Video Game

Managing screenshots from consoles

Export media files from PS4 and Switch

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Writing Time
Reading Time
3 mins
Word Count
750 approx.

I love my Switch. It’s a great gaming console and has sparked a lot of fun for me. I took screenshots a lot when I was playing games. But when it comes to organizing media files, the Nintendo Switch failed at that. It’s the worst way of managing media files on their system.

Please be aware.

This is a rant post.

I played quite a lot of video games since I bought my first console in 2010. At the time, consoles like the PS3 didn’t have a screen capture feature. Not until the PlayStation 4 was released in 2013. I think I’ve taken over a few thousand screenshots of different games since then. However, I sold most of my PS3 and PS4 games a few years ago. I’ve got only a few of them left in my collection. I’m glad that I have taken those screenshots while playing them.

The PS4 system did a very reasonable job in their media gallery. Everything is simple and straightforward. It’s very easy to manage those media files and export them to an external hard drive. Then I can copy them on my mac to do whatever I want to. I’ve nothing to complain about it.

A screen capture on macOS displaying a folder listing with games’ titles
Folder listing with games’ titles

They all have a dedicated folder for each game. The folder’s name is followed by the title of that specific game. So, if you’re playing a game and take some screenshots, no matter how many you’ve taken, they will all go into the same folder. When you look for a game in the exported folders, you can sort by name and look for whatever you’re looking for and locate it easily. It makes sense, right?

A screen capture on macOS displaying image files in the “Deleted Applications” folder
Image files in the “Deleted Applications” folder

Also, if there’re any games that you have deleted on the PS4, they will then put those media files into a folder called “Deleted Applications.” But worry not, they named each of the files with the title of the game in it, respectively. You can still view them, search for them, without any confusion. Everything seems logical to me.

However, on the Nintendo Switch, it’s a total disaster when it comes to managing media files. They put every single media file in a folder where the folder’s name is followed by the date when you captured them. Let’s say you’re playing Xenoblade 3 and took a screenshot today, 4 Oct 2022. Those files will go to the same folder with a folder structure that look like this: 2022 > 10 > 04. The folder structure they use to organize files is simply wrong. In fact, this is fucking ridiculous.

A screen capture on macOS displaying the folder structure of the image album exported from Switch
The folder structure of the image album exported from Switch

The problem is, it is very difficult to look for screenshots of a game. They’re not making this easy for their users. Say you’ve played multiple of games on the Switch and taken many screenshots. How are you going to locate those files of a certain game? Can anyone even remember the date of playing a game? All of the files will get mixed up with each other. Every screenshot you’ve taken, no matter which game it’s from, will appear in the folder by the date you took them.

And to make things worse, they decided not to name the files with the game’s title in them. You can’t tell which folder is from which game by its folder name. You can’t tell which screenshot is from which game by its file name either. You’ve got to go through each of the folders to look for them. You’re not able to search for files, or sort them by name. Seriously, what the fuck?

Not only does it suck, it’s unacceptable for a “modern” device. Even if it was released like a decade ago, they should have done better. I dare say even a primary school student who’s from the ’00s can manage files better than the Switch.

The good news is that I’ve finally completed Xenoblade 3 and am still playing that post-game content. I will write a post about it soon. Until next time.

This is #Day67 of #100DaysToOffload.


  1. I sold most of the games at a reasonable price, around 70-80% of the original. For games that I don’t sell, they’re mostly Final Fantasy titles. I’m still waiting for the remastered version of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. ↩︎