Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

If you’re an avid Nintendo 3DS player, you may have experienced your device freezing up or locking up during gameplay. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re in the middle of a game or trying to save progress.

Depositphotos_42699215_L Black Nintendo 3DS XL on white background

Why Does My 3DS Keep Freezing? (9 Fixes)

If your 3DS keeps freezing, there could be several reasons behind it. This section will discuss the most common reasons for 3DS freezing.

1. Restarting the System

One of the simplest things you can do is to restart your 3DS. Hold the power button until the system powers off (about 10 seconds), then turn it back on. This can help clear out any temporary glitches or errors that may be causing the freezing.

2. Dirty Console

Dirt and debris can get inside the console and cause it to malfunction. To fix this issue, you can try cleaning your 3DS with a microfiber cloth, such as one to use on the glasses lens, and a cotton swab to wipe off the dust from the console. Using a regular cloth or something not soft can scratch your console’s screen.

If your 3DS is relatively clean, another problem could be that a little dust gets stuck inside your console.

Give the console some light bump and shake to see if a dust particle is inside causing the freeze. Test whether this works by booting up your 3DS, playing games, or navigating through the device.

3. Software Issues

One of the most common reasons for 3DS freezing is software issues. If you have outdated software or corrupted files, your 3DS may freeze.

Make sure you are keeping your 3DS up-to-date with the latest firmware updates. These updates will help patch previous bugs and glitches that older ones have. It can also help improve your console’s performance.

You can check for updates by doing the following:

  1. Go to “System Settings”
  2. When you see “Other Settings”, select it
  3. Here, you’ll need to keep pressing the righthand arrow on the touchpad until you see “System Update”
  4. A prompt that says “Connect to the internet and update system” will appear. Select “OK”

Make sure you have a stable internet connection before updating your 3ds. An unable connection could make updates take longer or cause further problems in your console.

If you have a modded 3DS, remember that sometimes those mods can also interfere with the operation system.

If you can’t get into your system, try going through recovery mode. This is the console’s version of a safe mode boot and can be done when turning on the Nintendo 3DS while holding the A+R+L+Up(Dpad) buttons.

4. Memory Problems

Another common cause of 3DS freezing is a lack of memory. This can happen when your console runs low on memory. For example, buying and installing many games on the console can be a problem. Generally, game cartridge files are saved directly to the game card itself.

To prevent this, make sure you are regularly deleting any unnecessary data from your 3DS, such as old games or photos.

New SD card

If you’re experiencing freezing when playing games or accessing files on your SD card, the card may be the issue.

You can also try using an SD card with a larger storage capacity to help prevent your 3DS from running out of memory.

5. Physical Damage

If your 3DS has been dropped or damaged in any way, it may freeze or stop working altogether.

The back shell can become warped over time, causing pressure on the system’s components and leading to freezing. Try replacing the back shell to see if that resolves the issue.

6. Overheating

If your console gets a little warm, it’s okay since this handheld does not have great ventilation.

However, if your 3DS is too hot to touch, this indicates another issue you must look at or fix.

Are you playing your 3DS while it’s charging? If so, then check your charger. It could be a bad charger that needs replacing.

7. Wifi Problem

If you are playing online and your 3DS keeps freezing, there may be a problem with your Wi-Fi connection. You can try resetting your router or disabling your Wireless settings on the console. Nintendo has a short and to-the-point article on how to do that here.

You can troubleshoot and fix the issue by identifying the common reasons for 3DS freezing.

8. Factory Reset

If the freezing persists, you may need to perform a factory reset. This will erase all data on your 3DS, so make sure to back up any important files before proceeding. If you have another 3DS console, you can perform a system transfer.

9. Seeking Professional Help

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and your 3DS continues to freeze, it may be time to seek professional help. As of now, unfortunately, Nintendo no longer offers factory repairs for the following 3DS Models:

  1. Original Nintendo 3DS – Model No. CTR-001 – Serial numbers begin with “CW” or “CB”
  2. Nintendo 3DS XL – Model No. SPR-001 – Serial numbers begin with “SW” or “SB”
  3. Nintendo 3DS – Model No. KTR-001 – Serial numbers begin with “YW”

For these models, it’s best to seek out a 3rd party.

Remember, attempting to fix your 3DS yourself can lead to further damage if you are not experienced in repairing electronics. It is always best to take your device to a professional to ensure it is fixed correctly.

Bottom Line

In summary, there are several common reasons why your Nintendo 3DS may be freezing up during gameplay. Troubleshooting steps like restarting the system, cleaning it, updating software, checking for physical damage, and others can help identify and resolve many freezing issues.

If basic troubleshooting does not fix the problem, you may need to factory reset the device or seek repairs from a professional service. While freezing can be annoying, being diligent about maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting can often get your 3DS back up and running smoothly. With the right care and attention, you can continue enjoying your 3DS for years to come.