How to Fix the 'No Accessible Software Data' Error on 3DS

How to recover lost games after a PC transfer of your 3DS data

If you have a ton of games and data you want to transfer from an old 3DS to a Nintendo 3DS XL, you may have opted to do a system transfer that uses a computer to move the files from your old system's SD card to your new 3DS' microSD card.

After making it through the system transfer process and inserting the microSD card into your new 3DS XL, you may get an error message that reads, "There is no accessible software data."

This message likely means the transfer process corrupted the card, and you need to reformat it. Here's how to get your games and data back after getting the "no accessible software data" error.

Instructions in this article apply to all models of the Nintendo 3DS.

How to Fix the 'No Accessible Software Data' Error on 3DS

To fix this error, copy your game and save data to the hard drive to keep it intact while you delete the 3DS' memory card to clear the corruption. Follow these steps to fix the card without losing your progress, photos, or profile.

  1. Turn off the hardware and disconnect the power adapter if it's attached.

  2. Flip the 3DS over and use a small Phillips screwdriver to loosen the two screws near the top of the back panel.

    The screws are attached to the case, so you can't remove them completely.

    A New Nintendo 3DS XL with the screws on the back case highlighted
  3. Gently pry up on the recesses located on the sides of the case to remove the back panel.

    Nintendo recommends using the nub at the top of the system's included stylus instead of your fingernails.

    A New Nintendo 3DS XL with the pry spots highlighted
  4. Locate the microSD slot in the middle of the hardware.

  5. Press down to unseat the card, and then remove it.

  6. Insert the card into your computer.

  7. Open the card in the operating system.

    macOS with a mounted memory card highlighted
  8. The card should contain one folder, called Nintendo 3DS. Drag this folder to the desktop (or another safe folder) to copy it.

    Not copying this folder causes you to lose your game and save data in the next step.

    A card mounted to macOS with the contents highlighted
  9. Reformat the memory card. The instructions for how to delete and restore an SD card differ depending on the operating system. Whichever process you follow, rewrite the unit using the FAT32 file format.

  10. Copy the Nintendo 3DS folder from the PC to the memory card.

  11. Eject the memory card and reinstall it in the Nintendo 3DS by pushing it all the way into the slot until it clicks into place.

  12. Reattach the back panel by snapping on the cover and tightening the two screws.

  13. Turn on the system, and your games should be back.