What Format Does 3DS SD Card Use? How to Format SD Card for 3DS

If you’re a proud owner of a Nintendo 3DS or 2DS gaming console, you probably know that having a properly formatted SD card is crucial for a smooth gaming experience. Whether you’re looking to replace your existing SD card or just want to ensure it’s correctly formatted, this guide will walk you through the ins and outs of the 3DS SD card format and how to format one for your device.

What Format Does 3DS SD Card Use?

The Nintendo 3DS and 2DS consoles use a specific file system format for their SD cards, which is known as FAT32. FAT32 stands for “File Allocation Table 32-bit” and is a widely compatible format that works seamlessly with these Nintendo handhelds.

What Format Does 3DS SD Card Use

FAT32 is a suitable choice for the 3DS because it supports file sizes up to 4GB, which is more than enough for the games and applications designed for these systems. It’s essential to note that the 3DS doesn’t support the newer exFAT format, so make sure your SD card is formatted as FAT32.

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How to Format SD Card for 3DS?

If you’re using a brand-new SD card or need to reformat an existing one for your 3DS, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get it done:

  1. Backup Your Data: Before you proceed with formatting, ensure you have a backup of all the data on your SD card. This step is crucial as formatting will erase everything on the card.
  2. Insert the SD Card: Make sure your 3DS is powered off, and then insert the SD card into the slot, which is usually located on the side or back of the console.
  3. Power On Your 3DS: Turn on your Nintendo 3DS or 2DS.
  4. Access the System Settings: Navigate to the “System Settings” option on your 3DS home screen.
  5. Format the SD Card: Scroll down and select “Data Management,” followed by “Nintendo 3DS.” Then, choose “microSD Management.”
  6. Connect to Your PC: On the 3DS screen, you’ll see a web address. Enter this address in your PC’s web browser. It will allow you to access the SD card’s contents.
  7. Format as FAT32: On your PC, select the SD card and right-click it. Choose “Format,” and ensure the format type is set to FAT32. Click “Start” to initiate the formatting process.
  8. Complete Formatting: Once the formatting is complete, safely eject the SD card from your PC.
  9. Back on Your 3DS: Return to your Nintendo 3DS, and you’ll see a prompt asking if you want to stop the microSD management. Confirm this action.
  10. Done: Your SD card is now formatted in the correct FAT32 format and ready for use with your 3DS.


Understanding the format that the Nintendo 3DS SD card uses and knowing how to properly format it is essential for a hassle-free gaming experience. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your SD card is in the right format and ready to store your games, save files, and more. Enjoy your gaming adventures on your 3DS or 2DS with confidence!