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How to Delete Nintendo Switch Games

The Nintendo Switch gaming system has everything. For the hardcore gamers, Skyrim and NBA 2K18 are on the way. For the casual fan, Arms and 1-2 Switch offer a motion-centric approach to gaming. Those titles use the sensors that are inside the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons. Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are all expected to arrive by the end of 2017. There’s still the stuff coming out of the Nintendo eShop too, titles like Fast RMX and Human Resource Machine. Before you can install all these new games, you’ll need to make room for them. That means you might get stuck trying to delete Nintendo Switch games.

How to Delete Nintendo Switch games.
How to Delete Nintendo Switch games.

You’ll find yourself needing to delete Nintendo Switch games earlier than you would on other consoles. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have nearly as much storage as the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro do. Whereas those consoles can have 500GB of storage or more, the Nintendo Switch offers a paltry 32GB of storage space. There are only a few ways to get around using that storage space. It doesn’t help that a growing number of Nintendo Switch games are only available as digital downloads from the Nintendo eShop.

Read: 15 Exciting Nintendo Switch Games

Here’s how to delete Nintendo Switch games and make more space for the latest upcoming titles.

Before You Delete Nintendo Switch Games

Before you go off and begin to delete your Nintendo Switch games, there are a couple of things that you should know. First, there are ways to avoid having to delete Nintendo Switch games in the first place. The handheld only has 32GB of storage but you can add more with a MicroSD Card. Nintendo has hidden the MicroSD slot just beneath the Nintendo Switch’s kickstand.

Read: 5 Best Nintendo Switch MicroSD Cards

Second, you can always avoid storage woes by purchasing physical versions of all your favorite games. A small part of the game has to be installed on the console but not the whole thing. If you’ve deleted the bit that was installed on your Switch, simply inserting the Game Card in your console again should reinstall the files you need to get going.

How to Delete Nintendo Switch Games: Let’s Begin

Press the power button to turn on your Nintendo Switch. Press the A button on your Nintendo Switch console.

Now press the A button three more times to fully unlock your Nintendo Switch.

Welcome to the Home area. Look for the game that you’d like delete in your list of installed games here. When you’ve found it, highlight it using the joysticks on the Joy-Con controllers.

Now press + or – button at the top of one of your Joy-Con Controllers. For this example, we’ve chosen to use the + button but either will do just fine.

Welcome to the video games details page. This area allows you to manually update your games, claim Nintendo Rewards points for them and delete them. Select Manage Software from the list of options on the left side of the window.

With the Nintendo Switch, you have two options. You can Archive software or Delete software. Archiving software will leave the game’s shortcut on the Home screen. Your game save will remain where it is. The game itself is deleted so that you have more internal storage space.

The Delete Software option is for getting rid of both the game and the shortcut on your home screen. You’ll need to return to the Nintendo eShop or insert your Game Card to get going with the title again.

With both of these options, you’re deleting the game but not deleting your game save. This means that you are free to return to the title and pick up where you left off last. Note that game saves don’t travel with you from console to console. If you delete the game then forget that the save is on your Nintendo Switch, that save is gone forever. It won’t reappear again, even on a new Switch. Game saves are not managed by Nintendo Accounts.

If you’d like to get rid of a game save after trying to delete Nintendo Switch games, you’ll need to manage that from the console’s System Settings. Go Home by pressing the Home button on your right Joy-Con controller.

Open Settings.

Game Saves are monitored in the Data Management area. Select it from the menu on the left.

Just select Manage Save Data/Screenshots.

Select Delete Save Data.

Now select the game saves that you’d like to delete. There’s no going back from this. All your progress in the game will be wiped away from your Switch.

Remember that any game you have on a Game Card can be reinstalled by simply putting that Game Card into your console. To get a digital game back that you’ve deleted, you’ll need to download that game again from the Nintendo eShop.

14 Best Nintendo Switch Games Coming in 2017

Sonic Forces

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Sonic Forces

Featuring three protagonists from very different eras of Sonic, Sonic Forces will offer platforming and an all-new story when it arrives on video game consoles – including the Nintendo Switch – sometime soon.

Sega has only confirmed that the game will launch worldwide sometime in Q4 2017. As such, an exact release date remains a complete mystery. Other details, like how it’ll support Amiibo, and the different play modes of the Nintendo Switch, are unclear too. Sonic Forces is one of two recently revealed Sonic games coming to Nintendo Switch. The other is Sonic Mania.

We don't yet know who that third protagonist will be.

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