Nintendo 3ds new sd card

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How to Fix 3DS Could Not Detect SD Card in 6 Ways

As a game user, you might have encountered a situation that you are unable to start a game because your SD card cannot be detected or read by 3DS. Just like the following case:

"When I open my 3DS XL, it gives me a message says "Could not detect SD Card. The software on the SD Card could not be displayed." Is there any fix?"

6 Ways to Fix 3DS Could Not Detect SD Card

You can fix "3DS could not detect SD card" with six practical solutions:

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Change SD Card ReaderUnscrew the two 3mm Phillips #0 head screws along the top edge of the deviceFull steps
2. Update 3DS SD Card DriverInsert your memory SD card to a card reader and connect it to your PCFull steps
3. Run CHKDSK CommandPress Windows Key + X button to bring up the power users menuFull steps
4. Use CHKDSK AlternativeDownload EaseUS CleanGenius for Free and install it. Open the software andFull steps
5. Format the 3DS SD CardOpen EaseUS Partition Master. Find your SD card and right-click the partitionFull steps
6. Replace the SD CardBuy a new 3DS SD card. Connect the old SD card to your PCFull steps

Fix 1. Change 3DS SD Card Reader to Make it Detected

If your device doesn't read or detect the 3DS SD cards, you may need to replace the SD card reader. Follow the steps below to change the 3DS SD card reader. (This is an example of changing Nintendo 3DS SD card reader)

Step 1. Unscrew the two 3mm Phillips #0 head screws along the top edge of the device.

replace 3ds sd card reader - 1

Step 2. Open the device.

  • Pull the top corner tabs of the front faceplate outward and towards you.
  • Pull the faceplate up and out of the slots at the bottom of the device.
  • Set aside the back faceplate.

replace 3ds sd card reader - 2

Step 3. Take out the battery.

Insert a plastic opening tool. Then, pry the battery up with the plastic opening tool.

change 3ds sd card reader - 3

Step 4. Pull the SD card reader from the edge with two holes gently to free the tab at the top of the SD card reader.

replace 3ds sd card reader - 4

Step 5. Change the 3DS SD card reader.

Lift the SD card reader gently. Then, pry the SD card ribbon cable off the socket on the motherboard.

change 3ds sd card reader - 5

Finally, Lift the SD card reader out off of the lower casing. Try to connect your 3DS SD card to your device again to see if it works again.

If another SD card reader does not work, it might suggest that your 3DS should be repaired. If there is nothing with your SD card, you can fix your SD card with the following fixes below.

Fix 2. Update 3DS SD Card Driver to Fix the Not Detect Issue

When you connect your 3DS SD card to your computer, you may encounter the "3DS could not access SD card" error. To resolve this issue, update the SD card driver. Follow the details below to fix the error.

Step 1. Insert your memory SD card to a card reader and connect it to your PC.

Step 2. Open "Computer" and choose "System Properties".

Step 3. In the taskbar on the left, click "device manager" and next to "Universal Serial Bus controller" click "+ (plus)". Then you'll see a yellow exclamation mark.

Step 4. Right-click and choose "update driver software".

Step 5. Click "Search automatically for driver software online"

update 3ds sd card driver

Wait until the process completes. Then, reconnect your SD card to your PC to see whether it can be recognized or not.

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK to Check and Fix SD Card Error

If your SD card goes wrong, you can run CHKDSK to check and fix your 3DS SD card. Then, the SD card may become detectable.

Step 1. Press Windows Key + X button to bring up the power users menu. 

Step 2. In the power users menu, select the Command Prompt (Admin) option.

Step 3. Click Yes when you are presented with a UAC window requesting permission to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 4. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r /x. Here you should replace E with your Micro SD card letter.

Fix 4. Run CHKDSK Alternative to Check and Fix SD Card Error

Click to   DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius and install it on your computer. Let's start checking and refixing file system error on your device now.

Step 1. Click "File Showing" to enter the next step.

click file showing

Step 2. Choose the target device and tick the box of "Check and fix file system error". Click "Execute" to start fixing the problematic device.

select device and check fix file system error

Step 3. When the fixing process completes, click "here" to open and use your device. 

After fixing file system error, click to open and use device

Fix 5. Reformat 3DS SD Card to FAT32

Another way to fix the not detected SD card is by formatting the 3DS card. Since the card cannot be accessed, you cannot transfer the games to another drive. All you can do is reformat the SD card.

You can use a free SD card formatter - EaseUS Partition Master. You can format your HDD, SSD, USB, memory card, SD card, or delete a partition to make it available for reuse. It also has many other highlights:

Steps to format an SD card:

Free DownloadWindows 11/10/8/7

Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

Free DownloadWindows 11/10/8/7

Fix 6. Replace Old 3DS SD Card with a New One

Some users who are still suffering could not detect an SD card error in 3DS after reformatting the card, replacing the old card with a new one is recommended.

Step 1. Buy a new 3DS SD card.

Step 2. Connect the old SD card to your PC.

On the SD card, you will find the root folder called "Nintendo 3DS". Copy and paste this whole folder to your desktop. 

Step 3. Copy the data to your new SD card.

Step 4. Insert the new SD card with all of your copied data back into the 3DS's card slot. 

Turn on the power, and everything should be working like nothing ever happened. 

Extra Tips to Fix Could Not Detect an SD Card (Error Code: )

Step 1. Make sure the system is off, remove the SD Card, and check that the card is compatible.

Step 2. For a New Nintendo 3DS XL, you will need a size #0 cross-head (+) screwdriver to remove the battery cover. You must remove the battery cover to access the micro SD card.

Step 3. Check the SD Card and ensure it is unlocked.

Step 4. Micro SD cards do not have a lock switch and cannot be locked.

Step 5. Insert the SD Card and turn the system on.

  • If the error message mentions that the SD card may be full, try deleting unused content.
  • If the problem is occurring with a specific downloadable game or application, use the Nintendo 3DS Download Repair Tool to check the game or application for errors and repair if necessary.
  • Even if no errors are found, you can choose to run the repair tool.

Step 6. Start the game or application again to see if the problem is still happening.


These six solutions can solve 3DS, not reading SD card issues easily and quickly. Follow these solutions to get access to your 3DS SD card. By the way, you can avoid 3DS could not detect an SD card in two ways:

  • Never remove or insert SD cards while the system is on.
  • Never remove a mini SD or micro SD card while the adapter is still in the system.

3DS Not Detecting SD Card FAQs

If you still have a problem, you can read these 3DS related questions to solve your problem.

What happens if you put a 3DS game in a DS?

The DS and 3DS use different processors for logic and graphics. Meaning the 3DS cartridges would have to be "re-coded" (recompiled) into DS code. Good question, but the simple answer is you cannot. The code stored in the cartridge is unreadable by a DS.

Why does my 3DS keep saying the SD card was removed?

it's possible your SD card is dying. Back it up and try a different card to see if the message still pops up. If so, it might be your 3DS and you'll need to get it repaired.

What type of SD card does 3DS use?

The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS systems are compatible with SD cards up to 2 GB in size, and SDHC cards of 4 GB and larger up to 32 GB in size. All other SD Card types are not considered compatible. miniSD and microSD cards are compatible with the use of an SD card adapter.

How do I transfer my SD card to my 3DS?

For transferring data between SD cards or microSD cards:

Step 1. Remove the SD Card from the system.

Step 2. Insert the SD Card with the Nintendo 3DS data into the SD Card Slot or the SD Card reader/writer.

Step 3. Open Windows Explorer (for PC) or Finder (for Mac) and access the SD Card.

Step 4. Highlight the data and drag it to the desktop. If performed as part of a system transfer, drag all folders to the desktop as they appear. Do not click into folders and drag their contents - drag the entire folder.

Step 5. Eject the first SD Card. Insert the second SD Card into the slot or reader/writer. Using Windows Explorer or Finder access the SD Card again.

Step 6. Drag the data from the desktop to the new SD Card.

If you recently performed a system transfer and chose to delete the data on the target system's SD Card, choose to copy and replace it for duplicate folders or files.


How to Transfer Data From a Nintendo 3DS SD Card

The Nintendo 3DS comes packed with a 2 GB SD card, and the Nintendo 3DS XL includes a 4 GB SD card. If you like to download lots of games from the 3DS eShop or Virtual Console, a mere 2 GB will fill up in no time. Even 4 GB gets gobbled up fast.

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

How to Copy and Paste 3DS Games From One Sim Card to Another

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

Your computer must have an SD card reader for the data transfer to work. If it does not have one, you can buy a USB card reader from most electronics retailers.

  1. Turn off your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.

  2. Remove the SD card from your 3DS.

    The SD card slot is on the left side of the Nintendo 3DS. To remove it, open the cover, push the SD card inwards, then pull it out.

  3. Insert the SD card into your computer’s SD card reader. Access its contents through Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS).

    Depending on your operating system, you may receive a pop-up message asking what you’d like to do with the SD card. You can use this pop-up window to quickly access the SD card's files.

  4. Highlight and copy the data from the SD card, then paste it into a folder on your computer.

    You can quickly highlight all the files with the Ctrl+A (PC) or Command+A (Mac) keyboard shortcut. Copying can also be accomplished with the keyboard using Ctrl+C or Command+C, and pasting with Ctrl+V or Command+V.

    Do not delete or alter the data in the DCIM or Nintendo 3DS folders!

  5. While those files are copying, insert the new SD card into your 3DS and let it initialize the new card. Then turn off the 3DS again and eject the new SD card.

  6. Remove the SD card from your computer, then insert the new SD card.

  7. Use the same procedure from Step 3 to open the SD card on your computer.

  8. Copy all the files from Step 4 onto the new SD card, or drag-and-drop the files from your computer onto the new SD card.

  9. Once copying is done, open the folder called “Nintendo 3DS”. Open the folder named with a long string of letters and numbers. You will see two folders. One is for the old card and one for the new card. The old card folder has a larger file size. Copy the contents (not the folder) of the old card folder to the new card folder. Delete the old card folder to save space.

  10. Remove the SD card from your computer and insert it into your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL. All your data should be just as you left it, but now with lots of extra space.

How to Network Transfer Data Between Nintendo 3DS Systems

Here’s how to transfer Nintendo 3DS data over a home network.

The following procedure works on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS systems. Before starting this process, insert the new SD card into the target system where you want to transfer the data.

  1. On the source system, go to the Home menu and select the System Settings icon. Select Open > Other Settings > 3 > System Transfer.

  2. Select Transfer from Nintendo 3DS. Select Agree, then select Send from This System.

  3. If you haven't linked your Nintendo Network ID, you'll need to do so. If you already have, select Next and enter your Nintendo network ID and password.

  4. On the destination system, go to the Home menu, then select the System Settings icon. Select Open > Other Settings > 3 > System Transfer.

  5. Select Transfer from Nintendo DS. Select Agree, then select Receive from Nintendo DS.

  6. Back on the source system, select the system to send the data transfer to, then select Yes to accept the transfer. Select Next to continue, then select Yes to confirm. Select the blue Transfer button to initiate the data transfer.

  7. On the target system, select Delete to confirm that it's okay to delete all data on the target system's SD card. Select the blue Delete button, then select Yes to start the transfer.

    If have enough room on the card, you can transfer data and select Do Not Delete. Even if you do not delete data, you will still need to reinstall existing games on the target system.

  8. When the data transfer is finished, select OK on the target system to restart it and complete the transfer.

Now that you've transferred all of the data, you can eject your SD card from the source system and insert it into the target. Now all of the games you played on the source Nintendo DS will work on the new one.

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Here Are Two Ways to Upgrade 3DS SD Card to a Larger One! [Clone Disk]

Languages: 日本語

Summary :

upgrade 3DS SD card

Want to upgrade 3DS SD card to another bigger one to install many games? MiniTool ShadowMaker can easily transfer or clone 3DS SD card data to a new large SD card without any data loss. Now, let’s go to see some information.

Overview of Nintendo 3DS SD Card

To put it simply, Nintendo 3DS is a portable game console which can display stereoscopic 3D effects without using 3D glasses or additional accessories. Until now, Nintendo 3DS has gained great praise of players all over the world.

In Nintendo 3DS, an SD card is required to store downloaded applications, games and other media. When reading here, perhaps you are curious: What SD cards work with 3DS? What are the Nintendo 3DS SD card size and the format?

Related article: 3DS SD Card Format | How to Format SD Card for 3DS

Nintendo 3DS is compatible with SD memory cards up to 2GB and SDHC memory cards of 4 GB or 32 GB.

Besides, Mini SD cards and Micro SD cards with the use of an SD card adapter are compatible. But, as for SDXC cards, it can be up to GB and also compatible with the 3DS, provided that the SDHX card has been formatted to FAT32 out of the box.

Usually, the SD card of Nintendo 3DS is 2GB by default and New Nintendo 3DS (XL) has a 4GB Micro SD card only.

It Is Essential to Upgrade 3DS SD Card

After knowing the Nintendo 3DS card size, you clearly know 2GB or 4GB SD cards are largely insufficient if you plan to store many games on Nintendo console.

Can you change SD card in 3DS? Of course, if you are low on space, you can transfer 3DS data to a new 3DS for more disk space or upgrade to a large 3DS SD card, and then replace the smaller SD card.

However, it is indeed a question for Nintendo players to do this work without deleting old classic games on the card. Is there any way to do 3DS upgrade SD card without any data loss? The answer is yes.

How to Upgrade to a Larger SD Card for 3DS

As to this question, in this post, we will introduce you two ways for 3DS SD card upgrade and you can follow the guidance as shown below to do this job.

Solution 1: Clone Small 3DS SD card to a Larger One

Usually, when referring to the SD card upgrade, you choose the disk-cloning method. This method is provided by MiniTool software with the powerful disk cloning feature.

Here, MiniTool Solution Ltd. has two pieces of software which support disk cloning and they are MiniTool ShadowMaker and MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Upgrade 3DS SD Card with MiniTool ShadowMaker

Why choose MiniTool ShadowMaker? To be specific, this tool is helpful to transfer data from one Micro SD card to another via disk cloning with several steps. By means of Clone Disk feature of MiniTool ShadowMaker, the 3DS upgrade SD card can be done effectively.

This way can ensure all data on the Nintendo 3DS SD card is copied to another larger SD card. Now, free download MiniTool ShadowMaker, install it on your computer and then start to upgrade 3DS SD card for more disk space without losing any data.

Free Download

1. For a successful 3DS SD card upgrade, please note that your new SD card should be compatible with the Nintendo 3DS.
2. You need to remove the 3DS SD card which contains games or other data from Nintendo game console, connect it and the new large 3DS SD card to your PC.

How to transfer 3DS data to a new 3DS SD card? Look at the details now!

Step 1: Choose one computer to manage.

  1. Run this freeware.
  2. Click Connect in the local section to go to the next page.
MiniTool ShadowMaker local backup

Tip: When launching MiniTool ShadowMaker, in addition to disk cloning, you will find this tool also provides you with backup & restore solution for system, partition or the entire disk. If you also have the need, have a try for free.

Perhaps you like:How to Backup Computer to External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Step 2: Choose the clone feature

  1. Navigate to the Tools page.
  2. Then, you can see there are some useful small tools, just click the Clone Disk feature from them.
MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk

Step 3: Choose the SD cards for cloning

  1. As for the source hard drive, it should be the 3DS SD card which is full of games.
  2. For the target disk, please choose another SD card which should be enough large to hold several games.
  3. Then, hit the Next button to continue disk cloning for 3DS SD card upgrade.
choose source disk and target disk for the clone

Note: During the process of cloning, all the data of the target disk can be destroyed. Therefore, please make sure no important files are saved to the destination SD card for 3DS.

Step 4: Perform cloning operation

In the process page, you can see the source disk and destination disk you have chosen, as well as the cloning time. This cloning process will cost a few minutes.

  1. The option Shut down the computer when the operation is completed is useful if you are not willing to wait for the process.
  2. If you don’t check the option, after the cloning operation is finished, a window will pop out, just like the figure shown below:
disk cloning is completed successfully
  • You need to disconnect either the original drive or target disk when performing the first boot after the cloning.
  • If both of these two hard drives are connected to your PC, one disk will become offline in Windows operating system.
ghost hard drive thumbnail

How Can You Effectively Ghost Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10?

Want to ghost hard drive in Windows 10/8/7? MiniTool programs enable you to create a ghost image or clone hard drive to protect your PC.

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In this post, you only want to upgrade 3DS SD card, therefore, shut down the computer, remove your two 3DS SD cards and connect the large SD card with all games and other data to your Nintendo player to enjoy fun games.

Up to now, all steps about how to use MiniTool ShadowMaker do Nintendo 3DS SD card transfer have been introduced completely. If your Nintendo 3DS SD card is full of games, try this reliable hard drive cloning software.

Free Download

“I want to upgrade Nintendo 3DS SD card without deleting any game, but not know how to transfer 3DS games to another SD card. Luckily, MiniTool ShadowMaker helps a lot.”Click to tweet

Transfer 3DS Data to New 3DS SD Card by MiniTool Partition Wizard

In addition, MiniTool Partition Wizard is another piece of disk cloning software. It enables you to do the cloning operation by three features, including Migrate OS to SSD/HD, Copy Disk and Copy partition.

How to transfer downloaded games from one 3DS SD card to another with MiniTool Partition Wizard? Here, only Copy Disk is available for 3DS SD card since Migrate OS to SSD/HD feature only applies to OS disk and Copy partition can only help to clone a single partition.

Now, free download MiniTool Partition Wizard to clone 3DS SD card to a bigger 3DS card.

Free Download

1. You still need to remove the small 3DS SD card from Nintendo player and connect it as well as the substitutive SD card to SD card readers to your computer.
2. Be sure these two SD cards can be detected by Windows.

Step 1: Choose the SD card cloning feature

  1. Run MiniTool Partition Wizard to the main interface.
  2. Select the old 3DS SD card, and click Copy from the right-click menu to upgrade 3DS SD card. Or click Copy Disk from Convert Disk menu.

Step 2: Select a target SD card

  1. After that, enter the interface where you need to choose a target SD card to save your Nintendo 3DS data.
  2. Click Next to continue.
upgrade 3DS SD card

Step 3: Specify a copy option

  1. Select one copy mode for the SD card cloning.
  2. Click OK to go on 3DS upgrade SD card via cloning.
choose a copy option

Step 4: Execute all changes

  1. Ignore the pop-out warning.
  2. Click Finish to go back to MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface.
  3. Hit Apply to complete 3DS SD card upgrade by the disk cloning method.

After finishing all operations, you can connect the new 3DS SD card to your Nintendo game console. By means of MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can upgrade 3DS SD card without losing data. Just free download this cloning software for a try.

Free Download

Solution 2: 3DS SD Card Transfer Save Data via Copy & Paste

In addition to upgrading your 3DS SD card via disk cloning, actually, there is another way for this job. When searching “3DS upgrade SD card” in Google, you can find some articles show the way that is to use copy & paste method to transfer 3DS data to new 3DS.

In fact, this solution is provided by Nintendo itself.

In other words, Nintendo 3DS family systems have a feature to enable you to access SD Card data over the home network. Just choose this solution if you don’t want to remove the microSD Card or can’t remove it.

See how to transfer 3DS games to another SD card:

  1. Remove your SD card from Nintendo player.
  2. Insert this SD card which is full of Nintendo 3DS data into an SD card slot or reader.
  3. Go to Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to access the SD card data.
  4. Drag all folders to your computer desktop. Note that drag the entire folder rather than only the content of the folder. But as for videos or photos, it is allowed to only move the content.
  5. Eject the original 3DS SD card.
  6. Insert your new SD card to the reader or slot.
  7. Open the SD card partition and copy the folders from the desktop to it.
backup sd card thumbnail

3 Ways to Back up SD Card to Computer for Data Protection

How to back up SD card to computer to protect yourself from data loss? This post will walk you through 3 possible ways for SD card backup in Windows 10/8/7.

Read More

1. Make sure your new card has been formatted to FAT32 before transferring data.
2. Before you verify the new SD card can work correctly, don’t delete, format or modify the data on the original SD card.

When reading here, perhaps you think it is quite an easy thing to transfer data between SD cards.

However, according to the Nintendo 3DS users’ feedback, you should know sometimes the transfer probably fails to work or some data is inaccessible after finishing the data transfer. 

Thus, a substitutive method should be used, namely, to use the professional software to clone 3DS SD card to a bigger 3DS card is the best way, just like solution 1 shows. So, just download MiniTool ShadowMaker to have a try.

Free Download


After reading this article, you know some information of Nintendo 3DS SD card including its format and size, why need to upgrade 3DS SD card, and how to transfer 3DS games to another SD card by disk cloning and simple copy & paste.

By contrast, you learn it is a wise option to take MiniTool software to transfer data from one Micro SD card to another SD card since copy & paste can lead to inaccessible data and then 3DS fails to work. Just choose the proper way according to your need.

As for the question about using our software, you can write an email and send it to [email&#;protected], or put your comment in the comment zone. Besides, any suggestion is appreciated here.

3DS SD Card Transfer FAQ

Can I transfer my 3DS games to another SD card?

Of course, you can. The operations are easy. Just remove the old SD card from the player, connect it to your computer, access the card data in Windows Explorer, drag all folders to the desktop, connect another SD card to the PC and drag all those folders to the card.

Can you use multiple SD cards on 3DS?

You can use multiple SD cards on 3DS but this is not recommendable since you won’t be able to merge your data if you need to.

How long does a 3DS system transfer take?

You can transfer all of the current content to a new Nintendo 3DS family system via a local wireless connection if you are using a 4GB or smaller SD card. This approximately takes up to 2 hours.

Does 3DS system transfer delete save data?

All the data on the original system will be deleted after the transfer process is completed. During the transfer, data on the target system memory is deleted and replaced by the system data of the source system.



VeraFollow us

Position: Columnist

Vera is an editor of the MiniTool Team since who has more than 5 years’ writing experiences in the field of technical articles. Her articles mainly focus on disk & partition management, PC data recovery, video conversion, as well as PC backup & restore, helping users to solve some errors and issues when using their computers. In her spare times, she likes shopping, playing games and reading some articles.

How to transfer your content to your New Nintendo 3DS using a MicroSD card

How to Format SD Card for Nintendo 3DS (XL) with Freeware?

What SD card does a 3DS use?

Nintendo 3DS or New Nintendo 3DS is great portable game console with stereoscopic 3D effects technology released by Nintendo in Nintendo stores its OS and user’s data on SD card: Micro SD card for New Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL and SD card for Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL. All SD cards that will be used with a Nintendo product should be pre-formatted to FAT32 since Nintendo products strictly adhere to the SD card standard. To sum up, Nintendo 3DS consoles need SD/SDHC/SDXC/Micro SD/Micro SDHC cards with FAT32 file system as that is the only format the 3DS recognizes.

3ds And Sd Card

Why format SD card for 3DS?

You may curious about the necessity of formatting SD card for Nintendo 3DS because it has already included SD card in. Surely it is, otherwise the OS will have no place to store. Nevertheless, the built-in SD card is too small to store all user’s games and files. In detail, Nintendo 3DS has 2 GB SD card included and New Nintendo 3DS (XL) only have 4 GB Micro SD card included.

Formatting a new (micro) SD card for the 3DS to make it work well is an inevitable trend. Also, get a large capacity of SD card say 32GB and format it to FAT32 with 64KB clusters will improve the speed of photo taking and screen capturing. Another reason might be the 3DS console freeze up accidentally. Reformatting the SD card is a possible fix for that. Besides, if the SD card has been formatted to the other file systems like NTFS already, you need to either reformat it to FAT32 or convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data.

Preparations before formatting SD card for 3DS in PC

Before performing SD card formatting on a PC, you need to do some preparations.

  • An SD card. Specifically, New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL need Micro SD cards, Micro SDXC cards and Micro SDHC cards. Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL need SD cards, SDHC cards and SDXC cards. Purchase the right SD card for your 3DS. Micro SD cards like SanDisk Extreme microSDHC is a good choice.

  • A size #0 crosshead screwdriver. In case you need to remove or install the micro SD card from a New Nintendo 3DS (XL).

  • An adapter, if you want to format more than one SD card simultaneously.

  • A Windows OS based PC, such as Windows 10, 8, , 7, XP, Vista. Insert the SD card to a PC via SD card adapter if need to. Make sure it is detected by the Windows computer.

How to format SD card of different size for 3DS?

Following will introduce two ways on how to format SD card for 3DS, one is Windows built-in tool and the other is powerful third-party formatting software AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Which one to choose depends on how big your SD card is. Note: formatting will cause data loss. Please backup crucial files before you start.

Format 32GB SD card for 3DS using Diskpart

1. Press Windows key + R key to open Run. Type diskpart and click OK.

2. In Diskpart, type these commands in order:

  • list disk

  • select disk n (where n is the partition on your SD card)

  • clean

  • create partition primary

  • format fs=fat32 quick

  • exit

Diskpart Fat32

That method also applies to format SD card that is smaller than 32GB to FAT If it is bigger than 32GB, for example 64GB, you’ll get the error: The volume is too big for FAT In that case, you need to turn to professional formatting tool like aforementioned AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Format 64GB, GB SD card for 3DS via freeware

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard breaks out the limitations of Windows built-in tools and is able to format 2TB hard drive (at most) to FAT32 file system. Besides, it supports configuring more parameters like cluster size , partition label during formatting. Download this software on a Windows OS based PC, and then have a try.

1. Connect the 64GB, GB or even larger SD card to the computer. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the partition on the SD card and select "Format Partition".

Note: if it is a new SD card, right-click the unallocated space, select “Create Partition” and follow the prompts to create a large FAT32 drive.

Format Partition 64gb

2. In the popping up window, choose "FAT32" file system for the SD card. Choose the desired cluster size if you want to.

Select File System 64gb

3. Click on "Apply" on the toolbar and then "Proceed" to execute the operation.

Apply Proceed 64gb

Tip: if there are unallocated space behind partition on the SD card, you can choose “Resize Partition” to add the space into the existing partitio to full use the space.


Formatting an SD card for New 3DS (XL) or normal 3DS (XL) is easy to complete no matter how big it is. AOMEI Partition Assistant can not only format data partition but also can delete hard drive with system on. Besides, it is able to clone SD card, permanenty wipe SD card, and more. To enjoy more adavnced features like running Windows from SD card, recovering deleted SD card partitions, converting boot disk between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions, please upgrade to Professional edition.


Card nintendo 3ds new sd

Nintendo 3DS Wiki Guide

  • Source SD Card: your old SD Card that contains the game and systems data. Cards included with systems ranged from 2 to 4GB. The New 3DS sports 4GB microSD cards, while the older units use standard size cards.
  • Target SD Card: one of the Memory Cards Compatible With 3DS, such as a 32GB SD Card. For New 3DS, check MicroSD Cards Compatible With New Nintendo 3DS.
  • A computer with a built-in SD Card reader or an external SD Card drive. If you're using a microSD Card, you'll also need the SD Card adapter on top of that, which is usually sold with the microSD cards. Alternatively to the reader, a camera with a built-in SD Card reader attached to your computer may also work. There are also stores that can provide data transfer services for a small fee.
Note: Nintendo officially only supports memory cards up to 32GB. There's no Nintendo-backed guarantee that a larger one will work, but there are workarounds that make even larger cards such as 64GB and GB function just fine.

How to format 64GB cards or higher:            
For PC: You'll need software like MiniTool Partition Wizard or comparable programs that support FAT Put your SD Card into the card reader on your PC (or connect it via an external device). Select and format the memory card with the FAT32 file format and create a partition with the cluster size set to 32KB. Set it to the primary partition and your card should be usable with any Nintendo 3DS.

For Mac: Connect the SD card to your computer. Open Disk Utility. To do this, click on the magnifying glass in the top-right corner of your computer screen.  Type “disk utility” in the search box that opens, then click on the “Disk Utility” Application that comes up. Find the SD card in the left side of the window. It’ll be named something like NO NAME or UNTITLED. Click the ERASE tab in the middle of the window. Next, click on the “Format” dropdown menu. Select “MS-DOS (FAT)”. A message will appear asking, “Are you sure you want to erase the partition “[YOUR SD CARD NAME]?”  Click “Erase”. Now the computer will delete the contents of your SD card and format it. You’re all done. 

To transfer data:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1. Open the SD Card slot on the left side of your 3DS and remove the SD Card that contains all your 3DS data. Insert the SD Card into the SD card slot or the SD card reader/writer or device.

The New 3DS does not have an easily-accessible microSD Card slot. You'll need a screwdriver to open the back. It's no big ordeal, though, and it doesn't impact your warranty as the system was designed to have interchangeable cards. To open up the New 3DS use a cross-head + screwdriver to gently loosen the two screws on the back of the 3DS (they don't come out out, just turn counter-clockwise until you feel the "click" that signals they're loose), then pry on the small slots to the sides with the top edge of the stylus. If you press gently, you can feel the cover separating. Carefully open the "hood" by lifting it and pulling gently forward to take it off. Don't let that "crack" sound scare you. Put the microSD Card in an SD Card adapter and put it into the card reader/writer or device connected to your computer.

2. On your computer, open Windows Explorer (for PC) or Finder (for Mac) and access the SD Card. 

3. Highlight the data and drag it to the desktop (or into a new folder you created).

4. Eject the first SD Card.

5. Insert the second, empty SD Card into the slot or reader/writer/device.

6. Using Windows Explorer or Finder, locate and access the SD Card again.

7. Drag the data from the desktop to the empty SD card.

How to Find the SD Card on New Nintendo 3DS Systems

Best Memory Cards for Nintendo 3DS

With an impressive library of games and a budget price tag, the 3DS from Nintendo is still a great gaming console. But perhaps your gaming needs have now outgrown the 4GB SD card which comes with the device, and you are looking for a new card to store all of your gaming data on. Asides from the fact that you can save all your years of hard work and dedication on your favourite games, you can now instantly download your games directly onto SD cards, not to mention, the better the specs of your SD card, the better the performance will be. To help you out, we have rounded up the best SD cards for your device.

What SD cards and microSD cards are compatible?

The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS systems are compatible with SD cards up to 2 GB in size, and SDHC cards of 4 GB and larger up to 32 GB in size. All other SD Card types are not considered compatible. However, miniSD and microSD cards are compatible with the use of an SD card adapter. The handheld comes with a 4GB card, and that’s fine if all you intend to do is save your progress. However, if you are looking at having an all-digital video game collection or just want to expand upon your built-in storage, then investing in an SD card is a great add on for your gaming needs.

The New Nintendo 3DS family systems are compatible with microSD cards up to 2 GB in size, and microSDHC cards of 4 GB and larger up to 32 GB in size. All other SD Card types are not considered compatible. SDXC and microSDXC cards are also not considered compatible.

Here are our top picks to make sure you’re getting the most out of your device and find the best memory card for your Nintendo 3DS.

SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO V30 SD Card (SDHC) UHS-I U3 - 95MB/s

Best Overall

SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO V30 SD &#; 95MB/s

The SanDisk Extreme PRO is the perfect partner for your Nintendo 3DS. The card comes with a data storage capacity of up to 32GB, allowing you to save a great deal of media before having to change the card or transfer files to your computer. Plus, the card delivers incredible read speeds of up to 95MB/s and is designed to withstand extreme environments. Available here.

MyMemory 32GB V30 PRO High Speed SD Card (SDHC) UHS-1 U3 - MB/s

Runner Up

MyMemory 32GB V30 PRO High Speed SD &#; MB/s

MyMemory Premium High Speed SDHC cards are a perfect fit for your 3DS. With staggering speeds of up to MB/s, you can enjoy quick data transfer and reliable performance with this fast SD memory card. This card also comes with a lifetime warranty, giving you the comfort and confidence you would expect from a well-established brand. Available here.

SanDisk 16GB Extreme PLUS SD Card (SDHC) UHS-I U3 - 90MB/s

High Durability

SanDisk 16GB Extreme PLUS SD &#; 90MB/s

Store lots of photos, games, and Full HD videos, using the SanDisk 16GB Extreme PLUS SD card. SanDisk’s Extreme line of memory cards are waterproof, temperature proof, x-ray proof, and shockproof, so you can save content by the pool or carry your memory card with you through the airport and rest assured that your treasured games will be secure. Available here.

MyMemory 8GB SD Card (SDHC) - 80MB/s

Lower Capacity

MyMemory 8GB SD Card &#; 80MB/s

Looking for a memory card with lower storage capacity? If you don’t plan on downloaded too much on your Nintendo 3DS, then the MyMemory 8GB SD card offers plenty of storage. This card will provide plenty of storage for your gaming needs. Video class 10 and up to 80MB/s transfer speed will make it ideal for saving the progress you’ve achieved on your Nintendo 3Ds. Available here.

SanDisk 16GB Ultra SD Card (SDHC) - 80MB/s

Best Mid-Range

SanDisk 16GB Ultra SD Card &#; 80MB/s

Twice as fast as ordinary SDHC cards, the SanDisk Ultra offers read speeds of up to 80MB/s, making it ideal for saving your progress and time spent on games on your Nintendo 3DS. Available in a capacity of 16GB, this card has plenty of storage space to ensure you are able to store important game data and info. These cards from SanDisk are affordable and work well with the Nintendo 3DS. Available here.

Kingston 32GB Canvas Select Plus SD Card (SDHC) UHS-I U1 - MB/s

Ultimate Performance

Kingston 32GB Canvas Select Plus SD &#; MB/s

For maximum efficiency, Kingston’s Canvas Select Plus cards deliver extremely fast transfer speeds of up to MB/s for the ultimate performance when transferring files from your Nintendo 3DS to your computer. Plus, this card is built to perform in the harshest environments and conditions so you can take it anywhere knowing that your games are protected. Available here.

Be sure to visit our website now to check out our full range of the best SD cards for the Nintendo 3DS. 

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