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How to Transfer Data From Your Nintendo DSi to Your Nintendo 3DS


Nintendo DSi/3DS Transfer

Nintendo DSi/3DS Transfer

Image © Nintendo
If you own a Nintendo 3DS and a Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSi XL, you can transfer pictures, music, and DSiWare games from your DSi to your 3DS. This is a good option if you don't want to lug around both systems.

The program you need to conduct the transfer is pre-loaded into the Nintendo 3DS, but you will need to download it for the Nintendo DSi. This step-by-step breakdown will help you through the download and transfer process.

Note: Saved game data for DSiWare games can not be transferred from the DSi to the 3DS. If you transfer DSiWare to the 3DS, your saved games will be erased.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Turn on your Nintendo DSi.
  2. On the bottom screen, scroll over to the icon for the Nintendo DSi Store and tap it. In order to connect to the Nintendo DSi Store (and therefore conduct the transfer), you need to have a Wi-Fi connection. Read how to set up Wi-Fi on your Nintendo DSi.
  3. If you haven't already downloaded the Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool from the DSi Shop, it will be showcased when the store loads up. If you don't see it, try tapping the "Recommended Titles" bar.
  4. Tap on the "Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool" (it looks like a little toaster). It's free to download and won't take up any blocks of memory on your Nintendo DSi. When the Transfer Tool is downloaded, return to the Nintendo DSi's main menu.
  5. Turn on your Nintendo 3DS. Make sure your Nintendo DSi is still on, too. It's best if the devices are side-by-side.
  6. Tap the icon for the Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool on the bottom screen of your Nintendo DSi. When the DSi is ready to transfer data, a large button will appear on the bottom screen that says, "Transfer to Nintendo 3DS."
  7. Go to the Settings menu on your Nintendo 3DS. Tap "Other Settings" on the bottom screen. Scroll through the menu twice until you see an icon that says "System Transfer." Tap it (if you have parental controls active on your 3DS, you will need to enter your PIN at this point). For the data transfer to occur, your Nintendo 3DS must be able to access a Wi-Fi connection. Read how to set up Wi-Fi on your Nintendo 3DS.
  8. When you're ready to transfer, you may tap "Transfer to the Nintendo 3DS" on your Nintendo DSi, or the icon marked "Receive from Nintendo DSi" on your Nintendo 3DS. It doesn't matter which one you choose first, but you will need to tap both icons to proceed.
  9. You will be presented with conditions for the transfer on your Nintendo DSi. Read them carefully: Note that transferring photos and recording saved on your Nintendo 3DS system will overwrite any photos and recordings that are already stored on the system. To avoid this, make sure your Nintendo 3DS photos and recordings are backed up on an SD card. After you've read the conditions for the transfer and the accompanying precautions, tap "Send From This System."
  10. Select the target system, which will be the name of your Nintendo 3DS. On your Nintendo 3DS, you'll be asked to confirm the data transfer. Tap "Yes."
  11. On your Nintendo DSi, you will be asked to select a "Full Transfer" or a "Custom Transfer." Select "Full Transfer" if you want to port all your DSi data to your 3DS. Select "Custom Transfer" to individually transfer your Wi-Fi configuration data, your photos and recordings, or your DSiWare.
  12. If you're doing a custom transfer for your DSiWare, you'll be able to select one game at a time. Photos and sound recordings all go over at once, however, even if you're doing a custom transfer.
  13. When you're done the data transfer, you can choose to stop the transfer process, or send more data over to the Nintendo 3DS.
  14. Transferred DSiWare will go immediately onto your Nintendo 3DS's main menu. Transferred pictures will be accessible through the "Nintendo 3DS Camera" application, and sound recordings will go to the "Nintendo 3DS Sound" application.


  1. A few DSiWare games and apps can't be transferred from the DSi to the 3DS. Nintendo makes note of those titles on its company webpage.
  2. You can transfer data from the DSi to the Nintendo 3DS, but you cannot transfer data from the Nintendo 3DS to the Nintendo DSi.
  3. After transferring a DSiWare title from the DSi to the 3DS, it'll vanish from your DSi and you will have to re-download it at full price from the DSi shop if you want the game on your DSi.

What You Need

  • A Nintendo 3DS
  • A Nintendo DSi
  • The Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool
  • A Wi-Fi connection
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