How to Cancel Nintendo Switch Online

You can always drop your subscription, but know the drawbacks before you do

A man holding the Nintendo Switch console.

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Nintendo’s online service, Nintendo Switch Online, can enhance one’s enjoyment of the Nintendo Switch console. It enables Nintendo Switch online multiplayer gaming, for example, and also unlocks a massive library of NES video games for subscribers to freely play.

This Nintendo Switch subscription service isn’t for everyone, though, and you may find yourself wanting to cancel it and switch back to a free Nintendo account.

Here’s everything you need to know about turning off your Nintendo Switch Online membership and what happens when you do.

How to Cancel a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

It’s important to emphasize the fact that it’s impossible to pause or immediately cancel a Nintendo Switch Online membership. You can’t stop it or turn it off with a flick of a switch.

The only option is to cancel the renewal payment option, if enabled, and wait for the current term to expire.

  1. Turn on your Nintendo Switch and open the Nintendo eShop app from the lower menu.

  2. Select Nintendo Switch Online.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo 
  3. Select your profile image in the top-right corner.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo
  4. Select Nintendo Switch Online.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo
  5. Select Terminate Automatic Renewal.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo

    It can take up to 48 hours for a renewal cancellation to register so make sure that do this at least two days before your membership is about to renew.

  6. A message will pop up showing you the expiration date for your Nintendo Switch Online membership. Make a note of it or add it to your preferred calendar app so you don’t forget.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo
  7. Select Terminate.

    If you own a family membership, cancelling your Nintendo Switch Online subscription will cancel it for everyone else in the family group as well.

  8. A confirmation message will appear. Select OK.

    Nintendo eShop in the Nintendo Switch video game console.
    Nintendo

    If you ever want to enable automatic renewal for your membership again, simply return to this same screen within the Nintendo eShop app and select Renew.

  9. The automatic renewal for your Nintendo Switch Online membership will now be cancelled and it will end on the date provided to you.

What Happens When My Nintendo Switch Online Subscription Expires?

When you deactivate the membership auto-renewal, all Nintendo Switch Online features will continue to function properly until the expiration date. After the expiration date, several things happen and don’t happen:

  • Your Nintendo account will still exists. You’ll still be able to use your Nintendo Switch, play games, and see when friends are online.
  • No more online games. Without a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you will no longer be able to play online modes in any video game. The one exception to this rule is Fortnite, which will remain fully-playable.
  • No more voice chat.
  • No more cloud saves. Nintendo doesn't keep save data on their cloud servers for expired accounts, so if you break or lose your Nintendo Switch, you'll be unable to restore games from the cloud. Local save data on your system and game cards will work as normal though.
  • No more NES games. After the Nintendo Online service expires, you will lose access to all of the Nintendo Entertainment System video games. Bye bye Legend of Zelda!
  • You keep your purchases. Any digital games or downloadable content purchased from the Nintendo eShop will still be playable and downloadable. You'll also still be able to buy future content from the eShop and play it. No online multiplayer though. Any downloaded Nintendo Switch apps will be fine too.
  • YouTube is fine. You’ll still be able to watch YouTube on your Nintendo Switch console.

Can I Get a Refund to Nintendo Switch Online?

Nintendo doesn’t offer refunds for the cancellation of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, as it’s impossible to turn off a subscription immediately. Instead, the automatic renewal of a membership is turned off and you get full access to the service until its expiration date.

It may be possible to get a refund on a Nintendo Switch Online membership gift card, but only if you haven’t redeemed it, haven't revealed its code, you have the receipt, and the store you got it from accepts gift card returns.