Animal Crossing New Horizons: How To Delete a Resident

Tom Nook of Animal Crossing New Horizons stood under spotlight in the settings menu.

Being able to invite friends or family members to move into your island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great feature. However, many of us will have people who join our island for a day or two to never return. This leaves their vacant tent filling up valuable space on the island... until we delete them. Tom Nook advises that this is a pretty big deal and he's not wrong considering it's not exactly made obvious or easy to do.

In this guide, we've explained how to delete a fellow resident from your island.

Read More: Animal Crossing New Horizons: Who Is Brewster?

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Before Removing A Resident

There are a few things that you should know before you remove a resident from your island. The first being that once their data has been deleted, you'll never be able to get that data back. If they wish to return to your island one day, they'll have to start over. The second is that when their data has been deleted, nobody on your island will remember them or make mention of them. It's all a little bit sad, but if you've had their tent taking up space for a while now, then it's probably the right thing to do. However, perhaps make sure to check with them first!

How to Remove A Resident

A resident can be deleted from an Animal Crossing: New Horizons island by speaking with Tom Nook in settings.
click to enlarge

The process for removing a resident from your island -not to be mistaken with an animal villager- is a little bit long-winded and not at all obvious. That's where we step in and help! To delete residents save data, and therefore them and their home from your island, follow these steps:

  • Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the Nintendo Switch user which you want to remove.
  • While on the title screen, press the '-' button on the Switch to be greeted by Tom Nook on your settings screen.
  • Tom Nook will run you through various warnings as you go through this process, but it'll be nothing you don't already know from this guide!
  • Select 'Save data settings.'
  • Select 'Delete resident registration.'
  • After more dialogue from Tom Nook about the implications of this, select 'Delete resident registration.' once more.
  • Again, select 'Delete it.'
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Once all of these steps have been completed, that resident will be deleted from your island and their home, along with all of their items. You will now need to return to the Home of your Nintendo Switch and relaunch Animal Crossing from your main user if you wish to play on a different save.

Now that sad farewells are out of the way and your island is free of the vacant resident, it's time to continue designing your island however you see fit! We have some handy guides on how to get new villagers, or how to make them leave if that's your next quest.