How Can I Repair a Scratched Nintendo 3DS Screen?

A microfiber cloth and scotch tape can fix minor imperfections

Nintendo 3DS

Chris Weeks / Stringer / Getty Images 

If you love your Nintendo 3DS, it's bound to sustain wear and tear over the course of its life. As with most electronics, its screens are especially vulnerable. It's possible some scratches may appear over time, especially on the bottom touch screen.

Removing Scratches on the Nintendo 3DS

Here's what to do if one or both your Nintendo 3DS screens shows scratches:

Abrasive cleaners or screen repair pastes like Displex are not recommended, especially on the lower screen of the 3DS. These pastes can permanently damage touch screens and turn a simple scratch into a disaster.

  1. Use a soft microfiber cloth designed for electronics or glasses.

    A microfiber cloth held in one hand
     Lifewire /  Nadia Oxford
  2. Dampen the cloth with water only.

    Don't get the 3DS wet and don't pour water directly on the screens.

  3. Wipe off the touch screen and the upper screen. Rub the scratches for several seconds.

    A hand cleaning a Nintendo 3DS with a microfiber cloth
      Lifewire /  Nadia Oxford
  4. Use a dry part of the microfiber cloth to dry the screens thoroughly.

  5. If you see any dust or a smudge, dab at it with a piece of transparent tape.

    A hand daubs at dust on a Nintendo 3DS screen with scotch tape
     Lifewire /  Nadia Oxford
  6. Repeat the wiping and drying with the microfiber cloth if needed.

Repair Options Are Limited

If the screens are still scratched after this process, you can contact Nintendo to arrange for a repair if your system is a 3DS XL or a 2DS. Nintendo no longer offers repairs for the 3DS (if your system's serial number begins with "CW," it's a 3DS). Nintendo suggests an upgrade or replacement for 3DS units that are badly scratched.

Scratch Prevention Tips

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are a few tips for keeping your screens blemish-free:

  • Invest in screen protectors and a carrying case, especially if you own a special edition Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.
  • Don't carry your 3DS in a pocket or bag containing keys or coins.
  • Close the 3DS when it's not in use.
  • Place a small cloth in between the screens when you're not playing with the system.
  • Supervise children when they're playing your 3DS (or better yet, buy them one of their own).