Latest Nintendo Switch Update Makes Downloading Screenshots Really Easy

Latest Nintendo Switch Update Makes Downloading Screenshots Really Easy

Goodbye awkward Twitter posts, hello QR codes.

If you wanted to get those perfect Breath of the Wild snaps off your Switch in the past, there were usually only a handful options. You could either scavenge for a MicroSD card reader, or upload the pics to social media and download them from there. Nintendo has thankfully made the process much, much easier.

In a system update pushed out yesterday, Nintendo added the ability to transfer screenshots and videos to smart devices, as well as copy them to a computer using a USB connection. The process is easy enough: use your phone's camera to scan the QR code the Switch displays, and simply start moving screenshots over. You can also only transfer 10 screenshots and one video capture at once.

That's it! Either connect your phone to your Switch using a QR code, or directly to your PC using a USB-C cable. I tested out both methods this morning, and though it took a moment for my PC to recognize my Switch, the process was mostly smooth and painless. It was an especially better option than posting images to Twitter and grabbing them off there, too.

A nice screenshot from an Animal Crossing visit earlier this year that I easily moved to both my phone and computer. | Eric Van Allen/USG, Nintendo

It might sound like a big thing specifically for people who need to frequently offload and upload screenshots from their Nintendo Switch, but it's a nice quality-of-life change all around. One of the hallmarks of this generation has been the ability to instantly screenshot and capture in-game moments, without the need for external hardware. Making the process of offloading media and backing it up is really nice, both because it can clear up some space and so you can ensure those beautiful Animal Crossing: New Horizons shots outlast your Switch. I've got some pics from virtual hangouts this year that I'd absolutely like to preserve, and now the process is much easier.

Also included in the update is a new slot on the home screen for Nintendo Switch Online, which makes the app more front-and-center when you boot up the Switch. Maybe this precludes a greater push for the service? A new batch of user icons also hit, all celebrating this year's Mario anniversary. It's all nice, but being able to easily save my screenshots without sharing them all with my Twitter followers is one of the better quality-of-life Switch updates in some time.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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