Consoles Gaming

How do I factory reset a Nintendo Switch?

an elderly man holding his forehead while holding the pink nintendo switch
Switch strife? Find out how to reset it here (Photo by Kampus Production on

If you’re selling your Nintendo Switch (perhaps in order to buy a new one) or passing it on to a friend, a factory reset is a good idea. You don’t want someone else getting their hands on your precious progress through Breath Of The Wild – that’s something to earn. Fortunately, the process is easy. Read on to find out exactly what to do to reset a Nintendo Switch.

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to factory reset a Nintendo Switch

  1. Open settings

    From the home screen, tap or click on the little cog icon in the bottom half of the screenNintendo Switch home screen

  2. Select the “System” tab

    Scroll all the way to the very bottom of the settings, and tap on the System tabNintendo Switch system settings

  3. Select “Formatting Options”

    Scroll all the way to the bottom of System, and you’ll find Formatting Options. Tap into this, and you have the option to reset several different levels of dataNintendo Switch formatting options button

  4. Select “Restore Factory Settings”

    Once inside the Formatting Options tab, select Restore Factory SettingsNintendo Switch formatting options

  5. Press “Next”

    The console presents you with all the information you need to know about Nintendo Switch Restore Factory Settings screen

  6. Select “Restore Factory Settings”

    Finally, press the big scary red button that will strip your console of every bit of information"Restore Factory Settings" button

Now just sit back, relax, and watch your Nintendo Switch reset itself. Follow these steps and it will be like you never even existed!

Can I factory reset without losing all my data?

As luck would have it, you can indeed! If you’re just having some annoying technical problems that a factory reset might sort out, recovery mode gives the option to reset everything without sacrificing your saves. Here’s how.

  1. Power off the Switch
  2. Turn on the Switch, simultaneously holding the volume up and volume down buttons
  3. Click on Restore Factory Settings Without Deleting Save Data

For slightly more detailed instructions, Nintendo also has its own guide.

That’s that! Now you can reset your Switch in whatever manner you choose.

About the author

Fraser Campbell

Fraser co-created a website called when he was still at school, and is now an undergraduate at the University of Plymouth.

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