Nintendo Switch Not Reading SD Card [4 Working Solutions]

Written By Steven Arends

Nintendo Switch has been around for quite some time. And on this recent pandemic, sales went more upwards as many people are kneeling into the handheld game genre. Also, games like Animal crossing are making people addicted to their switch.

But the biggest concern is the storage issue of the Nintendo switch. Because apart from the Oled switch, every Nintendo comes with 32GB of storage. Oled comes with 64GB of storage which is also very little. 


Why won’t my Nintendo Switch read my SD card?

Compatibility is one of the main reasons why your Nintendo won’t read your sd card. Sometimes the sd card needs a clean format to be able to work in a Nintendo. Also, if your switch ports are dirty, it might not read the SD card.

Sd cards for Nintendo Switch are a mandatory item as game files are bigger than ever. So I get it if you are a bit frustrated on why your SD card is not working on your switch.

Well, don’t you worry, I have been using a Switch for some time, and I will help you up with some easy steps so that you can jump into gaming in no time.

So put on your reading glasses to get your desired fix.

Will any SD card work for Nintendo Switch?

The switch is known for its portability because of its small size, and it only supports micro sd cards. Even you cannot use the mini sd card on the switch, using a regular sd card is not even a question.

Normal Switch or the OLED switch both are contemporary consoles with a retro feel, letting players to play by merely inserting a cartridge. The eShop on the Nintendo Switch allows you to download digital games, even if you prefer to purchase them in physical form. 

Also check our exclusive tutorial on Nintendo Switch controller not charging.

Having to cart around a whole slew of cartridges is a hassle on this system, which places a question on the portability of the console. As a result, the convenience of downloading your games takes on added importance. 

Even though the price of a game is the same whether you buy it physically or digitally, you may save money by shopping at the eShop during specials. But when it comes to going digital, you don’t have to eject cartridges in or out. Makes gaming more seamless.


But that is the problem. All the Nintendo comes with 32 GB of storage except the OLED one, which came out in late 2021. I don’t know what Nintendo was thinking, but 64GB on a 2021 console is not enough. NBA is let alone 33 GB, and you cannot play it on your normal switch or on the Switch lite without an SD card.

You’ll need a MicroSD card for the Nintendo Switch if you want to play your games digitally. MicroSD cards are not included in the purchase price of a new machine, which has 32GB of built-in memory.

Even if you prefer physical copies, remember that downloading additional content and updates on the Nintendo Switch will demand greater storage space. Space is also going to be taken up with screenshots and clips. A microSD card with at least 128 GB of capacity is recommended if you want to play a lot of games on the Switch.

The speed of a microSD card is also a significant consideration when purchasing one. The read speed of each SD card varies. When you’re downloading new games, this tells you how quickly your device can transport data.

To a degree, the faster a chipset is, the better. The best reading speed is between 60 and 90 MBs, and anything over that is insignificant. To indicate a card’s minimal baseline speed, speed classes are given a rating ranging from 2 to 10. There are grades of 2 (baseline 2MB/s), 4 (4MB/s), and so on. 

Class 10 cards are the only ones you should purchase for the Switch. Using a Class 10 memory card will likely reduce latency and slowdowns since the system will be able to read the games stored on the card.

UHS-1 (also known as Ultra High-Speed One) microSD cards are recommended by Nintendo. A symbol will appear on the card to indicate this. Although UHS-2 and UHS-3 cards are still compatible, the Switch is unable to make use of the faster speeds offered by these cards.

Check out this post to see how to fix PS5 Not Connecting To Tv

How to fix Nintendo switch not reading SD card 

I have already explained why having an additional SD card is important on a switch. But if you buy one and you still cannot use it, then it is a problem. But before going into any details, you have to know a few things.

Make sure your SD card supports the Nintendo Switch. If it’s not compatible, it won’t work. Also, before inserting the SD card, use it on another device to know if it is working or not. If the SD card is not in a working condition, then there is no point in going through this troubleshooting process.

Many people ask, How to insert an SD card in a Nintendo switch?

Well, I got you. Don’t worry.

Here are the steps to insert an SD card in a Nintendo switch:

  1. Turn off the switch.
  2. Flip the Nintendo Switch.
  3. Open the kickstand.
  4. Locate the SD card slot.
  5. Insert the SD card.
  6. Push it up until you hear a click.

So if you were having trouble inserting the SD card now, you know how to insert it. Well, give it another before going into the troubleshooting process.

Here’s a complete guide on how to fix PS5 not downloading games.

Now let’s dive into the troubleshooting process.

Here are steps to fix Nintendo switch not reading sd card:

1. Restart the Nintendo Switch

A simple restart might fix this problem. That is the basic troubleshooting process when it comes to any issues or errors.

Here are the steps to restart the Nintendo switch:

  • Locate the power button.
  • Press and hold the power button for 2-3 secs.
  • Select power options.
  • Click on restart.


Your SD card should be working now. If it is still not working, follow the next method.

2. Update your Nintendo Switch 

You have to update your Nintendo Switch console if your SD card is not getting recognized by the Switch console. Also, it is mandatory if your SD card is SDXC. 

Here are the steps to update your Nintendo Switch console:

  • Go to settings.
  • Navigate to the system.
  • Tap on system update.
  • Download and install the update.


After the update, re-insert the SD card, and it should be working now. If it is still not working, then apply the next method on your SD card.

3. Format the SD card 

You have to reformat your SD card with your PC in order to get it working with your Nintendo switch.

Here are the steps to format your SD card:

  1. Insert your SD card through a reader in a pc.
  2. Right-Click on the SD card drive.
  3. Click on Format.
  4. Select FAT32.
  5. Format the drive.

When the formatting is done, eject the SD card safely and insert it in your Nintendo switch. It should be working at this point.

Quickly check out our epic guide on how long do PS5 Controllers last.

4. Clean your ports

If the SD card or the SD card port of the console is dirty, then it may not read. So cleaning the ports and SD card might fix the problem. This fix is officially given by Nintendo. 

Take a cotton bud and clean the SD card. Also, if you have rubbing alcohol, then it would be better to soak the cotton with rubbing alcohol and wipe the ports too. That way, it will clean out all the dirt and debris inside the port. Do the same for your SD card. Before putting it back together, make sure to dry the ports and SD card. And while you are cleaning, turn off the console. Even though rubbing alcohol is completely safe, but you never know what goes wrong when there are liquid products around electronic products. 

After you are done cleaning, put everything back together. Insert the SD card and turn on your Nintendo switch. It should work at this point. If it is still not working, then it is maybe due to a compatibility issue. Or your SD card slot is not working. You can’t fix the slot on your own it would be better if you claim a warranty.

Check out our separate post on can PS5 use keyboard and mouse.

Final Thoughts 

I cannot describe any more how important an SD card is for Nintendo Switch. And it can be frustrating if it is not working.

This guideline will help you out, and if you follow the steps carefully, your issue will be solved.

And if you still have any queries, make sure to notify us.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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