In the past I have lost all my data:

  • When my harddrive broke on my PC
  • when my daughter's tablet broke and she lost all of her Minecraft worlds from the last three years

Ever since those two incidents I do regularly scheduled backups.

I want to do regularly scheduled backups on the Nintendo switch because I want to avoid losing my daughter's entire animal crossing island from the last many years.

Can you copy "save data" to external storage? If yes, how?

Where external storage means: an SD card or hard drive (spinning or solid state).

P.s. I looked at this question here How can I transfer my games from the system memory to my micro SD card? to try and answer this question... But it is different because it is only interested in copying game data... Not "save data" files.

  • 1
    I can understand the value of paying to keep a copy of save data in the cloud, but it is just simply wrong to prevent people from backing up their own save data. Jul 1, 2023 at 0:57
  • that's why everyone is so angry... since whenever Animal Crossing came out on nintendo switch.
    – syn1kk
    Jul 5, 2023 at 4:23

1 Answer 1


As of today, the only way to backup your Nintendo switch "save data" files is to pay Nintendo yearly for their service called "Nintendo Switch Online"

Nintendo Switch Online - Individual & Family Membership ... Get an Individual Membership for only $19.99 or a Family Membership for $34.99 per year. Play together online in...

  • I searched and found this Nintendo data management documentation which states clearly that you can not copy "save data" files to external storage.

  • Additionally I found this third party source which concurs that you can not copy "save data" files to external storage.

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