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Nintendo Switch version 12.1.0 lets you install updates even when your storage is full

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The latest Nintendo Switch update helps make space for new game updates when your storage is full.

The Version 12.1.0 update notes state that "if there is not enough space remaining on the system memory (internal storage) or microSD card when downloading game software update data, you can now delete old data for the software, enabling you to download the new data."

In slightly more simple terms, that means that if you've filled up your storage to the point where you can't fit in a new update, the Switch will now automatically delete defunct data from previous updates in order to make space. In theory, the impact on your games should be non-existent, but you'll be able to stay up to date without having to delete titles from your storage. Nintendo does point out, however, that while it's swapping out those defunct files, you won't be able to play the game. Instead, you'll need to wait until the new data has finished downloading.

Elsewhere, Version 12.1.0 introduces a handful of "general system ability improvements" which Nintendo says "have been made to enhance the user's experience." It's also worth noting that the latest update includes a patch for the Joy-Con controllers. Nintendo hasn't confirmed what it's changed in the latest update, but if you want to install it, you'll need to do so manually, by heading to the 'Controllers and Settings' tab in the console's system settings.

Hopefully, the rollout of patch 12.1.0 will be a little smoother than its immediate predecessor. Last month, Nintendo dropped version 12.0.3, but pulled the update from systems after just a few hours. It's still not entirely clear why that happened, but the working theory at the time was that the update interfered with users' ability to download games and updates. The update was reinstated a short while after it was pulled, but Nintendo is likely keen to ensure we don't see a repeat of the issue this time around.

Our list of the best Switch games is going to make it pretty difficult to avoid filling up your console's storage.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.