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

  1. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement, Battery: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • 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.

  2. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Same here, much more appropriate.

    Jack Wilson -

  3. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.

  4. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • 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.

    Also you should remove any SD card at this point

    James Grant - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement, Motherboard: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  6. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  7. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

  8. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • 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.

    I discovered that there is enough clearance to slide the Game Cartridge Slot assembly out without removing the motherboard. Just remove the two connectors going to the Cartridge Slot assembly and take out the 3 screws holding it down. There were two screws that look like they are holding the assembly down, but they are only holes through the assembly and don’t actually hold it down. At least on the Pokemon version, New 3DS XL that I had.

    Reed Deemer - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Can confirm, it's leagues easier to do it that way than to go to the trouble of removing the entire motherboard, potentially screwing something up in the process. Thank you so much for sharing this alternative method!

    João Gaspar -

  9. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Use tweezers to flip up the small, hinged locking flap in order to unlock the ZIF connector securing the circle pad ribbon.

    • Slide the ribbon out of the ZIF connector.

    Is not the right side, the switch must be pull to the left, otherwise people will brake it.

    DartzSoryu - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I suggest removing the joystick first, swing to left side, then lift up on ZIF connector from the right. You’re able to pull ribbon cable out easier from the left at that point w/o breaking it, as I did.

    Dylan Riffel - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    2nd the removing of the joystick first via the two screws and to be careful handling the plastic washer underneath. It’s coated with a Teflon type material to aid in stick movement. also use a finger nail over tweezers any change you get. A nail is less rigid with natural give and less likely to break plastic latches. If it doesn’t open from the end you expect, stop, and try the other side right away. Be gently.

    Shiftnumlock - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  10. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.

  11. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the circle pad casing upward to remove it. There will be some friction, but it should not require excessive force.

  12. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Use a spudger to remove the red cable plug.

    Luis Leon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  13. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 13, image 2 of 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 13, image 3 of 3
    • Using tweezers, gently pull the five marked ribbons out of the ZIF connectors along the sides of the motherboard.

    • These ZIF connectors are held in place by friction and do not have locks—lifting the flaps on these connectors will break them! Note that in some models the upper-most connector may have a lock.

    • 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.


    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).


    Khusro - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Accurate. I have to purchase a new digitizer because of this. I tore the conductors in the cable removing it from the ZIF connector. And I’m really very angry that no correction has been made in the almost 9 months since you posted.

    Sabs Like Labs -

    Sabs Like Labs, can you please share a picture of your connector ? last time I dismounted one I had no problems with this connector but maby there are different versions ?

    Guillaume Blas -

    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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    &&^& all those tutoriel now is just break my new 3ds &&^& you internet

    xavier delfini - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I broke my connectors the little gray pieces broke not the touch screen and the joy stick are broken.

    mcoughlin625 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Wish I’d read the comments first, messed up this connection pretty bad too.

    bajah - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Glad I read the comments first! The topmost red connector DOES have a clamp you need to flip up to release.

    BBW - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I can confirm there are two different versions of the clip. One flips up and just pushes in

    thomas rhymestine - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    As others have mentioned, the topmost red connector HAS A CLAMP that you need to flip up. It seems like the creator of this guide has a 3ds with older board revision. With multiple people already having brought up the issue, the creator should absolutely update this guide to note the differences as others have already broken their devices due to this guide.

    Jason He - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Can confirm that the top most connector has a clamp on mine as well. tore the ribbon cable taking it out and now my bottom screen touch screen is unresponsive. also if you are on this guide looking to replace the game card reader, i also found out after trying to replace mine … You DO NOT need to remove the motherboard in order to replace it !

    Harry Appleton - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I swear there isn't a new 3ds XL tutorial out there without wrong steps ending up in destroying your device… Can ifixit confirm they've read the comments and fixed the guide?

    Anrei - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Then digitizer absolutely should be updated to note, I also broke the GREY clamp off, when treying to remove, and bought a new one.

    I believe this to be the replacement

    Michael Zaeus - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  14. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 14, image 1 of 1
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.

  15. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 15, image 1 of 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015 Motherboard Replacement: step 15, image 2 of 2
    • 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Agree here. I’m doing the job to replace the lower screen, and connecting these two cables at the corner was the hardest part of reassembly. I would have done the job without disconnecting these.

    BBW - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Getting the ribbons back in can be a challenge but don’t give up. Pull them taught and try to work at an angle that give you the most length.

    Shiftnumlock - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Do you know the name of the shorter zif connector, or how to order it? I am talking about the one that is on the botton side of the board,that sometime it is hard to connect the ribbon cable. I think it has like 30 pins. Thank you.

    Marcos Cabral -

    What is the name or how to order the small zif connectors that is on the bottom side of the board, I think it has like 30 pins. Thank you

    Marcos Cabral - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I just want to swap out lcd screens, what steps can I omit? this is the only bottom screen guide online and so many bricks wtf can’t someone make a video like top lcds there are many.

    joey grimes - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


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


Zoe Cagle


1,106 crwdns2915208:0crwdne2915208:0



Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015 crwdns2886886:0Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015crwdne2886886:0





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

emaN - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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

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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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: )

Zoe Cagle -

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 -

Hello, i’m sorry, i don’t know the answere for this. I imagine that replacing the motherboard can affect the update version but i can’t see why it wouldnt be upgradable to the newest versions.

Guillaume Blas - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I have a question? Will a regular new 3ds xl mother bard like this one would work for my galaxy style new nintendo 3ds xl? Will this motherboard work? Please answer

Green J. - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

It would work.

oof -

The picture of tweezers is great as a pointing tool but I prefer to use a finger nail whenever possible. With a finger nail you can get the perfect amount of leverage on a latch and it’s spread over a greater length of the lever. I’ve broken a few plastic latches early on with with tweezers and prefer to avoid them now.

Shiftnumlock - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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