The Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage only. This is a small thing if you want to download more than a handful of games and apps to your handheld console. The solution is to use a microSD card to expand the switch's memory. But how is that easiest? And if you already have a microSD card and want to use a new one with more capacity, how can you migrate your files? Do not worry; We guide you through everything.
Before you begin, it's always a good idea to back up your games with a microSD card on a desktop computer. Of course, all the songs downloaded from Nintendo eShop (which are tied to your account) can be archived and directly re-downloaded as needed. However, it takes much longer to download the entire library. Having a local copy saves time.
What you need is a computer (the operating system does not matter if you have storage space), a microSD card adapter (if your computer does not have a microSD slot), and finally a microSD card. Nintendo recommends using a single microSD card compliant with Ultra High Speed Phase I (UHS-I) at speeds of 60 to 95 MB / s. the higher the better. Do not use multiple microSD cards with different games on the same switch as this may cause conflicts.
The setup process should be performed in handheld mode next to your computer (i.e., Not Docked) because you need access to the memory slot below the kickstand.
Transfer your games from the switch to a microSD card
If you do not already have a microSD card installed and your switch's internal memory is full, go Do the following: You can migrate the data to a microSD card. To test this, I switched Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from local storage to a 128GB microSD SanDisk microSDXC UHS-I card for Nintendo Switch ($ 27.99 at Amazon).
- To turn off the switch, hold down the power button, scroll to power options, and then select Turn Off.
- Turn the handheld over and lift the stand next to the right Joy-Con controller. Under the plastic stand there is a microSD card slot.
- Insert your new microSD card into the slot. You should hear a slight click as soon as it is safely docked.
- Turn on your Nintendo Switch. Navigate to the gear icon of the system settings in the lower right corner and press the "A" key (or tap twice with your finger).
- Scroll down with the touch screen or the Joy-Con controller to select Data Management. The cursor changes to the memory management screen.
- Navigate to Manage Software and on the right under Quick Archive, select Manage Software.
- From here you can browse through the list and find out which games / apps are stored locally and which are stored on the microSD card. There is no easy transfer tool between the switch's internal memory and the microSD card. Therefore, you must first archive your games – only one game at a time.
- When you have decided which games to migrate, select the first one from the list and select it.
- Scroll through and select the archive software game data information screen. A confirmation pop-up should indicate that the game data is being archived. However, your saved data and the game icon remain on the switch's home screen. Confirm your selection with archive.
- There is an alternative method of game archiving: Instead, mark that game on your home screen, press the "+" button on the right side of Joy-Con, navigate to Manage Software, and then select Archiving Software. Finally, confirm your selection by clicking Archive in the popup.
- Now press on the right side of the Joy-Con to get to the start screen. From there, navigate to the game icon you just archived. Press the "A" button to display a confirmation window. Confirm with Download and wait for the download to complete.
- Press the Home button again for the Home screen, and then navigate to the System Settings page as before. Go to Data Management and navigate to the game you just downloaded. You should see the space immediately next to the microSD card icon just below the title of the game / app.
- If necessary, repeat this process for each game that you want to download directly to the microSD card. Future purchases and downloads will be redirected to the microSD card instead of the internal memory.
Move games on your existing microSD card to another one.
If you already have a microSD card installed and you want to swap it for a faster or larger card, you will need a computer (with microSD) slot or adapter) to back up your files.
- Turn off your Nintendo Switch by holding down the power button, selecting Power Options, and then selecting Turn Off. Eject your old microSD card (under the stand on the right side) by gently pushing it down. it should jump out easily.
- Insert the microSD card into the slot of your computer or into an adapter connected to your system. (If you do not have an adapter yet, we recommend the portable SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 card reader ($ 7.77 on Amazon as it also serves as an SD card adapter.) If the microSD card is detected, navigate to the file Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac You should see the built-in USB device as a kind of external storage (the name depends on your hardware) There should be a folder named Nintendo inside the drive – your valuable files are in there!
- Highlight the folder "Nintendo" and drag it to the desktop.If it is checked, you can also press the keys Ctrl + C on Windows or the keys cmd + C on a Mac to save the folder To paste it to your desktop, press Ctrl + V on Windows or Cmd + V on a Mac, wait for the folder to be transferred to your computer, and as it contains multiple folders and files, it will usually be more than a few gigabytes e large.
- Since all your game files are backed up to your computer, you can remove the microSD card from the slot (or adapter).
- Replace your old microSD card with the new one and insert it into the slot of your computer or into the adapter. Go to your File Explorer or Finder and navigate to the provided storage device. Since the new card is empty, normally no folders or files are displayed.
- Copy the folder "Nintendo" that you have saved on your desktop and transfer it to the new microSD card without making changes to the name or folder). You can use drag-and-drop or the copy-paste function.
- Wait for the transfer to complete. Remove the adapter from the port of your computer or the microSD card from the slot.
- Insert your new microSD card into the card slot of the switched off switch.
- Turn on your switch. Navigate to System Preferences> Data Management> Manage Software again. Scroll through the list and make sure your games have been successfully migrated to the microSD card.
- You can also clearly see the files on the map by looking at the free space indicator on the right side under system memory.
If your files were not successfully transferred to the new microSD You can delete the transferred files from the card at any time using the file manager of your computer. You'll need to re-download the games / apps from Nintendo eShop using the Nintendo account they're connected to. If they are not automatically saved to your microSD card, use the archival and download trick described above.
There you have it! You have successfully migrated your switch files from one microSD card to another and / or added a microSD to expand your game library.
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