How to Transfer Data From Your Nintendo 3DS SD Card

Step-By-Step Instructions for Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL

SD cards
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The Nintendo 3DS comes packed with a 2 gigabyte SD card, and the Nintendo 3DS XL includes a 4 gigabyte SD card. If you like to download a lot of games from the 3DS eShop or the Virtual Console, a mere 2 gigs will fill up in no time, and even 4 gigs gets gobbled up with a couple of decently-sized games.

Luckily, it’s easy to upgrade (the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL can support third-party SDHC cards up to 32 gigs in size), and you can move your information and downloads to your new card without a hassle.

Here’s how to transfer Nintendo 3DS data between two SD cards.

  1. Your computer must have an SD card reader for the data transfer to work. If your computer doesn’t have an SD card reader, you can buy a USB-based reader from most major electronics stores.
  2. Turn off your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.
  3. Remove the SD card. The SD card slot is on the left side of the Nintendo 3DS; to remove it, open up the cover, push the SD card inwards, then pull it out.
  4. Put the SD card in your computer’s SD card reader. Depending on the operating system that you’re using, you may automatically receive a pop-up message asking you what you’d like to do with the card you just plugged in. You can choose “Open folder to view files,” or else you can manually open Windows Explorer (or Finder for Macintosh) by clicking on “My Computer.”
  5. Access your SD card.
  6. Highlight your SD card’s data, and copy/paste it to a folder or your desktop. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your data into said folder or onto the desktop. Do not delete or alter the data in the DCIM or Nintendo 3DS folders!
  1. Remove your SD card from your computer.
  2. Insert the new SD card into your computer.
  3. Open Explorer or Finder, and access your new SD card.
  4. Copy or drag-and-drop the data from your old SD card onto your new SD card.
  5. Remove your SD card from your computer and insert it into your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.
  6. All your data should be just as you left it, plus you should have lots of new space to play with. Peachy!