Nintendo Switch is popular among joystick game enthusiasts. Securely saving game progress is important for a good game experience. What if game data is lost or corrupted? Can you recover them? This MiniTool post shows you how to recover game data on Nintendo Switch.

The majority of Nintendo Switch players save the progress of a game and then go on to try new games. If game saves are lost, the player will need to start the game again and also lose game achievements. In addition, if game-related data is lost, players may not be able to start the game. This article will show you how to recover game data on Nintendo Switch in these two situations.

Why Game Data Missing on Nintendo Switch

When you attempt to play a game but find the saved game data or the game disappears, why does this situation happen? Nintendo Switch saves data in the corresponding game account. The data stored in the different accounts is separate. Thus, when you can’t find the wanted game or discover the game process lost, you should first check whether you log into the correct account.

If you are using the correct account, you may have performed some incorrect operations that deleted your game data, such as deleting the game or data accidentally, removing a user account, initializing the console, etc. However, if your game data is lost due to account deletion or console resetting, the lost game data cannot be retrieved.

Nintendo Switch doesn’t support you backing up game save data to other data storage devices manually such as external hard drives, SD cards, etc. Therefore, Cloud backups are the primary method to recover game data on Nintendo Switch. If you insert a microSD card into your Nintendo Switch, you have a chance to recover game files from the Nintendo Switch microSD card.

Way 1. Recover Game Files from the Nintendo Switch microSD Card

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is heartily recommended because it is equipped with powerful features and is compatible with plenty of data storage devices, including SD cards, USB drives, memory sticks, CDs, etc. As long as your device can be recognized by the Windows operating system, you can run this file recovery software to restore files.

You can download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free first to scan your Nintendo Switch microSD card. If demanded files can be found, you can follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Nintendo Switch data recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

You can recover downloadable software, software update data, downloadable content, screenshots, and captured videos from the microSD card. All of the above data is automatically saved to the micro SD card when it is inserted. Game save data is saved to System Memory only and cannot be moved to the microSD card.

Here I’d like to show you the complete data recovery guide.

Step 1. Scan the Nintendo Switch SD Card

You should remove the microSD card from your Nintendo Switch and connect it to your computer installed with MiniTool Power Data Recovery. Now, double-click on the data recovery service to enter its main interface.

You can switch to the Devices tab to find the microSD card directly and click the Scan button. The scan duration depends on the capacity of your microSD card, the file size, and other factors. Please wait patiently until the scan process completes itself.

scan the partition

Step 2. Find the Required Game Files

There should be numerous files displayed on the result page. You can find files according to their paths or types. To reduce browsing time, you can use features like Filter and Search.

After clicking Filter in the top toolkit, you will see a list of filter conditions, such as file size, file type, file category, and file modified date. Set these criteria according to your requirements to filter out unwanted files.

filter out unwanted files

If you are looking for certain game data, try to input the game name into the search bar and hit Enter to quickly locate the file.

search for the target files

Choose the file you need and click the Preview button at the top toolbar to verify the file content. The Preview feature supports previewing documents, pictures, videos, and audio files. Read this post to learn supported file formats. 

Step 3. Recover the Found Game Data

Select all your needed files and click the Save button. In the prompt window, choose a new save path instead of the original one and click OK to confirm. There will be a small prompt to inform you that the file recovery process is finished. You can go to the destination to check your recovered files.

recover files

Please note that the free edition only provides 1GB of file recovery capacity. To restore more files, you need to get a premium edition. For individual users, the Personal Ultimate edition should be the best option as it is fully functional and offers the best value. You can go to this page to learn the functions and limitations of different editions and choose one that suits you best.

Nintendo Switch Not Reading MicroSD Card - Easy and Best Fixes
Nintendo Switch Not Reading MicroSD Card - Easy and Best Fixes

If you are bothered by the issue of Switch not reading microSD card, you can try the easy methods in this article to solve the problem.

Read More

Way 2. Recover Game Files from Cloud Backup

If you are a Nintendo Switch online user, you can recover deleted save data on Nintendo Switch easily. For Nintendo Switch online users, game save data will be automatically backed up to the Cloud. You can download the lost game data from the Cloud backup. Here are three ways to complete the operation.

#1. Recover Lost Game Data from the Start Menu

Step 1. Choose the game that you need to recover game data from the HOME menu.

Step 2. Press the + or button to expand the game menu.

Step 3. Choose Save Data Cloud, then select your user account. Make sure you choose the proper account because the downloaded data will overwrite the existing data for the game. Overwritten data can’t be recovered.

Step 4. Select Download Save Data.

#2. Recover Lost Game Data from System Settings

Step 1. Enter System Settings from the HOME menu.

Step 2. Select Data Management at the left pane and scroll down to choose Save Data Cloud.

Step 3. Opt for your account. You can now browse the backed-up files and select the files you want to download.

Step 4. Select Download Save Data to recover game data on Nintendo Switch.

#3. Recover Lost Game Data with Automatic Save-Data Download Feature

Step 1. Press the POWER button to let the console enter the Sleep Mode.

Step 2. If there is any saved data via the Save Data Cloud service newer than the saved data on the console, it will download automatically in the Sleep Mode. Please make the console in the Sleep Mode until the download is finished.

Way 3. Recover Game Files from Nintendo eShop

If you mistakenly delete a game, the backup data will be removed as well. But don’t worry, the previous backup data will be restored automatically when you re-download the game from the Nintendo eShop.

Step 1. Open and log into the Nintendo eShop from the HOME menu.

Step 2. Click your profile icon at the top right corner to select Redownload.

Step 3. You can find the purchased games at the right pane. Look for the game you want to redownload and click on the cloud icon to re-download.

When the re-download is complete, you can start playing from the last saved game.

How to Repair Corrupted Save Data on Nintendo Switch

Apart from the Nintendo Switch save data missing issue, some Nintendo Switch users may encounter the save data corrupted issue. You can try the following solutions to see if it helps to resolve the issue.

Fix 1. Update the Problematic Software

To update the software on your Nintendo Switch, make sure it connects to the Internet well.

Step 1. Select the software from the HOME menu.

Step 2. Press the + button to expand the menu.

Step 3. Select Software Update > Via the Internet to start updating the software.

After updating the software, check if the software can perform properly.

Fix 2. Check for Corrupted Data

If you get an alert of corrupted data on your Nintendo Switch, you can use the Check for Corrupted Data feature on the console to find corrupted data on the downloaded software. To continue the following steps, you should update the system to the latest version.

Step 1. Select System Settings from the HOME menu.

Step 2. Choose Data Management from the left pane and scroll down to find and choose Manage Software on the right-hand side.

Step 3. Locate the software you want to check and click Check for Corrupted Data.

When the check process is complete, you can know whether the software has corrupted data. You can choose to download the saved data from the cloud backup to replace the corrupted data.

Fix 3. Initialize Nintendo Switch Without Deleting Data

Initializing your Nintendo Switch without deleting data is another way to fix this problem. Please note that after initializing, saved data, user information, screenshots and captured videos on the SD card will not be removed, but the software stored on it will be deleted. To re-download software, you can follow the steps explained in Way 3: Recover Game Files from Nintendo eShop.

Now, work with the following steps below to initialize the device.

Step 1. Power off the Nintendo Switch by pressing and holding the POWER button for a few seconds. The next steps can’t be performed when the device is powered on or in the sleep mode.

Step 2. Press and hold the volume up and volume down buttons at the same time, and press the POWER button to turn on the device.

Step 3. After entering the Maintenance Mode, choose Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data. You will be asked to input the Parental Control PIN if it has been set.

Step 4. Read through the information and click Next > Initialize Console Without Deleting Save Data.

Afterward, you can start to re-download your purchased software.

You are suggested to insert a microSD card into your Nintendo Switch to free up the console space. Game-related data except for the game save data will be stored on the microSD card once inserted. There are two situations when you need to transfer game-related data to the microSD card:

  • When the Nintendo Switch System Memory is about to fill up, you can move your game-related data to a newly inserted microSD card to free up space.
  • When the inserted microSD card is full, data will automatically be saved to System Memory. You need to transfer data to a new larger microSD card.

If needed, you can try the next steps to transfer data to the microSD card.

Step 1. On the HOME menu, select System Settings.

Step 2. Choose Data Management at the left pane and select Move Data Between System / microSD Card. If you don’t insert a microSD card, this option will not show up.

Step 3. To move data from System Memory to the microSD card, you should choose Move to microSD Card, and choose Move to System Memory vice versa.

Step 4. Select the game from the list and complete the reset steps with on-screen instructions.

Read this post to learn how to add Nintendo Switch Storage when it is full.

Final Words

This post gives three methods to help recover game data on Nintendo Switch. Please note that game save data can’t be recovered from the Nintendo Switch SD card. Since game save data can only be stored on the Nintendo Switch, you should save the game progress in time and use the Save Data Cloud feature with a Nintendo Switch online account.

Furthermore, this post introduces you to how to repair corrupted saved data and how to transfer game-related data. Hope there is some useful information for you. If you have any problem when using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, feel free to let us know via [email protected].

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