Resetting the Nintendo 3DS Personal Identification Number

Recover a PIN by answering a secret question or using an email

Screenshot of the Nintendo 3DS system settings option


The Nintendo 3DS has an elaborate set of parental controls that, when activated, are protected by a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) that you must enter before you can make any changes or turn off the parental controls.

When you first set up parental controls on your child's 3DS, you were instructed to choose a PIN that was easy to remember but not easy enough for a kid to guess. If you need to change the parental settings on your Nintendo 3DS and you've forgotten the PIN, don't panic. You can recover it or reset it.

The steps described below only work for devices that were purchased in the North American and Latin American regions. If you don't match that criteria, contact your region's customer support center.

Recover the 3DS PIN With Your Secret Question

First, try recovering the PIN by entering the answer to the secret question you supplied when you set up the parental controls. Examples include, "What was your first pet's name?" or "What is your favorite sports team?"

  1. Select System Settings (the gear icon) on the Home menu.

  2. Tap Open.

  3. Tap Parental Controls.

  4. Answer your secret question to unlock parental controls and change your PIN.

Use the Recovery Email to Reset the 3DS PIN

If you registered an email address for use with parental controls when you first set up the feature, you can get a PIN master key so that you can reset your PIN even if you forget it as well as the answer to your secret question.

  1. Select System Settings (the gear icon) on the Home menu.

  2. Tap Open.

  3. Tap Parental Controls.

  4. Tap Forgot PIN.

  5. If you can't answer your secret question, tap I Forgot.

  6. Tap OK and request an email using the email address you chose to use for the parental controls. Receiving the email may take up to an hour. The email that arrives will contain your master key.

  7. Enter the master key on the 3DS to unlock the parental controls.

  8. Choose Change PIN and enter a new parental controls PIN.

Reset the 3DS PIN Using an Inquiry Number

If you forgot your PIN, the answer to your secret question, and you didn't register an email address for use with parental controls, you need to get an Inquiry Number from Nintendo.

There's a $0.50 fee for this service, and a credit card number is required to authenticate that an adult is making the request.

  1. Select System Settings (the gear icon) on the Home menu.

  2. Tap Open.

  3. Tap Parental Controls.

  4. Tap Forgot PIN.

  5. When asked for your secret question answer, tap I Forgot.

  6. If instructed to send an email, choose Cancel to open an Inquiry Number screen.

  7. Confirm your system is set to the current date at the top of the screen. If the date is incorrect, you need to change it to the correct date.

  8. Write down the eight- to 10-digit Inquiry Number that appears at the bottom of the screen.

  9. Go to the Nintendo Parental Controls PIN Reset page and enter your 3DS serial number and inquiry number in the fields provided.

    Your 3DS serial number appears on the bottom of the device, under the barcode. The serial number begins with two letters and then includes nine numbers. If the serial number has been removed or is hard to read, you can find a copy of it under the battery pack.

  10. Enter your personal information and an email address. Nintendo sends an email with instructions to reset your PIN.