One thing that can be a huge pain on switch custom firmware is transferring files to the SD Card. When I was working on Mario Kart mods, I must have copied the files over from the PC 25 times and had to test them each time. If I’d had to shut down the switch, take the card out, connect it to my PC, copy the files, plug it back in the Switch, and boot up using my dongle I think I’d have given up. Thankfully there are some easy ways to copy files over to your Switch without ever having to remove the SD.

In this video I talk about two options, FTP and USB. I use FTP most of the time when I’m at home, because it’s the most convenient. SXOS has a built in FTP server that you can enable any time you’re connected to a network. When I’m doing stuff on my lunch break at work, I’ll typically use USB because it’s a little faster, and more convenient when I’ve got the switch in handheld mode.

For this tutorial I’m going to split it into two parts, starting with FTP.

FTP Connection Setup

What you’ll need:

  • Network connection
  • FTP Client software (Choose one of these free options, or use your favorite)

*Note* If you don’t use SXOS, you can always download the ftpd homebrew to use instead: https://github.com/mtheall/ftpd/releases (download the ftpd.nro file and put it in the switch folder on the root of your SD card)
Just open the app instead of turning on the setting, otherwise the steps are the same.

Once you’ve installed the FTP Client on your system, you’ll need to enable the FTP server on your switch. Make sure you’re connected to the same network as your computer (I’ll show you how to double check a little later) and click on the album icon to pull up the SXOS menu. Press the R-trigger until you reach the Options tab, then select the “FTP server” option to enable the server.

Once enabled, your IP address will show up to the right. It will look something like this:
192.168.86.48:5000
Make note of this address as we’ll need to connect to it on the computer.

Now over on the computer, open your FTP client. For this example I’ll be using Filezilla. You’ll want to add a new “site”, by clicking on the site manager icon in the top left corner.

Filezilla Site Manager

First click the “New site” button and name it something you’ll remember. Then take the IP address from the switch and type it in the “Host” box. The port is always 5000, so type that into the “Port” box, then click “Connect”.

If the connection works, you’ll see the data on your computer on the left, and the contents of the Switch SD card on the right. You can then browse to the source folder in that left panel and drag the files over to the right, just like in a file manager. The progress is show in the bottom panel.

Filezilla main screen

Pros: Convenient, can transfer files while in docked mode or charging, requires no additional homebrew on SXOS.
Cons: Requires a network connection, requires periodic input to keep the switch awake or the transfer will fail.

USB Transfer Setup

What you’ll need:

The second option is to install the nxmtp homebrew and then connect your switch directly to the computer. To get started, download the latest version of nxmtp from Github, and copy the .nro file to your Switch SD card and put it in the “switch” folder. Then launch it by clicking on the album icon, and pressing the R-trigger until you’re on the “Homebrew” tab. Choose nxmtp from your list and it will bring up a screen that just says, “[nxmtp] press x to terminate”. This means it’s working.

When you plug the cable in to the Switch you’ll see the it show up as an MTP device. This protocol was developed for Cameras and MP3 players, so it’s a little different from a USB memory stick or SD card reader, but it’s very similar. I’ll be using Windows 10 for the example screenshots, but it should be easy to figure out on any OS.

Here there be dragons

Now you’ll need to be careful. This homebrew allows you to gain access to the System and User partitions. System is where the OS is stored, and I strongly suggest you never even open it. The User partition is where downloads and images are stored if you have no SD card, so you can transfer files there if you need the space, but your save files are there no matter what, so be careful what you delete.

The final option is what we are after, the SD Card. Just double click on it, and you’ll be looking at the contents of the SD card. Drag and drop you files to transfer just like that card were connected directly to the computer.

Pros: Faster than FTP, connection doesn’t time out, access to additional partitions.
Cons: Can only be done in handheld mode, still need a way to install nxmtp on the Switch.

In summary, these are both great options which I feel have a place on any Switch. I use both regularly, and love the convienience of not having to go through the frustration of removing the SD card to transfer files.

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