How to factory reset a Nintendo Switch (and why)

How to factory reset a Nintendo Switch (and why)


Whether you’re strapped for cash or just have your eyes on something new (you can find loads of great gaming hardware here on Swappa), there are numerous reasons why you, or anyone else, would want to sell their used Nintendo Switch.

When it finally comes time for you and your Nintendo Switch to part ways, we want to make sure you know exactly which steps are needed to make this transition as smooth as possible. In this post here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know — including transferring up your data and performing a factory reset — to get your old Switch ready for its new owner.

Transfer your data first

Easy there, tiger. Before you get to factory resetting your Nintendo Switch, you may want to consider transferring out all of your data first.

Nintendo doesn’t yet offer a way to backup your user information and game saves either to the cloud or onto a microSD card (this will change this September when their Nintendo Online service goes live). This includes all your account information, purchases, and game save data. Those 80 hours you’ve invested in Zelda Breath of the Wild? Don’t just throw it all away.

Currently, the only way to keep the hours of time you’ve invested into your Switch — along with your saved game data and Nintendo eShop purchases — is by transferring them to another Switch system.

If you don’t have a new Nintendo Switch to transfer to, well, you’ll likely want to skip this step. For everyone else, you can check out our entire tutorial here:

Factory Resetting a Nintendo Switch

When getting your Nintendo Switch ready to sell, by far the most important step is making sure all your user data has been erased, and wiped clean from the device.

Deleting all your user information on the Nintendo Switch — otherwise known as performing a factory reset — is crucial to ensure the new owner doesn’t have access to your Nintendo account and all the information therein. This should be done whenever you decide to sell, exchange, or dispose of your Nintendo Switch console.

What’s the big deal? Well, the last thing you want to see on your bank statement are charges for games someone else made on your account — not fun. Don’t worry, performing a wipe, reset, or restoring a Nintendo Switch to its original factory settings is extremely easy.

How to restore Nintendo Switch to its factory settings

  1. From the Home menu, open System Settings (gear icon).
  2. Select System from the side menu.
  3. Tap on Formatting Options.
  4. Select Restore Factory Settings.

Everything that will be erased:

  • Software data
  • Save data
  • Screenshots
  • User information
  • Nintendo Account link
  • Registration of your console as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account (only when connected to the internet).
  • All settings on the console
  • All information records such as error history
  • Game software/data saved on a microSD card will no longer be usable (screenshots will be safe, however).

Sell with Swappa

So you’ve successfully gotten your Nintendo Switch ready for its new owner… now what? If you’re looking to sell your Nintendo Switch online, you’re already in the right place. While a sketchy, back alley Craigslist deal is always an option, you’re probably much safer selling your old gaming hardware with Swappa.

Our human-powered, community-driven marketplace not only ensures you get the best possible price for your hardware, but with NO seller fees or middlemen, that means more money stays in your pocket — right where it should be. To get started, all you have to do is hit up one of the links below to start saving some time and fattening up your wallet.

Updated on May 10, 2018 • On Gaming