Wii U SD Card – Nintendo Wii U Expanded Storage, Explained

Wii U SD Card

Wii U SD Card – As we approach the era of big data and Nanotechnology, storage space will be an issue in the tech industry. And as more games with high performance and graphics evolve, lots of storage space will be on the rise to install and play them. However, just as the problem or limitation to storage space evolves, the solution to it also evolves.




Wii U SD Card

Game lovers can enjoy a wide range of games from their Nintendo Wii U devices, but this is limited due to the shortage of game space.

The question is, what can an 8GB storage space help you do? Don’t try to answer it, and there is more.


Although, the Deluxe version of Nintendo has an improvement of 32GB memory space. The good news is that despite the huge chunk of memory consumed by those games for installation and running, Wii U Nintendo users can enjoy more games on their devices without deleting installed games to clear up space.


How to Expand your Nintendo Storage – Nintendo Wii U Expanded Storage, Explained – Increase Storage Size


Learn how you can expand your storage space with Wii U SD Card when you’re running out of space.


1.  Connect a Standard USB Flash Drive to Your Wii U Nintendo Game Console

The Wii U Nintendo game console is compatible with a standard flash drive, operating as an external storage option. Aside from being cheap or affordable, it is available online and in retail stores. It can double the Wii U’s storage.

However, Nintendo kicks against the use of USB flash drive devices because they are not initially designed for game use, and it is limited in the number of reading/write cycles before they wear out. In other words, it could fade and die, resulting in loss of data.

Consequently, while the standard flash drive may work for a limited time on your Wii U Nintendo game console, there is no guarantee that it would stand the test of time, and it is not recommended for use.

2. Use Wii U SD Cards

Nintendo users are usually impressed at the sight of a Wii U Nintendo game console. You will notice that it embodies an SD card slot at the console’s front from its design. Sadly, this SD card slot cannot be used to store games or increase game running space. Instead, it is designed o read/write pictures of your Miis, holding screenshots in super Smash Bros. For Wii U, and for transferring data or files from one Wii U device to another Wii U device. We had hope for better.

The bright side of this is that with a USB card reader, one can circumvent this by inserting the SD card into a USB card reader and then plug the card reader into the game console to read it.

After successfully reading the device, the game console will allow for its operation as a USB drive ad, not a card reader.

The twist to this is that not all video games can frequently be read successfully through card readers. This is because it operates more or less like a flash drive, so it shares associating problems. The method is resourceful, except that it kills the SD cards quickly.

It is noteworthy to state that Nintendo released an official statement that the Wii U Nintendo game is adaptable to SDHC memory cards up to 32GB but does not support SDCX cards. Multiple users online have also confirmed that they use larger cards with no visible problems.


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3. Use External Hard Drives For Wii U Nintendo Game Console

This is the only method officially confirmed and recommended for use as enlargement of Nintendo Wii U game console memory space. This is mostly referred to as Nintendo’s official solution for storage shortage problems. It stands as the best option to use.

While it may seem simple an option to adopt, a user must be cautious of the type and authenticity of hard drives he intends to buy for use as an external storage device.

The recommendation entails that hard drives with AC power that plugs into the wall should be used. The capacity of the hard card be more than 2TB and will work perfectly. Still, it should be noted that the Wii U device will use only 2TB as that is the designed limit.

The use of external SSDs is not advisable as it is not recommended. Visit Nintendo’s web page to know the list of external hard drives confirmed compatible for use with the Nintendo Wii U game console devices.

While you should check out for current models before purchasing, be sure that those devices guarantee safety.

4. Connect Your Wii U Game Console with An Existing Drive

Using a desktop external drive under 2TB will work perfectly well with your Wii U device. All you need do is to connect the USB cable into one of the Wii U back USB ports and then plug the other end into a power outlet.

This is reliable because the hard drive will enjoy an independent source of power rather than weaken the Wii U’s power through the reliance on it.

There are also portable drives that can be used to opt-out of using externally powered external drives. These portable drives are relatively smaller, and they make use of single cables for both transfers of data and to receive power.

However, this is not recommended for use as Wii U may not provide an adequate output for the portable drive to run on, thereby resulting in possible loss of data and crashes.

The foregoing can be mitigated through the use of USB Y Cable. These cables are capable of solving problems associated with the help of portable hard drives.

They are designed to contain one plug on the external drive end split into two on the Wii U’s end. This aids the efficient use of power and quick data transfer.

The common problem reported about USB Y cables instead of AC-powered hard drives is that the Wii U game console may randomly shut down, and the Wii U devices may not recognize the portable hard drives.

Where you have an old hard drive lurking around, it may be best to repurpose the old drive into an external device by merely buying a USB hard drive enclosure to cover the drive and a USB Y cable to connect it to your console.

What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing a New External Drive For Your Wii U

Recall that we discussed earlier that Nintendo confirms and recommends the use of recognizable External hard drives. Many of which are listed on the Nintendo website.

The need for a specifically purposed external hard serves as a backup plan where there is no spare or to replace a bad one. The size of Wii U games is relatively smaller than PS4, PS5, or Xbox One titles.

If you can buy 1 TB sized external hard drive, it should be enough to cover the best Wii U gaming experience.

Nowadays, because the prices of old model external drives with lesser memory capacity seem to be costlier than modern ones with larger space, it is preferable to purchase the modern ones as it is of better value and cost.

An excellent example of a 1 TB external drive is the Fantom Drives, which offers a good balance of storage and price. Other compatible external hard drives can be found on the Wii subreddit.

Finally, it is essential to note USB 2.0 ports are compatible with the Will U Nintendo game console.

Still, once used continuously on the device, it may not work well with others. It also works well with USB 3.0 devices, but the console will not tap from the device’s fast speed.


How to Format a Drive For Use On Wii U Nintendo Game Console

Irrespective of the method you adopt in expanding your Wii U storage space, the device you choose to adopt must still be formatted. This to ensure that the drive is used specifically on the Wii U device and not on others. For instance, this prohibits the back and forth use of the drive on PC and your Wii U device.

So, once you intend to purchase an external drive for use on your Wii U, you must permanently use it for the same purpose.

To Format a new device or external drive, follow the necessary steps below:

  • Turn off your Wii U before connecting the device.
  • Plug its USB cable(s) into the system’s rear USB port(s)
  • Then turn on the console.
  • You will see a prompt to format the device.
  • Select continue to format the device

This process will permanently erase all data previously stored on the drive.

Note: If you have important files in the drive, ensure you back it up on another device before formatting.

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How to Format your SD Manually | Wii U SD Card

Where the format prompt does not come up, it can be done manually by:

  • Select the system settings icon on your Wii U’s menu
  • Please scroll to the Data Management option and press A to select it
  • Select the Delete All Data on USB Storage Device option
  • Follow the instructions to format your external hard drive.
  • Once this is done, your device is formatted and automatically placed at your Wii U device’s default download location.

Note that Games can be moved manually to the internal system memory.

How To Manage Your Wii U’s Game Console Data

Once your external drive is fully set up, you can control or manage the data on it at any time. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Go to System Settings
  • Then select Data Management.
  • Select the Copy/Move/Delete Data option.
  • To see the games installed on your drive, Choose the USB Storage option.
  • To view games on the system internal storage, Select System Memory.
  • Where you intend to copy or move data between drives, perhaps to back up saved games, press Y to copy or X to move it. Tap the Y or X button again. Then follow the prompt confirming the action.

How to Delete Game Data

To delete game data, highlight the game and then Press A. Through this, you can browse the various saved data for that game. Select everything you want to delete, the Choose Delete. This can help you save memory space.

Note that you can only use one external storage device with your Wii U device at a time.

The Best Option for Expanding Wii U Storage | Wii U SD Card

Throughout this article, we have put you through the different ways of expanding your Wii U Nintendo game console’s storage size. The summary of these options are as follows:

Using an external hard drive under 2TB that can be plugged into the AC power wall is the best option as Nintendo has recommended it. To see variants of this hard drive, visit the Nintendo website.
It is not recommended to use flash drives or SD cards because they wear out can be damaged easily.
A USB Y cable can be used with a portable drive, but its performance may not be optimal.
While it is also possible to repurpose an old hard drive using an enclosure that can work, its performance may not be satisfactory.
It is advisable to get larger and modern hard drives for the Wii U game control than to purchase old and smaller hard drives.
The Wii U is compatible with USB 3.0, but it can not utilize USB’s speed for improved performance.



Nintendo Wii U games can now be played on Nintendo Switch, a latter and better version of the Nintendo game console. The Nintendo Switch was made with improved control performance, game play speed, better Visual quality, and an enhanced memory storage capacity.

So, purchasing a later version of the Nintendo console like the Nintendo though more expensive gives greater value.

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