How to transfer games between system storage and SD card on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch sales surpass Wii in Japan

The Nintendo Switch’s update 10.0.0 has brought two primary new features to the console. Now gamers can remap their control schemes for both Pro controllers and their JoyCons. But aside from that awesome addition, there’s one more feature that adds weight to the new firmware. Nintendo has finally added the ability for gamers to transfer game data from system storage to an external microSD card.

A microSD card is a must-have addition for any Switch owner. With only a few dozen gigabytes of internal storage, games fill up that flash memory very quickly. Many Switch titles ring in at 4 GB or more in size, and with all of the digital titles and addons on the platform, there’s a big premium for space on the console. So let’s dive in and find out how to start transferring data between system storage and an SD card.

Keep in mind that this does not allow you to back up saves, ostensibly to prevent hacking or data manipulation. Also, not all games will support the feature, as developers have the tools to block data transfers to SD cards as well. But if you want to free up storage on your Switch, or quickly transfer a downloaded game from one console to another, this is very helpful.

Start on the home screen and open the settings menu with the gear icon. When in settings, scroll down to Data Management. This menu has a new option under Quick Archive that reads Move Data Between System / microSD Card. This is the selection you want.

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How to transfer games between system storage and SD card on Nintendo Switch

Once the menu opens, you have the option to move data between either the console or the memory card. Save data and certain update data cannot be moved and will need to be downloaded again if it has been deleted or otherwise lost. Also, no games that are open on the console, including in the background, can be moved.

Any greyed out options in this menu cannot be moved, or there is enough space left on the destination location.

How to transfer games between system storage and SD card on Nintendo Switch

Once you have selected the items you want to move, confirm the choice and the system will begin the transfer. Just press Move Data to begin the transfer. It’s all flash-based memory, so it should be pretty quick, but larger games could take a little bit to move over. You will be able to play the games once the transfer is completed.

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