Nintendo Switch Hero - Version 2

Starting with Nintendo Switch System Update Version 11.0.0, you can now transfer all of your game and software screenshots and videos over a USB-C cable to a compatible Windows computer. Here’s how to do it.

Requirements

First, make sure that your Nintendo Switch is updated to System 11.0.0. To do so, open System Settings, navigate to “System,” and select “System Update.”

RELATED: How to Update Your Nintendo Switch

You’ll also need a compatible USB-A to USB-C cable that you can plug directly into the connector at the bottom of the Switch. The cable has to be wired for data transfer, not just for charging. Note that this transfer technique does not work through the USB ports located on the Switch dock.

Nyko USB-C to USB-A Cable
Nyko

Finally, you’ll need a Windows PC. For the transfer to work, Nintendo says that the computer must support Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). Windows 10 PCs all include support for this.

Currently, the Switch’s USB copy function does not work on a Mac out of the box, although that may change with a future update. Reportedly, Android File Transfer might work. In the meantime, Mac users can transfer the screenshots with a microSD card.

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

How to Transfer Switch Screenshots and Videos to a PC via USB Cable

First, plug one end of your USB cable into the USB-C port on the bottom of your Switch, then plug the other end into an available USB port on your Windows PC. Your PC should recognize the Switch as a USB device and set it up automatically.

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On the Switch Home screen, select the Settings icon, which looks like a gear.

In System Settings, select “Data Management” from the sidebar menu.

In Switch System Settings, select "Data Management."

In “Data Management,” select “Manage Screenshots and Videos.”

In “Manage Screenshots and Videos,” select “Copy to a Computer via USB Connection.”

The Switch will attempt to connect to your PC. If the attempt is successful, you’ll see a “Connected to the computer” message.

Once connected you'll see a "Connected to the computer" message on your Switch.

On your Windows 10 PC, navigate to “This PC” in File Explorer and select “Nintendo Switch,” which you’ll find under the “Devices and drives” category.

In Windows File Explorer, locate the Nintendo Switch and open it.

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Inside, you’ll find a folder called “Album.” Open that, and you’ll see a list of all your screenshots and videos in separate folders sorted by software title.

If you open any one of these folders, you’ll see the images and videos you’ve captured for that game or software application in the past, with each image or video stored as a separate file.

To copy the files over, you can drag and drop the files or folders to any location on your PC, including your Desktop. If you need to select all of the folders at once, press Ctrl+A.

To copy images from the Switch to your PC, drag and drop the files or folders.

When you’re finished transferring screenshots and videos, tap the “Disconnect” button on your Switch’s screen, then unplug the USB cable.

Tap the "Disconnect" button on your Switch to end the USB connection.

If a USB connection doesn’t work for some reason, it’s also possible to transfer Switch screenshots and videos using a microSD card. Good luck!

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

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 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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