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If you want to copy screenshots or videos from your Nintendo Switch to a Mac via USB cable, it’s now possible with System Update 11.0.0 or later. You’ll just need to use a free program called Android File Transfer on macOS—here’s how to set it up.

What You’ll Need

Before you get started, make sure your Switch is updated to system 11.0.0 or later. Updating is easy from the Switch’s Settings app. Just select “System” in the sidebar, and then choose “System Update.”

RELATED: How to Update Your Nintendo Switch

You’ll also need a compatible USB-C cable that’s fully wired to send data, not just charge. Also, note that this technique won’t work through the Switch dock. You’ll have to plug the USB cable directly into the USB-C port on the bottom of the Switch.

When your cable is ready, download and install Android File Transfer on your Mac. This free utility was created by Google, and it supports the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) used by the Switch to transfer photos over USB. Android devices also use this protocol, but Macs don’t include support for it, which is why Google created this utility.

How to Transfer Screenshots and Videos From Nintendo Switch to a Mac via USB

To start transferring media, plug the USB-C cable into the bottom of your Switch, and then plug the other end into a USB port on your Mac. Navigate to the Home menu on your Switch, and then tap the System Settings icon (the gear in a circle).

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

In Switch System Settings, select "Data Management."

Scroll down and select “Manage Screenshots and Videos.”

In Switch "Data Management," select "Manage images and Videos."

Choose “Copy to a Computer via USB Connection.”

In Switch "Manage images and Videos," select "Copy to a Computer via USB Connection."

The Switch will attempt to connect to your Mac. If it succeeds, a “Connected to the Computer” pop-up will appear.

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

On your Mac, open Android File Transfer (the software you downloaded earlier). You’ll see a list of folders that correspond with the software titles on your Switch. Within each folder, you’ll see screenshot or video files from that game or app.

Tip: Screenshots taken in the Switch system menus are stored in a folder called “Other.”

A list of Switch images and videos sorted by folder as seen by Android File Transfer on the Mac.

To transfer images or videos to your Mac, just drag and drop them into any Finder window or on your desktop. You can drag single files or folders, or select groups of them.

Drag and drop Nintendo Switch image files from Android File Transfer onto your Mac desktop.

As soon as you drag a screenshot or video file over, it’s copied to your Mac automatically. When you’re done, close Android File Transfer on your Mac, and then tap “Disconnect” on the Switch screen. You can also disconnect the USB cable.

If for any reason the USB connection doesn’t work, try using a different cable or port on your Mac. And, if all else fails, you can also transfer screenshots to your Mac via microSD card.

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

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. 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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