How to Screen Record on Nintendo Switch: In 6 Steps with Photos

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How to Screen Record on Nintendo Switch: In 6 Steps with Photos

Modern game consoles allow you to screen-record video footage and even take screenshots of gameplay. This is useful when sharing gameplay on social media or YouTube. Additionally, it’s great if you want to show off to your friends. If you’ve gamed on Xbox or PlayStation consoles, you may be familiar with their wide range of options.

Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch console is a bit limited with its video capture, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The downside is that you can only record 30 seconds of previous gameplay or take a screenshot. If you want to record anything longer, you will need to use a dedicated capture card along with the Switch dock.

Step 1: Launch a Game

Launch your favorite game.


The first thing you need to do to screen record on a Nintendo Switch is to launch a game. Do this by inserting a cartridge if necessary and then clicking on the game on the home screen to start it. Then you can start playing the game as you normally would.

Step 2: Wait for a Moment to Screen Record

You can only record 30 seconds of gameplay.


Now you should continue playing the game and then wait for a moment you want to record. The Switch’s built-in record function is limited to only 30 seconds of content So, you won’t be able to record long sessions.

Step 3: Press the Capture Button

Long press the capture button on your device.


Once something cool happens, you can press and hold the capture button, which is the square button on the left Joycon. Quickly pressing the capture button will only save a screenshot. But you can also hold the button for a couple of seconds to save a 30-second video clip.

Step 4: Access Captured Content

Go to album to access your screen recordings or screenshots.


Now that you have a photo or video saved, you will need to access it. The Switch keeps these clips easily accessible on the home screen. On the bottom menu, click over to the picture and you will see “Album” appear. Once you click on it, all of your previous screen captures and recordings will show up.

Step 5: Edit Screen Recording

You have few editing options, including adding text to images.


The Switch doesn’t have a lot of editing options like the more powerful consoles do. For photos, you have the ability to add text to the image. But for videos, you only have the option to shorten their length. This can all be done by choosing a picture or video and then pressing the “A” button to bring up the menu.

Step 6: Save Screen Recording

You can share the clip via your linked social media accounts or transfer it to your phone.


Once you are done editing the video, you can go ahead and save it to the console’s SD card. But most people will want to get the pictures and videos off of their Switch console and onto their phone or computer for editing. You can easily send the content to your phone, but you can also share them directly to Twitter or Facebook if you link accounts.

For a great walkthrough of these steps, you can also watch this video:

Record Longer Videos on a Switch

Many people want to record videos that are longer than 30 seconds. Whether it be for lets plays or walkthroughs, the Switch’s built-in time limit just isn’t going to cut it. There are currently no options to record longer videos on the Switch by itself. Additionally, you cannot stream directly to services such as Twitch or YouTube like you can on other consoles.

The solution for recording longer video content is to use a video capture card. Most cards sold on the market require you to connect one end to the console, another to your TV, and then have a cord going to a computer. The content is then recorded on the computer using software like OBS. To do this, you will have to use the Switch in docked mode with your TV, as it is not possible to output video without it.

How to Screen Record on Nintendo Switch: In 6 Steps with Photos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many videos or pictures can the Switch store?

The amount of pictures and videos that your Switch can hold is entirely dependent on the size of the microSD card you are using. Additionally, the number of games you have installed will also have an impact.

Can the Switch record videos longer than 30 seconds?

No, the Switch cannot record video clips longer than 30 seconds, but you can record multiple clips back to back.

How do you record longer videos on the Switch?

The only way to record longer videos of Switch gameplay is with a capture card such as an Elgato or EVGA. Make sure you get one that has HDMI passthrough because it will need to output to the TV.

Can you stream videos directly from the Nintendo Switch?

No, you cannot connect an HDMI cable directly to the Switch console’s USB-C port like you could on a laptop. Instead, you will need to use a Switch dock.

Why won't a game allow recording or screen capture?

Select games will not allow screen recording or screenshots. Some games will also prevent you from starting a recording or taking a picture during cutscenes.

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