      Managing save data/screenshots

      Screenshots:

      Open Album on the HOME Menu, then press [X Button] on the list of screenshots to select images to delete.

      If you'd like to manage all of your screenshots at once, go to System Settings ⇒ Data Management ⇒ Save Data/Screenshots ⇒ Manage Screenshots. There you can delete all of your screenshots or copy data between the microSD card and the system memory.

      Save data:

      All of your save data will be saved in the system memory. You can delete save data for each individual software by selecting System Settings ⇒ Data Management ⇒ Save Data/Screenshots ⇒ Delete Save Data.

      Deleting all data

      You can delete all data and return the Nintendo Switch console to the state you bought it in by restoring factory settings. All information saved on the Nintendo Switch console, including user information, internet settings and game-related news articles, will be deleted.

    • microSD Cards

      Downloaded software and screenshots can be saved to a microSD card (sold separately). We recommend using a microSD card if you're running out of space in the console's system memory and want to download software from Nintendo eShop.

      Supported microSD cards

      The following types of microSD cards are supported on Nintendo Switch:

      • microSD (up to 2 GB)
         
      • microSDHC (4 GB - 32 GB)
         
      • microSDXC (64 GB and above)
         

      In order to use a microSDXC card on the Nintendo Switch console, a system update is required.

       

      In order to improve your gameplay experience, using a microSD card with a higher transfer speed is recommended.

      High-speed microSD card guidelines:

      • UHS-I (Ultra High Speed Phase I) compatible
         
      • Transfer speed 60 - 95 MB/sec (the higher the transfer speed, the better gameplay experience on Nintendo Switch)
         

      If the microSD card runs out of free space

      If you run out of free space on your microSD card, you can transfer the data to a higher-capacity microSD card using a computer.

      You can also use two microSD cards at the same time without transferring any data, but please be aware that you won't be able to consolidate data saved in this way onto one microSD card at a later date.

      The microSD logo, the microSDHC logo and the microSDXC logo are trademarks of SD-3C, LLC.

      How to Insert/Remove microSD Cards

      1. Gently swing the stand open on the back of the console to show the microSD card slot.


         
      • To insert a microSD card.
        Ensure the microSD card is properly positioned with the label facing away from the console. Then insert it into the microSD card slot and gently push down until it clicks into place.
         
      • To remove a microSD card.
        Gently push down on the top of the microSD Card until you hear a click, then slide it out of the microSD card slot.
         

      How to Format a microSD Card

      The ability to format microSD cards on Nintendo Switch is made available after performing a system update.

      1. From the HOME Menu, select “System Settings.”
         
      2. Scroll down the options on the left and select “System.”
         
      3. Scroll down the options on the right-hand side and select “Initialize.”
        • If prompted, enter your Parental Controls PIN.
           
      4. Select “Format microSD Card,” then “Continue.”
        Important: The following message will be displayed, “All data on the microSD card will be deleted. Data cannot be restored once it is deleted. Continue?”
         
      5. To continue, select “Format.” The console will then restart.
         
    • Restoring Factory Settings

      Restoring factory settings means deleting all data on the Nintendo Switch console and returning it to the state in which you bought it. However, you can also restore factory settings while retaining some of the data stored on the console.

      • Clearing the cache
         
      • Resetting the keyboard
         
      • Restoring the console to factory settings
         
      • Restoring factory settings without deleting save data
         

      Clearing the cache

      When you do things like link a Nintendo Account or post screenshots to social networks, websites will be displayed on the console. You can delete the data stored for these websites, including IDs and passwords, cookies, history and the cache, for each user on the Nintendo Switch console.

      How to clear the cache

      Open System Settings on the HOME Menu, then select System ⇒ Formatting Options ⇒ Clear Cache. Select the user you'd like to clear the cache for, then follow the on-screen instructions.

      Resetting the keyboard

      The console's keyboard remembers the text you've entered and displays predictive text suggestions when you type. You can reset keyboard data for each user on the Nintendo Switch console.

      How to reset the keyboard

      Open System Settings on the HOME Menu, then select System ⇒ Formatting Options ⇒ Reset Keyboard. Select the user you'd like to reset the keyboard for, then follow the on-screen instructions.

      Restoring the console to factory settings

      All of the data stored in the console's system memory will be deleted, including software data, save data, screenshots and user information. Use this feature before exchanging or disposing of your Nintendo Switch console.

      You will also become unable to use software data saved on a microSD card.

      If you are trying to reformat your console because a problem has occurred, we recommend that you try restoring the factory settings without deleting save data.

      Restore factory settings in a place where the console can connect to the internet

      If you restore factory settings while the console is not connected to the internet, the console will not be deregistered as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account. The console will be automatically deregistered the first time you start Nintendo eShop on it after restoring it to factory settings, but in the meantime you will not be able to register another console as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account.

      Please read the information here if you exchange or dispose of a Nintendo Switch console that is still registered as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account.

      Make sure you are aware of the following before restoring your console to factory settings

      Restoring the console to factory settings will delete all data, and you will no longer be able to use data saved on a microSD card.

      The following types of data, saved in the system memory, will all be deleted:

      • Software data
         
      • Save data
         
      • Screenshots
         
      • User information
         
      • Nintendo Account link
         
      • Registration of your console as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account (only when connected to the internet)
         
      • All settings on the console
         
      • All information records such as error history
         

      You will become unable to use software data saved on a microSD card.

      Screenshots saved to a microSD card will not be affected and can continue to be used.

      The following will not be affected if the console is restored to factory settings:

      • The console's system version
         
      • Nintendo Accounts linked to users on the console will not be deleted
         

      Redownloading software data

      Your Nintendo eShop funds and account activity will be saved to your Nintendo Account. If you link your Nintendo Account to another user, you will be able to redownload software data from Nintendo eShop.

      If you are unable to redownload software data, check to make sure that a different console is not registered as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account. Redownloading may not be possible for software that is no longer being distributed.

      How to restore the console to factory settings

      Open System Settings on the HOME Menu, then select System ⇒ Formatting Options ⇒ Restore Factory Settings.

      Restoring factory settings without deleting save data

      Alongside restoring the console to factory settings and deleting all data, you can also restore factory settings without deleting save data. If you are trying to reformat your console because a problem has occurred, we recommend that you try the latter method first.

      If you choose to reformat your console in this way, the following types of data will remain in the system memory, and all other data will be deleted:

      • Save data
         
      • Screenshots
         
      • User information
         
      • Nintendo Account link
         
      • Registration of your console as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account (only when connected to the internet)
         

      You will become unable to use software data saved on a microSD card

      Even if you restore factory settings without deleting save data, you will become unable to use software data saved on a microSD card. As your user information and Nintendo Account link will not be deleted if you reformat your console in this way, you can redownload deleted software data from Nintendo eShop.

      Screenshots saved to a microSD card will not be affected and can continue to be used. Redownloading may not be possible for software that is no longer being distributed.

      How to restore factory settings without deleting save data

      Unlike other formatting options, this must be done by accessing a special recovery mode.

      1. Turn the console off.
         
      2. Press the POWER Button while holding the volume up and volume down buttons. Continue holding the volume buttons to open recovery mode. Keep holding the volume buttons until recovery mode is displayed.
         
      3. Select "Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data", then follow the on-screen instructions.
         
    • How to Delete All Content & Settings on the Nintendo Switch

      Please review the information about what will be lost when you delete all data from the system. Deleted data cannot be recovered.

      An Internet connection is required to format the system.

      Any associated Nintendo Accounts will still exist after the system is formatted, and can be re-linked to Nintendo Switch systems and/or managed through http://accounts.nintendo.com.

      1. Select “System Settings” on the HOME Menu.
         
      2. Scroll down to “System,” and select it.
         
      3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the menu, and select “Initialize.”
         
      4. Select “Initialize Console” to delete all data in the system memory.
         
      5. Read through the information on the screen, then select “Next” to continue.
         
      6. Select “Initialize” to complete the process.