How to Transfer Save Data From One Nintendo Switch to Another

Unfortunately, after this point, your data won’t be available on the source console anymore. You can’t have data on both consoles at the same time—unless you pay for Nintendo Switch Online—so make sure you’re ready to move before you commit.

You can have multiple profiles on a single Switch, and not every profile has to be associated with a Nintendo account. However, if you do have multiple Nintendo accounts on a single Switch, you’ll need to repeat this process for each of them if you want to move them over to a new console.

And just like before, this process doesn’t actually transfer your games. You’ll still need to go to the eShop and manually redownload each title by clicking on your profile and heading to the Redownload tab.

Set Your New Switch as the Primary Console

Once you’ve transferred your games and save data over, you might want to deregister your original Switch as the primary console for your account. Each account can only have one primary console, which gets special privileges that other consoles on your account don’t. The primary console can play the games you’ve purchased while offline, and other people’s profiles on that Switch can play the games you’ve bought. A single Switch can be the primary console for as many accounts as you want, but each account can only set one Switch as its primary.

On a Switch that isn’t the primary console for an account, you can log into your account on one profile and still play games you’ve purchased, but only if you maintain a connection to the internet. Other profiles on that Switch can’t play those games unless the owner has purchased it themself.

If you need to change which Switch is your primary console, follow these steps:

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  1. On the Switch you plan to deregister, launch the eShop from the home screen.
  2. Select your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. On the right side of the screen, scroll down to the Primary Console section.
  4. Select Deregister.

After you do this, the next Switch you open the eShop on will become your new primary console. You can change this as often as you need to, but only one console can be the primary at a time.

How to Transfer Your Screenshots and Recordings

The above processes transfer your data, but they leave all your screenshots and recordings behind. These aren’t quite as critical, and you can leave them where they are, but if you want to bring them over to your new Switch, you’ll need a MicroSD card. You might already have one in your Switch, since the original console only had a meager 32 GB of storage space.

Once you have a MicroSD card in your console, follow these steps:

  1. Go to System Settings from the home screen.
  2. Select Data Management.
  3. Select Manage Save Data/Screenshots and Videos.
  4. Select Manage Screenshots and Videos.

From this screen, you can choose to transfer all of your screenshots and videos to your MicroSD card. Once they’re copied over, you can remove the SD card from your old Switch and insert it into the new one. However, you might want to take the opportunity to plug the card into a computer and backup or transfer the files somewhere you can store them safely over the long term.

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