3 Methods to Fix Nintendo Switch Can’t Read SD Card

Do you want to know how to fix the Switch can’t read SD card? This article provided 3 ways for you to solve it effectively.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Help! My Switch can't read SD card



I bought an SD card as an external storage device for my Switch. But my Nintendo Switch can’t read SD card and says, “Error Code 2016-0641: Unable to access micro SD card.” Does anyone have any solutions?"

- Question from nintendolife.com

Switch Can't Read SD Card

How to fix Nintendo Switch can’t read SD card  

There are 3 most common reasons why the Nintendo Switch is unable to access micro SD card, “incompatible SD card”, “outdate system”, “incorrect file system”. Next, based on the 3 reasons, we will guide you on how to fix this issue.

▶ Method 1. Check if the SD card is compatible with Switch

As known to us, the Nintendo Switch does not have higher compatibility and ability to carry large size and it can be only inserted with a micro SD card. So first thing you should do is to check if it is supported by your game console. The following types of SD card is compatible with Switch:

● micro SD card that less than 2GB
● micro SDHC with a capacity of between 4GB and 32GB
● micro SDXC with 64GB space and 64GB above

"HC" and "XC" are different procotols that are written on the SD card. And you can see whether your SD card is supported. If it is not, you may need to change another SD card to expand storage.

▶ Method 2. Update your Switch system

Usually, the switch will automatically download the latest system files. But due to some reasons, sometimes it just can’t update the latest system version, which can be the reason why it can’t recognize SD card. And you can upgrade your Switch system manually.

1. Turn on your Switch, and select “System Settings” on the Home menu.
2. And scroll down the System Settings menu to choose “System”, and choose “System Update”
3. Then it will check if there is a new system update, and start to download the system automatically.

▶ Method 3. Format the SD card on a PC

A wrong file system could cause a "Switch can't read SD card problem". The Nintendo Switch supports FAT32 and exFAT file system. And the FAT32 file system provides Switch with better stability while it comes with 4GB limit on every single file. And if you use an exFAT Micro SD card, you would need to perform the exFAT update. So you need to make a choice.

And you can format the SD card to another file system on a PC. There is a powerful and free format utility, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can quickly and easily format an SD card to exFAT and FAT32 file system within a few clicks. Just use an SD card adapter to connect your Micro SD card with a Windows computer, and download it to see how to solve Switch SD card not detected.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

✍ Note: Games on the SD card will be deleted, please clone the SD card to another place to backup the data.

Step 1. Launch this freeware, and right-click on the SD card in the main interface, and choose “Format Partition”. 

Format Partition 64gb

Step 2. And choose FAT32 file system in the small window, and click “OK”.

Select File System 64gb

Step 3. And click “Apply” on the left top of the main interface, you can view the operation, and click “Proceed” to commit the operation.

Apply Proceed 64gb

Step 4. When it is complete, connect the SD card to your Switch to see if the issue is solved.


I hope the 3 methods can help you to fix "Switch can't read sd card" problem. If you find your SD card file sytem is NTFS, and you don't want to delete any data, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, it provides other features, such as recovering deleted SD card partition and wiping data on an SD card or external drives.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.