Nintendo Switch transfer

Can you transfer save data to a new Nintendo Switch?

By Olivia Richman


Mar 16, 2022

Reading time: 3 min

Thinking of switching Nintendo Switches? There are many reasons for wanting to play on a new Nintendo Switch but a lot of Nintendo fans are unsure whether they can transfer save data to preserve their progress in games.

If you’re planning to play on a new Nintendo Switch, here is how to ensure you can pick up where you left off.

How to transfer user accounts and save data to a new Nintendo Switch

Players can transfer user accounts and save data between two Nintendo Switches through the System Settings menu.

To transfer your Switch info to a new system, there are some extra steps required. First, both systems must be updated to version 4.0.0 or higher. They must both be connected to the internet and placed near each other.

A Nintendo account must be linked to the user account you wish to transfer from the source system. The target system must have enough space in its internal memory to receive all of the data that’s being transferred over.

Remember that the user data and save data will not be available on the original system after it’s transferred to the new Nintendo Switch.

Here is how to easily transfer user accounts and save data to a new Nintendo Switch:

  1. On the original system, select System Settings on the Home menu. You’ll see “Users,” and then “Transfer Your User Data”
  2. At this point, select “Next” to select “Source Console” you plan to transfer data from
  3. Press Continue
  4. On the new system, select “System Settings,” “Users,” and then “Transfer Your User Data” from the Home menu
  5. Select “Next” and then select “Target Console,” which indicates this is the system that will get the data
  6. Press “Sign In” and then log into your Nintendo account, using an email address or sign-in ID
  7. Back on the original system, wait for the Target System to be found and then hit “Transfer”
  8. The transfer process will begin. Once it’s complete, select “End”

Check out Nintendo’s support page for more information on this process if needed.

How to transfer Animal Crossing island to new Nintendo Switch system

If you’ve completed the above process you may have noticed that your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island was not included in the transfer. The island save data will remain on the original source system after the transfer process is complete, meaning you’ll need to do a separate process for the island to move to your new Switch.

Re-link your Nintendo account to a user on the original system to complete the island transfer. The new system should not have any Animal Crossing: New Horizons data on it. It must be deleted to complete the transfer. You can also transfer individual residents instead of your entire island.

Here is what to do if you are no longer using your old Nintendo Switch:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s latest software version should be on your original system
  2. Download the Island Transfer Tool on the original system
  3. Transfer the user data from your user account to the new Nintendo Switch. This will transfer all save data except for Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  4. On the target system, update Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the latest software version
  5. Download the Island Transfer Tool on the new system as well
  6. Open the Island Transfer Tool on both systems
  7. Click “Let’s Begin” at the end of the on-screen instructions
  8. On the old Nintendo Switch, select “Source”
  9. Select “Yes” to confirm your island’s name on the original system
  10. Select “Target” on the new Nintendo Switch
  11. Select “Continue” on the original system and “Proceed” on the target system
  12. The target system will be detected. At this point, select “Transfer Data” on the original system
  13. Press “Proceed” on the new system to begin the transfer. At the end of the process, the save data will not be available on the original Nintendo Switch


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