Introduction

Can't turn your 3DS on or off? Your power button may be malfunctioning.

Image 1/1: The screws are held in place by locking washers, and will not come out of the back cover.
  • Unscrew the four Phillips #00 screws along the top of the back cover.

  • The screws are held in place by locking washers, and will not come out of the back cover.

  • The comments section is full of unlucky souls who will tell you that the screws here through step 4 will strip incredibly easily. Press down fairly hard, and go slow.

#00 screwdriver is too big... probably need a #000

thomascroguennec - Reply

#00 will work - but you must press down firmly and sort of jerk the screw out a few degrees at a time. If you don't press firmly, the screws strip very easily. Using #000 will strip the screws more easily.

Tai -

I used a #0 without any issues and 0 stripped. I used the #0 for all screws internally and externally. The head was sharp and I applied adequate amounts of pressure when loosening the screw.

Ben Kevan -

The correct screwdriver should be a JIS, or you can get a screwdriver specific for the 3DS from other sites for less than $2

Oscar - Reply

do you have to buy it

deeznuts -

I used Phillips #000 and it worked like a charm, i need to order a new SD board or do you guys think i should send it. What happened is that it got water damaged and everything works fine when i opened it everything looked fine no signs of water corrosion everything on the 3DS works exept it always give me a message saying the SD card is locked and i know for a fact it isnt locked i already tried using 3 different SD cards and none of them are lock protected and yes they are formatted as well. I need help

Leo Torres - Reply

there's a switch on the SD card, switch it and it will be unlocked again. it happened to me once too.

Bagel -

david hodson you are incredible. literally all you need to do is heat the screen up and pry it off and you make them take apart the whole thing

melody - Reply

You've done this?

magykmaster -

I have to ask the same question. If just the glass display is broken, and you're heating it up to remove the glass, is it really necessary to remove everything? Doesn't like like it is necessary

Wade -

I just did it your way and it went fine. didnt even have to remove the battery. This is incredible misstep on the authors part.

patrick -

I used a PH0x50, but it wasn't easy.

John - Reply

This may be a dumb question but where do I buy the 3DS upper screen?

John - Reply

eBay... Just do a search for the 3DS Upper screen. $9.49 & it comes with the tools.

Gary Darnell -

The LCD screen I ordered came with all the tools I needed except a pair of tweezers. All in all it was about $14.00 and a little bit of my time.

Gary Darnell - Reply

Does anyone know where I can find the right bumper button for a 3ds? I can't find it on ebay must of damaged it playing smash bros.

Steven Castro Parrilla - Reply

Really wish I had read the comments first... How about instead of the warning saying to press down hardly and go slow, you say to use the correct screwdriver size like others mentioned in the comments. I not only stripped multiple screws, even after putting a glove on for more pressure, I bent my screwdriver from pressing down so hard. Granted it's a cheap jeweler's kit screwdriver, but it still would've been nice to not have that problem and be informed of the right size in the first place.

hockeymorgan35 - Reply

Got my tools one day after ordering, as I live a couple hours away from the supplier, Will post again when i try guide.

nintendokakashi - Reply

Image 1/2: Grab the top edge of the back cover with your opposite hand so that the cover does not fall back into place. Image 2/2: Flip the 3DS over again so that the back cover is facing up.
  • Hold the device in one hand and turn it over.

  • Grab the top edge of the back cover with your opposite hand so that the cover does not fall back into place.

  • Flip the 3DS over again so that the back cover is facing up.

  • Pull the back cover up and away from the rest of the device to remove it.

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Image 1/3: Pry the battery up with the plastic opening tool. Image 2/3: Grab the top edge of the battery and lift it out of the lower case. Image 3/3: Grab the top edge of the battery and lift it out of the lower case.
  • Insert a plastic opening tool into the notch in the lower case above the battery.

  • Pry the battery up with the plastic opening tool.

  • Grab the top edge of the battery and lift it out of the lower case.

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Image 1/1: Remove the 2.4 mm silver Phillips screw above the game cartridge slot.
  • Remove the nine 6.3 mm black Phillips screws from the lower case.

  • Remove the 2.4 mm silver Phillips screw above the game cartridge slot.

Had to give up at this point. Tried using the ifixit #00 phillips screwdriver to take out two screws and ended up stripping them.

Demios - Reply

Stuck at the same spot, those screws are in there really tight.

John Pasula - Reply

Ruined my screws because of incorrect head, thanks!

3dsuser - Reply

I had so much trouble with these screws, I gave up. Unfortunately, I can't accept failure so tried again. I figured out if you turn it right before you loosen it worked. Maybe it was just me, but I turned it right then kept pressure as I turned to loosen. I was surprised I hadn't stripped any screws out.

Nicole Bauer - Reply

Does anyone have any idea of how to remove these screws. I've pretty badly stripped the screws and I've gone to 20+ pages trying to figure this. I'm considering just prying the !@#$ thing.

Vino - Reply

use a dremil and make it a flat head

Ralph Prowant -

ruined my screws here too...what the !@#$ nintendo?

trying to survive a nuclear meltdown inside the !@#$ thing

Hamza Jarkas - Reply

More like trying to subtly enforce planned obsolescence by not allowing you to make repairs to your device.

Ullyssys -

I used a #00 Philips 1/8" bit with no problem; however, the narrow diameter of the counter sunk hole can inhibit making secure contact with the screw head. You can be using the right bit (#00) but if the diameter of the bit shaft is too big you won't get proper contact.

I found this to be an excellent guide. Thanks

Dave W - Reply

If anyone can point me to a link to purchase the 9 screws, let me know. Contacted Nintendo and they said I'd have to send it in. Email me at xavierfflores@gmail.com

Xavier Flores - Reply

Unscrewed the nine 6.3 mm screws using the J000 bit from the iFixit 54 bit driver kit without much effort & without stripping the screw heads. Just gotta really position the bit correctly on the screw to have a proper fitting & not strip the screw heads.

STZ9 - Reply

The screws didn't strip but the philips screw driver did? @__@

These are rough either way.

John Zhou - Reply

I used a "Whia 273 - PH000x40" screwdriver and held it firmly pushing the palm of my hand on the yellow end of the screwdriver and rocked the screw slightly (counter clockwise and clockwise) until it started to move. Then, without letting up on the pressure I carefully backed it out. The screwdriver is excellent because it is hardened (unlike some cheapo's out there) and the very tip is blunt not sharp. If the tip is too sharp, the point will bottom out in the screw and the sides that do all the work, won't be able to fully contact the inside of the screw. This screwdriver fits so well that the screws actually stick to it once they are removed. If the screwdriver moves AT ALL when you initially try it in the screw, STOP and find a better one. Also, start with the screws in the center, somehow they seem a little easier until you get the feel for it.

Paul -

Push down hard and turn counter-clockwise, or push down and rotate 3DS counter-clockwise until screw is loose.

Jonathan - Reply

Had the exact same problem, even tried the #000 screw driver too. Stripped the screws due to how tightly they are screwed in there and how easy they strip. I am now unsure what to do from here or if all I can do is give up.

Sean Baldwin - Reply

I second the one who suggested the Whia 273 PH000x40 screwdriver. I had a terrible time unscrewing these screws, and almost stripped them using a cheaper #000 screwdriver. Also tried a 3/16" flathead and destroyed the screwdriver. I bought the Whia and glad I did. It fit perfectly and did not slip at all. DEFINITELY recommend purchasing this high-quality screwdriver. Cost about $10 but well worth it to avoid the hassle.

pbrazis - Reply

The best way I found that works quite well, if you find a screwdriver or bit that is good enough: hold the screwdriver or bit with tons of pressure, and rotate the 3DS clockwise! It will come out in 5-6 rotations, you can do this step in about 10 minutes this way (put down a cloth first, don't scratch the front!)

Gannon Trueman - Reply

I HAVE A WAY TO GET OUT THE STRIPED SCREW. Like you, I had screwed up and tried everything to get the screw out. Do NOT try the glue in that tiny hole, you will get the screw glued permanently in there. The rubber band doesn't work in that tight space either. As desperate as I was, I was trying anything from nail polish to cramming the screw driver in as hard as I possible could. Until I realized that I had a drill. Yes, with the smallest head, I drilled into the screw a little bit, messed with the part I was trying to get out, drilled a little more, messed around, and then finally on my last attempt, I had successfully drilled off the top of the screw rendering the part free. It doesn't matter which drill you use as long as you can fit the head into the hole. Then drill forward like you are trying to drill a hole through wood. Now the only problem is that the remainder of the screw will be stuck in its place. All you really have to do is get a set of pliers and twist that puppy out. And there you go!

YuuChan - Reply

Most likely though, if you have all the other screws out and only have one striped screw, the part should just pop off and you wouldn't have to drill the entire head off the screw.

YuuChan - Reply

Image 1/3: There are still two ribbon cables connecting the mother board to the case, so be sure not to pull the lower case all the way off. Image 2/3: Use a plastic opening tool to pry the shoulder button ribbon cables off their sockets on the motherboard. Image 3/3: Remove the lower case from the device.
  • Lift the bottom edge of the lower case off the rest of the 3DS.

  • There are still two ribbon cables connecting the mother board to the case, so be sure not to pull the lower case all the way off.

  • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the shoulder button ribbon cables off their sockets on the motherboard.

  • Remove the lower case from the device.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 7.7 mm Phillips screws securing the back of the Circle Pad to the motherboard.

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Image 1/3: Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard and lay it on its back so that the ribbon cable connector is accessible. Image 2/3: Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard and lay it on its back so that the ribbon cable connector is accessible. Image 3/3: Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard and lay it on its back so that the ribbon cable connector is accessible.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the back of the Circle Pad off the motherboard.

  • Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard and lay it on its back so that the ribbon cable connector is accessible.

When reassembling verify that the circle pad control is oriented right. I had to go back in after completion when I realized it wasn't centered.

Daniel Johnson - Reply

Image 1/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/3: Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard. Image 3/3: Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the Circle Pad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard.

Can you replace a zif socket? The little metal pieces on mine broke off...

Colton Alverson - Reply

YOUR &&^&@@ HAHAHAAHA, no you cant you would have to purchase a new motherboard i feek you bro happened in my first time

vrobinson -

Image 1/2: Use a spudger or screwdriver to lift the pads up and remove them from the device. Image 2/2: Use a spudger or screwdriver to lift the pads up and remove them from the device.
  • To decrease the chance of losing it during repairs, you may want to remove the two thin pads underneath the Circle Pad joystick.

  • Use a spudger or screwdriver to lift the pads up and remove them from the device.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 4.5 mm Phillips screws securing the SD board to the motherboard.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the SD board ribbon cable connector off its socket on the motherboard.

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Image 1/3: Run the spudger along the sides of the SD board to free it from the adhesive pad holding it in place. Image 2/3: Once completely freed, lift the SD board straight off the motherboard. Image 3/3: Once completely freed, lift the SD board straight off the motherboard.
  • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SD board and the motherboard.

  • Run the spudger along the sides of the SD board to free it from the adhesive pad holding it in place.

  • Once completely freed, lift the SD board straight off the motherboard.

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Image 1/2: The Wi-Fi antenna cable is still connected to the Wi-Fi board, so you cannot completely remove the Wi-Fi board yet. Image 2/2: The Wi-Fi antenna cable is still connected to the Wi-Fi board, so you cannot completely remove the Wi-Fi board yet.
  • Slide the flat end of a spudger under the corner of the Wi-Fi board, and lift it away from the motherboard.

  • The Wi-Fi antenna cable is still connected to the Wi-Fi board, so you cannot completely remove the Wi-Fi board yet.

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Image 1/3: Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Wi-Fi antenna cable connector off its socket on the Wi-Fi board. Image 2/3: Remove the Wi-Fi board from the device. Image 3/3: Remove the Wi-Fi board from the device.
  • Lift the Wi-Fi board off the motherboard and rotate it so that the bottom side is facing up.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Wi-Fi antenna cable connector off its socket on the Wi-Fi board.

  • Remove the Wi-Fi board from the device.

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Image 1/2: Pull the microphone straight up out of the upper case. Image 2/2: Pull the microphone straight up out of the upper case.
  • Grasp the microphone ribbon cable near the microphone with a pair of tweezers.

  • Pull the microphone straight up out of the upper case.

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Image 1/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, NOT the socket itself. Damaging the socket or cable will result in a 3DS that will blink its power LED when you press the power button - and do nothing else. Image 2/3: Disconnect the speaker assembly ribbon cable with a pair of tweezers. Image 3/3: Disconnect the speaker assembly ribbon cable with a pair of tweezers.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the speaker assembly ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, NOT the socket itself. Damaging the socket or cable will result in a 3DS that will blink its power LED when you press the power button - and do nothing else.

  • Disconnect the speaker assembly ribbon cable with a pair of tweezers.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: When reassembling, note that the gold contacts face toward the motherboard (as opposed to the camera cable's gold contacts facing away).
  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the camera ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • When reassembling, note that the gold contacts face toward the motherboard (as opposed to the camera cable's gold contacts facing away).

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Image 1/3: Four 2.5 mm gold screws Image 2/3: Two 3.5 mm black screws Image 3/3: One 2.5 mm silver screw
  • Remove seven Phillips screws securing the motherboard to the upper case:

    • Four 2.5 mm gold screws

    • Two 3.5 mm black screws

    • One 2.5 mm silver screw

  • Lift the side of the motherboard that sits along the bottom edge of the 3DS.

Do yourself a favor and DON'T remove the 2.5 mm silver screw (yellow circle). It just holds in a little plastic bit under the volume control. The board comes out just fine with the screw still in. If you remove it, the plastic bit will fall out at random when you turn over the case.

First time I took mine apart, I noticed something fall out later, tracked it down and then puzzled over what it was and where it came from.

Chupi - Reply

Image 1/3: Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the LCD ribbon cable ZIF socket. Image 2/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 3/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself.
  • Continue lifting the motherboard assembly and rotate it until it is resting next to the rest of the device.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the LCD ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

Reinserting this ribbon cable is quite difficult. I found opening the case so that it sits upright at a 90 degree angle helps. The first two times I tried reassembling the top display did not work. Turned out that I was not inserting the ribbon cable in enough. I used tweezers to push this in by gently grabbing the ribbon cable. I was continually inspecting the cable for damage but apparently did not damage it. If anyone has a better idea on how to reinsert this cable I think others would greatly appreciate it.

pbrazis - Reply

Putting the cable back in is the hardest part out of all of this (if you can get past the screws near the beginning). If you have a friend that you trust very much and is very gentle, another pair of hands here really will help. If you're without a friend, make sure to use some flat, angled precision tweezers to push the ribbon in with one hand (pointed tweezers will do in a pinch but you'll have to be careful - I put a small dent in the ribbon and thought I'd broke it), and then use a spudge or something in the other to push the flap down.

Also worth noting is that the ribbon for the top screen also handles the 3D - if you complete the guide and find you are unable to turn the 3D effect off, you didn't insert the ribbon enough, as I had the problem and re-inserting the ribbon fully fixed it.

malcolmdemaggio - Reply

Careful when reassembling -- watch the position of the black wifi antenna wire! I got mine most of the way back together and noticed it wouldn't close all the way. This wire had come out of the little posts holding it in place and was wedged between the screen and motherboard. Now I have to take it all apart again to fix this.

Also if you're taking the board out of a working unit to get at the CLK signal to backup the NAND chip ("hardmod"), you don't need to remove the difficult ribbon cable in this step, or the other two wide ones at the top right from earlier. Leave them attached and swing the board out. It won't rotate a full 180 degrees to sit flat outside the unit, but you can open the screen 90 degrees to prop the rest up while having the board out on your table.

Chupi - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the motherboard assembly from the rest of the device.

Make sure when putting the motherboard back onto the bottom part of the casing that the antenna wire is where it should be - the first time I put this back together the wire got loose and was smooshed in between the casing and the Y and Power buttons, causing them to be stiff/not work. Using the spudge should help in pushing the wire back into the slots along the inside of the case.

malcolmdemaggio - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Peel the silicone cover from the back of the power button.

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Image 1/2: Use your finger to push the power button up through the upper case and remove it. Image 2/2: The power button only fits in one orientation, so be sure to reinstall it correctly.
  • Open the 3DS, but keep the backside of the buttons facing upward.

  • Use your finger to push the power button up through the upper case and remove it.

  • The power button only fits in one orientation, so be sure to reinstall it correctly.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

David Hodson

Member since: 04/13/2010

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