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How to Transfer all Your Data from the Nintendo Wii to the Wii U November 19, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.

So, you want to put all the save data, purchased games, Miis, and purchase history from your original Wii Console into your new Wii U? Good news, you can! Here’s how you do it!

Things you’ll need:

  • Your original Wii Console.
  • Your new Wii U Console.
  • One (1) SD or SDHC memory card with at least 512MB free space.
  • At least one WiiMote. MotionPlus capability not needed.
  • Wireless Network connected to the Internet.

I recommend:

  • Have your Wii and Wii U properly installed on two different TVs in your house.
  • Have at least two WiiMotes. One should be synced to the Wii and one synced to the Wii U.  Normal WiiMotes are fine.  MotionPlus is not required or needed.


  1. Both the Wii and Wii U must be properly hooked up to televisions and connected to a Wireless Network with access to the Internet. If you don’t know how to hook up the Wii click this link and watch this video. If you don’t know how to install a Wii U please watch this.  Make sure that both consoles are properly connected to your WiFi network and have internet access.
  2. Update the internal firmware in your Wii and Wii U. This is a requirement for the transfer process to work for the Wii and a requirement for backwards compatibility with the Wii U. New firmware was released the day of the Wii U launch, and it is highly likely even if you just picked up a Wii U you probably don’t have it yet.  If you don’t know if you have the latest firmware already the Wii U will install its latest firmware automatically the first time you start it.  The Wii will notify you to update its firmware if needed when logging in to the Wii Shop Channel.

Okay, now that we have everything ready let’s get started.

  1. On your Wii, go to the Wii Shop Channel and download the Wii to Wii U Transfer Channel in the Wii Channel menu. Price is 0 Wii Points. The program takes up around 70 or so blocks of Wii memory.  Purchase and download it.
  2. Sync a WiiMote to the Wii U and access the Wii Menu.  This will bring up a very similar interface to the Wii.  Use your WiiMote to navigate to the Wii to Wii U Transfer Channel and select Download.  This may take you automatically to the Wii Shop Channel to download the transfer tool, which is 0 Wii Points.  Purchase and download it to your Wii U.
  3. Run the Wii to Wii U transfer program on your Wii U.  When prompted insert the SD or SDHC memory card into the Wii U.  The SD slot is behind the front panel of the Wii U.  There is a small door that can be pried open from the top on the Wii U’s front panel below the disc drive.  Open it and insert the memory card when prompted by the transfer tool.  Follow all the prompts and DO NOT remove the card until the Wii U tells you that it is okay.
  4. When prompted, remove the SD or SDHC memory card from the Wii U.

Okay, we’re set with the Wii U for the moment, leave it running but take the memory card to where the Wii is.

  1. Run the Wii to Wii U transfer tool on the Wii. Follow the prompts exactly and when prompted, insert the SAME memory card you had just had in the Wii U into your Wii.  Like the Wii U, the Wii has its SD Card slot in its front panel just below the disc drive. Open the protective door from the top to expose the slot.
  2. Once the card has been inserted, continue to follow the prompts until the transfer process begins.
  3. Have a coke. Do not worry about your data, the Pikmin inside your Wii will move all of it into the memory card for you.  That’s no joke, watch the transfer progress screen.  It’s really entertaining.
  4. When the final Pikmin have taken all of your data into their rocket ship (and picked up the last guy they forgot about) the Wii will prompt you to remove the SD card from the Wii. Remove the SD card. After you do so, the Wii should restart.

You can turn the Wii off now, we’re not going to need to use it again.  Take the memory card back to the Wii U.

  1. Insert the same SD or SDHC card you just had in the Wii (the one with all the Pikmin in it) back into the Wii U. Follow the prompts.
  2. Have another coke. The Pikmin will get out of their rocket shop and start unpacking all your data for you. Be aware it will take longer to unpack your data than it did to pack it up. That is because the Wii U is automatically redownloading all the compatible games and channels you had on your Wii at the time of transfer.
  3. When the Pikmin have finished their work your Wii U will now have all the downloaded channels, Virtual Console games, save games and Wii Shop Channel balance your Wii did. Some channels such as the Internet Channel, Nintendo Channel, or Check Me Out Channel can’t be transferred, so don’t worry when you don’t see them.
  4. The Wii U will empty the data it stored in your memory card. Eject it when prompted.

You’re done. Enjoy your Wii U!

If you’re having any problems during the process, here’s a troubleshooting tip.

If for any reason during the transfer the program is unable to connect to the Internet and you know there is nothing wrong with your Wii or Wii U Internet settings, simply hit retry. The issue could be Nintendo was simply overloaded with transfer requests.


  • This is ONE WAY. You cannot transfer your data back to your Wii.
  • Once you transferred your original Wii data to the SD or SDHC card, do NOT lose it. Once the data is put on it, it is effectively your Wii. Take caution when bringing it from the Wii to the Wii U. Take a look at the kid gloves I used with mine.




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[…] able to do one of the most important features I appreciated having for owners of the original Wii, Wii to Wii U data transfer.  The process performed flawlessly for me.  It transferred over all the save games and […]

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[…] Wii U Virtual Console –  The Wii U is getting its own Virtual Console.  Users rebuying games they had already purchased on the Wii will be able to rebuy their games at a heavy discount to take advantage of the new features Wii U virtual console games will have.  All a user will have to do to earn these discounts is transfer their Wii saves and purchases to the Wii U using the transfer tool. […]

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7. Luke - May 27, 2014

All very useful, but you should cut down on the coke, that shit ain’t good for anyone

Maniac - June 4, 2014

I’ll try. Thanks.

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