How to expand your Nintendo Switch’s built-in storage to download more games

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The Nintendo Switch is a modern marvel. If you’re looking for a fantastic gaming console that has both portability and fun at its forefront, then the Switch should be your first choice. This isn’t a review of the Switch, however. Today we’re going to be talking about one of its shortcomings and how to fix it: storage.

Nintendo has never been one to ship a system with tons of internal storage, and the Switch is no exception. With 32GB of room for games on-board, you can store several smaller copies or one large one before you run out of room. Go to download something like DOOM, and you’ll run out of storage before the download even finishes.

And don’t think that you can just buy the cartridge-based games and get out of the woods. DOOM, again, will require supplementary downloads for full gameplay even on the physical copy. More details on why that is can be found in our explainer on Nintendo Switch cartridges.

Thankfully, Nintendo thought ahead here and gave the Switch a microSD card slot from the get-go. On the rear of your Switch, under the kickstand, you’ll find a slot to insert a Micro SD card. Once inserted, the Switch will come up and tell you that there’s now more storage available.

I personally keep a 128GB microSD card in my Switch because that’s what I had around at the time and it’s a great amount of room to be sure I’ll never run out of storage as long as I have the Switch. I have personally tried microSD cards of various sizes, so you don’t have to.

I’ve had success with up to a 256GB microSD card in my Switch. Though there are cards out there that exist larger than this capacity, honestly, most people don’t have them nor would it really benefit the Switch. If you plan to download the entire eShop, sure, but for general purposes even 128GB will be fairly overkill.

Now that the microSD card is installed, you can begin to move data around or install new data to the expanded storage. The Switch is fairly intelligent and will manage most of the data itself, but there is no on-board option to format the Micro SD card, so I suggest doing that before inserting it into your Switch.

If you really do have tons of data, however, you can archive the data on a microSD card and just swap them out depending on what game you want to play.

In the end, it somewhat stinks that after spending $300 on a console you’ll likely have to spend a little more to be able to play some games. But, thankfully microSD cards are going down in price as you can pick up a 128GB on Amazon for just as little as $40 from reputable brands when sales aren’t going on. 64GB microSD cards, which should be fine for most people, are even more budget-friendly at around $20 for most options.

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