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Nintendo Switch not detecting SD card? 6 things to try

Person inserts an SD card into a Nintendo Switch

When it comes to your Nintendo Switch®, saving your gaming data on an SD card is a must, especially if you're hours deep into the latest version of The Legend of Zelda. So, if you keep getting an SD card error message, it may mean you have to prematurely hang up your master sword.

Don't worry though. At Asurion, our experts see SD card issues all the time, and we've got you covered. Here's how to fix a Nintendo Switch that's not reading your SD card.

Common causes of SD card reading issues

There are various reasons why your SD card isn't being recognized on your Switch®. Some common ones include:

  • An incompatible SD card.
  • A faulty card.
  • Debris in the SD card slot.
  • Software trouble.
  • Physical damage to the slot or SD card.

Troubleshooting SD card issues on Nintendo Switch

Having trouble with your SD card on your Nintendo Switch? Follow these steps to help identify the cause and quickly solve the problem.

Check your SD card's compatibility

There are many types of SD cards, but the Nintendo Switch only takes the microSD variety. Double-check your new card's packaging to make sure you have the right one.

Check the placement of your SD card

This one sounds like a no-brainer—we know. But double-check and make sure your SD card is inserted correctly. If it's not, don't worry, it happens to all of us—we won't judge you.

Your Switch has an SD card slot that's unique to microSD cards. Unless you're forcing an incompatible card—or a compatible one just placed incorrectly—you'll find that the slot only works with that specific SD card type oriented in a specific way: There is an image above the slot showing how to insert the card.

Clean your SD Card and slot

A little dust and dirt can cause a lot of problems, but there's a simple fix. No, it's not blowing into the SD card slot like you used to do with your old-school Nintendo cartridge. The best way to clean out dust and debris is with canned air. Simple, right? Learn more about ways to deep-clean your Nintendo Switch to keep it running as it should.

Check for a software update

Software updates are one of the best ways to fix any glitches or bugs your tech might run into. Staying on top of those updates is key—not only to keep your devices working at their best, but to keep them secure as well.

Your device should automatically download the most recent updates when it's connected to the internet, but you can check for updates with these three steps:

  1. Make sure your console is online.
  2. Go to the Home menu and select System Settings > System > System Update.
  3. If an update is available, it'll download automatically.

Try another SD Card

If the previous troubleshooting steps haven't solved your problem, the last step to try is inserting another SD card. Doing so should determine whether your current one is faulty or not.

Still having trouble? Reach out to a Nintendo Switch SD card repair expert for help, like the ones at your nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store.

How to prevent SD Card reading Issues

SD card issues happen to all of us. But there are some simple ways to lessen their chances.

  1. Remove your current SD card correctly. Turn off your Switch. Gently push the microSD card in until you hear a click, then slide it out of the card slot.
  2. Use reliable and recommended SD card brands. Cheaper isn't always better, especially when you're relying on your SD card to store important data. Do your homework and choose a reliable brand, like Sandisk® or Samsung®.
  3. Avoid extreme weather. Hot and cold temperatures can damage the delicate components that make up your Switch—including the SD card reader.

Your Switch's lifespan all depends on how well you maintain it. Learn more ways to make your Nintendo Switch last for years.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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