Box art - Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How to restart Animal Crossing: New Horizons island

There are a few reasons players might want to restart Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game, unfortunately, only has one save slot, so the only way to experience it again from the beginning is to reset it entirely. Those that commit to an island restart in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can experience the magic of building a village again. However, there are some major caveats to doing this of which players should be aware.

How to restart an island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons Restart Your Island

It’s entirely possible to restart an island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (even with updated content installed). The process to delete, save data and reset the island is pretty straightforward. However, players should be aware that the decision is permanent. Once an island is deleted in New Horizons, it’s gone for good.

There are two types of save slots in Animal Crossing: New Horizons: island owners and island residents. The island owner is the character that initially created the island. Players can’t ever delete these characters. However, island residents, characters that moved to the island after it was created, can be deleted by:

  • Opening Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  • Press Minus to open the menu.
  • Press Minus a second time to open the Save Data menu.
  • Highlight “Delete Resident Registration.”
  • Press A and confirm the deletion.

The above steps will remove an island resident and all their possessions from the game. The island itself will remain as is, minus the deleted resident’s presence.

The island itself can’t be restart inside the game. To reset the island in New Horizons, players must delete the save via the Switch’s Home menu. To do so:

  • Boot to the Nintendo Switch’s main menu.
  • Open System Settings.
  • Move to Data Management.
  • Choose Delete Save Data
  • Highlight Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  • Press A, then confirm the save data deletion.

Once these steps are followed, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will start as if it were the first time upon the next launch. Players can create a new character and set up a new island.