What Should I Do If Nintendo 3DS System Update Failed?

Tips for Dealing With a System Update Failure

Nintendo 3DS
Chris Weeks / Getty Images

Most electronic devices need updates from time to time. Occasionally, you are prompted to perform a system update on your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL. These updates typically install performance updates, including faster software, new applications, and options that make navigating the system menu and the Nintendo 3DS Game Store easier. New anti-piracy measures are usually put into place during updates too.

System updates are important. Although they’re usually quick, painless installs, problems can arise. One frequent complaint is that sometimes a system update fails to download or the system update fails to install, and the 3DS or 3DS XL owner may subsequently be locked out of the Game Store.

What to Do When a System Update Fails

If a system update failure happens to your 3DS, don't panic; there's an easy fix:

  1. Turn your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL off, and then turn the power back on.
  2. Immediately hold down the L button, R button, A button, and Up on the D-pad.
  3. Keep holding the buttons until the system update screen boots up again.
  4. Tap OK on the update screen.

Tips for When You Still Can't Update

Before you contact Nintendo's customer service department, there are a few other things you can try to get your 3DS to complete a system update.

  • If the update timed out because of network interference, it may work just fine if you retry.
  • Temporarily disable your router's firewall during the update. Don't forget to re-enable it when the update is complete.
  • Check for wireless interference. A weak signal can prevent a system update from completing.
  • Turn your modem and router off and then back on.

Still having trouble? Contact Nintendo’s customer service.