How to Transfer an ‘Animal Crossing’ Island to a New Nintendo Switch

ACNH island transfer tool
Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons players can transfer their island data to another Nintendo Switch console by using the Island Transfer Tool available on the Nintendo eShop. Here’s how to transfer an entire island or an individual player.

Nintendo’s Island Transfer Tool

With the new Island Transfer Tool, players have two options to transfer their data to another Nintendo Switch console. You can either transfer your entire island to a new Nintendo Switch system, or you can transfer an individual player data to their very own island.

A Nintendo Switch Online membership is not required for save data transfers, although you will need to download a separate free tool from the Nintendo eShop.

Before you initiate this process, make sure your Animal Crossing: New Horizons game is updated to the latest software version (at least 1.6.0 or later).

RELATED: How to Update Nintendo Switch Games

To download the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Transfer Tool onto your Nintendo Switch system, access the main menu, navigate to the “Nintendo eShop” icon, and press “A” on your right Joy-Con to open the application.

nintendo switch eshop selection

Next, search for the “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Transfer Tool” and download the application to your Nintendo Switch console.

Once the download is complete, you should make sure to connect both the old and new Nintendo Switch to their power adapters to avoid any malfunctions.

Transfer Your Entire Animal Crossing Island

Use this feature if you wish to transfer the entire island and all its residents to a new Nintendo Switch system. The island, all progress and customizations, your animal neighbors, the island resident representative, and any other residents that have been created on the island will be entirely moved to the new Nintendo Switch system.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons game and a Nintendo Switch
Vantage_DS/Shutterstock

If you have lost access to the source Nintendo Switch, you can still restore your backup data on the replacement system if you had enabled island backup.

RELATED: How to Back up and Restore Your ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Island

Access to both the source Nintendo Switch console and the new Switch is required to transfer the island and all of its data. Local wireless communication must be enabled on both systems, but a Nintendo Online subscription is not required. A copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on both systems is also required. If you’re already signed in to the new console using the same account, you automatically have access to your copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on both systems.

Once you’ve made the transfer, you cannot move your island back to the original Switch, and the island will no longer be available on the source console.

To get started, download the free Island Transfer Tool from the Nintendo eShop on both systems and make sure Animal Crossing: New Horizons is updated to the latest software version.

Next, transfer your user account (and additional accounts, if you have any) to the new Nintendo Switch. This will transfer all user information and save data except for most games.

RELATED: How to Manage and Transfer Data on the Nintendo Switch

Place both Nintendo Switch consoles beside each other (it’s a good idea to connect both systems to the power), and open the Island Transfer Tool on each system. Follow the on-screen instructions to begin the transfer process.

island transfer tool selection

You can click the “Transfer?” button for more information, but to proceed, select “Continue” and “Let’s Begin.”

island transfer tool more information

On the source system, select “Source,” and select “Yes” to confirm the name of your island. If Animal Crossing: New Horizons has not been updated to the latest version, your console nickname will be displayed instead of your island name.

On the target system select “Target” and “Proceed” to the next step. When the source console is detected, select “Proceed” and select “Transfer Data.”

island transfer tool target transfer

The transfer may take some time, and when completed, a message will appear on both Switches. The save data is now deleted on the source console and present on the new system.

island transfer tool transfer initiated

Launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your new Switch to continue playing on your island. Follow the steps here if you’d like to re-enable island backups on the console.

Transfer Your Animal Crossing Player Resident

Use the player resident transfer feature if you wish to move just one resident to a new Nintendo Switch. Maybe you currently share an island with someone else in your household, but you recently got your very own Nintendo Switch, you purchased Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and you want your own island. The resident, the resident’s home, and most items held by the resident (including storage) will be transferred to an island on the new Nintendo Switch system.

The island resident representative cannot be transferred individually. You can only transfer the resident representative along with the entire island using the Save Data Transfer Tool.

RELATED: How to Manage and Transfer Data on the Nintendo Switch

The transferred player(s) will move to a new island with new animals, so any island progress and animal neighbors will remain on the original console.

Access to both the source Nintendo Switch system and the new console is required to transfer the island and all of its data. Local wireless communication must be enabled on both systems, but a Nintendo Online subscription is not required. A copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on both systems is required.

The resident you want to transfer must already be living in a house (not a tent), and it is not possible to move to an island that is already populated by eight residents.

When you’re ready to transfer your island resident to another Nintendo Switch, first transfer the player’s user account to the new console. On the source system, launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons using any other user (such as the island representative). On the title screen, press the “-” button on your left Joy-Con to open the “Settings” menu.

acnh settings menu

Tom Nook will greet you on this screen. Select “Move to a New Island” and choose “Move Another Resident” from the menu.

acnh move to a new island

Select the resident you wish to move to the target Nintendo Switch and confirm your selection with “Yes, that is Correct.” Select “Ok” to proceed.

On the target Nintendo Switch, launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons using the user that you transferred and select “I’m Moving!” from Timmy and Tommy’s menu. Select “Yes, I have!” when asked if you have already sent a transfer request, and choose “Start the Process” to search for the transfer request and confirm the selection.

After the “Thank you so much for being patient. Everything is ready!” message is displayed, you can close the game on the old console.