How to swap your Vita memory card without formatting




Thanks to the latest EML write trick by Mr.Gas @gabaas1 and Major Tom @frtomtomdu80 a way to swap the memory card to a different account is finally possible!!


As for the technical part, there is a file located on your memory card called id.dat which contains critical information linked to your Vita. If this info doesn’t match to your account, the system wants you to format the memory card.

This is what ux0:/ aka the memory card looks like:

psvita dir

And this is what the id.dat file contains:


All you need to do now is use the EML tool to replace your original id.dat file with an empty one! Once the system checks the file now it thinks this is a new card and creates all information new but keeps everything else on it.

Lets do this step by step:

1) Download the EML tool if you haven’t already (Download)

2) Create a plain text file called id.dat on your Desktop for example

3) Now open the EML File generator and select said id.dat file in the file-field. And additionally write id.dat in the path-field as this is the path where your plain file should be installed to.


4) Once the .eml file is generated you will need to send it to yourself via either Thunderbird or Outlook Express.

5) On your Vita open up the email app and view the e-mail you just send yourself.

6) Click on the attachment but do NOT push OK on the appearing Error Message!!!


7) Just close the e-mail app immediately and remove the memory card..

You should now be able to put this memory card into any other Vita without the need to format! But remember that you will need to redo this process every time you want to swap again! ๐Ÿ™‚


And for everyone else being too lazy to create said eml file themselfs:

(proceed with step 4 from here)


Catch me on twitter: @freakler94

About Freakler

Moin! Occasional programmer, number 2 here at & creator of the PlayStationGuide. I mainly talk about console-hacking related stuff..


  1. It says this file is not compatible with this ps vita system,what am I doing wrong tried like 5 times emailed the eml with thunderbird with attachment

  2. @Freakler
    Does this means i can now play my bought games from USA account to be played on my PS Vita which is tied to EU PSN account without the whole swapping trick which involves restoring PS vita to factory settings ?
    Waiting for your reply ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I am interested in the same thing, especially if I can play USA games bought and downloaded on a memory with my EU PSN account on the other memory (so to get trophies on my main account). Hoping in a confirmation

    • No, ๐Ÿ™ as the games are still link to your account.

      • Thanks for clearing the cloud of doubts here Hackz ๐Ÿ™‚
        It’s OK Really ๐Ÿ˜‰
        As a wise man once told me “One step at a time son”
        The Developers will get there eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi i just can’t get it
    Does it mean IF I have US memory card and JP memory card
    First insert US memory card and use this trick
    Then insert JP memory card

    Then can I play JP DL game??

    OR even If i swap memorycard, is vita still tied to US account??

    • No everything installed on one memory card is still tied to your account and can’t be launched. It just lets you use said memory card without formatting it before..

  4. hello, how bout if I have retail(cart) games with some DLCs on 3.15 PSVita TV and want to play on a PSVita.. Is it possible to just swap with this tool?

    • and btw, is this possible with different vitas with different accounts?

      Vita 1k – US account
      Vita TV – Asia account


      • Yes you should be able to even swap between accounts! But remember you won’t be able to use anything of your content if you do so.

        • what do you mean by this..
          ” you wonโ€™t be able to use anything of your content if you do so”


          • If the other Vita is activated with a different account, nothing of you content on said memory card will work.

        • so even when swapped, I cannot play my asian games on my vita because it was activated with a US account.

      • so I swap between US account and JAPAN all the time 1 memory card for each. here is how

        1 goto settings on vita then goto format
        2 do system restore.
        3 it asks to format card say NO
        it may ask to de link with psn say yes
        4 reboot
        5 turn system off. remove SD card

        setting up for new region
        1 turn on vita.
        2 run setup
        3 when intro movie is playing insert CARD from region desired.
        4 it will ask to reboot say yes (this skips the intro movie)
        5 goto settings psn and activate for game and content.
        all the games will be playable at this time.
        themes have to be reapplied
        layout of menu is not saved when transferred.

  5. Cool, it works! Thanks for the tutorial, Freakler!

  6. Does this work for same accounts but iffrent fw ? Like my vita tv has the exploit games while my vita inn a lower fw does not would that work

  7. And what about if i buy new Vita, take card from old Vita with that trick, put it in my new vita (which is not activated yet) and will create on new Vita the same Acc like on old one. Will i be able to use it ? Will the vita get activated with PSN to my acc without updating FW or i have to still use PS3 for that ?

    • No because the devices are different. The activation files are per device. Also activation is not stored on the memory card but another partition.

      • Even if i buy the old version of Vita ? (not the new one) I dont have PS3 and i would like to keep the new one on 3.18. I guess i will have to wait till somebody find out how to activate vita with PSN acc without updating fw and without PS3.

  8. Just a heads up, it should be possible to change the icons of bubbles using this method, just locate the PNG of your app and create a EML file with the new image in the right size leading to that location.

  9. Noobish question incoming: so after reading the comments, now i know that even if did this trick i couldn’t use my usa account games with my euro account, so the question woukd be: is there a way to unlink games too, i mean, if its on the mem card there must be something similar on that like this… And if it is, do you know how to unlink it, and if yes would you make a tutorial? So much ifs, that there is basically no hope :/

  10. So, really I just wasted 1 hour to do this and to find out it was worth bullsh*t as I won’t be able to use games on my other account and play it on a different on.

  11. can i view my pictures on my pictures app and my videos on my videos app when using this?

    • No its every simple to use make the file using the eml file generator. Then email yourself the file, vita the email you use on the vita. Then open it up via the email app on the vita and hit the attached file. You get a error saying “can not display image” When you see that just close the email app. Do not hit the ok button. Then pull out your memory card so you can swap it to another vita on lower firmware and you want get asked to update. That is all this trick does is bypass the update so you can swap memory cards without getting asked to update your vita on lower firmware.

  12. can this be done using mac os x computers?
    the screen shots are windows and i do not have any windows or pc computers…
    if no mac ver exist , can you make 1?

  13. in the future can a simpler version be made where i can just go on a website using vita web browser to instantly activate the hack?

    like the game boy color games on 3ds hack or the cubit ninja 3ds game hack to bypass region lock of 3ds games?

    are you or your group able to make something that allows 3ds usres to play games from other regions similar to that gameboy color game playable on 3ds hack?

    hoping to someday be able to play japanese senran kagura burst on usa 3ds before getting japanese 3ds many years form now…..

  14. Does this hack continue to work after the 3.55 update? I want to update either my pstv or vita, but not both.

    • No, unfortunately. 3.55 patched out the email hack, so after updating, you won’t be able to use the card on any older firmware devices.

  15. i format my memory card and create a new psn account. Can i access my save datas from my previous account if i format again and login using my old account?

  16. I have a pstv with OFW 3.35 and a vita with 3.55 is it possible to transfer save files (from retail games) from the vita to the pstv with this trick?

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