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How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

Maggie Tillman, US contributing editor

· 30 December 2020 ·

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

– It's easy!

(Pocket-lint) – The Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite both let you take screenshots or screen recordings at any time with a press of a button, and you can even share them on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s how – plus how to find those pictures or videos to view later.

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

How to capture screenshots

To capture screenshots on a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite, follow these steps:

Nintendo Switch

  1. Press the Capture button on the left Joy-Con.
    • It is a square-shaped button with a circular indent.
    • It is located below the Directional buttons.
  2. Note you can press the Capture button quickly to take a single screenshot.
  3. Or, you can press the Capture button multiple times to take multiple screenshots.

Nintendo Switch Lite

  1. Press the Capture button on the left of the system.
    • It is a square-shaped button with a circular indent.
    • It is located below the +Control Pad.
  2. Note you can press the Capture button quickly to take a single screenshot.
  3. Or, you can press the Capture button multiple times to take multiple screenshots.

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

How to capture screen recordings

To screen record on a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite, follow these steps:

Nintendo Switch

  1. Press and hold the Capture button on the left Joy-Con.
    • It is a square-shaped button with a circular indent.
    • It is located below the Directional buttons.
  2. Holding the Capture button for a second records the last 30 seconds of gameplay.

Nintendo Switch Lite

  1. Press and hold the Capture button on the left of the system.
    • It is a square-shaped button with a circular indent.
    • It is located below the +Control Pad.
  2. Holding the Capture button for a second records the last 30 seconds of gameplay.

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

How to view screenshots and recordings

To view screenshots or screen recordings on a Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, follow these steps:

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

Both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U let you take screenshots, but only through the Miiverse social media app.

The Nintendo Switch follows this trend, but upgrades it. You can now take screenshots at any time just by pressing a button, and can even share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Here’s how to take a screenshot on your Nintendo Switch, and how to find those pictures or videos later.

How to take a screenshot on your Nintendo Switch

All official Nintendo Switch controllers — whether it be a Joy-Con pair or the Pro Controller — have the screenshot button on the left side.

It’s the bottom-left button, underneath the four directional arrows, and it’s a square with a circle inside of it. If you have a Switch Lite, the button is in roughly the same spot on the left side of the screen.

You can use it in two ways:

  • Press the screenshot button quickly to take a single screenshot. Pressing it multiple times in succession will take multiple screenshots.
  • Hold the button down for a second to take a video of the last 30 seconds of gameplay.

Some games, like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” have their own screenshot functions — taking a screenshot using the in-game screenshot function will save the picture to your Switch’s memory.

To access your screenshots later, simply return to the home screen of your device, and click the Albums button, the blue one in the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

Note that while the screenshot button works at nearly any time, there are a few apps it’s disabled in. You can’t take a video of the home screen, for instance. And you can’t take any pictures or videos in the Albums app.

To transfer the screenshots from your Switch later, you can use an SD card or social media account. Check out our article, “How to transfer screenshots from your Nintendo Switch to another device, so that you can edit or share them with others” for more information.

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

I don’t know how you did it, but you somehow hit the 10,000 screenshot cap on your Nintendo Switch. I don’t blame you, though. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a gorgeous game, and the photos you took of every Korok location from every angle are a testament to your resilience. In all seriousness, screenshots are so easy to take on the Switch that a year into its existence, I’m not surprised people are beginning to hit the cap. But once you do, what then? You don’t want to lose all your gorgeous photo edits of Mario and Cappy at the beach, so how can you keep taking them?

Easily! Here’s how.

What are the limits on screenshots?

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

There are multiple limits placed on what you can do with screenshots on the Nintendo Switch. Sans microSD card, the system has a 1,000 limit on its own memory. Every individual microSD card has a 10,000 screenshot limit regardless of the space on the card.

That’s another animal altogether. Space on the system and microSD card can also limit your screenshot-taking, especially if you regularly download lots of games or take videos as well. However you reach the cap, the solution is the same. Some screenshots either have to leave the card, or you need a new one.

Get a new microSD card

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

The obvious solution is simple to set your old microSD card aside and purchase a new one. Replace it in your Nintendo Switch, and start fresh. You’ll need to be careful, as your old microSD card may also have games downloaded on it and you won’t be able to play them without the right card inserted. If you want to shuffle images or downloads around, you’ll need to putter around in the file structure using a computer, which I’ll get to in a second.

There are lots of great Nintendo Switch microSD cards out there, but I recommend picking one up with at least 128GB of space if you’re not willing to dish out for the whopping 256GB.

Move screenshots out

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

For a free option that requires a bit of work, you can move screenshots off your microSD card onto your PC. First, you’ll need a port to put the microSD card into. Most computers don’t have one, but they usually do have an SD port. And fortunately, most microSD cards come with a microSD to SD card adapter. If you’ve somehow lost yours, you’re not entirely SOL, just don’t buy anything expensive. The SanDisk microSD to SD adapter is all you need.

Once you get the microSD into your PC, it’s a simple matter of accessing the Nintendo > Screenshots files and moving what you want in or out. Since everything is just .jpg files, you can put them anywhere you can put a .jpg file, whether that’s in a folder on your computer, on a flash drive or different microSD card, or into the Cloud someplace. Once they’re gone, voila! You have space on the microSD card again for more screenshots, and your old images are in a handy, helpful spot to look at or show your friends later. Just know that they won’t appear on your Switch once they’re off the card, so if you want to share them on social media, you’ll have to upload them from wherever you moved them to.

That was a snap!

Let me know if you have any questions about screenshots on the Nintendo Switch below in the comments!

How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

The Nintendo Switch is a complicated system for gaming outsiders to grasp — and even die-hard fans don’t fully understand every facet of the hybrid console’s design. There’s plenty of info to unpack, but one feature we’re happy to see is the ability to take screenshots.

Yes, you can now take screenshots of any screen on a Nintendo console. This isn’t the limited 3DS snapshot ability. At any point during gameplay, or while browsing, you can grab a screenshot and share it with friends online, or save it to a personal album for storage. There’s no need for additional subscriptions, and the whole process is controlled with a single (new!) button on your included Joy-Con controllers.

Still need more info on the Nintendo Switch? Here’s our full breakdown, covering almost every aspect of the system, including release games, console configurations, and all the new features. If you’re a long-time Nintendo fan, make sure you sign-up for the new Switch Nintendo Accounts to register early.

How to Take (And Share) Screenshots

Taking a screenshot on the Nintendo Switch is pretty easy — you can capture screens on the Home Screen or in-game and you won’t need a subscription to Nintendo’s online service to use the feature. This is in contrast to the Xbox One, which severely limits the screenshot / footage feature if you don’t have an Xbox Live account.

  • How to Take Screenshots on the Switch:
    • Tap the [Square] button on the Left Joy-Con to capture a photo of your current screen.
      • The [Square] button on the Left Joy-Con is the dedicated screenshot button.
      • Screenshots can be saved to System Memory -or- to microSD card.

      How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

      Now that we know how to take screenshots, there are a few things you can actually do with them — other than delete or filter in the Album menu. Select a screenshot, and you’ll be able to share it in a variety of ways.

      • How to Share Screenshots
        • Select a Screenshot in the Album by pressing [A].
        • Press [A] again to access the Editing & Posting Options
          • Do this to: Enter Text, Copy, Delete or Post
          • You can change text size, position / angle, color of text, then stamp the text onto your screenshot.
          • Post allows you to share the screenshot on linked social media sites.
          • After copying a screenshot, you’ll be able to access the album folder on a computer or smart phone.

          Nintendo has promised that more screenshot / capture features will become available post-launch for the Nintendo Switch. We’ll update with any fresh information.

          This article focuses on helping you to record gameplay on Nintendo Switch. According to the recent data, Switch is still the most popular game console on Amazon. The affordable price is the biggest advantage of Switch. However, many users are unhappy to find that they cannot capture gameplay and streaming on their console simply. To catch up such demand, Nintendo has updated the system to allow for short captures. Anyway, here are different ways to record your gameplay o Switch.

          Part 1: How to Record Gameplay on Switch

          As mentioned previously, you can record gameplay on Nintendo Switch with the latest system. You may notice the Capture button on the control. In the past, this button can only make a still screenshot. Now, you can capture gameplay for 30 seconds once press the button.

          When you are ready to gameplay record on Switch without capture card, long press the Capture button and it will capture anything on your screen 30 seconds before pressing.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          If you see a message says Saving at the upper left side, it means you are successful.

          After recording, go to Album from the home screen. Now, you can see all screenshots and recordings. Press Y button and click Videos only to browse the clips.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Switch provides the basic video editing tools as well. To cut a gameplay recording on Switch, for instance, press A button while playing it. Then move the bar frame by frame to reset the start and end points.

          If you wish to share the gameplay recording, press A button and choose Post . Then share it to your Twitter or Facebook account.

          Note: Nintendo 3DS is another popular console on market. It lets users play 3D games without 3D glasses. Unlike Switch, 3DS does not integrate the Capture button, so you cannot record gameplay on 3DS directly.

          Part 2: Best Ways to Record Gameplay on Switch with a PC

          If you wish to record gameplay on Switch or 3DS with no length limit, you have to connect your console to computer with HDMI cable and capture card.

          Method 1: Record Gameplay on Switch on Desktop

          Apeaksoft Screen Recorder is one of the best game recording software. It is able to produce high quality gameplay recording without any limit.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Record gameplay on Switch, 3DS and other console on PC.

          Add your reactions and voice to gameplay recording in real time.

          Offer extensive bonus functions, like video editing.

          Enhance recording quality with advanced technology.

          Needless to say, it is the best choice to record gameplay on Switch or Nintendo 3DS.

          How to Record Switch Gameplay on PC

          Install the best game recorder for Switch

          After connecting Switch to your PC, install the best gameplay recorder. Then launch it and choose Video Recorder to open the main interface.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Record gameplay on Switch

          Turn on Display and set the recording region based on your game screen. Next, toggle on System Sound as well and adjust the volume. If you wish to add your face and voice to Switch gameplay recording, enable Webcam and Microphone ; otherwise, turn them off. When your game is ready, click the REC button to start recording gameplay on Switch.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Tip: Click the Gear icon and open the Preferences dialog. Here you can find all custom options related to output, hotkey, and more.

          Save Switch gameplay

          During recording, you can make screenshots with the Camera icon or draw on it with the Edit icon. Click the Stop button when your gameplay is done. Then check and clip the recording on preview window. Finally, press the Save button to export it to your hard drive.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Follow the similar steps, and you can record gameplay from Xbox One on PC.

          Method 2: Record Gameplay on Switch Online

          If you just wish to record gameplay on Switch occasionally, Apeaksoft Free Online Screen Recorder is a good option. It can do the task online without installing any software.

          • Record gameplay on game console online.
          • Totally free to use with no length limit.
          • Support webcam and microphone capture.
          • Save gameplay recording in MP4 or WMV.

          How to Record Gameplay on Switch Online

          Visit https://www.apeaksoft.com/free-online-screen-recorder/ in your browser when you want to record gameplay on Switch. Click the Start Recording button to download the launcher.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          There are four icons on the toolbar, Screen , Webcam , System audio and Microphone . To only record gameplay, enable Screen and System audio while disable Webcam and Microphone . If you intend to capture your reactions, turn on four icons together.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Click the REC button to begin gameplay recording on Switch or 3DS. When you want to stop it, click the Stop button and download the video file.

          Part 3: FAQs of Record Gameplay on Switch

          Can you record more than 30 seconds on Nintendo Switch?

          Natively, Switch only allows you to record gameplay for 30 seconds. If you want to record more than 30 seconds, you have to use a third-party tool.

          How do you record a Switch without a capture card?

          The only way to record a Switch without capture card is the built-in capture function. However, it can only make a gameplay recording in 30 seconds.

          What is the best capture card for Switch?

          The best capture cards available to Switch include:
          1. Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S
          2. Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro
          3. Roxio Game Capture HD PRO Video Capture Device
          4. AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus

          This article has discussed how to record gameplay on Nintendo Switch. If you do not have a capture card, use the built-in Capture button to record your gameplay directly. To produce game recording longer than 30 seconds, you have to use a powerful game recorder application, such as Apeaksoft Screen Recorder. It is not only easy to use, but also able to save gameplay in high quality videos. If you encounter other problems when recording Switch, please leave a message below this post and we will reply it as soon as possible.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Being able to take pictures and screenshots on your game console isn’t new. Nearly every console made in the last 10 years has the feature.

          But the Nintendo Switch makes taking screenshots as easy as it is on your phone — easier, in fact, as it has its own dedicated screenshot button. Press it once to take a screenshot, or hold it to take a video.

          The only part of the process that isn’t intuitive, however, is transferring those screenshots from your Switch to another device. To do this, you’ll need either a microSD card and SD card reader, or a social media account.

          Here’s how to transfer screenshots and videos from your Switch.

          How to transfer screenshots from the Nintendo Switch using an SD card

          While you have an SD card with free space on it inserted into your Switch, any screenshots you take should be saved to the card. Otherwise, they’ll be stored in your system memory.

          This means that before you transfer your screenshots, you’ll need to make sure that the screenshots you want are saved in the right place.

          To transfer all your screenshots to the SD card at once:

          1. Open the System Settings menu. You can find it in the row of icons at the bottom of the homescreen.

          2. In the list of options on the left side of the System Settings page, scroll down and select “Data Management.”

          3. In the menu that appears, scroll down and select “Manage Screenshots and Videos.”

          4. When the new menu comes up, the option for Save Location will already be highlighted. Whatever it says next to it — “System Memory” or “microSD card” — is where screenshots are saved by default. You can select this option to change it.

          5. To make sure all your photos are on the SD Card, scroll down to “System Memory” and press A. In the menu that opens, select “Copy All Screenshots And Videos to microSD Card.”

          • Once you’ve done that, a loading screen will appear to keep you updated on the process.

          6. Once the loading screen disappears and all the files are transferred, turn your system off completely and remove the SD card.

          Once you have, you can transfer the screenshots wherever you want them to go.

          To transfer specific screenshots to the SD card:

          1. Open your Switch’s photo album. It’s the option on your home screen that looks like a blue photograph.

          2. Press Y to open the Filter menu, and then scroll down and select “System Memory.”

          3. Find the screenshot you want to save to your SD card in the Album and open it.

          4. With the screenshot open, press A again to go open the “Editing and Posting” menu.

          5. In that menu, scroll down and select “Copy.”

          6. A pop-up will appear, asking if you’re sure you want to copy the image to the microSD card. Select “Yes.”

          Repeat this process with as many screenshots as you want to move. When you’re done, you can remove the SD card and transfer them to whatever location you desire.

          It should be noted that most computers can’t read microSD cards by themselves — you’ll likely need a microSD card adapter.

          How to transfer screenshots from the Nintendo Switch using Twitter or Facebook

          This method is free, and doesn’t require any extra equipment. All you’ll need is a Twitter or Facebook account. You’ll also need to have a Nintendo Account linked to your Switch.

          The downside, however, is that it’s slow — you can only transfer up to four photos in one post. So if you’re trying to transfer even 20 screenshots, it’ll require five separate posts.

          1. Open your Switch’s photo album and select one screenshot that you want to transfer using social media.

          2. Press A to open the Editing and Posting menu. Here, select “Post” to transfer one photo, or “Post Batch” to transfer up to four photos.

          3. If you have more than one profile on your Switch, select the profile to post from.

          • Once you have, select whether you want to post the screenshot to Facebook or Twitter. If you haven’t connected your social accounts to the Switch yet, you’ll have to log in.

          4. A preview of the post will appear on your Switch’s screen. Once you’re done making any edits you want, post it.

          Once the screenshots are on Twitter or Facebook, you can save them directly from the site to any device that has internet access.

          Nintendo’s finally added video capture and sharing tools to the Switch. Here’s how to use them, and a list of which games support them.

          Finally, Nintendo Switch owners can create footage of their adventures in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and their epic wins in Splatoon 2. Included in Switch system update 4.0, which launched late last night, video capture allows users to record 30 seconds of gameplay footage, which they can then edit and share online.

          The big catch, though, is that this feature is not available for all Switch games yet. For now, video capture is available on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2. But if you’ve got one of those games and want to make and share some video, here’s how.

          First, make sure you’ve got the latest version of the firmware. While Switch firmware updates typically happen in the background, you can perform a manual update by going to System Settings, selecting System and selecting System Update.

          1. To record video, press and briefly hold the Capture button, which sits below the directional arrow buttons on the left Joy-Con.

          2. You’ll see a “Saving. ” indicator when the capture process begins, and a Successfully Saved message once it’s done.

          3. Return to the home screen and open Albums to access your videos.

          4. From this window tap Y to reveal filter options.

          5. Select Videos Only.

          6. While viewing a video, select Trim to edit.

          7. Drag and drop the start and end points to get your clip just right. Tap A to save the shortened footage as a new file.

          8. Select Post to share a video online, with options for Facebook and Twitter.

          And now you’ve captured, edited and shared gameplay video from your Switch!

          The Nintendo Switch will allow players to take screenshots and, eventually, video of games, Nintendo announced today during a press event in Tokyo.

          When the Switch launches March 3, the capture button will only take screenshots. “In the future, [the button] will be able to capture video as well,” Nintendo said. Switch owners will be able to share captured content over social media.

          The feature brings the Switch in line with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, both of which continuously record gameplay footage and, on command, can generate clips of the past few minutes.

          Like the PS4 and its DualShock 4 gamepad, the Switch puts capturing capability right in players’ hands with a dedicated button on its controllers. A small square button with a circle on it — like the record button on a tape deck — is situated below and to the right of the directional buttons on the left Joy-Con controller, as you can see in the following image of the Joy-Con Grip unit:

          The record button on the Nintendo Switch’s left Joy-Con controller, highlighted with an arrow. Nintendo via Polygon

          The same button is visible above and to the right of the D-pad on the Switch Pro Controller:

          The position of the record button on the Switch Pro Controller. Nintendo via Polygon

          Both of those images are from the day Nintendo unveiled the Switch — the first one is a product photo from the company, and the second one is a screencap from the reveal trailer. But until today, Nintendo had not discussed the button in question, let alone detailed its function.

          Want the latest news, videos and podcasts sent to your inbox once every weekday? Then sign up for the Polygon Newsletter below.

          Though there is a capture button on Nintendo Switch, it is not enough for most gamers. Because you can record Switch gameplay no more than 30 seconds and take screenshots with the Switch Capture button only. Later, you can save video clips into an SD card or upload it to Twitter. However, if you want to record Switch gameplay for more than 30 seconds, you need to use a capture card to stream and record Nintendo Switch gameplay video. Here’re 2 ways to capture gameplay on Nintendo Switch with or without a capture card. Just read and follow.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Part 1: How to Record Switch Gameplay with a Capture Card

          Nintendo Switch has HDMI support. Thus, you can use an HD capture card to record gameplay on Switch. By the way, you can stream Switch gameplay with a capture card as well. There are many popular capture cards for Switch streaming and recording, such as Elgato Game Capture HD60 S, AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus and more. You can choose any one to screen record on Nintendo Switch for more than 30 seconds based on your budget.

          Step 1: Plug an HDMI Out port into Nintendo Switch Dock. Then plug an HDMI In port into the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S. You can use other capture cards to record Switch gameplay as well.

          Step 2: Use another HDMI cable. Connect the Out end into the Elgato Game Capture HD60S. Then connect the in port into your TV or other monitor you use.

          Step 3: Insert your Nintendo Switch into the Nintendo Switch Dock. Later, use a USB cable to connect Elgato Game Capture HD60S to your computer. You can run the Elgato Game Capture HD software for Switch gameplay recording.

          Step 4: Go to System Settings to adjust the Switch recording details. You can set RGB range, TV resolution, screen size and more.

          Step 5: Click Record on your start playing games with Switch. Now you can record Nintendo Switch gameplay video with a capture card.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Part 2: How to Record Switch Gameplay of the Last 30 Seconds

          If you just want to record the last 30 seconds of the Switch gameplay, you can press the button to record Switch game video as well. Though the Switch gameplay video is downgraded in low resolution and frame rate. In addition, you can trim the Switch gameplay footage directly before posting.

          Step 1: Hold and press the Capture button on the left Joy-Con. The 30-second Switch gameplay recording video will be saved into Album by default.

          Step 2: To edit or trim a Switch video, you can choose Album within the Home menu. Then choose All Screenshots and Videos.

          Step 3: Select a gameplay recording video you want to edit, then choose Editing and Posting followed by Trim.

          Step 4: Adjust the video length by sliding the left marker. Later, press Next to slide the right marker. Well, you can trim the Switch gameplay video to make it shorter.

          Step 5: Select Save to export the trimmed video. If you want to share Switch gameplay video, you can choose Post from Editing and Posting.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Part 3: Record Gameplay Videos on Your Windows and Mac computer

          Elgato has its own game capture HD software for Switch streaming and recording gameplay. You can stream and record Switch gameplay to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and more. If you are not satisfied with Elgato game capture software, or you can record gameplay on your computer directly, you can use WidsMob Capture as an alternative.

          The game recorder minimizes the CPU usage while recording. Thus, you can record yourself playing game without lag or delay. What’s more, you can enable mouse effect and add annotations during gameplay recording. So if your game performance is reduced because of recording with capture card, you can create gameplay videos with WidsMob Capture as well.

          1. Record game video and audio with the original quality for longer hours.

          2. Add webcam overlay, voiceover and annotations into your game recording file.

          3. Use hotkeys to control the entire screen recording instantly.

          4. Trim your recording video or audio file with custom length.

          5. Share gameplay recordings to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more platforms directly.

          Step 1: Run WidsMob Capture after the installation. To record gameplay video, choose Record Screen in the main interface.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Step 2: Set the screen capture area as full screen or custom region. To record gameplay video with audio, turn on the Audio icon. If you want to record your face while recording gameplay, you can turn on Webcam as well.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Step 3: Click REC to start gameplay recording. You may be required to set the output path before recording.

          How to take screenshots and videos on your nintendo switch

          Step 4: When you stop recording, the recorded gameplay will be saved into MP4 format automatically. Or you can head to Media Library to share or manage your recordings.