How to Delete Game Save Data on Nintendo Switch

If you have downloaded many Nintendo Switch games to the console, chances are you have encountered storage space issues. The Switch comes with just 32GB of internal storage, and downloading just a few games will quickly use up all of that.

If you haven’t already invested in an SD card for your system, which can dramatically improve your Switch’s storage, you’ll have to resort to archiving or deleting games. You can also delete game save data in any game to get even more space.

In this article, you’ll learn how you can archive games, delete game save data, and how to offload games to your SD card.

How to archive/delete games

When you archive a game off your Switch home screen, what you’re actually doing is saving the program data to cloud storage, as opposed to the console itself. You can always download it to your Switch later. You can also choose to delete a game from the home screen, although this won’t delete your game progress data. Here’s how to archive or delete games.

  1. Find the game you want to remove from your Switch home screen.
  1. press the Where + button on your controller.
  1. From the context menu, navigate to Manage Software.
  1. Choose either Archiving software Where Remove Software depending on what you want to do.

Archiving will keep the game icon on the home screen, giving you the ability to easily re-download it at any time. If you choose to remove the game from your home screen, you will need to return to the eShop to redownload the game (you will not, however, have to purchase it again).

If you want even more free space on your Switch, you can also delete game save data.

How to delete game save data

Archiving or deleting a game should free up a lot of space, but if you find that’s not enough, you can also delete the save data for those games. This can be a good option if you think you won’t be playing the game again for a while and don’t mind your game progress being erased.

  1. Go to the Settings from your home screen, which looks like a gear icon at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Go to Data Management > Delete Backup Data.
  1. Choose the game for which you want to delete save data.
  1. Choose whether you want to delete a certain user’s save data or whether you want to delete all game save data.

Once game save data is erased, you will not be able to recover it. However, you can always re-download the game itself.

How to move games to an SD card

If you don’t want to worry about deleting and re-downloading games, the best option is to get an SD card. With these, you can have up to 2TB of space available for your games, depending on the card you get.

Once you have one, you can save games to the SD card and access them whenever you want, without having to wait for a game to redownload. Make sure the SD card is inserted into the Switch, in the port on the back under the sliding bracket.

Follow these steps to move the games to the SD card next.

  1. Open the Settings from the switch home screen.
  1. Go to Data management > Move data between console and microSD card.
  1. To select Move to microSD card.
  1. Choose the games you want to download to the SD card.
  1. To select Move data.

Once you insert an SD card, any games or software you download afterwards will be automatically downloaded to the card. Anything saved in internal storage will stay there until you move it.

Why deleting game data can be useful

In addition to having space for other games on your Switch, you can also delete game programs or save data for other reasons. It’s always a good idea to keep an open space on your Switch for updates, as many updates are often released for both the system and the games you own.

Also, if you’re running out of space on your Switch, you’ll run into issues when creating new save files for the games you’re playing. So if you’re playing your Switch without an SD card, it’s a good idea to make sure you delete games that you tend not to play as much so you always have enough space.

If you plan to buy more physical games than digital, you can do without an SD card. However, having one is a good idea in general because you never have to worry about space when you have one.

Deleting Data on the Switch

If you carefully follow the guide above, you should have no problem deleting games and game save data carefully. Either way, you can always re-download games you previously purchased from the eShop.

Let us know how you manage your Switch’s storage in the comments below.

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