How to Move Nintendo Switch Games to an SD Card

Since its release, the Nintendo Switch has long been plagued by data management issues. With only 32 GB of built-in memory, the Switch has practically begged gamers to buy additional storage. Fortunately, a new software update made it easy for you to move Nintendo Switch games to an SD card. Here’s how.

What you should know first

Even if this functionality satisfies the masses, there are some exceptions to Nintendo’s transfer rules. First and foremost, the transfer system works in two ways: data is now mobile between internal memory and a microSD card or vice versa.

The second most important requirement is that it only works with software downloaded from the Nintendo eShop. This means that any software from physical cartridges cannot be transferred.

In addition, Nintendo warns that “downloadable software, update data and DLCs” can be transferred back and forth. The company also warns that “backup data and some update data cannot be transferred to an SD card”.

Nintendo Switch Catridges

Of course, none of this matters if you are not on the latest software update. To check this, go to “System Settings -> System -> System Update”. The switch automatically checks to see if a new update is available. If this is the case, the download will start on its own

Note: The Nintendo Switch can support a microSD card up to 64 GB and more (for microSDXC). High speed microSD cards are recommended. Make sure you are using a good SD card before transferring the data.

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It’s time to move Nintendo Switch games to the SD card

Once all the warnings have been removed, it’s time to transfer:

1. Select “System Settings” from the main Switch menu under which your games are listed.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer System SettingsNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer System Settings

2. While looking on the left side of the screen, scroll down until you see an option labeled “Data Management”. Click or tap it.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Data ManagementNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Data Management

3. If you are performing the latest software update, you will now see an option titled “Move data between system / microSD card”.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Microsd Transfer MemoryNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Microsd Transfer Memory

4. You now have two options. The first is to move the data from the microSD card to the system memory. The second option is to move the data from system memory to the microSD card. Most people choose to move data to the microSD card, so you can choose this option.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Transfer System MemoryNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Transfer System Memory

5. A list of all of your games currently stored in system memory now appears. Scroll through the list of games and select the ones you want to move by clicking or pressing on them so that a blue box appears next to them. If you have enough memory available, you can move more than one game at a time.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Pick GamesNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Pick Games

6. Select all the games you want to move, then click “Move data”. This option is located at the bottom right of the screen.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Selected gamesNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Selected games

7. The Switch will confirm that you want to move, so you will have to click “Move” again. You will also notice that the system reminds you again that “backup data and some update data cannot be moved”.

Nintendo Switch Games Microsd Transfer MoveNintendo Switch Games Microsd Transfer Move

8. A progress indicator will now appear indicating the time remaining for the transfer. Depending on the size of the game, the process of changing the storage device may take a few minutes. When the transfer is complete, the pop-up window will indicate “Data movement complete”.

Nintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Data CompleteNintendo Switch Microsd Transfer Data Complete

That’s it. Now go back and transfer all relevant saved data related to games moved from internal memory to expandable memory. Even if Nintendo warns that the recorded data will not be transferred, this is not always the case. This simply does not apply to all games, so it is an opportunity not to be missed. If you want to repeat the steps and switch from the microSD card to your internal memory, you can simply reverse the storage option you choose for transfer.

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Why is it so important?

Why has data transfer been important to Switch owners for years? The main reason is that games saved on the microSD card can be transferred to another switch. This is great news for anyone who has already lost, broken, or bought a new Switch.

As the Switch continues to gain popularity, this update is a hot topic in the Nintendo community. It may not make a lot of sense for Xbox or PlayStation 4 owners, but for Nintendo fans, it’s been years. As rumors circulate about a new Switch system in the future and the Switch Lite continues to gain popularity, this update could not have come at a better time. What is your favorite part of owning a switch?

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