How to Access Nintendo Switch Save Files on PC

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

The Nintendo Switch provides a convenient way to transfer game save files from one console to another. This is especially helpful if you need to move your game progress between several friends' Switches or if you want to backup your save files to make sure that your gameplay isn't lost if something happens to the console. However, there are some limitations that can prevent you from transferring your game save files.

For example, you cannot move screenshots or saved videos from the internal memory to a microSD card with this method. Additionally, you can only transfer your save data between two Switch consoles that are running the same software.

You can also back up your Switch save files to the cloud using a service called Save Data Cloud, but you will need a Nintendo Online subscription to do so. Similarly, not all games support cloud saves, so you will need to manually move your save file for any software that does not.

To transfer your save file from a Switch console to a PC, first remove the original microSD card from the console. Then insert the microSD card into a microSD card reader or slot connected to your computer. Once the card is accessed by Windows Explorer, highlight and drag the file to your desktop.

Then, use the same steps to move the file from your desktop to the new microSD card for the Switch console. After the transfer is complete, you can run the new console and sign into your Nintendo Account. Then, go to System Settings and select Data Management. Under Save Data Cloud, you should see all the cloud saves from your old console listed. Select the ones you need to download, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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