Don't hurt your Switch. Safely swap out microSD's by following these steps.
Nintendo has made it very easy to expand the internal storage on the Switch, 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 can 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.
Cards for the occasion
- Room for all your games: Samsung 256GB EVO Plus microSD ($44 at Amazon)
- Budget friendly storage: Samsung 64GB EVO microSD ($12 at Amazon)
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.
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.
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:
- Close any open games or apps.
- Hold down the power button at the top of the console until the screen goes black.
- Open the back flap by pulling it away from the Switch. You shouldn’t need much force.
- 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.
- Power the Switch back up.
It’s now safe to re-insert 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. Better safe than corrupted.
A card for every need
If your reason for removing your SD card involves getting a new one, we have a few suggestions.
Samsung EVO+ 256GB
Bigger, faster, and now more affordable than ever.
Samsung’s high-end microSD cards aren’t inexpensive, but they are worth every penny. You get 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, not only will it hold a lot of games but will load those games faster than most other cards!
If you’re getting a new microSD card for your Nintendo Switch, this is our top pick. 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 every day, 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.
Mid-range, great value
Samsung EVO 64GB
Smaller card, much smaller cost.
The Samsung Evo’s are strong little cards that have well-balanced speed and capacity. The best part is that this one won’t break the bank. With 64GB this microSD should be enough to get you up and running with your Nintendo Switch and is big enough to hold a decent number of downloaded games from the Nintendo eShop.
If you are planning to have a mix of downloaded games and physical cartridges for your Nintendo Switch, a 64GB Samsung EVO might be your best option. It will still hold quite a few downloaded games but at almost a quarter of the cost of the larger capacity microSD cards. And a bonus to keeping a mix of games, it can be even more budget-friendly as physical copies go on sale more frequently than digital. Have the best of both worlds.