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This guide will walk you through the process of opening and replacing the Upper Screen.

  1. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Battery: passo 1, immagine 1 di 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  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 2, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

    Same here, much more appropriate.

    Jack Wilson -

  3. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 3, immagine 1 di 1
    • Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.

  4. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 4, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

  5. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Motherboard: passo 5, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

  6. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 6, immagine 1 di 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 6, immagine 2 di 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 - Replica

    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.)

    BabblingFishes -

    What happens if I strip one of these screws? How hard would into be to remove them?

    Thomas Ciavattone - Replica

    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 - Replica

  7. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 7, immagine 1 di 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 7, immagine 2 di 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 7, immagine 3 di 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  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 8, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

    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 -

    I third this alternative method for D-pad replacement. To add to the previously noted detail, you also need to disconnect a 3rd connector going to the Cartridge Slot assembly, the one going to the D-pad Board itself which is underneath the Cartridge Slot assembly, which is shown at a later step in this guide. Also, I found I needed to loosen the two screws on the motherboard located nearest the Cartridge Slot assembly in order to get enough clearance to slide the assembly out, as there are two plastic guide stands that hold the assembly in place which the motherboard otherwise holds too tightly to pass. Otherwise, incredibly smooth sailing, minimal connectors removed, and my New 3DS LL import model finally has a working left/right again. Thanks everyone!

    Chris St-Louis -

  9. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 9, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

  10. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 10, immagine 1 di 1
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.

  11. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 11, immagine 1 di 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  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 12, immagine 1 di 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 - Replica

    Use a spudger to remove the red cable plug.

    Luis Leon - Replica

  13. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 13, immagine 1 di 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 13, immagine 2 di 3 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 13, immagine 3 di 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 - Replica

    I don't have the model on me for reference, but if I remember correctly, it's for the bottom screen.

    BabblingFishes -

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

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

    xavier delfini - Replica

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

    mcoughlin625 - Replica

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

    bajah - Replica

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

    BBW - Replica

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

    thomas rhymestine - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

  14. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 14, immagine 1 di 1
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.

  15. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 15, immagine 1 di 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 15, immagine 2 di 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 - Replica

    I think you might be confused; this is a guide for replacing the motherboard, not the entire bottom half of the unit.

    BabblingFishes -

    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!

    BabblingFishes -

    What does changing the motherboard do, is it if u like bricked your system or what?

    Josh TRW - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

    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 - Replica

  16. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Top Display Casing: passo 16, immagine 1 di 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Top Display Casing: passo 16, immagine 2 di 2
    • Using a 1.5 flat head, remove the four red rubber stickers that are on the inside of the casing.

    • Underneath the rubber is a silver sticky

    • Using the PH00 screw driver, remove the screws.

  17. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 17, immagine 1 di 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 17, immagine 2 di 2
    • From the hinge, slide the outer portion of the top shell so that it separates from the inner portion.

    • This step was edited recently because the previous version was risky. It told people to use a spudger and slide it around the edges. DO NOT DO THIS!!! It will snap tabs off!

    • The casing will become loose, and just lift the casing off.

    In the second picture, you did not list that the removal of two screws were needed, that hold down the boards for the volume/3D controls.

    Chelsea LaFleur - Replica

    just swype the top case UP side is OK

    luyicheng99 - Replica

    DO NOT make the same mistake I did. Just slide the top cover forwards, away from the hinge, and it will come off. DO NOT do what this guide says! It will snap the plastic clips that keep the case together and if you don’t want to pay for a full replacement housing it will be impossible to undo!

    Foam Rais - Replica

    I’d like to echo what Foam Rais mentioned. DO NOT pry the back cover off the display! Simply undo the four screws, close the DS and slide the back cover away from the hinge. If you attempt to pry the back cover off you WILL damage the slide clips that hold it in place!

    boatplugs - Replica

    I will also echo Foam Rais. DO NOT PRY IT! … unless causing unnecessary damage to your stuff is your kink. (I also went in and edited it, but since I has like no rep, I’m assuming it gets reviewed first before going live)

    Russell Haas - Replica

  18. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Upper Screen: passo 18, immagine 1 di 2 Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement, Upper Screen: passo 18, immagine 2 di 2
    • Make sure that all the taped parts are untaped from the Screen and moved onto the side.

    • Using a plastic spudger, slightly lift it from underneath the lips and move it around the screen.

    • Once it is loose, just lift.

    This step is lacking detail. The camera unit just lifts out of place, the ribbon follows it. There are two speakers to the left and right that have small screws that need to be removed first. Also there’s a pair of ZIF connectors that (appear to) need to be removed in order to properly move the left speaker and cable out of the way of the screen.

    David Elston - Replica

  19. Nintendo 3DS XL 2015  Upper Screen Replacement: passo 19, immagine 1 di 1
    • The cables to the LCD are attached to the lower part of the DS's motherboard.

    • Be careful pulling the cables through the DS, to prevent further damage.

    • Make sure to replace all cables to the correct location.

    I would recommend releasing the hinge in order to greatly increase the chances of a successful repair without damaging the ribbon cables.

    The hinge opposite of the ribbons (on the ABXY side) has the street pass light thing that can be easily removed and provides access to a cylinder that can be pressed out via a small hole. I used curved tweezers to slide it out of the way. The cylinder is keyed and fits back only one way so pay attention to the fitment position when re-assembling to save on frustration.

    Theodore Bidleman - Replica


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

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Ryan Butler

Membro da: 09/02/2016

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9 Commenti

I am lost, where is the rest of the guide?

Jo Jones - Replica

Is it possible we could get a link to a screen replacement?

Rupin Soland - Replica

Almost every guide on the internet skips over getting ribbon-cable through the hinge…

Devin Shrhs - Replica

and its the step that gets messed up the most so that may be why since you have to roll up the ribbon to get it through the hinge giving it a good chance of breaking the ribbon. Sucks because the only way to tell is to hook it all back up to see if it worked.

Jacob -

This guide is WORTHLESS - it’s ''cut-out in the middle'' at step 19 and in the most important part (ribbons)!!! I’ll make my own guide (possibly this year) This is a joke…

Sebastian - Replica

Any trouble shooting after putting it all back together? I got the cables through and everything back together and it powered on for a bit. After a bit of testing trying to get the 3D slider working, it just clicked and powered down. Now power on only results in backlight lighting up and an audible click/pop and immediate power down.

GarthGames - Replica

If I recall correctly, this means your speaker cable is not seated properly or the speakers are bad.

Anie Habegger -

So now I’m left with a taken apart 3ds with no way of knowing how to put it back together. Thank you.

Zachariah Orton - Replica

Why the !&&* do you have to disassemble the LOWER HALF to fix the UPPER screen?

Jonathan Jones - Replica

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