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How to Back Up Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Data

Finally you can save your ACNH island to the cloud, just in case your Switch ever gets lost, broken, or stolen. Here's how to do it:


With the release of patch 1.4.0 today, Nintendo has added the long-awaited Island Backup & Restoration Service to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons group of characters in summerImage source: nintendo.fandom.com

Since you never know when disaster might strike, it's a great idea to be safe and have a backup saved to the cloud if your Switch ever breaks or goes missing. Nintendo has made it clear that there is no way to restore your island data otherwise!

However, your ability to use this feature requires you to preemptively take some important steps.

How to back up your Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data

Nintendo has very specific requirements in order to use the Island backup feature. Make sure to follow each of these prior to Step 6 to ensure that you can backup your save data to the cloud:

  1. You must be a member of Nintendo Switch Online.
  2. You must be using that Nintendo Switch Online account for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and have a resident from that account on the island (which is possible soon after starting the game).
  3. You must be on game version 1.4.0 or later.
  4. Your Switch must be connected to a stable internet connection.
  5. Island backup cannot already be currently enabled by another resident of the island.
  6. Game title screen > Press the "–" button to access settings > Island backup > Enable island backup

Where can I see my most recent backup?

Once you have correctly enabled island backup, you can see the date and time of the most recent backup right on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons title screen.

Can multiple residents have island backup enabled?

No, only one island resident can have backup enabled at a time. Nintendo states "The original resident can disable island backup if you wish to enable it using a different account". So to switch, the currently enabled resident must disable their backup (Game title screen > Press the "–" button to access settings > Island backup > Disable island backup) before the intended resident can enable theirs.

When are backups made?

Backups are made periodically when the game is not being played. Your system, however, must be connected to the internet in order for this to happen.

Accessing your backup

Your saved island data cannot be restored on your own. If you lose or break your Switch, the only way to restore your island (if you've backed it up) is to contact Nintendo Support.

What about transferring my save data to a new Switch?

Unfortunately you still cannot transfer your island data if you want to use a different Switch console that you own (a Switch Lite, for example). Nintendo has stated that this feature will still be coming in 2020, so stay tuned!


I hope this helps you correctly back up your save data in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Cheers!


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