Introduction

The motherboard should only be replaced as a last resort. Be careful removing it!

Ensure your device is powered off before proceeding. Failure to do so may result in electrical shock or damage to the device.
  • Ensure your device is powered off before proceeding. Failure to do so may result in electrical shock or damage to the device.

  • Place the 3DS upside down. Remove the game card, headphones, charging cable, stylus, or anything else that may be connected to the device.

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Using a JIS #0 screwdriver, loosen the two black screws on the back.
  • Using a JIS #0 screwdriver, loosen the two black screws on the back.

    • The screws are held in place by captive washers and should not be completely removed.

My experience indicates that a JIS #1 is more appropriate here.

John Menden - Reply

Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.
  • Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.

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The battery is located on the left hand side of the 3DS - to remove, use the small gap located at the top-middle and pull up with a pointed tool.
  • The battery is located on the left hand side of the 3DS - to remove, use the small gap located at the top-middle and pull up with a pointed tool.

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Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the six 6mm screws around the edges of the secondary cover.
  • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the six 6mm screws around the edges of the secondary cover.

I used a #00 instead it works better for a model form 2016

matthewmccreary10 - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well. Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well.
  • Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well.

Can the rubber bumpers be replaced once you reassemble the 3DS? I'd really hate to have to take them out and never be able to put them back in, if I'm honest...

Taylor Prince - Reply

Yep, we were able to put them back in quite easily after repeated teardowns! If they ever refused to stay in for some reason, you could always put a little bit of something sticky on them. (I use scrapbooking tape on my laptop's bumpers.)

Zoe Cagle -

What happens if I strip one of these screws? How hard would into be to remove them?

Thomas Ciavattone - Reply

very hard. i stripped 4 screws on my new 3ds xl and i haven’t been able to get them out. i even bought the precision screw extrator set and nothing the set sucked.

marco martinez - Reply

To separate the cover, carefully lift it up and away from the hinges (in order to clear the headphone port), then pivot it towards the hinges to expose the circuit boards. Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard. Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard.
  • To separate the cover, carefully lift it up and away from the hinges (in order to clear the headphone port), then pivot it towards the hinges to expose the circuit boards.

    • Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard.

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Use a pair of tweezers to lift away the two plugs that latch the L/R/ZL/ZR button ribbons to the motherboard. You can now remove the back cover completely and set it aside.
  • Use a pair of tweezers to lift away the two plugs that latch the L/R/ZL/ZR button ribbons to the motherboard. You can now remove the back cover completely and set it aside.

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Using tweezers, gently pull the gray clamp underneath the circle pad ribbon connector upwards from the right side. Then slide the ribbon out of the ZIF connector.
  • Using tweezers, gently pull the gray clamp underneath the circle pad ribbon connector upwards from the right side. Then slide the ribbon out of the ZIF connector.

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Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.
  • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.

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Lift the circle pad casing upward to remove it. There will be some friction, but it should not require excessive force.
  • Lift the circle pad casing upward to remove it. There will be some friction, but it should not require excessive force.

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Locate the gold terminal plug with a red cable at the top left of the motherboard. Using your fingers, carefully pull the plug straight upward to remove.
  • Locate the gold terminal plug with a red cable at the top left of the motherboard. Using your fingers, carefully pull the plug straight upward to remove.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the single ribbon connector.

  • Don't do what we did -- be very careful not to pull on the red cable.

MDR j'avais vu cette erreur il y a un petit moment... et vous pouvez ajouter, ne pas casser le connecteur comme sur la photo !

Sylvain Delreux - Reply

Using tweezers, gently pull the five marked ribbons out of the ZIF connectors along the sides of the motherboard. Note that these ZIF connectors are held in place by friction and do not have locks -- lifting the flaps on these connectors will break them! Three of the ribbon connectors have plastic clamping flaps that cover the ribbon to prevent slippage. Use the tweezers to flip them up before ribbon removal.
  • Using tweezers, gently pull the five marked ribbons out of the ZIF connectors along the sides of the motherboard.

    • Note that these ZIF connectors are held in place by friction and do not have locks -- lifting the flaps on these connectors will break them!

  • Three of the ribbon connectors have plastic clamping flaps that cover the ribbon to prevent slippage. Use the tweezers to flip them up before ribbon removal.

  • When reassembling the device, be sure to flip the ZIF clamps back down.

  • While the SD card reader is shown as removed in this photo, it is optional for the removal of the motherboard.

Hi,

Can you pls inform me the purpose of the topmost red marked ZIF transparent flex cable, I wish to repair my N3DS XL but I am missing this flex cable (for which part is this cable relevant).

Thanks

Khusro - Reply

I don't have the model on me for reference, but if I remember correctly, it's for the bottom screen.

Zoe Cagle -

I think it should be noted that the upper most ZIF is incorrectly labelled here as one to remove with tweezers and not to try to open the clamp. I did this recently and have now broken my brand new 3ds. This cable is for the digitizer at the front of the bottom screen. So my touch screen no longer works. I now need to carry out a further repair. Just a heads up.

Simon Lyell - Reply

Zoe, I don’t suppose you would know what part to search for to replace one of these lock-less friction connectors? Before this article posted I partially broke one of mine thinking it had a lock and would like to replace it. The old one still works but I have to fiddle with it to get a good connection now. The one I broke is nearest to the cartridge socket.

Arie Beugelsdijk - Reply

Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.
  • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.

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Carefully pivot the motherboard 90 degrees toward the hinges to reveal two more ZIF connectors on the underside of the motherboard. Both have latches that must be flipped up. The left, longer latch is black; the right, shorter one is white. Flip up the flaps, slide the ribbons out and remove the motherboard.
  • Carefully pivot the motherboard 90 degrees toward the hinges to reveal two more ZIF connectors on the underside of the motherboard.

  • Both have latches that must be flipped up. The left, longer latch is black; the right, shorter one is white. Flip up the flaps, slide the ribbons out and remove the motherboard.

    • Note which way the ribbons slide into their connectors carefully, as they are different.

9-15 aren't necessary at all. Its a super easy fix step 16 is sufficient.

Javier Rodriguez - Reply

I think you might be confused; this is a guide for replacing the motherboard, not the entire bottom half of the unit.

Zoe Cagle -

The top says this is a guide for the directional pad though

Jimmy -

Oh! Apologies; I didn't realize iFixit duplicated comments for duplicate steps. The message alert directed me to the motherboard replacement guide. Whoops.

Anyway, as I recall, the card reader was more safely and easily removed once the motherboard was out of the way. But I agree that it was likely doable without. Thank you for the input!

Zoe Cagle -

What does changing the motherboard do, is it if u like bricked your system or what?

Josh TRW - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Zoe Cagle

Member since: 04/01/2015

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Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015

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Could someone point out where the fuses in the motherboard are hidden?

emaN - Reply

With some digging, I managed to find this on the GBAtemp forums , which host a community of 3DS modders:

https://gbatemp.net/threads/screwed-up-p...

Seems like no one's quite sure, but it could be a start. Unfortunately, the N3DS components are largely small black boxes with no labeling.

If you have a multimeter, it might help to test some of these mystery boxes.

Zoe Cagle -

Question: Seeing as how you pulled the red cable in the photos, how was that fixed? Asking for a friend.

Mijii - Reply

We...never fixed that actually, as we didn't have the tools for it and the device had been loaned to us specifically for tearing down.

I don't know if iFixit themselves ever did anything with it, but I would imagine soldering the frayed end of the cable back onto the plug would work. (Here's a guide on that: http://www.instructables.com/id/Solderin... )

Zoe Cagle -

what version is this on?

isaa sy - Reply

You mean the model? This is the "New" Nintendo 3DS XL.

For reference, you can check the model number (MOD) on the back. The 3DS models are numbered as follows:

* CTR-001: Nintendo 3DS

* SPR-001: Nintendo 3DS XL

* KTR-001: "New" Nintendo 3DS

* RED-001: "New" Nintendo 3DS XL

Zoe Cagle -

Is the prices in USD

Pokemon XYZ - Reply

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