Comprehensive Guide to Troubleshoot Nintendo Switch Not Reading SD Card

Delve deep into troubleshooting the common problem of a Nintendo Switch not reading an SD card. From compatibility checks to utilizing MyRecover and additional techniques, discover step-by-step solutions to enhance your gaming experience.


By Lori / Updated on January 24, 2024

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For avid Nintendo Switch users, the dread of the console not reading the SD card can disrupt the gaming experience. This comprehensive guide aims to provide an exhaustive exploration of troubleshooting methods, covering compatibility checks, cleaning procedures, MyRecover tool, and additional techniques.


Method 1: Check SD Card Compatibility

Ensure your SD card is in harmony with Nintendo Switch specifications. Let's delve into specific steps.

Verify Card Type 

Identify Card Type: Examine whether your SD card is microSD or microSDHC. Nintendo Switch supports these types, ensuring compatibility.

Check Card Label: Inspect the card's label for information on its type. If it doesn't match microSD or microSDHC, consider obtaining a compatible card.

Capacity Check

Understand Switch Limits: Nintendo Switch has specific capacity limits for SD cards. Confirm that your card's capacity doesn't exceed the recommended limit.

Check Card Capacity: Use your computer or other devices to check the SD card's capacity. If it surpasses the Switch's recommendation, opt for a suitable replacement.

Method 2: Clean the SD Card Slot

Dust and debris in the SD card slot can impede functionality. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning.

Power Off Switch

Turn Off Switch: Safeguard your Switch by turning it off before cleaning to prevent potential damage.

Disconnect Cables: Ensure all cables, including power and HDMI, are disconnected to create a safe environment.

Use Compressed Air

Acquire Compressed Air: Obtain a can of compressed air from a reliable source.

Position Switch: Hold the Switch in a position where the SD card slot is easily accessible.

Gently Blow Air: In short bursts, blow compressed air into the SD card slot. This dislodges any accumulated dust or debris.

Inspect Slot: After blowing air, visually inspect the SD card slot for remaining particles. Repeat the process if necessary.

Method 3: Update Nintendo Switch System

Outdated system software can lead to compatibility issues. Ensure your Switch is running the latest firmware.

Connect to the Internet

Connect to Wi-Fi: Ensure your Switch is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Access System Settings: From the home screen, go to System Settings.

System Update

Navigate to System Update: Within System Settings, find and select System Update.

Check for Updates: The system will search for the latest updates. If available, follow the on-screen instructions to install them.

Method 4: Format SD Card

Corrupted data on the SD card can hinder reading. Consider formatting the card following these steps.

Backup Data

Transfer Data: Use a card reader to transfer data from the SD card to your computer.

Create Backup: Ensure you have a backup of essential data before proceeding.

Format SD Card

Insert SD Card: Place the SD card back into the Switch.

Access System Settings: Navigate to System Settings from the home screen.

Format Options: Select Formatting Options and choose Format microSD Card.

Confirm Format: Confirm your decision to format the card. Be aware that this erases all data.

Restore Backup: If necessary, restore your backup data to the SD card.

Method 5: Test with Another SD Card

Determine if the issue lies with the SD card itself by testing with a different one.

 Obtain Another SD Card

Acquire a Compatible Card: Ensure the replacement card is compatible with Nintendo Switch.

Insert Replacement Card: Place the new card into the SD card slot.

Test Reading

Power On Switch: Turn on the Switch and check if it reads the replacement SD card.

Verify Compatibility: If successful, it suggests the original SD card may be faulty.

Method 6: MyRecover - A Reliable Solution

Introducing MyRecover, a potent tool designed for data recovery and resolving SD card reading issues on Nintendo Switch.

MyRecover Features

User-Friendly Interface: MyRecover's intuitive interface simplifies the recovery process for users.

Quick Recovery: Efficiently retrieve lost data without compromising its integrity.

Compatibility: MyRecover seamlessly integrates with Nintendo Switch for effective issue resolution.

MyRecover Recovery Steps

Follow these comprehensive steps to utilize MyRecover for SD card recovery:

Download and Install MyRecover: Visit the official MyRecover website, download the software, and follow the installation instructions.

Connect SD Card: Use a card reader to connect the affected SD card to your computer.

Launch MyRecover: Open the MyRecover application on your computer.

Select SD Card: Within the MyRecover interface, choose the connected SD card for recovery.

Initiate Recovery: Click the recovery button and patiently wait for the process to complete.

Safely Eject SD Card: Once the recovery is done, safely eject the SD card from your computer.

Insert SD Card into Switch: Reinsert the recovered SD card back into your Nintendo Switch.


By implementing these detailed troubleshooting methods, including compatibility checks, cleaning procedures, and leveraging tools like MyRecover, you can overcome the challenge of a Nintendo Switch not reading an SD card. Elevate your gaming experience by ensuring seamless access to your game data.


Q: How often does the issue of Switch not reading SD card occur?

A: The frequency can vary, but it's a common problem reported by Nintendo Switch users.

Q: Can I use MyRecover for other devices besides Nintendo Switch?

A: MyRecover is primarily designed for Nintendo Switch, but it may work with other compatible devices.

Q: Is it necessary to power off the Switch before cleaning the SD card slot?

A: Yes, powering off ensures the safety of your device during the cleaning process.

Q: What should I do if MyRecover doesn't resolve the issue?

A: If issues persist, consider contacting Nintendo Support for further assistance.

Q: Are there preventive measures to avoid SD card reading problems?

A: Regularly clean the SD card slot and use compatible SD cards to minimize the risk of reading issues.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.