Nintendo Switch Micro SD

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. 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.

Products used in this 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 by pulling it away from the Switch. Don't use too much force, now.
  4. Push the microSD card in until you feel a little resistance, and then let go. This will dislodge the card from its slot and let you remove it with ease.
  5. Power on your Nintendo Switch.

It's now safe to reinsert the old microSD card or insert a new one. If you're installing a new one, your Switch console will warn you that the card is not formatted, but not before offering the option to format it right then and there. You can format the card manually in case you didn't see this screen. Just follow the instructions found here.

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.

Our top equipment picks

If your reason for removing your SD card involves getting a new one, we have a few suggestions on what you should be looking for.

Gold Standard

Samsung EVO+ 256GB

Bigger and faster than anything else, and now cheaper than ever.

Samsung's very-highest-of-the-high-end microSD card isn't cheap, but you're also getting a winning combination of performance and storage capacity. This is the best card to get if you know you'll be downloading most of your Switch games from the Nintendo eShop, as it not only will hold the most games but will load those games faster than most other cards!

If you're getting a new microSD card for your Nintendo Switch, we can't recommend anything else. Samsung's EVO+ has 256GB of storage space, which is around the higher end of how big microSD cards tend to be. You'll want tons of space for all the great games launching on Switch everyday, some of which use as much as 15GB. Plus, you'll cut down on load times as this is one of the fastest microSD cards money can buy.

Optional Equipment

Don't have as much money or just don't need that much space? These microSD cards will work just great with your Nintendo Switch, too. Feel free to explore different storage variants of these cards to fit your needs.

PNY Elite 128GB ($45 at Amazon)

PNY is a solid brand that won't break the bank.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB ($45 at Amazon)

With UHS-1 speeds, the SanDisk Extreme PRO is a well-rounded card for a reasonable price.

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