Gaming Backing Up Save Files

installer_mss

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I have yet to find anything about this so I'm posting what I found accidentally tonight.
If you use an SD card from the start of your saved data then it will save to the card for all your info, this is important. Simply insert the card into a computer and copy the "Nintendo" folder. Now you have a backup that can be copied to the same card if it loses its info or gets formatted. You can also upgrade your SD card to a higher capacity by first inserting the new card into the Switch and letting it prep for use on the console. Take that card and copy the saved "Nintendo" folder and its contents with the computer. It will recognize the saved files, pics/vids, and the higher capacity with no issues at all. I just verified it working properly several times and the game saves in the games themselves. Still can't share saved files yet that I'm aware of but you can now transfer data from one console to another, it just deletes it from the first console. Maybe Having two cards will allow for sharing...I will test soon.
 

Jhynjhiruu

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I have yet to find anything about this so I'm posting what I found accidentally tonight.
If you use an SD card from the start of your saved data then it will save to the card for all your info, this is important. Simply insert the card into a computer and copy the "Nintendo" folder. Now you have a backup that can be copied to the same card if it loses its info or gets formatted. You can also upgrade your SD card to a higher capacity by first inserting the new card into the Switch and letting it prep for use on the console. Take that card and copy the saved "Nintendo" folder and its contents with the computer. It will recognize the saved files, pics/vids, and the higher capacity with no issues at all. I just verified it working properly several times and the game saves in the games themselves. Still can't share saved files yet that I'm aware of but you can now transfer data from one console to another, it just deletes it from the first console. Maybe Having two cards will allow for sharing...I will test soon.
Save data is stored on the console, the cartridges are non-writable.
 

tpax

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I have yet to find anything about this so I'm posting what I found accidentally tonight.
If you use an SD card from the start of your saved data then it will save to the card for all your info, this is important. Simply insert the card into a computer and copy the "Nintendo" folder. Now you have a backup that can be copied to the same card if it loses its info or gets formatted. You can also upgrade your SD card to a higher capacity by first inserting the new card into the Switch and letting it prep for use on the console. Take that card and copy the saved "Nintendo" folder and its contents with the computer. It will recognize the saved files, pics/vids, and the higher capacity with no issues at all. I just verified it working properly several times and the game saves in the games themselves. Still can't share saved files yet that I'm aware of but you can now transfer data from one console to another, it just deletes it from the first console. Maybe Having two cards will allow for sharing...I will test soon.

Savegames aren't stored on the SD card, no matter what. You can't transfert them between consoles unfortunately.
 

tpax

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The OP is right. There is a folder Savegames in the folder Nintendo. And there is data in there!

Can someone confirm that it is an actualy savedata, which can be backed up and restored?

My Switch broke 4 months ago, so I returned it and and got a new one. And the new one didn't work with my SD card from the first Switch console. Both Switches were on 4.0.
 

BvanBart

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Can someone confirm that it is an actualy savedata, which can be backed up and restored?

My Switch broke 4 months ago, so I returned it and and got a new one. And the new one didn't work with my SD card from the first Switch console. Both Switches were on 4.0.

It is save data. However, each SD gets a header that can only be used in 1 switch. I have not managed to get around that. Also when making a new card, the old one is not usable anymore.
 

NekoMichi

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While there is a folder called "save" under sdmc:/Nintendo/, it does not appear to contain any game saves. Copying the Nintendo folder onto another micro SD card will transfer the installed games, however the save data is stored on the console and not on external storage. I have tested this on a console running 4.1.0 with the following procedure:

1. Power down the console
2. Insert the micro SD card in a PC
3. Backup sdmc:/Nintendo/save/
4. Reinsert micro SD card into console
5. Play a game that has never been previously played on this console before
6. Save progress within game
7. Power down the console
8. Insert the micro SD card in a PC
9. Make a separate backup of sdmc:/Nintendo/save/
10. Compare the two folders

There was no change in the contents of the folder, and the files that were already inside did not change (verified by MD5 hash check).
Deleting the contents of the save folder also did not affect my saved progress in the test game.

I believe that either the files in there are some kind of user preferences unrelated to game saves, or Nintendo is planning to add local save backups some time in the future and this is just a preparation folder. Right now there are only two files inside, one titled "8000000000000000" and another titled "8000000000000124".

Addendum 1:
I also tried archiving the game to see if the Switch would backup save data to the SD like a 3DS would, however the contents still didn't change.

Addendum 2:
I examined the corresponding folder on a separate Switch console, it also had two files with the same titles and sizes. However the MD5 checksums did not match, implying that these files are system-specific. According to SwitchBrew, these are system-only save data, and not for games.

Addendum 3:
To verify that save data is not stored within the game directories themselves, I tested the following:

1. Installed a game never played before onto the micro SD card
2. Played the game and saved progress
3. Powered off the console
4. Ejected the micro SD card
5. Powered on the console without the SD card
6. Reinstalled the game, this time to the internal storage
7. Played the game

Save data was still intact, even without the SD card inserted.
 
Last edited by NekoMichi,

Captain_N

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Um there is a simple way to see if their are savegames there. remove the sd card and boot the game. If your save is still there then its on the console. I know nintendo is not locking SD cards. You can copy the contends to a new card and your games load fine.
 
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linuxares

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I wish not to be rude or anything but this isn't really a tutorial but more of a research. I think it would fit in another category. Also what I heard the gamesaves are in the console and extra data is stored on the SD Card for games that are to big to fit on the Switch itself.
 
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I cant see the reason for this to be on tutorial section. That was bothering me for a while...
 

driverdis

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Um there is a simple way to see if their are savegames there. remove the sd card and boot the game. If your save is still there then its on the console. I know nintendo is not locking SD cards. You can copy the contends to a new card and your games load fine.

They are locking SD card data to the console, that is why they can be transferred between SD cards.
 
Last edited by driverdis,

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The files in the "\Nintendo\save" folder are basically info about the downloaded content you have.
This content is in "\Nintendo\Contents\registered" and includes digital games, game updates and DLC.

Nothing less, nothing more. For now..

------

BTW, there's a certain bug with copying the contents to a new sd card.
This bug makes the contents (all files/folders in Nintendo folder) unreadable from Switch. And can create some funny and interesting glitches/crashes.
It's why some people have problems upgrading their SD (missing game data/album or unreadable sd card) and need to format it inside the switch and overwrite folders or download the data again.
It can be fixed easily though.
 

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