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Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data

Thanks to a post-launch update you can now back up your island save data in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Here's how to back up your save and then restore it if you need to do so.

Of all the worries that plague the minds of Animal Crossing New Horizons players, losing an island save data is surely the most troubling. You'll pour hundreds of hours into making your island perfect so making sure you've backed up your save is really important. Thankfully, Nintendo has added this feature to Animal Crossing New Horizons as part of a post-launch update. To help make sure your island is backed up we've written a guide on backing up your save data. We'll then walk you through restoring it and give some more info on disabling your save if you wish to do so.

On this page:

How to Backup Your Island Save Data in Animal Crossing New Horizons

To back up your island save data in Animal Crossing New Horizons you'll first need to install the latest software version for the game. Once you've done so, follow these steps:

  1. Open Animal Crossing New Horizons and select the user you wish to back up. This user will need to have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.
  2. Press '-' at the title screen to access the settings menu.
  3. Select 'Island Backup' and then 'Enable Island Backup'.
  4. A new backup will be made at regular intervals automatically. You can see the latest version at the title screen.

How to Restore Data

Once you've backed up your data you will be able to restore your island in the event of a lost or damaged Nintendo Switch console. To do this, open the game and load up the title screen. Now follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold '-' at the black screen that loads before the title screen. There is a white Nintendo logo in the top-left corner.
  2. A message will pop-up asking if you want to check for island data to restore.
  3. Select 'Check' and then choose which island's data you wish to restore.
  4. Confirm your selection to return to your island.
Make sure you back up your save data! | Jake Green/USG

We have plenty more Animal Crossing New Horizons guides to check out. You can find close to 100 guides right here on USG, and if you head to our AC: New Horizons Walkthrough you'll see them all in one handy place. From guides on the different kinds of buildings, to detailed breakdowns of how to catch specific bugs and fish, we've got you covered.

How to Disable Island Save Data Backup

In the event that you want to disable the backing up of your island save data you will need to do the following:

  1. Press '-'at the title screen to open the settings menu.
  2. Select 'Island Backup' and then 'Disable Island Backup'
  3. Confirm your selection.

Note: Once you've disabled this feature you will not be able to restore your island in the event of losing or damaging your Nintendo Switch console.

There's a whole lot more Animal Crossing to enjoy right here on USG. First up, there's our look at the Hong Kong protests that have happened in the game. Once you've checked that out you should read Caty's review of the game.

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Jake Green


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