How Tos

How to transfer an island or resident in Animal Crossing to a new Nintendo Switch

Move to a new island in Animal Crossing in five simple steps

How to transfer an island or resident in Animal Crossing to a new Nintendo Switch

We've made a step-by-step guide on how to transfer Animal Crossing island to a new Nintendo Switch in case you are getting a new Switch soon. If so, follow each step, and you’ll be enjoying yourself on your favorite island in a jiffy! And, in case you also want to transfer a resident, we've also got you covered.

What happens when you move to a new island in Animal Crossing?

Make sure you actually want to do move an island in Animal Crossing, as the process is irreversible, and the island will disappear from your old Switch once the transfer is complete. Don't even start the process if you are not 100% sure you want to do this!

Step one - update your game!

This one is simple, but can’t be skipped. You need to make sure that you’ve got the latest version of Animal Crossing installed.

To do this, enter the game, and on the home screen, you’ll see the ‘+’ icon. Tap it. Then go to the ‘software update’. You’ll see ‘Via the Internet’, press it and wait for the update. Easy peasy! Note that you have to repeat the process on both consoles.

Step two - download the Animal Crossing Island Transfer Tool

animal crossing island transfer tool

The second step on how to transfer an island in Animal Crossing requires a download of a really handy tool that Nintendo made for this purpose only. It’s literally called the Island Transfer Tool. It's a crucial step to move to a new island in Animal Crossing!

How to download the Island Transfer Tool?

Easy. All you need to is go to the main menu. You’ll see a little yellow handbag icon that says ‘Nintendo eShop’. Click ok (‘A’ button on the right Joy-Con).

Search for the app called ‘Animal Crossing Island Transfer Tool’ and download it. You have to download it on both consoles and the process is completely the same.

Step three - preparing the consoles for the transfer of the island in Animal Crossing

Enable the local wireless connection, as devices must be able to see each other, as the transfer isn’t available otherwise. In case you have logged in on the new Switch console, you’ll have a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on both systems and updated! Head back to step one if you haven’t done it already.

Now, you need to transfer your account (or multiple accounts) to your new device.


Nintendo switch transfer save data

From the Home screen of your older Switch, go to System settings and click on ‘Data Management’. Go to the ‘Transfer Your Save Data’ option and finally click on Send Save Data To Another Console. Choose the saved data you want to transfer, and that’s it!

In the next step, we’ll describe how to transfer the island. If you are only interested in transferring a resident in Animal Crossing to the new console, skip to step five.

Step four - transferring the Animal Crossing island

Ok, now it’s time to start the island transfer for real. Take both of your Nintendo Switches and place them close to each other. Open the Island Transfer Tool on both of them.

You’ll see a window that’s showing two options. Transfer option with a question mark is there to help you with the transfer, but no need to read it, as you can simply mirror our instructions. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed.

animal crossing how to transfer an island

You need to choose the old Switch as the Source console. So, on it, click ‘Source’ and then ‘Yes”. Now the new console needs to be set up as a target of the transfer. So, ‘Target’ and ‘Proceed’. This will discover your old Nintendo Switch and you need to select ‘Transfer Data’.

animal crossing transferring an island

All you have to do now is wait a bit as it could take a while and that’s it. Your Animal Crossing island will disappear from the old Switch and appear on the new one!

Step five - transfer a resident in Animal Crossing

First of all, make sure you go over the first three steps, as you cannot continue prior to completing each of them accurately.

You won’t be able to transfer the resident individually, he’ll have to move along with the island. Make sure your resident is living in a house and that you actually want to transfer him, as you will lose your neighbors. Your possessions and the house will also get transferred.

On the old Switch system, you need to be logged in to a different user than the one you are trying to transfer the resident from.

If you prepared the consoles, as explained in prior steps, open the Animal Crossing on your old Nintendo Switch, and on the home screen you should see the ‘Settings’.

Open them and you’ll see Tom, asking if you need any help. On the right part of the screen, you’ll get a few options. Choose the one that says ‘Move to a new island’. Time to choose the character (resident) you are trying to transfer, and then go to ‘Yes, that’s correct.'

On the new console, open the Animal Crossing: New Horizons and enter the transferred save. The ‘I’m Moving!’ option should appear, click on it. You’ll be asked if you started the transfer. You did, so click on ‘Yes, I have!’ Start the process, and that’s it.

You’ve learned how to easily transfer your island and resident in Animal Crossing: New Horizon to a new Nintendo Switch. Have fun playing your old save on the new system! In case you need a friend, you can share codes on our find a friend article, with more than 150 000 comments!