Nintendo Switch Not Reading or Detecting SD Card, How to Fix?

Nintendo Switch has become one of the most popular consoles in the gaming world. Its ability to switch between home console and handheld mode has become a favourite of many players. However, some users have reported a few issues with the Nintendo Switch, such as having trouble getting the console to detect or read the SD card. If you have encountered this problem, then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn how to troubleshoot and fix the problem of the Nintendo Switch not reading or detecting your SD card.

Why is my Nintendo Switch Not Detecting SD Card?

Switch SD Card

SD cards provide additional storage space for digital content, allowing users to store larger amounts of data on the card than the internal storage capacity of the console. The Nintendo Switch console is compatible with SD cards up to 2TB in size, and the exact type of card compatible with the console is listed on the official Nintendo website.

You’re not alone if you’ve recently purchased an SD card for your Nintendo Switch, but the console isn’t detecting it. Many Switch owners have faced this issue, and it’s often due to one or more of the following reasons.

  1. Incorrect Format: The Nintendo Switch only supports SD cards formatted to the FAT32 or exFAT file system. If your SD card is formatted in a different system, such as NTFS or HFS+, your Switch won’t be able to detect it.
  1. Software Issue: If your Switch is up to date and your SD card is formatted correctly, then there may be a software issue preventing your Switch from detecting it.
  1. Physical Damage: If your SD card is physically damaged, likely, your Switch won’t detect it. If you suspect physical damage, try inserting the SD card into another device and see if it works. If it doesn’t, it’s time to purchase a new SD card.

These are just some reasons why your Nintendo Switch cannot read or detect the SD card. There could be several other reasons. However, fixing the issue is simple.

Fix Nintendo Switch Not Reading or Detecting SD Card

Now that you know why your Nintendo Switch might not be reading or detecting an SD card, we can proceed with fixing it. Follow all the steps carefully for the best results.

Restart your Nintendo Switch

The first step is to restart your Nintendo Switch. This is the most basic troubleshooting step, but it can often help with minor hardware issues.

  1. Hold the power button on the system’s top for about 15 seconds until it completely powers off.
  1. Once it is off, please wait a few seconds and then press the power button again to turn it back on. Release the button once you hear a beep sound.

Re-insert your SD Card

If restarting your Nintendo Switch doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to remove and re-insert the SD card. Make sure the card is inserted completely, and if you’re using a microSD card, insert it into a compatible adapter. Once it’s been re-inserted, restart your system to see if it’s detected.

Clear the Cache of your Nintendo Switch

You can also try clearing the cache of your Nintendo Switch. Clearing the cache can help resolve the issue and get your SD card working properly again. Here’s how to clear the cache of your Nintendo Switch:

  1. On your Nintendo Switch, open System Settings.
  1. Go to System > Formatting Options > Reset Cache.
  1. In the User section, click Reset.
  1. This will reset or clear the cache of your Nintendo Switch.

It’s important to note that clearing the cache won’t delete any of your saved data or game progress, but it will help to resolve the issue of your Nintendo Switch not reading or detecting your SD card. After clearing the cache, try powering on the console and checking if the SD card is working properly. You may need to try a different solution if it’s not working.

Update your Nintendo Switch

If your console is still not detecting the SD card, you may need to update your Nintendo Switch.

To update your device, open the System Settings menu and select System Update. Your console will then check for any available updates and download them.

Once downloaded, install the updates and restart your console. On the next startup, check whether the SD card is working properly.

Check for Damages on the SD Card

Another thing you should do is check for damages on the SD card. The SD card may have become corrupted or damaged somehow, preventing it from being read or detected by the console.

You should inspect the card itself to check for damages on your SD card. Look for any physical damage to the card, such as cracks, dents, bends, or other marks. If any of these are found, the card may be damaged and should be replaced to ensure proper functionality.

If the SD card is completely fine and is still not being read or detected, move down to the next solution.

Check the SD Card Connector

You can also try checking the SD card connector. This could be the source of the issue and can be easily checked in a few simple steps.

First, try inserting the SD card into a different device. If this device detects the card, the issue is likely with the Switch itself. You will need to check the card connector if the card is not detected.

To check the card connector on the Nintendo Switch, you must access the back of the device. Once you have the back panel off, locate the SD card slot. Carefully inspect the SD card connector to ensure all the pins are straight and free from debris.

Once the SD card connector is clean and all the pins are straight, you can re-insert the SD card into the Switch and see if the issue disappears.

Check the SD Card for Corrupt Data

If your card has been used on other devices, it may contain corrupt data, which can cause the Nintendo Switch not to detect it. You can try reformatting the card using a computer if this is the issue. This should remove any corrupt data and should allow the Nintendo Switch to detect the card.

Clean the SD Card and the SD Card Slot

Finally, you can try cleaning the SD card and slot. This can help clear any dust or debris that may prevent the card from being read by the system.

To clean the SD card:

  1. Start by removing it from the system.
  1. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the card gently.
  1. Be careful not to scratch the card as you are cleaning it.

Once the card is clean, insert it back into the system. Check to make sure that the card is properly inserted. If the card is not inserted correctly, the system will not be able to detect it.

If the SD card is inserted correctly and the system still isn’t detecting it, you may need to clean the SD card slot. To do this, gently use a soft cloth or a cotton swab to wipe away any dust or debris. You may also want to use a can of compressed air to blow away any dust or debris from the slot.

Once the SD card slot is clean, insert the card again and check to see if the system is now detecting it. If the system isn’t detecting the card, you may need to consider replacing the card.


In conclusion, it could be due to a few different issues if your Nintendo Switch isn’t detecting your SD card. Ensure that the card is correctly formatted, the correct size and correctly inserted into the console. If the issue persists, it could be due to corrupt data on the card, in which case you should reformat it. We hope that this article has helped you resolve the issue. Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any further questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.