Nintendo has made it very easy to expand the internal storage on the Switch console, but that removable storage offers a secondary benefit. As soon as a card is inserted, things like screenshots are immediately saved to the new storage instead of the internal system memory. That means those of us who don't want to post screenshots immediately to Facebook or Twitter are able to quickly grab screenshots and other files from the Switch and move them elsewhere by removing the card.

Nintendo Switch Micro SD

If you're going to quickly swap microSD cards back and forth on the Nintendo Switch, it's important to know there's a right way and a wrong way to do this. Here's the right way.

Looking for the best microSD card to add to your Nintendo Switch? Check out our guide!

What you can do before removing your microSD card

Depending on what you need that microSD card for, there are a few things you can do before removing it. If, for example, you want to format the card so it can be immediately swapped from one device to another for use, your Switch has a function for that.

How to format your microSD card in the Nintendo Switch

If you are trying to migrate data from one Nintendo Switch to another, there's actually a helpful service in the Nintendo Switch OS that will walk you through this process without needing to worry about manually backing up your microSD card.

How to transfer data from one Nintendo Switch to another

But if all you're trying to do is pull the screenshots and videos off of your card or install a larger card to store more, all you really need to do is ensure you are safely removing the card.

How to safely remove a microSD card from your Nintendo Switch

While the Switch is perfectly fine with users inserting a microSD card at any time, removing that card is a little different. To prevent the Switch from being interrupted when trying to save something, the software on the console warns it is best to only remove a microSD card when the Switch is completely powered down. When the Switch reboots, the console is ready to go and you can again re-insert the card whenever you choose.

To safely remove your microSD card from a Switch:

  1. Close any open games or apps
  2. Hold down the power button at the top of the console until the screen is black
  3. Open the back flap and remove the microSD card
  4. Restart your Nintendo Switch

While it may seem a little tedious to power the console down if you're quickly grabbing files to and from the console, this is a great deal safer and ensures there's no file corruption. It's also a fairly small delay, given how quickly the Nintendo Switch reboots.

Update October 2018: We've updated this guide to ensure these are the best practices for safely swapping your microSD cards.

Nintendo Switch


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