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How to Restart Your Animal Crossing New Horizons Island

If you’re looking to restart your Animal Crossing New Horizons island, there are a few steps you need to take first. Unlike most games, you can’t simply have multiple save games and islands, without having more than one account on your Nintendo Switch.

You would expect a simple button that says delete your island or start a new island, but sadly Animal Crossing New Horizons doesn’t make starting a new island that simple.

Use Another Account

If you want to restart Animal Crossing New Horizons without deleting your current island there’s only one option. You will need to either create a new Nintendo account to use or if you have access to another account, use that to make your new island.

Unlike other games, Animal Crossing New Horizons doesn’t have any option to have more than one save slot per account, so there’s no other way to have more than one island on your Switch. If you don’t have another account and don’t want to make a new one, you will have to delete your Animal Crossing New Horizon island to be able to start a new one.

If you play Animal Crossing New Horizons locally on multiplayer, this method will also let you have one island you play with your multiplayer friends or family, and another one that you can focus on solo.

Restarting Animal Crossing New Horizon on the First Day

If you’re still on the first day tutorial, but you’ve decided that you want a new island, perhaps you simply don’t like the layout of your current island or the fruit that grows on it, there’s an easy way to restart the game and force a new island to be created.

Another reason to restart on the first day is if you don’t like the villagers on your island. By restarting and creating a whole new island, you might find that you end up with new villagers, the ones you prefer.

To restart Animal Crossing New Horizons and delete your current island on the first day, simply close the game down completely by pressing the home button and then pressing X on Animal Crossing New Horizons, this will give you the option to close the game, doing so will let you create a new island when you relaunch the game.

If you’ve already passed the first day, this method will not work, and you will need to move on to the next step to delete your Animal Crossing island.

Delete Your Animal Crossing New Horizons Save Data

Deleting your island on Animal Crossing isn’t as simple as you might think, well you can delete another resident’s home within the game, if you try to follow the same steps to delete your island, Toom Nook will warn you that this is not possible within the game, but offers another solution, deleting your entire save data.

Character Tom Nook in spotlight with dialogue box stating, "Again, it will delete all save data for the game. That is, it'll delete the entire island of Hoowayee!"

Instead of restarting your island from the game itself, you need to completely remove the save data:

  1. Press the Nintendo Switch home button
  2. Go to system settings
  3. Select the data management menu
  4. Click delete save data
  5. Press A on Animal Crossing New Horizons
  6. Press Delete all save data for this software

Of course, this method is permanent, so make sure you are 100% certain you want to start again, once you have deleted your saved data and restarted your Animal Crossing New Horizons island, there’s (almost) no going back.

Nintendo Switch "Delete Save Data" screen showing available space in the system memory and microSD card, listing save files for "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," "Super Mario Bros. Wonder," "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury," and "Mario Party Superstars" with their respective sizes.

Transfer Your Save Data to an SD Card

When I said there’s almost no going back, it’s because there is one option, one that’s often overlooked. If you’re not 100% sure about restarting your Animal Crossing New Horizons island, you could consider transferring your save data to a spare SD card.

Simply transfer the Animal Crossing New Horizons save data to the SD card, remove it from the Nintendo Switch, and start a new island on the game. If you ever decide you want to go back to your old island, you have it stored on an SD card.

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