How to Transfer Game Data From One Wii to Another

By Matt Skaggs

The Wii has external data storage that you can use to transfer game files.
i Scott Barbour/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Nintendo Wii stores its game data using its own internal memory, unlike other Nintendo products, which store the data on the game cartridges. That means if you get a new Wii or you want to show a friend your game progress on another Wii, you may have to transfer your game data. The Wii can transfer this data onto SD or SDHC cards, and the process only requires a few steps.

Wii Save Games

Whenever you play a game on the Wii, your data, like game progress and characters you've created, is saved to the console's internal memory. This is different than the Xbox 360 and the PS3's data management, since both of them use hard drives. Memory is often more limited than hard drive space, but it's also faster, so there are benefits and limitations to the Wii's hardware. The Wii has 512MB of memory, so if you use up all of that memory, you'll have to remove some data, but usually 512MB is more than enough.

Data Transfer

Whenever you transfer data from one device to another, you're copying every part of the data from the first device onto the second. Some devices can do this over a network or over the Internet, which is often a simple and fast method. The Wii does have the capability to connect to a network, but unfortunately you can't transfer data that way. You can use external storage for this, though, and all you need is a single SD or SDHC card.

Transferring Game Data

The process of transferring game data is fairly straightforward. You first copy the data to the SD card by inserting the card and selecting the "Wii Settings" option from the Wii main menu. Then you select "Data Management," "Save Data" then "Wii." See two tabs. The first is "Wii," and it is selected by default; it shows the data on the Wii. The second is "SD Card," and it shows the data on the card. Then all you do is select the game to transfer in the Wii tab, click "Copy" in the menu that appears and allow it to copy. Then just put the SD card in the second Wii, navigate to the "SD Card" tab in the "Data Management" section, click the game and then select "Copy" again.


If you want to use an SDHC card, you need to have both Wiis upgrade to at least Wii Menu 4.0. A standard SD card is fine for transferring game data, but if you decide to use an SDHC card, you need the right menu version. Also, you have to have enough available space on the SD card to transfer game data. The data is small, so there probably won't be any problems, but you can delete data using your Wii or using a computer. The option to delete data is found by selecting a file in the "SD Card" tab in "Data Management," then selecting "Erase."