How To Reset Your Nintendo Switch Without Losing Any Save Data

It’s been over six years since the Nintendo Switch has released, meaning you’ll likely need to troubleshoot from time to time.

In the process of troubleshooting, you may need to do a hard reset on your console. While this process can fix a good chunk of issues, it is a cumbersome process because it can delete all data off your system, including save data.

Fortunately, there is an in-between step that allows you to enjoy the benefits of a factory reset without losing your save data, screenshots, videos, and user information.

This method is called “Initializing Console Without Deleting Save Data” and while it does spare your save data, it will delete any software and updates off the system.

Image Credit: iMore

Before Resetting

Before you try resetting your Switch in any way, there are some other troubleshooting tasks you should try:

  • Turn your Switch completely off: Many usually just put their Switchs to sleep instead of completely off. To turn off, hold the power button on top for about 3 seconds. A menu should pop up and you can select “Turn Off.” You can hit the power button to turn the system back on. Be sure to save any game you are playing before turning the console off.
  • Soft reset: This is similar to powering the system down. To do this, hold the power button for 10-15 seconds and your Switch should power off without a menu prompting you. Once it’s off, wait a few seconds before turning the system back on. Once your system is powered on, the reset will be complete. You shouldn’t lose any data in this process. This method also works if your system won’t turn on or freezes.
  • Reset cache: Since you’ve likely connected your Switch to the Internet, you’ve probably built up a cache of IDs, passwords, and browsing history. Sometimes, resetting the cache can delete any unnecessary and old files you may have on your system. This allows for the most current form to be used without issue. To reset your cache, go to Settings > System > Formatting Options > Reset Cache. Once you select the last option, a warning window will pop up asking you if you’re sure you want to reset your cache. Click reset again and you’re good to go.

Resetting Nintendo Switch Without Losing Save Data

If you’ve exhausted all efforts to fix your Switch’s issue, then it may be time to reset it. The following steps show you how to do that without losing any save data, screenshots, videos, and user information.

Remember that while this resetting will spare the above-mentioned data, it will still clear your software and any updates.

  • Power off your Switch completely.
  • Hold down both the volume up and volume down buttons and then start holding the power button.
  • Hold these buttons until your Switch boots in Maintenance Mode.
  • In Maintenance Mode, you’ll see three options. Select “Intialize Console Without Deleting Save Data” and then “OK.” This will begin the resetting process.
  • Once the factory resetting is complete, you’ll need to set up your Switch again. Complete this and you’ll be back at the menu.
Maintenance Mode (Image Credit: Digital Trends)

Once you’ve arrived back at the menu, you’ll notice the Switch looks empty. You can redownload your digital library again by logging into the Nintendo eShop and going to your order history.

You’ll also need to reupdate all your physical games. Simply insert the game into the console and click to open it. If there is an update, a prompt will appear asking you if you want to update.

As previously mentioned, any save data, screenshots, videos, and user information should still be intact.

Troubleshooting Next Steps

If this still does not solve your issue, you may need to do a full factory reset or send your Switch off for repairs.

You can perform a full factory reset by using Maintenance Mode or from the Settings menu. To go through Settings, go Settings > System > Formatting Options > Initialize Console.

Keep in mind that this will completely wipe your system and return it to the factory settings from when you first purchased the system.

If you have any further questions, visit Nintendo’s Support Page to learn what individual codes mean and how you should address them.

Featured Image: Erik Mclean (via Unsplash)

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