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How to Restart Your Animal Crossing Island: Easy Steps to Follow

Wishing you could restart your island? That can only mean one thing: you’re tired of or overwhelmed by the pace of events in your campaign, probably due to an update that subtly changed the course of the game or the wrong choices you’ve made on your island.

Whatever the case, there are different ways to restart your game, and I’ll show you how to do just that in this guide. So, read on below to find out how to restart your Animal Crossing island.

How to Restart Your Island in Animal Crossing


The best time to restart your Animal Crossing island is when picking it up for the first time. The game files don’t save unless you’ve completed your first island day. So, if you don’t like your island layout or made some wrong choices along the line, you can close the game or power off your Nintendo Switch.

This way, your island will restart when you open the game again, with no traces of what you’ve done in the previous attempt. However, if you’ve already completed your first island day, the game will have a save file stored on your Switch’s backend.

When this is the case, the only option you have to restart your Animal Crossing island is to locate the said save file and delete it. Don’t worry; it’s nothing too techy or complicated. The following steps will guide you:


  • Go to your Nintendo Switch home screen
  • Select System Settings from the bottom menu
  • Scroll down to and select Data Management on the left pane
  • Scroll down to and select Delete Save Data at the very bottom of the right pane
  • Locate Animal Crossing from the list of save data for games on your Nintendo Switch
  • Once you find it, select it and then choose Delete All Save Data for this Software
  • You’ll get a prompt on your screen to confirm the deletion. Select Delete Save Data to go ahead with it.

This will reset the game, giving you another chance to start from scratch. This also means losing your character and whatever in-game currencies you’ve amassed in your previous campaign. So, ensure you really want to restart your Animal Crossing island before proceeding with it.

Important Notes for Starting a New Island

Now that you’ve had a fresh start, it’s imperative to keep the following in mind:

  • You’re not allowed to change your name and birthday after they’ve been set
  • Whatever you set your island’s name to be is what sticks with it till the end of your New Horizons campaign
  • You can change your appearance later in the game when you get a mirror
  • You cannot change your island layout until you get the terraforming ability, which comes much later in the game through an Island Designer app.

Related: How to Delete Animal Crossing Island: Seamless Steps to Follow

Final Notes

And that’s how to restart your Animal Crossing island. Relatively easy if you follow the steps correctly. To prevent the possibility of wanting to restart your island again, do well to appraise your island layout and see if it’s something you can live with before unlocking the terraforming ability. 

If it’s not, simply close and open the game if you’ve not completed your first day on the island.

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