How to Transfer Save Data From One Nintendo Switch to Another
Once everything is ready, you can follow these steps on both the source Switch you’re transferring data from, and on the target Switch you’re transferring data to:
- Go to System Settings from the home screen.
- Select Users from the left-hand menu.
- Select Transfer Your User and Save Data.
- Click Next.
At this point, the process for each console will diverge. On the old Switch, choose Source console, and click Continue. On the new Switch, choose Target console. You’ll then be able to sign into the Nintendo account that’s associated with the profile you want to transfer.
Once you’re signed in on the target console, click Continue on the source console. The process will take a few minutes to copy data from one device to another, depending on how much data you have to transfer.
Unfortunately, after this point, your data won’t be available on the source console anymore. You can’t have data on both consoles at the same time—unless you pay for Nintendo Switch Online—so make sure you’re ready to move before you commit.
You can have multiple profiles on a single Switch, and not every profile has to be associated with a Nintendo account. However, if you do have multiple Nintendo accounts on a single Switch, you’ll need to repeat this process for each of them if you want to move them over to a new console.
And just like before, this process doesn’t actually transfer your games. You’ll still need to go to the eShop and manually redownload each title by clicking on your profile and heading to the Redownload tab.
Set Your New Switch as the Primary Console
Once you’ve transferred your games and save data over, you might want to deregister your original Switch as the primary console for your account. Each account can only have one primary console, which gets special privileges that other consoles on your account don’t. The primary console can play the games you’ve purchased while offline, and other people’s profiles on that Switch can play the games you’ve bought. A single Switch can be the primary console for as many accounts as you want, but each account can only set one Switch as its primary.
On a Switch that isn’t the primary console for an account, you can log into your account on one profile and still play games you’ve purchased, but only if you maintain a connection to the internet. Other profiles on that Switch can’t play those games unless the owner has purchased it themself.
If you need to change which Switch is your primary console, follow these steps:
- On the Switch you plan to deregister, launch the eShop from the home screen.
- Select your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
- On the right side of the screen, scroll down to the Primary Console section.
- Select Deregister.