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How to transfer Switch save data, including the new OLED Switch

Transfer your account to a new device, from source to target

a photo of the original Switch (with dark gray Joy-Cons) above the OLED Switch (with white Joy-Cons), with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe running on both systems Photo: Russ Frushtick/Polygon

When you get a new Switch console — like the new OLED Switch — you’ll have to transfer your data (user and save data) from the old device to the new one. It’s not the most intuitive process, though. In this Switch transfer save data guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of transferring your data between consoles.


Before you begin

Before you begin, there are a few steps to take so things go smoothly.

  1. Make sure both consoles are plugged into an adapter or dock and connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Double check that they’re both updated to the newest software by going to System Settings > System > System Update.
  3. Finally, make sure any users you’ll be transferring to the new device are linked to their respective Nintendo Accounts.

On the old console

Nintendo Switch’s System Settings > Users > Transfer Your User Data menu
Transfer save data from this menu
Image: Nintendo via Polygon

From the Home Screen, select System Settings > Users > Transfer Your User Data.

Nintendo Switch’s Transferring Users menu Image: Nintendo via Polygon

You’ll get a couple warning screens, and then you’ll have to choose whether this is the Source (old) or the Target (new) console. Choose Source.

Next, you’ll have to choose which user to transfer.


On the new console

From the Home Screen, select System Settings > Users > Transfer Your User Data.

Again, you’ll get a couple warning screens, and then you’ll have to choose whether this is the Source (old) or the Target (new) console.

Choose Target.

Transfer User and Save data to your new OLED Switch Image: Nintendo via Polygon

You’ll be asked to sign into the Nintendo Account for the user you’re transferring. You can sign in manually or by scanning a QR code on a smart device.


On the old console

Leave the two devices (relatively) near each other. When the Source console finds the Target console, hit Transfer.

Now you just have to wait out the process. When it’s done, hit End and enjoy your new console.


On the new console

The Transfer process moves your account and your saved game data between the consoles, but it doesn’t move the games themselves. You’ll still need to head to the eShop and redownload them.