My Switch Is Out of Memory, Help!

We have all been there with modern-day electronics. You found this awesome new game you want to try but when you click the download button, your device decides to ruin your day by saying you’ve run out of internal storage space. While the Nintendo Switch does include some of the most interesting and exciting games on the market today, the hardware itself is lagging behind its competitors.

The 32 GB of internal storage memory that it includes proves to be no different, especially with blockbuster titles getting larger and larger. Consider one of the biggest Nintendo Switch launch titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was a whopping 13.4 GB in size. If you downloaded this title you would be left with just 19 GB of open space, even less when you consider game saves, screen captures, and space the operating system takes up(4 GB).

The easiest way to remedy this is to buy a microSD card to expand that internal memory and the Switch supports up to a 2 TB microSD card. This can definitely help make your life a little bit easier if you intend on downloading a lot of titles. However, What type of microSD card should you buy? The two biggest questions when questing for a microSD card will be what size and what speed?

What all can I save on my microSD card?

Okay, so size and speed are the two biggest questions you’ll have but I would like to touch on one last subject before jumping into that. What can be saved to your microSD card and what cannot? And can I move data between the system memory and microSD card?

You can store downloadable content, software update data, downloadable software and screenshots, and captured videos on your micro SD memory card. These can be transferred between the consoles internal system memory and your microSD memory card as long as you have updated your system firmware to 10.0.0 or higher. You cannot, unfortunately, transfer or save game save states to the microSD memory card.


As I stated above, the Nintendo Switch can support up to a 2 TB, yes terabyte, microSD card. Unless you plan on downloading every new game that comes out, you shouldn’t need a 2 TB microSD card right away. If you do plan on doing a lot of gaming on your console, however, I would recommend at least a 128 GB microSD card.

An important note on microSD card sizes, while the Nintendo Switch does support microSD (cards up to 2 GB), microSDHC (cards sizes between 4 GB and 32 GB), and microSDXC (card sizes 64 GB up to 2 TB), your Nintendo Switch will require a system update to support microSDXC if you have not already updated your console to the latest firmware version.


What do I mean when I say the speed of the microSD card? I am talking about the data transfer speed of the memory card. Per Nintendo’s recommendations, you should look for a UHS-1 (also known as Ultra High Speed) compatible microSD card. These cards have transfer speeds between 60 – 95 MB/sec. The higher the transfer speed of your MicroSD card, the better the gameplay experience on your Nintendo Switch will be.

While there are other, faster microSD cards besides UHS-1 including UHS-2 and UHS-3, the Nintendo Switch isn’t designed to take advantage of these speeds so your gameplay experience will not be noticeably better with these.

One Last Thing…

Nintendo has made the previous two steps super easy by partnering with microSD developers to create Nintendo Switch branded microSD cards of varying sizes. While these are simple to buy and you will be assured they will work with your console flawlessly, you do pay a bit more for the design on the card. Is this extra brand tax worth it to you? The ease of knowing maybe for some, but once the card is inserted into your console you’ll never see the design.

Now, on to how to install your microSD card:

1.) Fully power off your Nintendo Switch console by holding down the power button on the top of your console for five seconds and then select “Turn Off.”

2.) With your Nintendo Switch console facing downward, careful to not scratch the screen, Gently swing the kickstand open to expose the microSD card slot.

3.) Before inserting the microSD card into your Nintendo Switch console ensure the microSD card is properly positioned with the label facing away from the console.

4.) Gently insert the microSD card into the slot and push it down until the card clicks into place.

5.) Flip the kickstand closed and you are all set to begin enjoying your larger memory capacity.

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Candy Keane
22 days ago

I had to add more memory after downloading Breath of the Wild, lol. It was surprisingly easy! (just like you show here 🙂 )