How to transfer screenshots from Nintendo Switch to mobile: step by step

One of the great differences of the Nintendo Switch compared to its predecessors is that we can now take screenshots left and right. In this way, we have a graphic test to document those funny anecdotes that happen to us playing titles like Animal Crossing New Horizons or even have a memory when a Shiny Pokémon appears in Legends Arceus. Taking screenshots on Nintendo Switch is easy, but it’s not as easy or convenient to take them off the console. Today we will teach you how to extract your screenshots from the Nintendo Switch and how you can transfer these images to your smartphone to share them on Whatsapp or social networks.

transfer screenshots from Nintendo Switch to mobile

What you should know about screenshots on Switch

Have you taken any screenshots while playing on your Nintendo Switch? Where are they stored? Can they be shared? Well, let’s solve all these doubts first of all:

How do you take screenshots on the Switch?


You can take screenshots on your Nintendo Switch by pressing the square button on the left Joy-Con . Normally you will be able to take a screenshot at any time, with exceptions such as the Nintendo eShop and some cinematics that are protected.

In case you have a Nintendo Switch Lite or use a Pro controller, the procedure is the same. If you press once, you will take a screenshot . If you keep the button pressed, you will record a few seconds of video .

All this content is saved in the album of your console . To access it, go back to the Nintendo Switch main menu and go to the ‘ Album ‘ icon, just below the strip where your games appear. Within this program you will find all the captures you have made of your video games.

How can screenshots be extracted from the Nintendo Switch?

If you want to take the screenshots of your Nintendo Switch, either because you run out of space, because you want to share them with friends or to have a backup, there are several ways :

Via USB-C cable

The traditional one is by cable. Basically, it consists of connecting the USB-C cable to the Nintendo Switch and connecting it to our computer. The process is the following:

  1. Go to Console Settings from the main menu of the Nintendo Switch.
  2. Locate the ‘Data Management’ option on the left sidebar.
  3. Enter the ‘Manage captures and videos’ option.
  4. Enter the option ‘ Copy to a computer via USB ‘.

This process is a bit slow and cumbersome. If you have Windows , your console memory will appear under ‘ Computer ‘ and you can manually copy the photos and videos folder to your Nintendo Switch.

However, if you use a Mac, things are not that simple. For this process to work for you you will need to use the Android File Transfer app . Once you have it, the app will recognize the Nintendo Switch unit and you can take the screenshots.

Via microSD card

Nintendo Switch - Sandisk

This option is only available if you have selected your microSD card as the location to save screenshots.

To check it, go to the same location that we have explained in the previous section, that is, go to Console Settings > Data Management > Manage captures and videos. On the first line it will say ‘Save Location ‘. If it is set to ‘MicroSD Card’ on your console, to get screenshots from your console you just have to turn it off, remove the microSD card and mount it in a reader. You’ll see the drive whether you’re using Windows, macOS, or Linux.

If you have the option set to ‘Console Memory’, you can change this option so that your captures are saved to the card, making the process of extracting captures much easier.

to a smartphone

This is the ideal way to get your captures out of the console. To use this feature, your console must be on version 11.0 or higher , as this functionality was not yet implemented in previous versions. We will explain step by step how to do it in the next section.

Extract Switch screenshots to smartphone step by step

Before you can do this process, you have to do a few small preliminary steps.

Prepare the console

As we have already anticipated, this feature is not available if your console is not on version 11.0 or newer. You can check the firmware version of your console in Settings > Console.

If your Nintendo Switch is below this version, you will have to update. Go to that same path and click ‘ Console Update ‘. You will need to have an Internet connection and it is recommended to have the device connected to the current through its original charger to prevent the console from running out of battery during the process.

Once you have updated your hybrid console, it is time to continue with the tutorial.

Send screenshots to iOS and Android

album capturas nintendo switch

This new process for managing screenshots is very simple:

  1. Simply go to the Album on your Nintendo Switch from the main menu.
  2. Now, open the capture you want.
  3. With the screenshot open, press ‘A’ , ie the function set to ‘ Publish and Edit ‘.
  4. Then a new menu will appear with several options. We will select the second one: ‘ Send to a smart device ‘.
  5. Before continuing, the wizard will ask us if we want to send one or several captures simultaneously. We choose the option that most interests us.
  6. Now, a first QR code will appear. We will have to scan it with our mobile phone with an application like Google Lens. Then, our terminal will connect to a Wi-Fi network created by the Nintendo Switch. Now, we will disable the mobile data of our mobile phone.
  7. We have to scan a second QR that will take us to an address created by the Nintendo Switch to download the images. If you want to save part of the process, press ‘+’ (‘Connection problems?). It will tell you the URL that your console has generated to share the images. In my case it is /index.html, and it should be identical in your case. It is interesting to know this information because you can enter it manually in your mobile browser and save it as a favorite or bookmark. This way, you only have to scan the QR code the first time.
  8. Once you enter the URL, the captures you have sent from your console will appear. You can open and save them directly to your gallery .

Once you do the process once, your mobile will be able to detect the Wi-Fi network of your Nintendo Switch, and it will not be necessary to scan the first code either. In this way, you can send not only one capture, but several to your mobile and share it with friends.