how to restart animal crossing
by Collette Tilly in


Ah, Animal Crossing! If there ever was a game that stole our hearts, made us laugh, cry, and dream, it’s this one. Picture this: soft breezes whisking away through the trees, the chirpy melodies of K.K. Slider in the air, and you, the proud owner of an idyllic island. But, hey! Sometimes, you might just feel that itch – a yearning for a new start, a clean slate. And, oh boy, if you’re nodding your head right now, then, honey, you’re at the right place! Ready to dive deep into the world of restarting Animal Crossing? Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Why Would Someone Want to Restart?

Life’s a roller coaster, isn’t it? One moment you’re flying high, and the next, you’re thinking, “Gosh! Why did I place my museum next to the cliff?” As with life, our virtual choices can sometimes lead to virtual regrets. Whether you’re chasing that fresh start, want a new layout, or are just dying to relocate that pesky resident (looking at you, Pietro), there’s a myriad of reasons to turn the page and start anew.

Firstly, there’s the thrill of the unknown, the sheer adventure of it. You know, the kind of feeling you get when you’re reading a book and you’re so engrossed you forget to breathe? Yeah, that’s the one. Then, perhaps you’ve learned a thing or two and want to avoid earlier mistakes. Remember that river you couldn’t quite hop across, or that tree you accidentally chopped down? (Oh, the humanity!) Well, starting over offers a fresh canvas for all those dreams and ideas. And let’s be honest, sometimes, you just want to see Tom Nook’s initial tutorial again. Bless his capitalist heart!

Backup Before You Wipe!

Hold up, cowboy! Before you ride into the sunset of new beginnings, remember to pack your bags—or in this case, backup your data. There’s nothing sadder than a gamer with lost save data, trust me. It’s like a donut without sprinkles. Sure, it’s still sweet, but it’s just not right.

Backing up your data is like storing your precious memories in a locket. They remain safe and sound, waiting for you whenever you wish to reminisce. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Head over to the Nintendo Switch System Settings.
  2. Find Data Management in the list. (It’s lurking there somewhere, promise!)
  3. Choose Save Data Cloud, and voila! Your memories are safe, tucked away like a squirrel’s acorn stash for winter.
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The Step-by-Step Guide to Restarting

Alright, brave soul, it’s time to hit that restart button. But, a word of caution: this path is like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia—there’s no turning back (at least for your island). But, as the age-old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens (or in this case, when one save file gets deleted, another adventure awaits).

Step 1: Fire up your Nintendo Switch and make sure Animal Crossing is not running. If it is, close it! (It’s for the best.) Step 2: Navigate your way to System Settings. Step 3: Scroll down to Data Management. It’s a tad sneaky, but you’ve got this! Step 4: Click on Delete Save Data. Take a deep breath, it’s a big step! Step 5: Choose Animal Crossing from the list and confirm your decision. Remember, it’s like jumping into a cold pool—just do it quick!

Embarking on Your New Journey

The dawn of a new day in Animal Crossing is like waking up on Christmas morning. The anticipation, the surprise, the sheer thrill of the unknown. But before you start shaking every tree and chasing after every butterfly, here are some tips to lay the groundwork for your utopian virtual paradise:

  • Location, Location, Location! – Picking your island’s layout is crucial. Think about it. Would you rather have a sprawling island with intricate river systems or a quaint little island with a centralized town square? Listen to your heart, and let your inner town planner shine!
  • Meet and Greet – Those adorable residents aren’t just there for window dressing. Engage with them, attend their birthday parties, and deliver those lost items. Building relationships is the heart and soul of this game.
  • Budgeting with Bells – Ah, money! While you might not have to deal with stocks and mortgages, managing your bells in the game is key. Remember, a saved bell is an earned bell!
  • Nature is Your Canvas – Plant trees, flowers, and shrubs galore. Design your island keeping in mind the ebbs and flows of nature. After all, your island should be a haven for both residents and critters alike.
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The Bittersweet Beauty of Starting Over

It’s both an end and a beginning, a melancholic farewell and a joyous hello. Leaving behind an old island is like bidding adieu to a cherished friend. There’s an undeniable nostalgia, a silent whisper of all the memories made. But here’s where the magic lies: the universe of Animal Crossing is filled with endless possibilities, and every restart is a fresh story waiting to be written.

Think of it as an age-old tree. You’ve enjoyed its shade, climbed its branches, maybe even built a treehouse. But now, you’re planting a new seed, nurturing a new sapling, and dreaming of the mighty tree it will become.

Old Memories & New Adventures

It’s okay to miss your old island. It’s alright to think back fondly on the sunny days, the fishing tournaments, and the late-night stargazing sessions. These memories are like a warm blanket on a chilly winter’s night. But, as they say, every ending is a new beginning.

The beauty of Animal Crossing is that every day is a surprise. From random visits by quirky characters like Flick and C.J. to sudden meteor showers lighting up the night, the game is chock-full of delightful unpredictabilities. And as you tread the familiar yet unfamiliar paths of your new island, remember that every moment, every interaction, is a potential memory in the making.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Starting anew gives you the edge of foresight, the power of hindsight. Let’s make sure your new beginning is as smooth as butter on a hot pancake. Here are some pitfalls you might want to avoid:

  • Overdevelopment: It’s tempting to pave every inch, but leaving some natural spaces gives critters a home and you, a more organic feel.
  • Ignoring Your Neighbors: They’re not just NPCs; they’re the lifeblood of your island. Engage, converse, and build those bonds!
  • Splurging on Unnecessary Items: We all love a shopping spree, but save those bells for key items and infrastructure.
  • Forgetting About the Seasons: The game’s calendar has its own rhythm. Anticipate changes, and plan events and activities accordingly.
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Key Takeaways

As we mosey down this path of resetting and restarting, it’s always good to take a moment and reflect on our learnings. Here’s a quick roundup of the most important nuggets from our deep dive:

  • New Beginnings Rock!: Embracing change, even in a virtual world, teaches us resilience and adaptability. And hey, who can resist the allure of starting fresh?
  • Memories are Golden: As you move forward, cherish the moments, the laughter, the tears, and even the faux pas of your previous game. They’re the chapters of your Animal Crossing memoir.
  • Wisdom from Mistakes: With the clarity of hindsight, you’ve got the power to make smarter choices this time around.
  • Engage with the World: From the cool cats to the bugs that go buzz in the night, every entity in the game adds to the tapestry of your island story.
  • Nature is Key: Respect it, nurture it, and dance in its rhythm. It’s the silent symphony that brings your island to life.


Q: Will I lose all my items when I restart?
A: Yep, starting anew means a clean slate. Your old items won’t be transferred to the new game. But hey, think of all the fun you’ll have rediscovering them!

Q: Can I get my old island back once I delete it?
A: Unfortunately, once you delete that save file, it’s gone, just like footprints in the sand washed away by the waves.

Q: How many times can I restart my game?
A: As many times as your heart desires! It’s your world, after all. Keep chasing that dream layout!

Q: Is restarting a common thing among players?
A: You bet! Many players restart to experience the game in new ways, fix previous mistakes, or simply to breathe new life into their gameplay.


Restarting Animal Crossing is like rereading a beloved book; you discover nuances you missed before, experience emotions from a fresh perspective, and weave new tales even as the central narrative remains the same. It’s a journey, a whirlwind of emotions, a roller coaster of highs and lows. As you stand at the precipice of a brand-new adventure, remember: it’s not just about the destination, but the stories you weave along the way.

Here’s to new horizons, new dreams, and an island that echoes with the melodies of your heart. Dive in, explorer, for the world of Animal Crossing awaits with open arms!

Collette Tilly is an avid gamer and writer with a particular passion for WoW, Diablo and The Sims 4. Collette is also a proud owner of a black cat, who secretly wants to take over the world. When she's not gaming or writing, Collette enjoys indulging in her guilty pleasure of watching 'trash' TV series.
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