The Nintendo Switch is a huge success, thanks to the ever-growing selection of games. As your library grows, storage space will become an issue, especially with 32 GB of built-in storage. In the future, you’ll almost certainly need a microSD card, but even then, there may come a time when you just can’t store your entire digital collection on the Switch at once.
How to manage your data on the Nintendo Switch
Luckily, the Switch lets you delete and reinstall the games you’ve purchased for your Nintendo account whenever you want without affecting your saved data. Managing your Switch library is incredibly easy. Here’s how to uninstall, archive, and reinstall Nintendo Switch games.
How to uninstall games on Nintendo Switch
Uninstalling the software from your Switch completely deletes your game data along with the game icon. If your library is cluttered, and you’re not going to play that game again, here’s how you can clear the space of unwanted data.
- Tap or select the “All Software” icon located at the right end of the game grid. However, if you know the game you want to remove and have played it recently, you can simply select it on the main screen.
- With the game selected, tap or press “Physical Preferences”, then tap or select “Manage Software” using the “A” button in the list on the pop-up screen.
- Scroll down and select “Uninstall Software”. To confirm, tap or select “Uninstall” when prompted.
How to archive your games on Nintendo Switch
The switch has an additional uninstall option called “Archiving”, which deletes game data but leaves the icon in your library. Although it clutters up your library, archiving will be rather better than deleting, given how Switch buries every digital game you buy deep into your Nintendo account.
- Tap or select the “All Software” icon at the right end of the game grid. However, if you know the game you want to delete and have played it recently, you can simply select it from the main screen.
- With the game selected, tap or press “Physical Preferences” (+), then tap or select “Software Management” listed on the pop-up screen.
- Select “Archive Software”. To confirm, tap or select “Archive” when prompted.
How to re-download games on Nintendo Switch
Your entire digital game library doesn’t show up on your console as it does on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam. To download games again, you’ll need to find them in your Nintendo eShop profile.
- Tap or select the “Nintendo eShop” icon.
- Tap or select your account avatar, located in the upper right corner.
- Scroll down and tap or select “Re-download” to view your library of games that aren’t currently installed on your console.
- Tap or select “Cloud” to the right of the game you want to install.
How to unarchive your games on Nintendo Switch
If you’ve archived a game, you’ll still need to reinstall it, but the process is simpler.
- On the Home screen or inside “All Software”, tap, or highlight the archived game. You will see a cloud symbol displayed next to the name of the game.
- Tap or select the game to download it to Switch. Tap or select “Download” in the prompt to confirm.
How to find out which games are taking up the most storage space on your Nintendo Switch
To find out which games are taking up the most storage space, follow these steps before deleting or archiving.
- Tap or select “System Settings”.
- Find “Manage data” function listed on the left.
- Go to “Manage Software”. All installed games and apps will be displayed in descending order from largest to smallest.
- Select a game and choose whether to uninstall or archive it.
Or select Quick Archive in Data Management to archive multiple titles at once. This menu will also tell you when you last played each game to better understand which games you should delete.