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How to link accounts and transfer data across Nintendo Switch consoles

Upgrading consoles can be a hassle, especially when they exist within the same family and there’s a need to transfer accounts, save data and applications without losing any of your precious progress. 

Now the Nintendo Switch Lite has launched, many players will be eager to upgrade or simply switch to hardware that better fit their needs for a portable experience. Knowing this, Trusted Reviews has compiled a handy guide to ensure transferring data, applications and other goodies is trivial. 

Much like PS4 and Xbox One, this process is simple once you wrap your head around it. It’s a matter of ensuring that across all systems you’re logged into the same account, meaning downloadable applications, cloud data and other important elements are present and accounted for mere moments after logging in.

Related: Best Nintendo Switch Games 

Nintendo Switch Mini

When setting up a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite you’ll eventually be prompted to create a user. Once asked if you’d like to use an existing account, you’ll also be prompted to confirm if it’s already in use with another Switch console you currently own. If so, you can link them and gain access to all features as normal without much trouble. 

However, there are a few caveats worth discussing. When using a single account across multiple consoles, one console will be considered the ‘primary system’ which can access everything without a constant internet connection. Much like other consoles, there’s no need to check licenses or log into online services to double-check you aren’t being naughty. 

Can I play my digital games across two Switches?

The secondary console will require an internet connection to launch digital games purchased on your account, as Nintendo needs to verify they actually belong to the account before granting you access. It’s an irritating hoop to jump through, but makes sense when you consider the logistics. Either way, it’s still a tiny bit of a nuisance. We’ll delve into it further with our fully-fledged Nintendo Switch Lite verdict in the coming days. 

Related: Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games

Nintendo Switch Lite 

Also, if a family member or friend wishes to play the second Switch and the games associated to your account while you’re using the first Switch, they’ll be denied access to your entire library – which unusually wasn’t the case before. So, if you’re picking up another Switch with the hope of sharing all your games, there’s a few obstacles to consider.

How do I change the primary account on Nintendo Switch?

You can perform this action by going to the Nintendo eShop, going to account settings and choosing the activate/deactivate option depending on the Switch you’re using at that moment in time. It’s relatively seamless, although with save games you will need to manually access cloud saves. This isn’t seamless, which is somewhat annoying.

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