Nintendo Switch Save Data Storage Internal Only, microSD Not Sharable

Nintendo Switch Promo Picture 3 Zelda

Latest News

Nintendo Switch Save Data Storage Internal Only, microSD Not Sharable

March 5, 2017

By: Robert Grosso


The launch of the Nintendo Switch has been successful, but days after the release of the console new information has been revealed regarding saved game data.

According to IGN, the Switch will only use its internal data for save game storage, blocking the transfer of save game data completely.  This went into effect after the day one update for the console, which added SD card support and the some of the online features.

Other data, however, is still transferable, including downloaded games and screenshots to a microSD card if one is purchased for the system.

Speaking of microSD cards, another tidbit of information was discovered by Polygon when the Switch launched. Apparently, Nintendo has made microSD cards non-shareable,  meaning the microSD card formatted to the system it is in cannot be used on another system. The message reads as the following:


The microSD card is being used by another Nintendo Switch console or was used on this console before it was initialized.

Delete the Nintendo Switch data on the microSD card to use it on this console.

Save data, screenshots, and other data not related to Nintendo Switch won’t be deleted. You can remove the microSD card if you don’t want to use it on this console.

The most curious part about this message is the reference to save data, which does imply that Nintendo may release an update in the future to allow the transfer of game saves to the microSD for safe storage. It is unlikely, however, that they will allow SD cards to be sharable.

Nintendo has not mentioned any plans to release an app for data or cloud storage, so for Switch owners at the moment, the SD card and save game data are mapped to a singular console.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Leave your comments below. 

Self Photo Holding Beer
Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Enjoys penning long-form articles that few probably read. Love the art of gaming, preservation, collecting and RPGs. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over ten years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.