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unable to start software Switch

Possible causes and available troubleshooting methods for the “unable to start software Switch” error are included in this post. To get the detailed information, explore the content with MiniTool.

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An Overview of Nintendo Switch Errors

Nintendo Switch, a video game console, is developed by Nintendo and released in most regions across the world. It can either be used as a home console or a portable console. It works flawlessly in most time.

However, it sometimes goes wrong as well. You may encounter various Nintendo Switch errors like overheating, code 2005-0003, unable to start software Switch, etc. Actually, many complaints about the “Switch unable to start software” issue can be seen in many forums and communities.

The following is a true example.


Hi, I got a very strange problem in the emu system when I start some games. Most of them are XCI. It always shows Unable to start software. Return to the HOME Menu and try again. then restart game, the file shows corrupted.
I tried Awooo INSTALLER, DBI, tinfoil and tinwoo installer to reinstall, all have the same problem. -tamulacrosse.com

Fortunately, the issue can be fixed through some operations. Here are some solutions to the Nintendo Switch unable to start software error. You can have a try!

Also read: Is My Switch Patched? Check If the Switch Is Hackable Now!

Solution 1: Perform a Restart on the Nintendo Switch Console

A simple and effective way to fix the Nintendo Switch unable to start software error is to restart the game console, especially if the error occurs suddenly while you access certain games.

A Nintendo Switch restart can refresh the system and eliminate all the possible bugs. Given that fact, it is useful for solving the unable to start software Switch error. To do that, press and hold the Power button at the top of the console for 15 seconds.

Then the screen should get dark and then reboot. After that, you will see the Nintendo logo on the screen and then it would boot up as usual.

Soft/Hard/Factory Reset Nintendo Switch with This Guide Now

Solution 2: Update the Game Software

Game updates usually add new features for a better gameplay experience and include improvements of existing features that can fix glitches and bugs. Therefore, installing the latest game update is also available for fixing the Switch unable to start software error.

Here are steps for updating the games software.

Step 1: Click on the icon of the game that you want to update from the Home menu of Nintendo Switch.

Step 2: Press the “+” or “-” button to access the game information.

Step 3: Choose Software Update > Via the Internet to confirm the operation.

Step 4: Then a message will prompt on the screen and the update process will begin immediately.

Recommended reading: How to Connect Switch Pro Controller to PC? Here Are Answers

Solution 3: Reinstall the Game Software

You should reinstall the digital game with the Nintendo account that you bought the game previously. Besides, you also need to ensure that account is only opened on the Nintendo Switch. What’s more, the reinstalled game or software should be the latest update version.

Note: If your Nintendo account is deactivated on the Switch, you have to reactivate it before reinstalling games.

To reinstall the game software, please refer to these steps.

Step 1: Hover over the faulty game in the Home menu and press the “+” button on the right Joy-Con or the “-” button on the left Joy-Con to open options menu of the game.

Step 2: Click on the Manage Software option.

Step 3: Choose Delete Software.

Tip: If you receive a warning window, click Delete to execute the operation.

Step 4: Select eShop from the Home menu of the console and then choose profile that is used to buy the digital game before.

Step 5: In the left panel, click Redownload.

Step 6: Then move to the right side and select the download cloud icon behind the game you would like to re-download.

Step 7: Wait for the finish of the download and install process. After that, it will display on the main screen.

You may also like this: How to Fix Xbox System Error e102 and Similar Error Codes

Solution 4: Check Whether You Are Playing a Game Trial

Nintendo provides eligible Nintendo accounts with game trials for some digital games within a period of time. When the allotted period of time expires, the unable to start software Switch error will appear on the screen when you attempt to access the game.

You can learn whether you are playing a game trial. If so, find when the dates of the trial will be available again by searching the game in the Nintendo eShop.

Can You Connect AirPods to Switch? How to Connect It to Switch?

Solution 5: Check the Nintendo Switch Account that Buys the Game

It is likely that the unable to start software Switch error is caused by a wrong Nintendo account. Based on that fact, you need to check which Nintendo account buy the game. You can find that by viewing the purchase history.

The shopping history can be found either on the Nintendo eShop installed on the console or in the Nintendo Account on the website. Then check if the account is exactly the one that bought the game.

Solution 6: Exit the Console and Register Again

If you still receive the Switch unable to start software error even if the Switch is the primary console for the Nintendo Account, deregister the console and register again. Here are steps for you.

Option 1: Deregister the Primary Console Via the Nintendo Account Website

Step 1: Launch the website of the Nintendo Account, and then type your account information and click Sign in to log into the account.

sign into the Nintendo Switch account

Step 2: Click Shop Menu > Deregister Primary Console.

Step 3: Enter your Nintendo Account password and click Deregister twice.

Option 2: Deregister the Primary Console Via Nintendo Switch

Step 1: Click on the eShop icon on the Home menu of the console.

Step 2: Choose the user associated with the Nintendo Account that you want to access.

Step 3: Select your profile at the upper right corner of the screen.

Step 4: Scroll down and move to the Primary Console section. Then click Deregister to remove your Switch as the primary console.

After deregistering the console, register the console as the primary device again in the Nintendo account.

Related article: Deactivate Primary PS4 – Everything You Need to Know

Solution 7: Update the Nintendo Switch System

You can also update the Nintendo Switch system to the latest version using steps below to fix the Nintendo Switch unable to start software error.

Step 1: Navigate to the Home menu of the Nintendo Switch console and then tap System Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down the menu and click on System.

Step 3: Select System Update. If there’s an available update, the system will download and install it automatically.

click System Update

Keyboard and Mouse for Nintendo Switch [How to Choose and Use]

Solution 8: Find and Clear Corrupt Data

If there is corrupt data on the Switch, the console won’t allow the game to be played. In addition, the corrupt data will be shown as incomplete data that won’t let the game turn on completely. Then you will receive the Switch unable to start software error.

To troubleshoot the error, you can find and remove the corrupt data on the Nintendo Switch console with steps below.

Step 1: Move to System Settings from the Home menu.

Step 2: Scroll down the menu and choose Data Management.

Step 3: Tap Manage Software and then click Check for Corrupt data.

click check for corrupt data

Step 4: After finding the corrupt data, delete it.

Solution 9: Check the MicroSD Card

If you still receive the unable to start software Switch error after trying the above methods, it’s time to check your MicroSD card used for the Switch. If your SD card doesn’t meet the requirement or work properly, you should take corresponding measures.

Option 1: Format the MicroSD Card

Corrupted or bad files won’t let the MicroSD card work properly, while formatting the SD card will remove these files. As an SD card formatter, MiniTool Partition Wizard is an ideal option. You can format the card with this software by following these steps.

Tip: In addition to corrupted and bad files, other information stored in the SD card would be deleted in the formatting process. So, you should back up the important files before formatting the card.

Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard on your computer by clicking the button below and following the on-screen instructions.

Free Download

Step 2: Connect the Nintendo Switch SD card to your PC.

Step 3: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its main interface.

Step 4: Find and right-click on the SD card in the disk map, and then click on the Format option.

format partition

Step 5: In the pop-up window, configure partition label, file system, and cluster size based on your demands. Here, you should choose the FAT32 file system. After that, click OK to save changes.

Step 6: Click Apply to execute the operation.

execute the format operation

Also read: A Complete Guide to Set up EmuMMC/EmuNAND on Nintendo Switch

Option 2: Replace the MicroSD Card

If your MicroSD card is a faulty one, you can replace it with a new one. This operation can also be used to prove if the original SD card is faulty. Download the game on the SD card through the Nintendo account and then check if it can be played normally.

Option 3: Disconnect the MicroSD Card

You can also directly remove the MicroSD card from the Switch console and then download the game directly to the system memory. Then play the game to see if the unable to start software Switch error is resolved.

Are you still bothered by the unable to start software Switch error? Here are some troubleshooting methods for you. Fix the error with the given solutions now! Click to tweet

Bottom Line

The top 9 methods for fixing the Nintendo Switch unable to start software error have been illustrated in this post. If you receive this error while attempting to access the game, you can fix it with the offered solutions.

If you encounter other errors with the Nintendo Switch, please tell us in the following comment area. We would try our best to help you. For any questions about MiniTool software, directly contact us via [email protected].

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