Mac – Transferring data from Micro SD card

Mac – Transferring data from Micro SD card

Almost everyone with a Nintendo Switch will experience it once, upgrading your micro SD card. Doesn’t sound exciting right?

Well following the instructions from Nintendo itself work well … for a Windows system.

Unfortunately, for people with a Mac, that is not entirely self-explanatory. We found out for ourselves when we went from a 400GB micro SD card to a 1 TB micro SD card.

We received the message after everything that seemed logical to have done; Cannot access microSD from our Nintendo Switch back. Not very nice if you have just waited a few hours after moving data back and forth.

We want to save everyone this worldwide … because it is simply not fun!

Step 1 – Transfer data from ‘old’ micro SD

This sounds extremely easy BUT, on a Mac not all hidden files and folders are included as standard. We have tried this in various ways (Finder, terminal etc.)

And the only way that worked was to use Parallels ( ) and to put the data on an external drive that way. (They offer a free trial, which is ideal)

Step 2 – Format new micro SD card

This is the easiest because this is allowed on the Nintendo Switch. If you do not receive a prompt and you want to be sure to do it yourself, you do so via System Settings> System> Formatting options> Format MicroSD card.

Once there, the Nintendo Switch asks you if you are sure.
If you are sure, click. The Nintendo Switch will then restart

Step 3 – Transfer data to the new micro SD card

Sounds super simple again. But if you only do that … it won’t work from your Mac.

Again restore the data through Parallels restored in this case. But still that error remained.

After sorting out all the necessary, it appears that Mac does not do certain things in terms of the so-called archive bit. What means problem as Nintendo has not dealt with this very well in their filesystem on the Nintendo Switch.

Step 4 – Manual correction on your new micro SD card

It is very important to do these 3 steps …. otherwise your Nintendo Switch can still indicate “cannot access microsd” after transferring data.

  1. sudo chflags -R arch /Volumes/SDVOLUME/
    (where SDVOLUME is the name of your SD card)

    You will then have to enter your MacOSX user password.
    This will turn the so-called archive bit ON.

  2. sudo chflags -R noarch /Volumes/SDVOLUME/Nintendo/
    (where SDVOLUME is the name of your SD card)

    This will put the archive bit OFF on the Nintendo folder and everything in it, because it should not be set there.

  3. Then use a tool such as HIM (  PS: do not pay attention to the Mojave message because it worked great for me) or the commands below to clean up dot files because the Nintendo Switch cannot handle those as well.
    1. sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/SDVOLUME/
      (where SDVOLUME is the name of your SD card)
      This disables indexing for the volume.

    2. sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/ SDVOLUME/
      (where SDVOLUME is the name of your SD card)
      This removes local metadata from the volume.

Now your data will be clearly visible through your Nintendo Switch. Slightly cumbersome but then again it works in then end. And we want to save everyone who has to find out about this the hassle.

Happy gaming also fellow Nintendo Switch Mac users!