Upgrading your 3DS SD card, your 3DS, or both

Upgrading your 3DS SD card, your 3DS, or both

Once more the time has come to update my seemingly rather popular guide to upgrading your Nintendo 3DS SD card (previously here). This time, I’m going to cover several scenarios – upgrading your SD (or SDHC) card to another SD (or SDHC) card, upgrading your SD/SDHC card to a 64GB or larger SDXC card, and upgrading your 3DS to a New 3DS, transferring everything to a MicroSD/SDXC. EDITED 11/02/15 to clarify some points in Section 3

Firstly, some information:

Nintendo’s published method for transferring data from SD card to SD card mostly works, but some stuff sometimes doesn’t make the transfer, or does but is inaccessible. For example, sometimes photos are missing, or you lose your play coins or streetpasses. My method (Section 1, below) transfers and retains access to the lot.

Also, Nintendo only officially support SDHC cards of up to 32GB in capacity, but in fact SDXC cards work too. The main incompatibility is not with the cards themselves, but with the partition format SDXC cards use – by default, exFAT, or sometimes NTFS. Neither of these can be read by a 3DS.

Thankfully, 64GB and 128GB SDXC cards can still be formatted to 3DS-usable FAT32 format. Unfortunately, Windows 7 (and 8) has made this difficult to do by not including the option on the standard disk formatting utility.

So, if you want to use a larger than 32GB card, then follow the steps below (in Section 2) carefully before transferring your 3DS data.

In addition, Nintendo also have a guide for migrating all your games, saves, data, software licences and NNID from one 3DS to another. This works fine, but there’s a faster way if you have a lot of data and have a New 3DS which only takes a Micro SD (or Micro SDHC, or Micro SDXC) card rather than a full size one. That’s Section 3, below.

Section 1 – Transferring to a new card

If you just want to transfer data from one SD card to another, and the new card is 32GB or less, this is the guide for you.

  1. Mount your old card on your computer.
  2. Create a folder on your computer and copy EVERYTHING from the card to it.
  3. While it’s doing that, put your new card in your 3DS and turn the 3DS on. It’ll initialise the card for you.
  4. When both these have finished, mount the new card in your computer.
  5. Open the folder you made on your computer, and copy everything to the root of the new card. If you’re asked to overwrite folders, or merge folders, say “yes”.
  6. When the copying has finished, you’re almost there. Next, on the new card, open the folder called “Nintendo 3DS”. Inside there will be folder with a huge string of letters and numbers for the name – open that.
  7. Inside that folder will be two folders with long random names. One of these is the folder tied to your old card, the other is the one tied to your new card. Simply copy the contents (not the folder itself) of the old one (it’ll be the one with the larger filesize) into the other one – merging and overwriting again if necessary. *NOTE! Once you’ve confirmed everything is working, you can delete the old folder to make some space.
  8. Put the new card back in your 3DS, reboot it if necessary, and you’re away!

Section 2 – Preparing an SDXC card for use in a 3DS

If you want to transfer data from an SD card to an SDXC card (more than 32GB), then read this guide on how to prepare your SDXC card. I’m often asked which cards I recommend. I personally use both a Lexar Professional 64GB Class 10 UHS-1 400x SDXC card, and a Samsung 64GB Evo Micro SDXC UHS-I Class 10 MicroSDXC card. Most cards should work, but I’d stick to big name, reliable brands like Samsung, Kingston, Lexar and Crucial, and avoid “own-brand” cheap cards. Also, back your SD card up to a computer regularly!

  1. There are many ways to format a card, but the method I used involved using the free version of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Download that and install it. Other formatters will probably work – just use the same settings from step 4 below.
  2. Put your new SDXC card in your PC’s card reader, and open MiniTool, choosing Partition Wizard.
  3. Choose your card in the list of drives (be VERY careful you choose the right one!) and delete the partition using the Delete button on the toolbar.
  4. Now Create a new partition in the freed space. Make sure you choose these options: “Create As: Primary”, “File System: FAT32” and “Cluster Size: 32kb”. You’ll also want to set a drive letter otherwise it won’t show up in Windows for when you want to copy stuff to it! *NOTE: Some people have suggested a cluster size of 64kb results in faster data load times. I haven’t seen any difference, but it may make a difference on some cards.
  5. Click “OK” to accept these settings, and then Apply (on the toolbar) to actually commit the deed to the card.
  6. When it’s done, that’s it! Your card is now ready for use in a 3DS.
  7. To transfer the data from your old card to this new one, read the guide in Section 1 on this page.

Section 3 – Super fast migration from a 3DS to a MicroSD/HC/XC New 3DS

If you are upgrading a 3DS to a New 3DS (that’s the Nintendo New 3DS, with the second stick and ZL and ZR buttons, rather than just a “new” 3DS – yes, Nintendo are unnecessarily confusing) and want the quickest way to transfer all your files, follow this guide.

First, you’ll need the following:

  • Your “old” 3DS and its SD card and charger, connected to the internet
  • Your New 3DS and charger, connected to the internet
  • A MicroSD card that is the same capacity or bigger than the data stored on your “old” SD card
  • A MicroSD to SD adapter

With all that to hand, we can begin:

  1. Put the new MicroSD card in the SD adapter
  2. Treating this MicroSD card (in the adapter) as a normal new SD card, transfer the data from your old card to your new card as described in my guide above in Section 1. If the new MicroSD card is a SDXC card (bigger than 32GB), then follow my guide in Section 2 then follow my guide in Section 1.
  3. When you’ve done that, you should have all your data on the new MicroSD card in the SD adapter. Put this new card, in the adapter, back into your OLD 3DS.
  4. Check you can access everything on it. If you’ve followed my guides and the card is good, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Now, with both 3DS consoles plugged into mains power (or at least with fully charged batteries if you want to risk it! I don’t recommend this though!) and connected to the internet, you can begin the transfer process. If you have not yet used your New 3DS, the transfer option below appears as part of the initial setup process, so you won’t need to find the menu option. If you have used your New 3DS already, be aware this process will wipe everything on it – games, photos, settings… everything!

  1. On your OLD 3DS, go into System Settings, then Other Settings and choose System Transfer. Choose “Between 3DS systems”. You may be asked to perform a system update – make sure you do.
  2. On your NEW New 3DS (Grr, Nintendo!) do the same thing.
  3. On your OLD 3DS, choose “Send from this system”.
  4. On your NEW New 3DS choose “Receive from a 3DS system”.
  5. Now for the most part, you can follow all the on screen instructions. One important step is when you’re asked “Are you using an SD card or miniSD card with your system?” you must say “No” (as you’re using a microSD card), and another is when you’re given three options on how you want all your games transferred. You can choose:
    1. “Wireless Transfer (All Data)” – Transfer the lot over wifi (doesn’t take as long as option 2, but is still slow – but you’ll keep your saved games, photos, and so on)
    2. “Wireless Transfer (Limited Data)” – Just copy settings and licences to a new SD card in your New 3DS, then later redownload everything from the eShop (if you’ve lots of games, this will take forever, and you’ll lose your saved games, photos, etc.)
    3. “Copy via PC” – Reuse your 3DS SD card in your New 3DS – Nintendo refer to this as transferring via PC (super quick as only licences are transferred – nothing leaves the SD card!)
  6. We’re going to do the “Copy via PC” option where you reuse your SD card, as you’ve now got your MicroSD filled with all your stuff. So, choose that and follow all the instructions.
  7. Watch the Pikmin do their data transfer, and when they’re done, you’ll be told you can take the card out of your old 3DS and put it in your New 3DS. So turn off both 3DSes when prompted, take the MicroSD out of the adapter, and put it in the New 3DS.
  8. Power on the New 3DS and bask in its shiny glory, complete with all your stuff from your old 3DS.


  1. Pingback: Updated: How to upgrade your 3DS SD card, to 64GB and beyond | deKay's Blog

  2. Hi, first off great guide. I just have some questions so I don’t stuff up.

    I have the new Nintendo 3DS XL and have used the SD card that came with the console. I have preordered the special edition Majora’s Mask 3DS console and plan to trade in the 3DS I currently own for the special edition.

    So, which section of your guide should I use to transfer my data from my old (new) 3DS XL to my new (new) 3DS XL?

    I can transfer what’s on my SD card to my computer but won’t be able to follow the steps in section 3 because I will have traded that Console and the SD card in order to get the new Console.

    Apologies for the long post, but I don’t want to lose my save data for my digital copy of Bravely Default.

    Any help you provide would be greatly appreciated.

    1. You can ONLY do it with both consoles present. You can’t transfer the licences otherwise. If you trade in your current console before you have the new one, you’ll lose access to ALL your games, saves and licences.

  3. Thanks for the quick reply. So I will have to do a system transfer in store before I trade in my current 3DS? Once I complete the system transfer do I need to swap the SD card from current 3DS to the new one? I don’t know if the store will have a screwdriver to access the card.

  4. You say it has to be the same capacity when moving to the New 3DS or is that just a recommendation? I really hope it isn’t the former. I had been reading on Nintendo’s website and it didn’t say anything about needing the same capacity when changed memory cards. I came back to check your guide, since you helped me with my SDXC card and yours is more comprehensive than Nintendo’s.

    I currently have a 64GB SD in my 3DS XL now, I just ordered a 32GB Micro SD in preparation for this system transfer.

    So please tell me that isn’t a necessary requirement in order to do a system transfer. I don’t have over 32GB of data currently on the 64GB card I’m using now, so I figured it would be fine to transfer to a smaller 32GB Micro SD in the New 3DS.

    You also say the PC transfer only transfers licenses? I thought it kept everything, including your save data, mii data ect? Can you clarify?

    I want to make sure everything is intact, not just my game licenses. So what step is best for insuring all my data from my old 3DS is safe when transferred? With your method and an adapter for the Micro SD before hand, I’m assuming it’s as easy as switching the card at the end of the transfer process into the New 3DS?

    I’m new to all this, so bare with me please.

  5. Oops, Sorry.

    You already answered my question, as I was speed reading and misread this part “the same capacity or bigger than the DATA stored on your “old” SD card”…

    My bad. I was tripping out thinking it had to be the exact same capacity card for this to work.

  6. @Jed Yes, you will need to do the transfer in the store. It’s not just a screwdriver you’ll need – you’ll somehow need power and wifi too. Your store might let you use them, but I’d check before doing anything!

  7. What about MAC users? Card wireless transfer will not be compatible obviously but can I still transfer data manually from my SD card to a micro card using section 1? I’ve done transfers using your S1 before through my Mac with regular SD cards and I have never experience any troubles. I’m just a lil’ confuse regarding micro cards and wondering if I can still do the same from a regular one to a micro.

    1. Yes, it’ll work on a Mac too. I’ve done it with a Mac. Not sure what you’d use to format an SDXC card to FAT32 on a Mac though – Disk Utility might do it but you don’t have much control over setting primary partition and cluster size that way. If you know the tool well fdisk might do it.

  8. Hi deKay,

    I currently own a regular 3DS XL with a 32gb SDHC card in it. I will have a NEW 3DS XL when it comes out and want to transfer all of my information from my current SDHC card into a 64gb Micro SD card, while also making sure to reformat it, so it works on my NEW 3DS XL. Also, the NEW 3DS XL will come with a pre-installed game and I don’t want it to get deleted.

    Could you tell me in which order I should follow your instructions and how to not get my pre-installed game deleted during the transfer?

    Thank you!

    1. I believe that once you’ve done the transfer, you can redownload the games that were on the New 3DS’s SD card from the eShop. However, I’ve never transferred to another 3DS that had anything preinstalled, so I couldn’t say for sure. Nintendo suggest that would be the case:

      If I transfer from a console with a Nintendo Network ID registered to a console that has pre-intsalled software on the SD card, what happens to the pre-installed software?

      Pre-installed software on the SD card can be re-downloaded from the Nintendo eShop after a system transfer is performed.

      But then they did spell “installed” as “”intsalled”, and their SD transfer guide doesn’t completely work, so I don’t know if you should entirely trust them 🙂

      1. I can confirm that is how it works.

        Since I’ve been basically studying the system transfer process non-stop and watching so many people do it in videos. I know that is how it works, as I saw a video where a guy was in this exact same situation.

        You are correct in that all you need to do is go to the eShop afterwards to re-download the game. The pre-installed game will merge with your account on the New 3DS after the transfer is complete.

  9. I really like this guide I can tell that you put a lot of work into it and that you know your stuff.

    I have a question I am getting the New 3ds XL that comes out where I live on 2-13-15. I do not currently own a 3ds so this will be my first one, Nintendo has said that it has been improved compared to the current 3ds on the market.

    Due to these upgrades do you know if this method will work with the new models to read a card bigger than 32gb? I am planning on getting a 64gb card because I plan to go all digital since I travel so much with my job.

    So I was just wondering if the solution of formatting a card to fat 32 still works for the new models? Thank you and sorry it took me so long to get to the point.

    1. It does indeed work with the new New 3DS models – that’s why I updated the guide 🙂 You just need a MicroSD card for the new models – they don’t take a standard sized SD card.

    1. From what website? The partition tool one? If so, yes, it is. At least, as at the time of writing. You can use other partition managers though – so long as they let you use the same settings.

  10. Hi, I’ve been having trouble transferring data from an old SD card to a new one. Specifically, on section 1, step 7 of your guide.

    When I go into my SD card’s Nintendo 3DS file, there are three folders with gibberish names. To make matters worse, I’ve looked into all three folders rather extensively and messed around with merging and overwriting the contents in their folder (I haven’t tampered with the data on the file on my computer).

    I have attached a screenshot of what I see when I enter the Nintendo 3DS folder. Any ideas on how to correct this?

    David T Ly
      1. So long as you keep a backup before trying this, this is how I’ve dealt with that before:

        Assuming you’ve initialised the new card in your 3DS, your SD card now looks like that screenshot, correct? If so, go into the first of those folders in your screenshot. There should be two folders – copy (or move, if you’ve a backup) the contents of the older folder into the newer one, saying yes if it asks you to merge.

        Then go into the second of the folders in the screenshot, and, if there are two folders in there, copy the older into the newer again. Finally do the same for the third folder.

        When this happened to me (when I was doing it for someone else), only one of the three folders actually had two folders in it. One of them had one (so I left it alone) and the third folder was totally empty.

          1. And is anything in each of those folders? It seems quite common to have multiple folders, even with folders inside those, but I’ve yet to see one with actual files in more than one of the folders.

  11. So I just bought a 64GB MicroSD, for when I eventually get the NEW nintendo 3DS, and I would like to re-format the 64GB, then transfer what is on my old 2GB SD to the MicroSD and I will keep it in my old system until I get a new one… which order of the steps should I follow? Thanks!

  12. Hello. Me again. I notice your guide is missing a part of the process, although it’s a given most likely..

    Before the three transfer options, it asks

    “Are you using an SD card or miniSD card with this system? (Select No if you are using a microSD card.)”

    I’m assuming I chose “No” and continue the process as your guide states. Is this right?

    I’ve also been meaning to ask about the system format it does before removing the card. I notice it formats the source system before you remove the memory card? So this won’t delete your important data from the microSD before you put it into the New 3DS? I always thought it deleted the data on the SD card too with a format.

    Some people are saying it won’t delete any important data with the format and it will still retain your games and stuff during a transfer.

    Is this also right? Thank you for your time.

    1. If you have, on your old 3DS, transferred your data from an SD card to a microSD card in an adapter BEFORE you attempt the system transfer, then you need to say No to that question as you suggest.

      If you choose this option, it formats the source SYSTEM, yes, but not the source (micro)SD card.

  13. Hi,

    I have just purchased a New 3DS XL with a 64gb micro sd card and was following Section 3 of your guide.

    I wanted to use this method as I have a lot of games etc on my old 3DS XL with a 32gb card and thought it may be the quickest method.

    I think I followed the steps correctly but think I have transferred the data over to the New 3DS XL 4gb card that came with it without realising.

    After following the onscreen instructions and putting the 64gb micro SD card into my New 3DS XL, my downloaded games from the eShop aren’t there? Will I have to re-download all those games? I have the original (old 3DS data still backed up on my computer)

    Sorry for sounding like a N00b!

    1. Did you transfer from your 32GB to your 64GB before you did the system transfer? If so, when you did the transfer, did you choose “No” when asked “Are you using an SD card or miniSD card with your system?” and then “Copy via PC”? If not, then that’s where you went wrong.

      1. Hi thanks for your response.

        Yes I transferred my data from my 32gb card to my 64gb micro SD card by computer before I did the system transfer.

        And yes I chose the ‘No’ option when prompted.

        Despite what I said in my previous post – I had not pushed the micro SD card all the way in until it clicked (Doh!) and my games are there!

        Except not all of them. The majority of them are there but there are still some missing?

        For example my Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate demo has gone, a few 3DS games I have purchased on the eShop have gone, my DSi ware games aren’t there (some DSi ware games that are stored on my SD card are still there though)

        I assume I can still re-download these titles?

        1. Edit: I went to play Smash Bros. on the 3DS and had to perform an update.

          After doing so I had all my games back (as little presents) on my home screen. Yay!

          Thanks again for your guide!

        2. I would expect so, yes. Curious why they didn’t transfer though. Some demos I would expect – it does warn you this – but the DSi titles should have done and it actually triggers a special DSi transfer.

  14. I have a question about the New 3DS transferring process at section 3. When transferring the files from the old 3DS SD card into you new micro SD card to see if the transfer worked, does that mean I have to remove the files from my old SD card? If not, won’t this result in having both the same files in both the old 3DS and new 3DS when the transferring begins? Won’t that be a problem?

    1. Once you’ve done a system transfer, your 3DS is automatically “wiped”, and set up again as if it were new. Using my guide you actually take your card out of your old 3DS and put it in your new one, so there’s no old card still in your old 3DS. However, if you did have an old card (e.g. you transferred from an old SD to a new microSD before doing the system transfer) then once you’ve confirmed everything works on your New 3DS and new microSD card, you can wipe the old card yourself. It’s files won’t work in you old 3DS any more. They probably won’t cause problems, but they won’t be accessible so you may as well wipe it.

  15. Section 1, Step 7 , the way you have it involves reading and writing to the same SD card at the same time, which can take a long time. Be better to merge the ‘second folder with big long name’ from the copy you made to your computer, rather than merging on-card.

  16. Hello all!
    I have one question. I cannot find any solution anywhere.
    I got the Ambassador Edition New Nintendo 3DS. I already transfered the data from my old system to the new (Ambassador). Today I bought New Nintendo 3DS XL with Majora’s Mask preinstalled. Can you please tell me how (or if) I can transfer the game to the other system (from my New XL to Ambassador which I’m usuing now)? Is it possible?

    1. You can, yes, but it’ll take quite a while! You need to do a system transfer to your New 3DS XL from your New 3DS. You can then redownload Majora’s Mask on the XL as the system transfer will delete it (redownloading it from the eShop will be free however, so don’t worry). Then you have to wait several days (14, I think, before Nintendo allow another system transfer), after which you can system transfer everything back onto your Ambassador New 3DS.

  17. Hello thank you for this big help! It’s just I have a question.
    I have my NEW 3DS XL, a 64gb Micro sdhc and I just want to know, which step I should do first? Transfer all my data from micoSD to microSD and then put my MicroSD to my New 3DS and then transfer the other data from my old 3DS xl to my New 3DS? I mean I know the section 2 it’s first but when I finish that, I put my new 64gb to my New 3DS and transfer the remaining data from my old 3DS?

    1. The best way is transfer the data from your old card to your new card first, then do the system transfer with the Copy via PC option.

      So Section 2 (prep the SDXC card) then Section 1 (copy the data to the new card) and finally Section 3 (do the system transfer).

  18. This process just does not work for me at all. When I copy I get i two folders under the 3ds folder, and each of those has another random name folder in. What ever I do it doesn’t seem to work.

  19. Themes are missing
    Can’t access Theme Shop

    I can access eShop, but CANNOT download anything.

    All Icons on homescreen are there, just as before BUT they say I need to download from the eShop before I can play!

    DSiWare is all gone!

    Why is this so damned needlessly hard to get correct?
    Why did it need to be changed from the old way of System Transfer???????

        1. OK, lets start at the beginning. What did you have to begin with, and which sections of my guide did you follow in which order? e.g. were you transferring from on SD to another first, or just doing a system transfer?

          1. Section 2, Section 1, Section 3

            Had a 64Gb SDXC SD Card.

            Using a 128gb micro SDXC card in the =NEW= 3DS

            No, just so it’s clear… My NNID, successully transfered over to the =NEW= 3DS.

            All of my game icons show up on my HomeScreen.
            When I open them, they don’t. A message pops up saying to redownload them from the eShop.

            I can get into the eShop, I go and try the Repair/Download link and it errors out with a 007-6106 ( it think that’s the last 4) code.

            Theme shop I can get to the first screen, but after that, I can’t go any further…

  20. deKay…I am speechless. As a 49 year old video game freak, the transfers get more and more complicated. I had gotten a large size card and tried formatting it via Nintendo’s directions using a link they provided to the SD association’s formatting tool. I did it and the card was still not recognized. Not until I used your link for the mini tool which following your directions to the letter…worked great. Then again…back to following Nintendo’s directions for transfering from my 3DS to the New 3DS and guess what…it showed no games in DSi ware. Reading your instructions…sure enough…two folders. Copied the contents over to the empty one and then deleted the old one. Crossed my fingers and bam…it starts transferring the DSi ware games to the system memory. Now everything is transferred over correctly thanks to YOU. No where in Nintendo’s directions did it give the details for formatting or even moving the contents from the folders that you did. From an old dude…THANK YOU for these specific directions and nicely written for those not super technical.

  21. Hey man, I’m feeling desperate here. I transferred all my data from my old 3ds to the new 3ds today. The only thing that showed up after transferring was the home screen folders I created. No games, no themes and no save data. I can download my games from the eshop but I don’t want to do that. Any help would be appreciated.

    Billy white
        1. Hopefully, yes. It’ll be on the SD card somewhere – you’ll just need to copy it into the right folder. Problem is, there’s no way of knowing (from just looking) which folder it is 🙁

  22. I didn’t update via pc because I’m a terrible guide follower. I stopped touching anything. I’m sure I can redownload all my games because my nnid is hooked on it. All my save data is probably still left over on the old card though. Can I just copy and paste that stuff over anyway or will that just make things a bigger mess?

  23. I followed every single step exactly but when I go to copy the files of the old SD card to the new SD card, a few of the files say that they are corrupted. Everything works perfectly still in the old SD card when I use it in my 3DS. There are a few app files and tmd files that say this. Yes I have reformatted and recopied the old files on to my computer a few times.

    1. The same error code and all the games work on my original card. Except this time when i put the card in my 3ds it wouldnt recognize it and needed formatted when i put it back in my compter

          1. Well I just looked at similar cards and I guess the reviews must be faked because there are lots of people saying that it is a fake card. Just ordered a card directly from amazon this time so here is hoping

  24. Hi there, me again!

    Although not entirely related to this subject, I’ve still got some games on my other DSi XL that I would like to transfer over to my New 3DS XL.

    I’ve followed the steps outlined on Nintendo’s support website:

    I get to step 3 but I don’t get the option “Transfer from DSi” come up on my N3DSXL.

    It tells me to copy my DSi games from my Micro SD card to the system memory? At which point it tells me theres no available space left?

    Do I have to copy my existing DSi games on my N3DSXL to the micro SD before I do a system transfer?

    I understand that DSi games are not playable straight from the SD card and have to be on the system memory in order to play them?

  25. Hi there,
    So… I was helping a friend transfer her data to a new 3DS and I thought I screwed up all her saved data because I said “yes to having a regular SDHC card in her 3DS.” Turns out, she had one DSiware game that needed to transferred over so I was able to transfer all of her old save data to her new 3DS while moving the DSiware content to her new micro SDHC card. This method is longer than the PC transfer but I found it a lot easier to follow.
    So, I have a question. I am using a 16 GB micro SDHC card (through an adapter) in my regular 3DS… If I were to use the utility on a 128GB micro SDHC card, could I transfer the data the same way I did for her New 3DS on my New 3DS or should I give the PC setup a shot? If no, how would I get the saved data off of my micro sdhc card onto my new sdxc card? (just follow the steps above perhaps)?

    Connor Man (RedPocketMan)
  26. I followed Section 2 and then Section 1 to transfer my “new” 3DS XL 4GB card data to a Sandisk Ultra 64GB card. Except I skipped step 3, 6, and 7 in section 1. Can I ask why you put that part in about inserting the new SD card in the 3DS to “initialize” the SD card before copying the data to the new card?

      1. Funny that inserting new SD card in the 3DS to ‘initialize’ does nothing (was the box supposed to pop up stating that it’s ‘initializing’ or something?) except checking how many blocks it has. I skipped Step 6-7 because I checked my folder and it doesn’t have 2 folders with long random names under the same folder. I checked my 3DS with new 65 GB SD card and it’s working juuuuuuust fiiiiiine.

  27. I tried following this with mkfs to format the card on Linux, but it didn’t work–the 3DS couldn’t find the card. Then I borrowed a friend’s Windows PC and used MiniTool Partition Wizard, first quick erasing the card (it wasn’t very quick) and then creating a new FAT32 partition as described above, and that worked great! I noticed the partition setup was a little peculiar before wiping it though, so I suspect that if I had removed and created a partition on the SD card with fdisk before formatting it with mkfs it would’ve worked.

  28. Hi i have the New 3DS XL and i don’t have the old one and i have 64GB that i formatted to FAT32 should i put the Micro SD right away without copying anything or should i copy everything from 4GB Micro SD that come with the NEW 3DS XL? Thanks.

  29. Okay so I have a question…. Currently I have in my 3ds system the memory card that it came with… that however very quickly ran out of room… so when that happened and I had nothing I could or wanted to delete I took a different memory card and just swapped it for my new downloads… However now I want to get a newer and bigger memory card… So my question is: Can I transfer the data from both old memory cards and put it all on the new memory card and if so how do I do it safely?

    1. That I don’t know, sorry. You could try backing up both cards, then wiping the new card. Copy the contents of the old card to the new one as described in my instructions, then copy the contents of the new one (from your backup) over the top on the new one, making sure you merge folders as explained in my post. If it works, great – if not, just wipe the new card again and restore your backup.

  30. I have a new 3ds and I have been using it for a while, so its not new, and all I want to do is to increase its size from 4gb to 64gb I know I need to follow steps 1 and 2 to format and transfer data. However I am unsure if step 3 applies to me as I dont want to transfer the licence to a brand ‘new’ 3ds i just want to transfer the games and other data from one microSD to another.

  31. I’m in need of some help.
    I have a 32gb SD card for my NEW 3dsxl. I needed a bigger SD card, so I followed the steps. I downloaded the wizard, made my sd card a fat32. Put it in the DS, then took it out, put it in my computer and copied my files over (I previously copied them to my computer). Didn’t work. I deleted my contects, started the process over. Reformatted to Fat32, copied my files over, did NOT put in the DS between steps. Nothing.

    Now, my ds does see the SD card. I see that the space available on the SD card is used up by the files… I’m pretty upset… hope someone has an idea of what I can do? I have my old files so I didn’t lose content but I’m beside myself that I’m out of space on my ds and I don’t wan to delete games if I don’t have to…

  32. I just purchased a 3DS LL. Does it still work the same way? First time having a 3ds want to have a decent size memory from the get go. Want to put in a 32 or 64gb sd card. DO I need the Nintendo account and id to do any of this to transfer data?

  33. Ok so im for Section 1- Transferring To A New Card, I am currently on step 7 but I have 4 folders, not two.
    0b4767c4e854f141b118c72c9702c610 which is 5.14 mb
    13af00d74780004a5355313600035344 which is 5.21 mb
    90917816db04c7d4b0fd0bc4f4a7cb7f which is 3.55 gb
    Private which is 645 kb
    What should I do? Thanks in advance!

  34. The folders you want are at the root of your SD card. When you first open your SD card you should see two folders called DCIM and Nintendo3DS (or someting like it). Copy those two folders in their entirety. You don’t need to navigated into any of the folders. I believe those folders you are seeing are the contents of the Nintendo3DS folder.

    Devin Keenan
  35. I have a Sandisk Ultra PLUS 64gb micro sdxc card with an adapter, and my laptop currently runs Windows Vista. However, every time I try to insert the card into the card reader, my laptop simply doesn’t recognise that it’s there, and nothing shows up… How can I get my laptop to read the card? I tried searching for an answer, but Google is being unhelpful… Please get back to me as soon as you can with an answer!

  36. Thanks for this! I’m glad I poked around to see if there was any way to break the 32 GB limit before I bought a new card – never would’ve guessed it was as simple as reformatting it yourself. :p

    Nicely written guide. Everything’s working flawlessly on my Sony 64 GB card. 🙂

  37. So I’m a bit confused about steps 6 and 7 in Section 1. You’re saying that in the Nintendo 3DS folder I should have:
    Nintendo3DS->NewNumBlob and OldNumBlob but within OldNumBlob there should be TWO different OldSubNumBlob folders. There’s only one in mine so it looks like:
    OldNumBlob->OldSubNumBlob->backup,dbs,extdata and title

    I decided to copy only the four folders in OldSubNumBlob into my NewSubNumBlob directory (otherwise there would be no bitching about overwriting or merging because the SubBlob folders have different names) but when I put the new card back into my old 3DS to verify I can still access my games they don’t show up anymore. I don’t want to attempt a system transfer because I can’t tell that anything has properly been transferred.

  38. Followed all of the steps here, and everything worked out perfectly… Except when I delete the old folder (section 1, step 7), my N3DS says that the SD card can’t be recognized. With both the old and new folder it works fine, but without either one of them, I get that error. Anyway I can get rid of the old folder?

  39. deKay,
    thank you for your excellent guides.

    I am having trouble with using my PNY MicrsoSD XC 64GB card. My system is a New 3DS XL bought earlier this year. I formatted it using my Mac OSX’s “disk utility” program. All the data from my old card copies onto it fine, and the games from my old card are playable with my saved progress intact. The system also shows me as having over 450,000 available blocks.

    My problem is that whenever I go to download something from the E-Shop I am being told that I do not have enough space left on my SD card or that it is not compatible. This is the same message I was being told before I upgraded from the factory default 4GB MicroSD card that came with my system. So, since my games and data from my old SD card work I am inclined to believe that the card is formatted correctly. However, why when it shows that I have over 450,000 blocks then can I not download more games for “lack for space.”

    I am inclined to think that when I transfer the data from my old card, after it was saved on to the PC, that there might be some way OSX merges the data that is different from Windows, perhaps. This is the only thing that I can think of.

    Thank you for any help that you may be able to provide

  40. On Section 1, Step 6-7, my new card (64 GB SanDisk) only have 1 folder! Now, my 3DS XL can’t read my new card! >:( Please re-read to make sure that those steps are correct!

  41. Found out what was wrong with Section 1, Step 6-7. There’s no 2 folders with long random names in the first place. You don’t need to do that. After Step 5, that’s it. Why was Step 6-7 even there in the first place?

      1. I have Ultra Plus microSDXC UHS-1 card (with adapter) SanDisk, Class 10, 64 GB SD card with running up to 80 MB/s. You could have included in Step 6-7, stating that if there’s no 2 long random name (numbers/letters) in the same file, just skip Step 6-7 altogether.

        No, I simply needed to upgrade from 4 GB SD card to 64 GB SDXC card and I use 3DS XL.

  42. OK, I already have a New 3DSXL, in which I have a 64GB card. I have an additional New 3DS XL on the way, and I want to transfer everything to the new system, except I don’t have a second 64GB card. Basically, I don’t want to transfer any data from the card I have – I just want to use it in the new system. But I know I can’t just take it out of one and stick it in the other.

  43. So I followed all the steps and everything has worked out for me except the backup data. I SEE the backup data in the folder of my New SD card, but anytime I go to actually restore it – I ge the message that there is nothing to restore. Did I mess up something?

    Jonathan Johnson
    1. Try renaming the backup folder on the card to something else, then back up one of your games again. It should create a new folder. Then move the contents of your renamed folder into that folder.

  44. Will moved files from one card to another damage saved game files, if so how? Will I need to redownload games that have been previously bought or will I have to buy them with money again?

  45. So I followed the instruction and everything worked out, but then I deleted the old folder like the instructions said to, and now all my save data is gone. I must have made some mistake or misunderstood the instruction. I still have the original files on my pc, but No matter what I tried to do to fix it they wouldn’t get on my new card properly. though they were taking up space there. I can’t do everything over again since the transfer did go through, I was just wondering if there was some way to salvage the save data and games. I’m pretty lost at this point.

  46. Pingback: Ladiesgamers.com | Upgrading micro SD card 3DS to 64 GBUpgrading micro SD card 3DS to 64 GB | Ladiesgamers.com

  47. Hi, I’ve followed this guide to what I believe is a T:

    – Backup of old (32GB microSDHC) data on computer
    – Initialized 128gb microSDXC on New 3DS
    – Copied over everything to new card
    – The folder name in `Nintendo 3DS` stayed the same for both so I just overwrote it entirely.
    – Identical folder structure to old SD card

    Yet it’s not working. Doesn’t load any of my homebrew or anything. Did I miss something??


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