How to delete games on your Nintendo Switch to free up storage space, and keep your saved data

To delete games on a Nintendo Switch, you need to navigate through a few steps in your settings. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • You can delete games on a Nintendo Switch right from your home screen, and delete saved data from the Settings menu.
  • The Switch only comes with 32 GB of storage space by default, so if you aren’t playing certain games anymore, you can remove them to free up space.
  • Your saved data won’t be deleted automatically when you delete a Nintendo Switch game, so you can always reinstall it and resume playing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Nintendo Switch is a great console, but it only takes a few games to fill up all its storage space with digital downloads.

The Switch only comes with 32 GB by default. Something like “Team Sonic Racing,” which requires 6.6GB of space, is an average-sized game. On the other hand, there are behemoths like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which takes up 13.4GB – nearly half the Switch’s space.

So, unless you’ve upgraded your Switch’s storage capacity with a micro SD card, you’ll probably need to delete some Switch games from time to time.

You can delete a game’s program data, which takes up the most space. Optionally, you can also delete its saved data (which contains all your progress in the game) to free up a bit more space.

But don’t worry, you can always reinstall your games for free later.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Nintendo Switch (From $US299.99 at Best Buy)

SanDisk Ultra 256 GB SD card (For $US37.50 at Amazon)

How to delete games on a Nintendo Switch

1. From the Switch home screen, scroll to the game you want to delete. If you have enough games and apps, you might need to select the “All Software” icon at the right end of the home menu to see everything you have on your device.

Find the game that you want to delete. Steven John/Business Insider

2. Once you’ve found the game you want to delete, press the plus (+) button on the right-hand Joy-Con controller or the minus (-) button on the left. If you’re using a Pro Controller, or another controller that doesn’t use Joy-Cons, the plus and minus buttons will still be on the right and left, respectively.

3. Select “Manage Software” in the menu that appears.

4. Click “Delete Software” and then confirm your choice.

Deleting games off your Switch does not delete your saved progress. Steven John/Business Insider

And that’s it, the game is gone.

But it’s not lost forever. You can even leave a shortcut to re-download the game at any time, by selecting “Archive Software” instead of “Delete Software.” Archiving a game does remove its data from your console, but leaves its icon and your save data on the homepage. This is great if you just want to clear space temporarily.

If you want to fully delete the game, save data and all, it will free up more space, but you’ll have to start from scratch if you ever download it again.

How to delete saved game data off a Nintendo Switch

1. From the bottom toolbar on the home screen, open the Settings menu.

2. Select “Data Management.”

3. Click “Manage Save Data/Screenshots,” and then “Delete Save Data.” If you’re in handheld mode, you can click “Delete Save Data” right away.

4. Select the game for which you wish to delete data.

5. You can delete the save data for a specific user profile, or select “Delete All Save Data for This Software” to erase all the save data on your device.

Deleting saved data does free up space, but it can’t be undone. William Antonelli/Business Insider

If you ever want the game back, just redownload it from the Nintendo eShop. It will be free, and if you didn’t delete your saved data, you can pick up right where you left off.

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