Here at Nintendo Life we’re always keeping an eye on the sort of things people want to know about Nintendo and the Switch, and it’s surprising how many eager internet searchers want information on relatively simple features that, perhaps, aren’t obvious or well explained by Nintendo itself. So we’re starting a new range of video guides called Switch Basics, but for those of you that prefer reading you can see the details below as well – win-win, we’d say…
Today we’re looking at how to delete games from your Switch console and free up space for new ones. It’s simple and anyone of any skill level can do it. There are actually two options available to you in order to get the old, possibly rarely played games off your console, and we’ll be going through both of them. Neither of these options will delete your save data, so don’t worry about losing all your progress in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
First of all you can archive a game. This will remove all the data of the game from your system, but keep the icon on your home menu so that you can easily redownload it again in the future. Or maybe just to have loads and loads of game icons to show off a bit.
To do this you simply need to highlight the game you wish to remove and press the plus or minus button on your controller. A menu will pop up and you’ll need to navigate down to Data Management on the left hand side. From here you need to navigate right and highlight the Archive Software option. Press the A button and you’ll be presented with a prompt asking you to confirm the action. Press the A button again and the game will be removed, but as stated earlier, your save data will not be affected and the game’s icon will remain on your Home Menu. It’s just that if you try and launch the game it’ll tell you to redownload it first.
If you don’t want to have the game icon cluttering up your Home Menu though you can instead do a more old-fashioned deletion.
Just as before, highlight the game icon on your Home Menu and press the plus or minus button. From this menu you then need to navigate down to Data Management, then navigate to the right and down to highlight the Delete Software option. Press A to select it and then A again to confirm that you wish to delete the game. This will remove the icon from your Home Menu, but the game can still be redownloaded for free from the eShop.
Once again I’d like to reiterate that neither of these processes will delete your save data. You don’t have to toss up whether or not it’s worth freeing up space for a new game at the cost of your progress, it’s all stored safely and separately. This is also true for physical game cards, so if you lose or sell a physical version of a game and then repurchase it later, you will still have your save data.
Thanks for reading and / or watching this first Switch Basics video, we’ll have more to come!