How To Fix Nintendo Switch Not Detecting SD Card

The Nintendo Switch supports additional microSD card storage but if your own console is not detecting or reading the SD card you insert, you’ll have to perform a number of troubleshooting steps to identify the cause of the problem. This brief guide will walk you through the things that you need to do.

Causes of Nintendo Switch SD card issues

These are the common reasons why your Nintendo Switch may fail to detect your SD card:

Compatibility issue.

First of all, only microSD cards can be used on Nintendo Switch. Both the bigger SD card and miniSD cards cannot work with a Switch.

Secondly, there are three types of microSD cards that are supported by a Switch:

  • microSD (up to 2 GB)
  • microSDHC (4 GB – 32 GB)
  • microSDXC (64 GB and above)

If you’re planning on using a microSDXC type, make sure that the system software runs the latest update.

Your Nintendo Switch may encounter problems detecting your SD card, if any of your SD card is not compatible as mentioned above.

Firmware issue with the microSD card.

Sometimes, an SD card may encounter a firmware bug which can lead to errors. Problems due to firmware issues within the card itself can be resolved by a reboot, factory reset, or card reformat.

Random Nintendo Switch bug.

The Switch may develop minor bugs from to time too. This can occur if it’s been left running for a long time. To see if the console has lost sync with the SD card temporarily, try restarting it.

Physical damage to microSD card.

A damaged SD card  may not work. If you are inserting a microSD card for the first time, make sure that it’s compatible and working. If it has a visible sign of damage, that may be the reason why it’s not working.

Nintendo Switch SD card connector problem.

Another possible failure that you must consider is a bad connector within the console itself. The chance of an SD card connector going bad is very rare though. Since the connector is not accessible to a user, you may have to have the console repaired if you really to use an SD card.

Fixing Nintendo Switch SD card problems

There are a number of possible solutions that you can do to solve an SD card problem on your Nintendo Switch.

  1. Reboot the Switch.

    To turn off the console, just press and hold the Power button for about 3 seconds. Once the Power options appear, select Power Off. Turn the console back on again and check for the problem.
    Alternatively, you can force reboot the console by pressing and holding the Power button for about 12 seconds. This is useful if the Switch is unresponsive or does not respond to any input.

  2. Remove and reinsert the SD card.

    Turn off the console by pressing and holding the Power button for 3 seconds as detailed above. Then, take out the SD card and insert it again. Once the SD has been inserted, power the console back on and see if the problem is gone.

  3. Ensure SD card is compatible.

    Make sure that the SD card you’re inserting is compatible. Only microSD cards can work so if you’re using an SD card or miniSD card, you can’t use that. 
    If your card is an SDXC type (check for the label on the card), be sure to perform a system update after inserting it.
    To update:
    -Make sure that your Nintendo Switch is connected to the internet.
    -Go to the Home Menu.
    -Select System Settings.
    -Select System.
    -Select System Update.
    -Wait for a few moments to allow the system to check for new software version.
    -If an update is available, the download process will begin automatically.

  4. Reformat SD card.

    If your Nintendo Switch detects the SD card but has an issue that won’t go away, you may have to consider reformatting it. A reformat deletes all data in the card and the files can no longer be recovered after doing it. You might want to create a backup of whatever files you have on your SD card to a computer if you don’t want to lose them. 
    Downloadable software like DLCs can be redownloaded afterwards so you don’t need to worry about them.
    To reformat an SD card using your Nintendo Switch:
    -Go to the HOME Menu.
    -Select System Settings.
    -Scroll down the options on the left and select System.
    -Scroll down the options on the right-hand side and select Formatting Options. If prompted, enter your Parental Controls PIN.
    -Select Format microSD Card, then Continue.
    -Wait for the console to restart.
    -Check for the problem again.

Try another microSD card.

If your Switch is unable to detect more than one SD cards, it may have a hardware malfunction. In order to know where the problem lies, you’ll have to send it in for repair. Nintendo may ask you to send the problematic SD card with the console during repair.You can either visit your nearest Nintendo store in your area or contact them for assistance.

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