The crossbar structure of resistive random access memory (RRAM) is the most promising technology for the development of ultrahigh-density devices for future nonvolatile memory. However, only a few studies have focused on the switching phenomenon of crossbar RRAM in detail. The main purpose of this study is to understand the formation and disruption of the conductive filament occurring at the crossbar center by real-time transmission electron microscope observation. Core–shell Ni/NiO nanowires are utilized to form a cross-structure, which restrict the position of the conductive filament to the crosscenter. A significant morphological change can be observed near the crossbar center, which results from the out-diffusion and backfill of oxygen ions. Energy dispersive spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy demonstrate that the movement of the oxygen ions leads to the evolution of the conductive filament, followed by redox reactions. Moreover, the distinct reliability of the crossbar device is measured via ex situ experiments. In this work, the switching mechanism of the crossbar core–shell nanowire structure is beneficial to overcome the problem of nanoscale minimization. The experimental method shows high potential to fabricate high-density RRAM devices, which can be applied to 3D stacked package technology and neuromorphic computing systems.