Switch EmuNAND Setup - Use CFW and Stock OS without Ban Risk

This guide will show you how to setup EmuNAND on your hacked Nintendo Switch. This means using a portion of your SD card as the internal storage (NAND) for your Switch while its running custom firmware. This will be undetectable from the Switch’s stock firmware and will essentially keep your stock and custom firmware environments physically separated.

If your goal is to play your legit games online with the clean SysNAND and enjoy custom firmware with the EmuNAND, this guide will help you set that up.

Required Downloads:

Unpatched Nintendo Switch

  • Not all Nintendo Switch consoles can be hacked; your Switch must be an earlier model (determined by the serial number) that is vulnerable to the fusee-gelee exploit
  • Visit ismyswitchpatched.com  and enter your Switch’s serial number (found on the white strip next to the USB port) to  check if your Switch is hackable
  • The serial number can also be found from the Nintendo Switch Home menu in [System Settings] -> [Settings] -> [Serial Information]

RCM Jig

  • A RCM Jig is required to enter your Switch into RCM mode (Recovery Mode)
  • They are relatively cheap and easy to acquire online

USB-C to USB-A Cable

  • A USB-C to USB-A cable is required to connect your Nintendo Switch to your PC
  • USB-C to USB-C cable can also be used if your computer features a USB-C port

MicroSD Card (64GB or larger)

  • An SD card (and reader) is required to install and launch homebrew on your Nintendo Switch
  • Your SD card must be formatted as FAT32 if your Switch does not have the ExFAT driver installed
  • If you are unsure, use FAT32 to avoid errors.
  • The ExFAT driver can be installed manually without updating firmware after successfully hacking the console
  • 64GB or larger is required to make a full backup of your Switch so it is highly recommended over 32GB

Creating EmuNAND Partition

  1. Insert your SD card into your PC
  2. Backup all of the files on your SD card to a safe place
  3. On your PC, open Run and type diskmgmt.msc open the Disk Management applicationswitch emunand disk management partition windows
  4. Identify your SD card from the drives displayedswitch emunand disk management partition windows sd identify
  5. Right-click your SD card and select [Delete Volume…] -> [Yes]switch emunand disk management partition windows sd delete volume
  6. The SD card space should now display “Unallocatedswitch emunand disk management partition windows sd unallocated
  7. Right-click the SD and select [New Simple Volume…] -> [Next]
  8. Subtract 29856 from the [Maximum disk space in MB]
  9. Enter the result as the [Simple Volume Size in MB]switch emunand disk management partition windows sd create partition
  10. Assign a driver letter then select [Do not format this volume] and click [Next]switch emunand disk management partition windows sd do not format
  11. Cancel any errors or prompts to format the disk drive, do not formatswitch emunand disk management partition windows sd do not format cancel
  12. In Disk Management, Right-click the remaining allocated space on your SD and select [New Simple Volume…] -> [Next]switch emunand disk management partition windows sd select unallocated
  13. Allocate the [Maximum disk space in MB] as the [Simple volume in MB], the value should be 29856switch emunand disk management partition windows sd select allocated
  14. Assign a driver letter then select [Do not format this volume] and click [Next]
  15. Cancel any errors or prompts to format the disk drive, do not format
  16. Once complete, ensure both partitions are assigned drive letters and close Disk Management
  17. Install MiniTool Partition Wizardswitch emunand disk management minitool partition
  18. Once installed, identify your SD card in the MiniTool Partition Wizard main window
  19. Right-click the first partition you created (NOT 29.1 GB) and select [Format]switch emunand disk management minitool partition format partition
  20. Name the partition and set [File System] to FAT32, this will be the main partition of your SD where your files are storedswitch emunand disk management minitool partition format partition fat32
  21. Click [Apply] and close MiniTool Partition Wizard when the process is completeswitch emunand disk management minitool partition format partition fat32 apply
  22. Your partition will now appear as a working SD card drive in Windowsswitch emunand disk management minitool partition working partition

Enter RCM and Boot into hekate

  1. Copy your backed up files back to your SD card
  2. Copy the bootloader folder from the hekate .zip to the root of your SD cardswitch hekate bootloader sd folder
  3. Extract the Atmosphere .zip file
  4. Go to the /atmosphere/ folder from the extracted .zipswitch emunand hekate atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  5. Copy fusee-secondary.bin to the /bootloader/payloads/ folder on your SD cardswitch emunand bootloader payloads atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  6. Go to the /bootloader/ folder on your SD cardswitch emunand bootloader hekate_ipl ini atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  7. Open hekate_ipl.ini in Notepad and add the following lines to the file then save
    [Stock (SYSNAND)]
    fss0=bootloader/payloads/fusee-secondary.bin
    stock=1
    emummc_force_disable=1
    icon=bootloader/res/icon_switch.bmp

    switch emunand hekate_ipl ini atmosphere fusee secondary bin

  8. Create a folder called payloads on your PC
  9. Copy hekate_ctcaer.bin to the /payloads/ folder on your PCswitch hekate payload tegrarcmgui
  10. Insert your SD card into your Switch but do not power it on yet
  11. Install TegraRcmGUI and the APX driver when promptedtegrarcmgui install apx driver
  12. Connect your Switch to your PC via USB and ensure it is powered off
  13. Enter RCM on your Nintendo Switch
    1. Insert your RCM Jig into the Right Joycon slot, sliding it all the way down
    2. Hold down the [Vol+] button and press the [Power] button, the Switch will now enter Recovery Mode (RCM) but the screen will stay offswitch rcm mode jig volume power button
  14. The icon in TegraRcmGUI should now read [RCM O.K.]tegrarcmgui rcm ok
  15. Select the hekate_ctcaer.bin file from the /payloads/ folder on your PC and click [Inject payload], your Nintendo Switch should now boot into Hekatehekate tegrarcmgui payload send

Congratulations on successfully entering RCM and booting into hekate. If you’re new to Switch hacking, consider enabling Auto-RCM to avoid needing the RCM jig in the future.

Setting Up EmuNAND

This method is for creating the EmuNAND from your current SysNAND (Switch Internal Storage). Follow these steps if you wish to create the EmuNAND from a previously made NAND backup.

  1. From the hekate main menu, select [emuMMC]switch emunand hekate emummc
  2. Select [Create emuMMC]switch emunand hekate create emummc
  3. Select [SD Partition]switch emunand hekate create emummc sd partition
  4. Select [Continue] if an applicable partition is foundswitch emunand hekate create emummc continue
  5. Once complete, select [Close]switch emunand hekate create emummc finished
  6. Select [Change emuMMC]switch emunand hekate change emummc
  7. Select the [SD RAW1] partitionswitch emunand hekate change emummc raw1
  8. Your EmuNAND is now [Enabled!]switch emunand hekate emummc enabled

Boot into EmuNAND CFW

To boot into EmuNAND running custom firmware, simply push your CFW payload with TegraRcmGUI. The Switch will always boot into the EmuNAND CFW as long the emunand.ini file is present in the /emuMMC/ folder on your SD card.emunand emummc ini folder

Your EmuNAND will use the /emuMMC/ folder as the location for your CFW’s Nintendo folder. This means content normally stored in the /Nintendo/ folder such game backups installed to SD and Album images will be stored in the /emuMMC/RAW1/Nintendo/ folder while running the EmuNAND.emunand emummc nintendo folder

The Stock SysNAND will use the /Nintendo/ folder on the root of your SD card as normal, this keeps them separated.

If this is your first time hacking your Nintendo Switch and wish to finally set up your custom firmware, follow this guide on installing Atmosphere + Tinfoil / HBG Shop so you can install games directly to your Switch without a PC.

Boot into Stock SysNAND OFW

To boot into the Switch’s stock official firmware, you must use the hekate payload with TegraRcmGUI.switch hekate launch stock

Select [Launch] -> [Stock (SYSNAND)] from the main menu to boot into your console’s stock firmware without any hacks.switch hekate launch stock sysnand

If you are converting your SysNAND CFW to EmuNAND CFW and wish to clean your SysNAND to run completely stock, follow this guide on cleaning your NAND of custom firmware files and restoring it to stock Horizon (Switch) OS.

If your Switch’s internal storage (NAND) is completely clean, you an “safely” go online, browse the eShop and update your firmware normally*. Your EmuNAND will be unaffected by the changes, you can update your EmuNAND’s firmware with the ChoidujourNX homebrew if you ever wish to do so.

Congratulations on setting up EmuNAND on your Nintendo Switch, you will now be able to use the Stock SysNAND and CFW EmuNAND concurrently. In short, you’ll now be able to play online on the Stock SysNAND with far less risk of being banned while still having access to the custom firmware benefits with EmuNAND such as game backups and homebrew.

You may wish to change one of your EmuNAND / SysNAND themes in [System Settings] to help you distinguish the two and prevent confusion.switch emunand sysnand dark theme

Switch Homebrew and Games

Credits