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How to Move Downloaded Nintendo Switch Games to microSD Card

Nintendo Switch Hero - Version 2

If your Nintendo Switch is running low on internal system storage, you can easily move games you’ve already downloaded from the Nintendo eShop to a microSD card without having to download them again. Here’s how to do it.

Requirements and Exceptions

With Switch system software version 10.0.0 or later, Nintendo allows you to move software from internal System Memory to a microSD card inserted into the Switch (and vice versa). This method only works for games that have been downloaded from the Nintendo eShop. Software stored on Game Cards cannot be moved to microSD storage.

Nintendo also lists the following caveats in System Setup during the copy process:

  • You cannot move software or data while it is being played or downloaded.
  • Save data and some update data cannot be moved.
  • When software has been updated, some data may be stored outside the move destination.

RELATED: How to Transfer Screenshots from a Nintendo Switch to a Computer

How to Copy a Switch Game from System Memory to microSD Card

First, launch System Settings by tapping on the gear icon on the Switch home screen.

Nintend Switch: Select System Settings on Home Screen

Navigate to Data Management, then select “Move Data Between System / microSD Card.”

Select Data Management on Nintendo Switch

In the “Move Data Between System / microSD Card” screen, select “Move to microSD Card.”

Select move to microSD card on Nintendo Switch

You will be presented with a list of games stored in System Memory that can be moved to the microSD card. Scroll through the list and select the game (or games) you’d like to move using the blue checkboxes beside them. You can move more than one game at a time if you have enough free space on your microSD card.

When you’re ready, select the “Move Data” button.

Select Software to move on Nintendo Switch

System Settings will ask you for confirmation that you want to move the game(s) you selected. Select “Move.”

Confirm Software Move on Nintendo Switch

You will see a progress indicator as the software is copied to the microSD card.

Moving Software dataon Nintendo Switch

When the process is complete, you will see a “Data move complete” message.

Data move complete on Nintendo Switch

Then you can exit System Settings and use the Switch as usual. Happy gaming!

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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