How to Turn Off Parental Controls on Your Nintendo 3DS

Turning off parental controls takes just seconds if you remember your PIN

Nintendo 3DS on a table.

Honou / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Nintendo 3DS is capable of more than playing games. It can access the internet, be used to buy games at the Nintendo Game Store and play video clips. You decided to set up the Nintendo 3DS parental controls because you didn't want your kids to have access to all those other features. You've since had a change of heart (or your kids have grown) and have decided to turn off the parental controls on the 3DS entirely. It's easy to do. 

How to Turn Off Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls

  1. Turn on the Nintendo 3DS.

  2. Tap System Settings on the bottom touch-screen menu. It's the icon that looks like a wrench.

  3. Tap Parental Controls.

  4. To change the settings, tap Change.

  5. Enter the PIN you used when you set up the parental controls.

  6. Tap OK.

  7. If you want to turn off one Parental Control setting at a time, tap Set Restrictions and browse each category of interest. After you switch off each setting, make sure to tap OK to save the changes.

  8. If you want to delete all the Parental Control settings at once, tap Clear Settings on the main menu of Parental Controls. Make sure you want to wipe all the settings at once, and then tap Delete.

  9. After you wipe the Parental Controls, you are returned to the Nintendo 3DS System Settings menu.

What to Do if You Forgot Your PIN

That works great if you can remember the PIN you set up in the Parental Controls menu, but what if you can't remember?

  1. When you are asked for the PIN and you can't remember it, tap the option on that says I Forgot.

  2. Enter the answer to the secret question you set up along with your PIN when you first entered the Parental Controls. If you enter it correctly, you can change the Parental Controls.

  3. If you forgot the answer to your secret question, tap the I Forgot option at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Write down the Inquiry Number that the system gives you.

  5. Make sure your 3DS displays the correct time on its screen; if not, correct it before proceeding.

  6. Enter the Inquiry Number. When you enter it correctly at Nintendo's Customer Service site, you are given the option to join a live chat with Customer Service, where you are given a master password key you can use to access the Parental Controls.

If you prefer, you can call Nintendo's Technical Support hotline at 1-800-255-3700. You'll still need the Inquiry Number.