Switch Hacks - Backup and Restore NAND (EmuNAND Compatible)

hekate is a powerful bootloader for the Nintndo Switch with a variety of features and tools that will be helpful when using a hacked Switch. This guide will show you how to use hekate to backup your Switch’s internal storage (NAND) to a file on your PC so that you can restore it back to that moment at any time, in case anything ever goes wrong. This method can also be used to create a functioning EmuNAND from a previously made NAND backup.

If you are hacking your Switch for the first time, this is a great moment to create a clean NAND backup file so that you can always restore to the point before ever running homebrew on the Switch.

“The best backup is the one you never need, the worst backup is the one you never made.”

hekate also features an Auto-RCM setting that can allow your Switch to enter Recovery Mode (RCM) without using a jig every time. This is useful as you will need to enter RCM every time you boot into CFW after powering off.

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 Jigicon-amazon

  • 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 Cableicon-amazon

  • 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 (128GB or Larger Recommended)icon-amazon

  • 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
  • 128GB or more is recommended for storing games
  • 64GB or larger is required to make a full backup of your Switch so it is highly recommended as a minimum

Enter RCM and Boot into hekate

  1. Copy the /bootloader/ folder from the hekate .zip to the root of your SD cardswitch hekate bootloader sd folder
  2. Copy Lockpick_RCM.bin to the /bootloader/payloads/ folder on your SD cardswitch sd lockpick rcm bin payload bootloader hekate folder
  3. Create a folder called /payloads/ on your PC
  4. Copy hekate_ctcaer.bin to the /payloads/ on your PCswitch hekate payload tegrarcmgui
  5. Install TegraRcmGUI and the APX driver when promptedtegrarcmgui install apx driver
  6. Connect your Switch to your PC via USB and ensure it is powered off
  7. 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
  8. The icon in TegraRcmGUI should now read [RCM O.K.]tegrarcmgui rcm ok
  9. 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.

Enable Auto-RCM (Optional)

AutoRCM will configure your Switch to always enter RCM upon powering on. You will no longer need an RCM jig as long as it is enabled, however your Switch will be unable to boot until a payload is injected. This is likely to lead to less wear on your joy con rail, and is the recommended way to avoid booting into stock and preserving your anti-downgrade fuses in case of an accidental update. This setting is completely safe and It is easily reversible from the Hekate menu.

  1. From the hekate menu, select [Tools]switch hekate tools ctcaer
  2. Select [Archive Bit – AutoRCM]switch hekate auto rcm
  3. Set [AutoRCM] to [ON]switch hekate enable auto rcm
  4. Select [Home] to return to the hekate main menuswitch hekate auto rcm enabled

Backup NAND to SD

  1. From the Hekate menu, select [Tools] -> [Backup eMMC]switch hekate tools backup restore nand
  2. Select [eMMC BOOT0 & BOOT1] and wait for the process to completeswitch hekate nand backup emmc boot0 boot1 raw gpp
  3. Select [eMMC RAW GPP] and wait a while for the process to completeswitch hekate backup nand rawnand success
  4. Select [Home] -> [Payloads] to and choose [Lockpick_RCM.bin]switch hekate payloads lockpick rcm
  5. Press the [Power] button to dump your keys from SysNAND to the /switch/ folder on your SD switch lockpick rcm prod keys title backup menu
  6. Press any button to return to the menu and select [Power off]switch lockpick rcm prod keys title backup
  7. Insert your SD card into your PC
  8. Copy the /backup/ folder containing your NAND backup to a safe place on your PCcopy nand backup folder switch
  9. Right-click the /backup/ folder and select [Send to] -> [Compressed (zipped) folder]send to compress zip nand backup folder switch
  10. Go to the /switch/ folder on your SD card
  11. Copy prod.keys and title.keys to the same safe location as your NAND backup fileswitch hekate nand backup prod keys title
Congratulations on creating a backup of your Switch’s NAND, keep your backfup files stored in a safe place. It is recommended to update your NAND backup if you ever update your firmware version.

Restoring NAND From Backup File

  1. Copy your /backup/ folder from your previously made NAND backup to the root of your SD card
  2. Go to the /backup/[8-character-id]/ folderhekate nand backup folder sd restore
  3. Move BOOT0, BOOT1 and rawnand.bin (including all its parts) to the /backup/[8-character-id]/restore/ folderhekate nand backup folder sd restore rawnand file
  4. Insert your SD into your Switch and push the hekate_ctcaer.bin with TegraRcmGUI to boot into hekatehekate tegrarcmgui payload send
  5. Go to [Tools] -> [Restore eMMC]switch hekate tools backup restore nand
  6. Select [eMMC BOOT0 & BOOT1] and press [Power] to confirmswitch hekate nand restore emmc boot0 boot1 raw gpp
  7. Select [eMMC RAW GPP] and wait a while for the process to completeswitch hekate restore nand emmc raw gpp success
  8. Exit and power off your Switchswitch hekate ctcaer power off

Congratulations on restoring your Switch system from a NAND backup file. Your SD card’s files will be unaffected by the process.

Switch Homebrew and Games