Animal Crossing New Horizons Hero_2

Restarting your island in Animal Crossing: New horizons isn’t as easy as deleting a player character. There are a few hoops to jump through to start over on a clean slate. Here’s how to begin anew in the Nintendo Switch game.

How to Restart Your Island

Animal Crossing New Horizons resident rep

Once you’ve cleared your first tutorial day on the island and you wake up in a tent, the game will save, and you’ll be locked in. After that, you cannot delete your first character, aka the “Resident Representative” through any options in the game.

Resident Representatives cannot delete themselves and there’s no way to transfer the Resident Representative title to another player character on the island.

If you don’t want to completely erase your island, you can simply restart on another character from the title screen menu (more on that below).

The only way to truly start again is to delete your save data and get a fresh start on a new island. By removing all save data, any progress that you have made will be completely erased. You can erase all of your save data by following the steps below.

From the Nintendo Switch Home screen, close any games you have open by pressing the “X” button on your joy-con controller.

Next, navigate to the Nintendo Switch System Settings menu by selecting the gear icon found in the bottom row of icons.

Navigate down to “Data Management,” select the “Delete Save Data” option at the bottom of the list, and then select “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” from your list of games.

Nintendo Switch delete save data

Choose “Delete All Save Data for This Software” and confirm that you want to remove the save data from the Nintendo Switch. By choosing to continue, the data will be removed, and you can start over fresh in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

RELATED: How to Get Started in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"

How to Restart a Character

During your first day on the island, you can restart as many times as you like (even as the Resident Representative). Press the Home button on your joy-con controller and then select the “X” button to close the game before you sleep in your tent on the first day.

Restarting on day one can reset your island layout, native fruit, airport color, and starter residents. But after the first day, your character is locked into the game and the only way to start over on another character (other than the Resident Representative) is through the Animal Crossing: New Horizons “Settings” menu.

After launching Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch, press the minus (-) button on your left joy-con controller to open the “Settings” menu.

Tom Nook will appear and offer you several options. To remove your character from the game, select the “Save Data Settings” option.

Animal Crossing New Horizons delete user

Next, choose the “Delete Resident Registration” option.

Tom Nook will inform you if you choose to delete your character you will lose everything including Bells and your home. Everything that belongs to your character will be deleted, and your character will be erased from the island residents’ memories.

After a few confirmations that this is what you really want, your character will be deleted from the game, and you will be sent back to the Start screen, allowing you to start your adventure over again on the same island.

Restarting a character that is not the Resident Representative is a good option for people who would like to keep their same island, but would like to start over on a new character.

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Joshalynne Finch Joshalynne Finch
Joshalynne is a freelance writer and lifelong learner who always loves studying new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else.
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