How to Perform a Nintendo 3DS System Transfer

Move games from the 3DS and 2DS to the New 3DS, 3DS XL, and New 2DS

Two Nintendo 3DS systems on a table

Chris Weeks. Getty Images.

 

If you purchased a New Nintendo 3DS or New 2DS system, you'll probably want to transfer the digital games you downloaded on your old model to the new one. You can also perform a 3DS system transfer between two systems of the same model.

These instructions cover all systems in the Nintendo 3DS family, including the New Nintendo 3DS XL and New Nintendo 2DS XL.

Before You Transfer Your 3DS Content

Make sure you know which 3DS or 2DS models you own. It's possible to transfer data from an original Nintendo 2DS to a New 3DS XL, but it's not possible to move data from a New model to an original 3DS or 2DS. Transferring data between a 3DS and a 2DS is also possible, as is performing a transfer between two New models.

Other things to address before the transfer:

  • Regardless of the models, both systems must be set to the same region; you'll be prompted to set it when you first set up your system.
  • You'll need to enable internet access and make sure you've updated to the latest firmware on both devices.
  • If your New 3DS already has a Nintendo Network ID linked to it, then you must first remove the Nintendo Network ID.
  • The source systems must have an SD card inserted to complete the process. If you need to purchase an SD card for your 3DS, make sure it's compatible with your model.

How to Transfer Content From an Original 3DS to a New 3DS

These instructions explain how to move content from an original 3DS to the New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 2DS XL.

  1. Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  2. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  3. Tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.

    Tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.
  4. Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.

    Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.
  5. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  6. Tap Send from This System.

    Tap Send from This System.
  7. If you have a Nintendo Network ID linked to your device, select Next and enter your Nintendo Network ID password.

    If you have a Nintendo Network ID linked to your device, select Next and enter your Nintendo Network ID password.
  8. Turn on the target system (your New 3DS) and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  9. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  10. Tap 4 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.

    On the New 2DS XL, tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.

    On the New Nintendo 2DS XL, tap 3, then tap System Transfer.

  11. Tap Transfer from Nintendo 3DS.

  12. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  13. Tap Yes to initiate the transfer.

  14. Tap Receive from Nintendo 3DS. Your original 3DS should detect your New 3DS.

    Tap Send from This System.
  15. On the source system, select the system to receive the transfer.

  16. On the target system, tap Yes.

  17. On the source system, tap Next, then tap Yes.

    If duplicate data is detected, review what will be deleted and tap Next. If you receive a message stating that some software may become unstable, tap Yes to confirm.

  18. Tap Transfer, tap Next, review the information about SD Cards, then tap Next again.

    If you have any Nintendo DSiWare titles, tap Move when prompted.

  19. Select Wireless Transfer.

  20. Select Move to initialize the transfer. This process can take a few hours, so plug in both systems to their respective power sources.

  21. Select OK on both systems when finished. Choose to move your Nintendo DSiWare to the target system's system memory if asked.

  22. Remove the SD Card from the source system and move it to the target system.

  23. Your content from your old system will now appear on the new one.

You may have to re-download some games and apps on the target system. You don't have to pay again to download content you have previously purchased.

How to Transfer Content Between Two New Nintendo 3DS Systems

It's also possible to transfer content between the New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 2DS XL systems.

  1. Power on the source system and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  2. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  3. Tap 4, then tap System Transfer.

    On the New 2DS XL, tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.

    On the New Nintendo 2DS XL, tap 3 and then System Transfer.

  4. Tap Transfer from Nintendo 3DS.

  5. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  6. Tap Send from This System.

    Tap Send from This System.
  7. If you have an associated Nintendo Network ID, tap Next and enter your Nintendo Network ID and password.

    If you have a Nintendo Network ID linked to your device, select Next and enter your Nintendo Network ID password.
  8. Power on the target system and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  9. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  10. Tap 4, then tap System Transfer.

    On the New Nintendo 2DS XL, tap 3 and then System Transfer.

    On the New 2DS XL, tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.
  11. Tap Transfer from Nintendo 3DS.

  12. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  13. Tap Receive from Nintendo 3DS.

    Tap Receive from Nintendo 3DS.
  14. On the source system, select the system to receive the transfer.

  15. Tap Yes on the target system.

  16. Tap Next > Yes > Transfer on the source system.

  17. On the target system, tap Do Not Delete, then tap Yes.

    Alternatively, tap Delete, then tap Next to wipe the data on the target system before making the transfer.

  18. Tap OK to restart the system.

  19. Remove the SD Card from the source system and move it to the target system.

  20. Your content from your old system will now appear on the new one.

How to Transfer Content Between Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS Systems

To transfer data between original Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS systems, follow these steps.

  1. Turn on the source system and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  2. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  3. Tap 3, then tap System Transfer.

    Tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.
  4. Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.

    Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.
  5. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  6. Tap Send from This System.

    Tap Send from This System.
  7. If you have a Nintendo Network ID linked to your device, select Next and enter your password.

    If you have a Nintendo Network ID linked to your device, select Next and enter your Nintendo Network ID password.
  8. Turn on the target system and select System Settings from the Home menu.

    Turn on the source system (your original 3DS) and open System Settings from the Home menu.
  9. Tap Other Settings.

    Tap Other Settings.
  10. Tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.

    Tap 3 at the top of the screen, then tap System Transfer.
  11. Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.

    Tap Transfer from a System in the Nintendo 3DS Family.
  12. Read the information and tap Agree.

    Read the information and tap Agree.
  13. Tap Receive from Nintendo 3DS.

    Tap Receive from Nintendo 3DS.
  14. On the source system, select the system to receive the transfer.

  15. Tap Yes on the target system.

  16. Tap Next > Yes > Transfer on the source system.

  17. On the target system, tap Do Not Delete, then tap Yes.

    Alternatively, tap Delete, then tap Next to wipe the data on the target system before making the transfer.

  18. Tap OK to restart the system.

  19. Remove the SD Card from the source system and move it to the target system.