Nintendo Switch and Switch LiteSource: iMore

Whether you are getting the new Switch Lite, want to buy the new Switch V2, or have a second Switch saved for jailbreaking purposes, you'll want to keep your old user settings and save data. No worries. It can be done fairly simply. Here's how to make the transfer.

What you need to know before you transfer

  • You'll need both the old and new Switch consoles to perform the transfer.
  • Both the old and new Switch need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Both the old and new Switch need to be connected to an AC adapter.
  • The firmware for both the old and new Switch must be 9.0 or higher (don't do this if you're still on version 3.0 and want to jailbreak your Switch).
  • The old Switch has to have a Nintendo Account linked to it.
  • The new Switch can't already be linked to the same Nintendo Account that you want to transfer data from (you'll connect to the new Switch during the transfer process).
  • The new Switch can't have more than seven users already set up (the Switch's user limit is eight).
  • The new Switch has to have enough internal storage space to support the new data.
  • Once the transfer is completed, the data won't be on the old Switch anymore. You can't have it on both.
  • Screenshots and video captures won't be transferred. They will stay on the old Switch.

How to transfer user data

Step 1: Start on the old Switch

Make sure both Switches are on and plugged in during this process.

  1. Select System Settings from the Home screen on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Select Users from the side menu.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  3. Select Transfer Your User Data.
  4. Select Next.

  5. Select Next.
  6. Select Source Console to identify that this is the device you'll transfer data from.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  7. Select the account you want to transfer.
  8. Select Continue.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  9. You will see this screen. Now it's time to turn to the new Switch.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

Step 2: Continue on the new Switch

Now pick up the new Switch and follow the next set of steps.

  1. Select System Settings from the Home screen on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Select Users from the side menu.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  3. Select Transfer Your User Data.
  4. Select Next.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  5. Select Next.
  6. Select Target Console to identify that this is the device you'll transfer data to.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  7. Select Sign In.
  8. Select your preferred Sign in method.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  9. Enter your log in credentials.

  10. Select Sign in.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  11. Select Next.
  12. You will see this screen. Now it's time to head back to the old Switch.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

Step 3: End the process on the old Switch

At this point, the old Switch should start talking to the new Switch to initiate the transfer. Pick up your old Switch to complete the process.

  1. Select Transfer to start the data transfer.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  2. Wait for the transfer to finish. It might take some time to complete the transfer, depending on how much data you have stored on your old Switch.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleHow to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

  3. Select End on both devices once the transfer is complete.

    How to transfer Switch data to new consoleSource: iMore

Watch the video instead

If you're more of a visual person, check out Nintendo's 3-minute video showing the steps on both the source and target Switch devices.

Congratulations, you've made the transfer. Now you'll be able to continue playing from your current game saves on your new Switch device. Just keep in mind that screenshots and videos don't transfer over. I initially used this process to transfer my original Switch to the new Switch V2. I later used this same process to transfer my account to my Switch Lite. It works on both systems.

Now that the transfer is taken care of, you can focus on acquiring more titles for your library. Don't forget to check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Additional Equipment

I personally love these accessories and have found that they greatly improve my Switch gaming sessions. See if anything catches your eye.

Pro Controller ($70 at Best Buy)

This controller is a great companion for both the Switch and Switch Lite. It feels great in your hands, is easy to pair to the system, and offers plenty of functions for a convenient gaming experience.

Hori Compact Playstand ($13 at Amazon)

I use this stand with both my Switch and my Switch Lite. The latter doesn't have a kickstand, so it's especially important for the smaller Switch. It offers three viewing angles and folds flat for storage.

Mario-themed 128 GB micro SD card ($28 at Amazon)

The Switch and Switch Lite only have 32GB of onboard storage, which means you're definitely going to want to pick up a micro SD card. I like this one because it offers a decent amount of space and has a fun Nintendo design.

Get More Switch

Nintendo Switch

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