How Can I Repair a Scratched Nintendo 3DS Screen?

Repair options for the 3DS are limited

Nintendo 3DS screen protectors
Screen protectors: Never a bad idea. Image courtesy of Amazon.com

If you love your Nintendo 3DS, it's bound to sustain wear and tear over the course of its life. As with most electronics, the Nintendo 3DS screens are especially vulnerable. It's possible some scratches may appear over time, especially on the bottom touch screen.

Removing Scratches on the 3DS

Abrasive cleaners or screen repair pastes like Displex are not recommended, especially on the lower screen of the 3DS.

These pastes can permanently damage touch screens and turn a simple scratch into a disaster.

Here's what to do if one or both your Nintendo 3DS screens shows scratches:

  1. Use a soft microfiber cloth designed for electronics or glasses.
  2. Dampen the cloth with water only.
  3. Wipe off the touch screen and the upper screen. Rub scratches for several seconds.
  4. Use a dry part of the microfiber cloth to dry the screens.
  5. If you see any dust or a smudge, dab at it with a piece of transparent tape.
  6. Repeat the wiping and drying with the microfiber cloth if needed.

This may be enough to get rid of scuffs and minor scratches.

Important cautions:

  • Do not use any cleaners or solvents of any kind on the screens.
  • Do not get the 3DS wet and don't pour water directly on the screens.

Repair Options Limited

If the screens are still scratched after this process, you can contact Nintendo to arrange for a repair if your system is a 3DS XL or a 2DS.

Nintendo no longer offers repairs for the 3DS. (If your system's serial number begins with "CW," it is a 3DS.) Nintendo suggests an upgrade or replacement for 3DS units that are badly scratched.

Practice Scratch Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Invest in screen protectors and a carrying case, especially if you own a special edition Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.

Don't carry your 3DS in a pocket or bag containing keys or coins. Close the 3DS when it's not in use. Place a small cloth in between the screens when you're not playing with the system. Supervise children when they're playing your 3DS (or better yet, buy them one of their own). 

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