Nintendo Support

How to Backup and Restore Island Save Data (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)

Important

Note

  • Island backup and restore features are available after installing the latest game software version (1.4.0 or later). 

  • When enabled, island backup data is stored periodically when no one is currently playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch system and the system is connected to the internet. 

What to do

Enable island backup

  1. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons and select a user with a compatible Nintendo Account.

    • In order to enable island backup:

      • Use a Nintendo Account with an active Nintendo Switch Online membership. 

      • Use a Nintendo Account that has a resident on the island. Each user on a Nintendo
        Switch system can create a resident and move to the island soon after starting the game. 

      • Your Nintendo Switch system must have a stable connection to the internet. 

      • Your game must be updated to the latest software version (1.4.0 or later). 

      • Island backup cannot already be enabled. If any other resident on the island has already enabled island back up, you will not be able to enable it as a different resident. The original resident can disable island backup if you wish to enable it using a different account. 

  2. From the title screen, press the – Button to access the Settings menu. 

  3. Select Enable island backup.

    • If island backup cannot be enabled, it may be because your Nintendo Switch is not currently connected to the internet or your Nintendo Account does not currently have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership. 

  4. After island backup is enabled, you can view the date and time of the last backup on the title screen of the game. A backup is made periodically whenever the game is not being played and the Nintendo Switch system is connected to the internet.

Restore island data

Important: Island data can only be restored if your Nintendo Switch system has been lost, stolen or not operational and you had enabled island backup in Animal Crossing: New Horizons on that system. It is not possible to remotely enable island backup without access to the system. You will also need a replacement system to restore the island data.

Was your system repaired by a Nintendo Service Center?

No

Recovery is only available in situations where a Nintendo Switch system is lost, stolen, or not operational. A new or repaired Nintendo Switch system is required. An active Nintendo Switch Online membership is also required. In the event of loss or damage, contact Nintendo Consumer Support, and a representative can help you restore the island and user save data on your new or repaired Nintendo Switch system (standard charges apply for non-warranty repairs). For all information on product(s) warranty please visit https://www.nintendo.com.au/warranty.

Yes

Important: If your system was repaired, your save data may already be on the system. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons to determine if your island appears on the title screen. If so, no further action is necessary to return to your island.

If you have received your Nintendo Switch Console and your data is not on the system and the island backup was previously enabled, you can follow the below steps to restore your island data.

  1. Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons and choose the user with the Nintendo Account that originally enabled island backup.

    • In order to restore island data:

      • Your Nintendo Switch system must have a stable connection to the internet. 

      • Your game must be updated to the latest software version (1.4.0 or later). 

  2. As the game begins to open, you will see a black screen with the Nintendo logo in the top-left. Press and hold the – Button when this screen appears. 

  3. If performed correctly, a message will appear that asks if you want to check for island data to restore. Select Begin.

    • If you see Timmy and Tommy at the Nook Inc. reception desk, the button input failed. Close the game and reopen it to try again. 

    • If you see a title screen with villagers walking around an island, then you may have already started a new island on your Nintendo Switch system. If you wish to replace this island with your island backup, you must first delete the save data for Animal Crossing: New Horizons from your system, then reopen the game and try again. Your new island will not be able to be recovered after you delete the save data.

  4. Select Check to search for island data to restore.

    • If island data cannot be found, it may be because your Nintendo Switch is not currently connected to the internet or you are not using the same Nintendo Account that was used to enable island backup. 

  5. If you enabled island backup for multiple islands, you will be presented with each island name and some details. Select the island you wish to restore on your Nintendo Switch system, then select Recover Data. 

  6. Select Yes, please to confirm you are ready to restore the selected island backup.

    • If you started a new island on your Nintendo Switch, it will be lost and replaced with your island backup. 

  7. After your island is restored, the game will restart, and you will return to your island. 

If your island is restored, you’re all set!

However if you are unable to restore your island after following these steps, please contact us for additional support.