How to Delete and Reinstall Games on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a huge hit thanks in large part to its stellar, constantly growing selection of games. As your library grows, storage space will become an issue — especially with only 32GB of onboard storage. You’ll almost certainly need a microSD card down the road (if not already), but even then, there may come a time when you just can’t keep your whole digital collection on your Switch at once.

Luckily, the Switch allows you to delete and reinstall games you’ve purchased on your Nintendo account whenever you want, with no impact on the save data. Managing your Switch library is incredibly easy. Here’s how to delete, archive, and reinstall Nintendo Switch games.

Deleting games and apps

Deleting software completely removes the game data from your Switch, along with the game’s icon. If your library is cluttered and you don’t anticipate playing that game again, this method is for you.

Nintendo Switch Select All Software

Step 1: Tap or select the All Software icon located on the right end of the game grid, as shown above. However, if you know the game you want to delete and have played it recently, you can just select it on the home screen.

Step 2: With a game now selected, tap or press the physical Options (+) button, then tap or select Manage Software (using the A button) listed on the pop-up screen.

Step 3: Scroll down and choose Delete Software. To confirm, tap or select Delete when prompted.

Archiving games (recommended)

The Switch has a secondary delete option called Archiving, which deletes a game’s data but leaves its icon in your library. While this clutters your library, we recommend archiving, rather than deleting, given how the Switch buries every purchased digital game deep into your Nintendo account.

Step 1: Tap or select the All Software icon located on the right end of the game grid, as shown above. However, if you know the game you want to delete and have played it recently, you can just select it on the home screen.

Step 2: With a game now selected, tap or press the physical Options (+) button, then tap or select Manage Software listed on the pop-up screen.

Step 3: Choose Archive Software. To confirm, tap or select Archive when prompted.

Reinstalling deleted games

Your entire digital game library is not listed on the console like it is on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam. To download games again, you’ll have to dig for them in your profile on the Nintendo eShop.

Step 1: Tap or select the Nintendo eShop icon.

Step 2: Tap or select your account avatar located in the top-right corner.

Nintendo Switch Access Downloads

Step 3: Scroll down and tap or select Redownload to view your library of games not currently installed on the console.

Nintendo Switch Redownload

Step 4: Tap or select the Cloud icon to the right of the game you want to install.

Nintendo Switch Install From Cloud

Unarchiving games

If you archived a game, you’ll still have to reinstall it, but the process is more streamlined.

Step 1: On the home screen or within All Software, tap or highlight an archived game. You’ll see the cloud symbol displayed next to the game’s title, as shown below.

Step 2: Tap or select the game to download it to the Switch. Tap or select Download in the prompt to confirm.

Keeping track of storage

To see which games are the biggest storage hogs before deleting or archiving, follow these steps.

Step 1: Tap or select System Settings.

Step 2: Tap or select Data Management listed on the left.

Step 3: Tap or select Manage Software. All installed games and apps will appear in descending order from largest to smallest, as shown below.

Step 4: Select a game and choose whether to delete it or archive it.

Alternatively, choose Quick Archive in Data Management to archive multiple titles at once. This menu will also tell you the last time you played each game to give you a better idea of which games you should consider removing.

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